“Hello, you awesome person!” The chat window flashed, breaking my concentration while in the middle of writing a short story. It was S. It took me around half a minute to recollect how she looked. It had been four years since I had seen her. The image of us hugging at the airport and her kissing me on my neck flashed across my head. That was the last time I saw her. She was moving to Pune to study.
“It’s been a while. How are you?” I ignored and continued writing. I was half distracted, wondering why she resurfaced suddenly. We were in touch for the first few months after she moved; we would write occasional emails to each other. But soon, we got too involved with our lives and spaced away. I did think of her once in a while. At school reunions and at boring family parties. S and I had been close friends over the final 2 years at school. She was my partner in mischief.
“Busy?” I was a little irritated by now. I really wasn’t in a mood to talk to someone I hadn’t seen or heard from in the last four years. It seemed frivolous. As I continued ignoring her IM’s and typing that article, I recalled our little adventures. Drinking beer for the first time and laughing our hearts out. Sneaking out of our houses at 1 am to set Moti, (the neighbour’s dog) free from his abusive master. Bunking school to watch movies at my house and getting caught by my father. We were grounded for a month with no pocket money. It was fun. Being broke didn’t matter back then.
I couldn’t concentrate on the story anymore. I was suddenly missing her.
“Hey. Busy right now. I’ll ping you sometime later.” I replied.
“9620xxxxxx. Those are my digits. I am in Bangalore for a few days.”
“Ok.” I replied not knowing how to react.
“You could try sending those digits a text sometime soon, they reply magically.” She initiated.
Back then when we were 18, I nursed a crush on her and I think she was attracted to me too. We didn’t know what it was back then. Looking back, right now a lot of things make sense. I loved the way she smelt, I couldn’t have enough of that smell. I would always give her really long hugs, to take long, deep breaths of that smell. She would love spooning me and falling asleep. When I was sad or upset, she would just hold my hand and refuse to let go. It was her way of saying, she is by my side. When she was down, I would try and cheer her up with my goofy imitations of our teachers and classmates. She loved them. I liked to make her smile.
The article was going nowhere. I was distracted now. The plot of the fictitious story was very exciting when I visualized it, but I just couldn’t find the right words. I decided to stop looking for the words. The words will come when they have to, I thought. My mind drifted back to her.
Our last hug was very sensual. When I dropped her at the airport, we hugged tight, getting lost in each others warmth. I felt something fuzzy in my chest. We were refusing to let go of each other. When I finally managed to pull myself out of her arms, she leaned in, whispered “I’ll miss you!” and hurriedly planted a kiss, behind my right ear. She ran inside the doors of the airport, teary eyed. I recall feeling butterflies in my stomach.
I stared at the screen, amused at the previous message.
“I have those digits.I simply thought they forgot about me.” I replied.
“What gave you that idea?”
“The fact that I hadn’t heard from them since a really long time.”
“The past is the past. It’ll remain there, nothing one can do to change it. But one could always do what they feel like in the present. Relive certain memories from the past maybe. Make up for all the lost time.”
“:)” I was surprised, by her sudden enthusiasm.
“Let’s meet over a beer?”
“Haha. A beer, of course. Nostalgia is setting in.”
“When are you leaving?”
“Sunday morning. Spend Saturday night with me.”
I wasn’t sure whether I was reading into the lines or if she really meant it.
“Sure! I’ll drop you at the airport on Sunday morning, since we are reliving memories from the past.”
“Just this time, I’ll kiss your lips instead.”
She remembers. I smiled to myself and let nostalgia get the better of me. I also finished writing a piece. Just a true story this time…