“He was never serious about you”. He tried to console her mainly to stop her from crying. But she wouldn’t stop. She silently sobbed, her face bent down covered totally in her palms as she wept. He tried to put an arm around her to comfort her but something stopped him from doing so. He sat silently in the seat next to her, as the car kept moving. They were on their way back to her home.
He remembered how he kept telling her she deserved better. But she was blind about him. “You don’t know how much I love him”, she would tell him, “…and that’s only because of how much he loves me”. He knew it was best to keep quiet at such times.
As he drove on he kept looking at her face from time to time. She was still crying although she appeared a little more in control of herself. “You want to listen to some music”, he asked as he was about to turn on the car stereo. She nodded in the negative and he turned it off almost as immediately. The silence in car seemed heavy and hard to bear. Maybe she felt it too as she broke it by saying, “let’s stop for some coffee somewhere”. In a short while they had parked in front of a highway coffee shop. She had her usual latte as he sipped on his double-shot espresso.
“I know I made a mistake”, she finally broke the long silence. “I rushed. I just followed my heart. I didn’t use my head at all”, she looked at his face for the first time since morning, when he had driven all the way to pick her up.
“It’s ok”, he meekly responded. He found himself at a loss of words on such occasions. They had been the best of friends since childhood but even after all these years he didn’t know what to say at such times to her. He extended his hands to touch hers. She took his hand and squeezed it gently, looking at him and mouthing a silent ‘thank you’. He was her rock. She knew others would come and go but her friend would be true to her and there for her always. That was her biggest comfort.
“See you tomorrow at the bookstore”, he said as he dropped her home. He ran his family bookstore and was happy to have her sit in the store and work on her thesis. That way he could spend as much time with her as was possible. She knew she had to shrug off this recent infatuation and get back to finishing her work. “See you”, she smiled as she warmly hugged him before getting off the car. She took a deep breath and held it for a while before releasing it and also releasing him from her embrace.
He reached home and sat on his desk. He took out his blue diary. It was perhaps his favourite possession. She had gifted it to him when they were way younger. He wrote in it meticulously. Every day of spending time with her. Every word she said. Every emotion he felt. It was his own little secret place of solace. He would unwind there completely.
He wrote of her latest encounter. How yet again she had found an inappropriate guy for herself only to be rejected yet again. Why could she not see that the right guy was with her. All the time. All these years. When would she stop being so blind, he asked in the blue diary. Knowing well, that there would be no answers.
The next few days went by normally. They’d spend time together in the bookshop. Sometimes they went out for coffee. Sometimes to catch an oldie in the retro-movie theatre that had re-opened in their locality again. Sometimes just for a long drive. Almost all the time spent was spent together. With each other.
One day I will tell her how I feel about her truly, he wrote in his diary that night. It was amazing she didn’t feel the same way after all these years. Is it really possible that when two people are this close, one of them still remain oblivious to these feelings? Like all his earlier questions to the diary, this one would remain unanswered too. I must tell her how I feel. It’s high time, he concluded his writing for that night.
The next day they were to meet at the coffee house. But she wasn’t there. He tried her on her mobile but couldn’t get through to her. It was unlike her not to call if she was late, he thought to himself. He was a little worried. He tried her phone but couldn’t reach her. Finally he got off the table and decided to head towards her home.
As he approached her house, he saw the door ajar. He went in and saw her mother. “Oh you’re here”, she said, surprised to see him. “She’s gone to get you a gift, she said today’s a special day”, her mother told him. “Why don’t you wait in her room”, she told him. He was surprised at the turn of events. What gift? What special day? It didn’t make any sense to him. In all these years of being friends he had never ever entered her room, so today he felt strange entering, and that too without her being present.
He sat tentatively on her neatly made bed and looked around. Her walls were plastered with posters and pictures from the past. Of her family, her pets, her friends . But he didn’t see a single photograph of them together. That surprised him. He looked around to see her writing desk in one corner of the room. Her laptop and a bunch of paper lay strewn on the desk. Suddenly he saw something that caught his eye.
It was a blue diary. Identical to the one he had
He walked on to the table to take a look at the diary. As he reached her desk he saw pictures of the two of them under the glass sheet on the desk. There were pictures of the two of them from their childhood days to present. His eyes lit up when he saw the pictures. His eyes widened further when he picked the diary up and began leafing through it. He read one entry and immediately turned around to see if anyone had seen him sneaking. His face flushed as he kept reading her diary. His smile broadened. His heart was galloping away at an unimaginable speed. He sat down on the chair to read in detail
Mum!!! Why did you let him go to my room!!! You should’ve asked him to wait here. He suddenly heard her voice from the doorway. He stumbled, got up from the chair and went and jumped back on her bed.
She looked first towards her desk and the blue diary kept on it before she looked at him, sitting on her bed. Her face was flushed with the most amazing mix of apprehension, embarrassment, happiness and surprise.
You didn’t did you…was all she could say.
He simply smiled as he got off her bed to walk towards her.
The blue diary remained open on her desk.
Copyright (c) Pratik Majumdar