Seven years since they last spoke to each other. Seven years since their fight.
Is it time yet?
Is it the right time to tell her?
Do u think it will affect her?
Do u think it will bother her today? It has been seven years after all.
Does she even remember her? No, of course she remembers her. It’ll actually be shocking if she has completely forgotten her.
I remember 31st March 2003 as though it was yesterday.
The sun shone brightly in the sky and the 17 year old me had woken upto the chirping birds. I couldn’t wait to get out of bed and hop into the car. Afterall today was the day me, Trisha and Ria were to go on our picnic. A picnic before the dreaded 12th std started. Little did I know that this outing would turn out to be a nightmare. I put on my best pair of jeans with a red top and sneakers. I want to get out of the house as soon as I could. But the glass of milk and bread stopped me in my plans. My mother was one person, who would never let me leave the house on an empty stomach. As a routine to please her and see her ever shining smile I sit down at the table and finish the breakfast.
I reach Ria’s house a little before 9 o’clock. The day seems perfect for the picnic with the sun shining bright in the sky and not a cloud in sight. It seemed to be the perfect day. Ria, as a habit, was running late and her phone was ringing off the hook with calls only from Trisha. I, sometimes, envied the bond that Trisha and Ria shared. They were the best friends one could ever meet. They knew understood each other well but were as different as chalk and cheese. Ria the perfect supermodel with the world’s best manicured nails and clothes whilst Trisha the captain of the school volleyball team, who had never touched nail paint let alone manicured nails. I guess they say opposites attract.
“Ok Ok! We are leaving in two minutes.” Ria entered the room with the phone in one hand and hand sanitizer in the other. Ria took her bag and with a smile said “we better leave before Trisha brings her whole house down.” Within a few minutes we were in the car, driving to Trisha’s place.
We get down the car and take in the fresh air of the picnic spot. The sun was shining more brightly now. We take our baskets filled with sandwiches and muffins and pick the spot under the tree. Under the shade of the tree we started talking.
“So, from tomorrow we start 12th standard. How do u guys feel?” Ria pulled a face and Trisha just smiled.
After a long pause Trisha said, “I don’t know. I think I am going to miss it after it’s over. You know the being called to principal’s office every day, the volleyball team and of course us.” What do u mean us? We won’t let u miss us.” retorted Ria. “We’ll be right here to remind u that we exist if u forget us. Anyway I have something to tell you guys. I am dating someone since a month.”
Trisha and I eyed each other with suspicion. Ria’s list of boyfriends were longer than her shopping list and that is saying something.
Ignoring our looks Ria continued with her story. “So, I am dating Rahul. He asked me out last month duing our finals and I couldn’t tell you people because we were so busy studying. Anyway, he is so cute no? And I am telling you.......”
I had lost Ria completely by now as my focus had shifted to Trisha, who looked as though she was experiencing a lot of emotions right now.
I was fervently wishing Ria would stop talking and notice that she had lost Trisha and me by now. I wished Ria would see what I could see right now and what everyone in school thought was true. I had started to realise now that what everyone talked behind Trisha’s back was true. I could see it clearly that she liked Rahul, no matter how much she tried to hide it I could now see it clearly.
“Hello? Hello? Ananyaa are you with me? Trisha? Am I talking to myself?” Ria looked annoyed now. She had, as always, expected her friends to be happy for her. I, personally, had no idea whether to be happy or sad.
After what seemed like an eternity Trisha spoke and could only say, how can you date Rahul? I could see the tears in Trisha’s eyes. Ria was, clearly, not expecting this reaction .
“Wha... What do you mean? He is a nice guy.” Trisha was shaking with anger now and tears started flowing down her cheek. She spoke through her sobs and all I could comprehend was “Ria I like Rahul. How could u ever do this to me? How can you date him?”
“But, Trisha I didn’t know you liked him. If I knew..”
“If I knew then what would u have done Ria? You are my best friend I thought you would understand that I like him. I thought you would get it that I like him.” Trisha’s voice had reached a new octave by now.
“What do you expect out of me Trisha? Do you expect me to be a mind reader? If you liked him you should have told me. I am no Psychic you know.”
“I think its time we left for home. I don’t want to sit here with a friend who betrayed me. A friend who knows she is wrong but will never accept it. Come on Ananyaa.”
Before I could make my mind whether to get up or sit down Ria got up and said, “even I want to go home now. I don’t want to be here. Infact Trisha it would be better if we never spoke again.”
“I couldn’t agree with you more Ria. Let’s just tolerate each other the way back home. Come on Ananyaa.”
The way back home seemed longer than ever. I didn’t know how to react to the situation. I was stuck between two friends. I didn’t know who was right and who was wrong. I didn’t know whose side to be on. I could hear my mom’s words clearly now “As you grow up, you will realise sometimes in a fight it’s not one person’s fault.”
I could see that today. Trisha was right in her own way and so was Ria. I had expected them to start talking by the time we reached home but they didn’t. They didn’t talk the next week. They didn’t talk for the next 7 years.
Today, on the 19th of November 2010 I am sitting in my office beyond the working hours. I have a cup of coffee in one hand and the cell phone in the other. I have been staring at the same phone number since the past 5 hours, contemplating whether to call or not. A part of me wants to tell her everything but another part of me is scared what if she doesn’t care anymore? With fumbling fingers I press the green dial button. It was 4 in the morning, a sleepy voice answered my call, “Hullo.”
“Hi Ria. This is Ananyaa.”
To be continued...