‘May I call or not? Holding the mobile with two hands, I was engulfed in a confusion. I was staring at his name and was reluctant to dial.’
Ratna got impatient. She wanted to hear the next. I started to tell again.
‘We last met at the college street junction and talked for some minutes. The noise from the stream of vehicles couldn’t disrupt our chat. It was a clean end. We became silent for moments before we departed for our destinations, me for Howrah and he for Sealdah.’
I paused and Ratna instantly spoke out,
‘Why’re you stopping so frequently?’
I smiled and replied,
‘Wanted to see your reaction…’
‘That’s not an issue. Please carry on.’
‘It was two past midnight. None was there at the reception. The nurse, who came along with me from my father’s cabin, was insisting.
‘Please understand, my mobile got out of charge and the desk’s phone is also dead. His wife’s condition got worsened and I need to inform him right now.’
‘Ok, tell the number.’
‘The nurse told the number but I got struck, putting on just first five digits when my device came out with the search result. Can you imagine who’s there at the first spot?’
‘It was Ambarish, the first class first boy, to whom we all fellow students wanted to be close in those days.’
‘I’m still not getting your point.’
‘You just told that you met him some days after you left the University. Then you should feel happy in finding a way to talk to him. But…’
‘No, my dear, you’re wrong. I didn’t tell the reason of my hesitation. Please hold the breath to hear what happened next.’
‘Ok, tell then.’
‘I asked the nurse for more details.’
The nurse went through the register again and I was dumbstruck hearing the address. I knew Ambarish’ house from before and it exactly matched what the nurse told. Suddenly I felt curious to see his wife and requested the nurse,
‘Will you please take me to her cabin?’
She wasn’t agreed rather insisted to call him instead. But I convinced her. Finally, I got to see the woman and the cloud burst over my head. She was none other than Sunaina, the daughter of Amabarish’s father’s best friend. We three were classmates. She was a very introvert girl. She never opened her feelings to me. None other than me in the university could came to know that they’re in relation.
I found her lying helpless on bed. I couldn’t stand more and felt ashamed for a lie. Out of jealousy, I spread rumour that Sunaina was in love with another guy. For days, I saw her writhing in anguish for that rumour. But I was a loser. I failed to win Ambarish from Sunaina and took our last meet, as a way of confession for my mischief.
‘Did you call him then?’
‘No, I couldn’t. I wasn’t so brave.’
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