Amishi couldn’t focus on any of the lectures next day. She kept stealing glances at her watch. She couldn’t wait for 4pm. Finally after the last lecture they all went to the auditorium. Their college festival committee was meeting up and wanted the students’ opinions on the upcoming events. Usually Amishi was very actively involved but this time she excused herself citing health issues and as soon as the meeting commenced she slipped away and went to the window. There he was standing in her favourite football jersey. He waved to her and she waved back. He sent her a flying kiss and she giggled silently. He pointed towards her and then his face. He gestured touching his forefinger to the tip of the thumb as if showing beautiful and again gave her an air kiss. She blushed and looked away. When she looked back he waved his phone and started to type. Soon her phone pinged.
She checked the message.
Hi Beautiful… you look stunning as ever. I wish I could see you closer…like right in front of me… can you send me a picture?
What? He didn’t want to actually meet her? She wondered.
She looked at him and saw him place the phone on his chest on the left side and rub there indicating heart ache. She grinned shaking her head. He was full of drama. But somehow she found it cute.
Then someone called him and he had to go… He looked up towards the sky and slumped his shoulders indicating he didn’t want to go. He spread his hands in front of him and hugged himself. Then pointing towards her he gave her a flying kiss and ran off.
Amishi was disappointed. She wanted to meet him now… wanted to know him… to know why her heart was galloping out of her chest every time she saw him… She longed to speak to him… hear his voice… She wanted to call him but knew he had practise till late evening. She too got busy with her meeting not before getting a full length picture of hers clicked by her unsuspecting classmate. She sent it to him. She kept checking her phone every half an hour, rest of the evening but although he had seen her picture, he hadn’t replied…. Didn’t he like her? She shook her head. Since when did she bother what others thought of her looks? Especially boys?
That night too he messaged her ….
Hi Beautiful, i never hated my team mate more before today… when he called me and I couldn’t look at you….But thanks for the picture… It was the only sunshine in today’s dull evening….
She had been upset not hearing from him, but still she smiled. She replied,
I wondered where you disappeared… Can we talk? My parents are not home today and my brothers are busy watching TV. No one can hear me…
After what seemed like ages, he replied,
For as much as I would love to speak with you… I have this urgent list of submissions. Football takes up all evening…So its late nights working for me… hope you understand… So good night beautiful. See ya tomorrow… (kiss emoji)
Amishi was disappointed. But she didn’t want to sound desperate.
Good night Pavan…
This became the trend for the next few days. She would see him from the fourth floor or at times from the second floor auditorium window and he would wave and throw air kisses then run off sending her some sweet messages on her phone. Then at night they would chat on and off for at least an hour. She would be so engrossed that she often skipped her sleep deadline she had set for herself. She had to go away for field work for a couple of weeks. She was in a remote village in Guntur where the cell phone reception was poor. At times she felt lonely because she didn’t fraternise much with her classmates. But she received regular messages from him which always brought a smile on her face. He was busy with his exams but still frequently messaged her. She thrived on them.
He was a very knowledgeable person. He was brilliant. But then, studying in his final year B.Tech Computer Science, in Siddhartha Institute of Technology was no mean feat in itself. He was doing his research project based on Artificial Iintelligence and though she never was interested in the area, his way of explaining had her glued. She even started to read about it these days. He was a fitness freak and an avid football player. He was his college defender in the sport. But what appealed the most to her was that he showed keen interest in her work. He gave her tips and links to ease her problems with Research methodology. He frequently asked her different questions on her upcoming field work cases and gave valuable tips. She was amazed at how well he could analyse and fathom human emotions.
She waited for their nocturnal rendezvous daily. He never missed a day. He was very punctual… in fact he seemed to gauge her mood even without her telling or messaging him. As if they had telepathy of some kind. She found it easy to confide in him. He was not judgemental at all about her, her work, her choices in life. She couldn’t speak on the phone without calling for attention and their timings didn’t match. But though they hadn’t spoken to each other yet, she was falling for him… she realised with a start one day… She had to speak with him. It was high time they met face to face… She decided to convince him…
That night about two months after they had first seen each other, she had decided to ask him to meet her next day.
But before she could type she received his message. As usual he had begun the message poetically.
My mind is in a great turmoil
I have let the storm brew
But … am more worried not to spoil
What I possess here with… you.
I can’t help it though I wish not to…
I am falling in love with you…
Amishi kept staring at the message. She looked at the ceiling fan in her room as if there were answers written there. She typed,
Let’s meet tomorrow before your practise. Meet me in that café outside our campus? 3pm?
She wondered why she hadn’t revealed her feelings to him. For a few minutes there was no response from him. Then he replied,
Done beautiful. Cu tomorrow 3pm. Good night…. Sweet dreams. Will be seeing you in my dreams like I do every day…
The next day she skipped her last two lectures. It was revision based anyways and she had complained of headache earlier on. So no one suspected her when she left her campus by 2.45pm. She had told her brother she would be finishing early and would go home directly. So now she was on her own. She exhaled with relief as she left the exit gate of her campus with her college bag in tow. She had dressed for today… in a sky blue colour Patiala suit with her favourite phulkari design dupatta…
Would he be the same person when they actually met? How would he sound? Would he have a deep baritone? Anticipation building up she walked towards the café. He was already waiting there. He had worn a full sleeved white cotton shirt and blue jeans. These were her favourite combination. He stood up giving her his magnificent smile…. She almost told him she loved him…
As she came up to him she looked down to calm herself. Then looking into his eyes she gave her right hand to shake said, “Hi… we finally meet.”
He shook hands with her and squeaked… “AAi”
She suddenly looked up at his still smiling face. “Are you…are you alright?” She asked.
He nodded and said, “aai buthifull, … how aa yuu thudhe?” (Hi beautiful, How are you today?)
She stopped smiling and kept staring at him….
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