Mishka’s smile tasted of Karan’s afterthoughts as she went through the day’s chat with him. The muggy overcrowded compartment of Delhi Metro did nothing to diffuse the jamboree of this newfound tickle in her stomach and as much as she doesn’t want to reconcile to the fact, the butterflies had reached her foggy heart too. She had known Karan for close to eight months now. All of this was conclusively platonic till a few weeks back, when she was out of station for work and realized she terribly missed his horrid sense of humor, the abandon of his laughter, and most importantly his indulgent ways. Thereafter she knew that her validation is as irrelevant as rearranging deck chairs on Titanic.
She stumbled out of her reverie when her stop was announced. She was making her way out with the sea of people when her phone rang in her bag. The thought of Karan calling to know if she reached home safely, warmed the cockles of her heart. The phone stopped ringing as she jostled her way out of the station. Once out, she reached for her phone to call back and saw Rohan’s missed call flashing. Suddenly the aluminum sky outside left her gasping for air. The windless evening with clouds hanging low suddenly became thick and suffocating. And only then the phone rang again. “Hello” She meekly said.
“Hi, why were you not picking my call?” he complained rather annoyingly.
“Well, I was getting off the train, you remember these rush hours of Delhi Metro?” She was not expecting his call either this subtle gaslighting that he is so adroit with.
“Oh, right. Anyways I am in Delhi for a meeting, waiting outside your apartment. Come quickly.” He rather instructed without any foretaste of love.
Rohan and Mishka were in a long-distance relationship for four years now. They met during their MBA days and she was taken in by his intellect and incorrigible charm. Cupid hit and they both fell in love but throughout never committed to each other. Later he took up a well-paying job in Banglore and Mishka got a job in Delhi itself but they hung on to this idea of a long-distance relationship. Gradually it was only him condescendingly pulling the strings. They would meet intermittently but apparently, so the fire was lost. She didn’t think he was seeing anyone but his ambitious and controlling ways slowly tore them asunder.
As Mishka walked towards home exhausted, she heard Bryan Adams coo faintly from the coffee shop ‘I know the road is long but where you are is home…’, a song she had texted him a few months back and was still waiting for a reply. Suddenly the song seemed very interrogative and decisive. She looked up and diabolically clouds drifted away making way for the stars. She picked up the phone and called Rohan.
“I am not coming home, meet me at the nearby coffee shop, we need to talk.” She said rather conclusively.
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