Late night movie on the laptop, with the companionship of a packet of salted peanuts and an almost empty cold drink bottle; that was what I was engrossed in, when I heard a frantic running in the corridor, with thumping footsteps growing louder each second. I lowered the volume only to find that the door to my room was now being beaten down frantically. I paused the movie and half halfheartedly moved towards the door for opening it. Around 2 A.M in the supposedly morning, he entered my room. That was Pranshul.
“What are you doing?” he asked in a hurried tone while being all sweaty, from what looks like a non stop run to my room from his, which had many flights of stairs between them. “Just watching a movie. Why what happened?” He collapsed on the bed, started fidgeting with his phone for a few seconds before he broke the silence and said, “She got a job.” He was talking about her ex. Their relationship of almost 3 years was brought down by the long distance relationship syndrome for about 4 months ago. “Okk.. So should I say congratulations or you are not feeling happy?” I asked him trying to be as normal as I could while pushing the door to close. “Don’t know. It’s a mixed feeling. It’s good she got a job. But now that she has got a job, would that anyhow make any difference in her feelings towards me?” I saw him sharply to check if he was okay. The fidgeting had stopped, but he was looking somewhere on the wall, fixated at a point, which had nothing. It was like his eyes were staring at something which doesn’t exist there; where he was trying to find it, or hoped it would be.
Pranshul has always been a hyper person. Brimming with raw energy, which at times overflowed and this energy was infectious. Maybe a little rough some times, but then he knows it himself. All he hates was someone pointing it out. Then he puts a barricade around him and fortifies his defense which nothing can bring down. Seeing him in a defenseless state made me realize how deep his feelings are for the girl he loved. The breakup had it’s toll on him. The messed up stages of “Was all that fake?”, “The blame game”, “It was my fault” and “I know her, it’s over”, he had been struck by each of them. Confused and torn between his lingering feelings for her and his ability to fall in love again, he paddled between the seething question “Is it right to be with someone else” punching a hole in his heart at times, and on the other hand, secretly downloading her whatsapp display pictures, just to admire her without thinking about anything else by confining himself in a silo of his own, even if for some moments.
He caught me watching him silently. “Don’t you dare trying to judge me!” He raised his voice as if something was building up inside him. “I am trying to judge the situation and not you. Relax. I am not always in the sarcastic mode.” I tried to calm him down as it was clear as daylight that his mind was running at a frenzied pace. I sat down and waited for him to speak. He started.
Any story which gives chance to two people to come together and share some time together in love, is qualified to be called as a love story, like a fairy-tale, no matter how it ends. This was a love story too. A boy had feelings for a girl. One lucky day the girl said yes to the boy and they went to be in a relationship. That’s where the love story ends and the other story starts. After all life is not supposed to be just a love story. It is just a continuation of one story after another. Their’s took a reality check. Time and distance tested their compatibility, their love, their faith, their resolution. And the fairy-tale ended. Practicality won.
He poured it all out. The story, how they met. What he liked about her. What plans he used to make for her. How he taught her riding the bike. How he learned sharing food with her. How he proposed her. How he spent days with her. What was the reason she gave him when she left. And the surge of emotions played all over his face. “You know, I know I’ll never change and so won’t she. Maybe it was supposed to end like this. I mean this was coming.” He tried his hard to justify himself all the reasons he could muster, as to why things are how they are and why they were supposed to be so. All I could see, was how that girl changed little things in him which nobody could have. Teaching a guy who claims to have foodgasms how to share his food is an impossible task. Making a hothead self aware of his behavior and way of dealing in public, is something someone only with a powerful impact on you could accomplish. That girl did that. Pranshul himself might not have realized it, or didn’t want to now.
After narrating the entire story, Pranshul looked at me, then at his mobile phone. “Where did I falter?” I didn’t know what to do. Sweet talk won’t do any good to him. He had made mistakes. But the girl did them too. Long distance relationship are too fragile. Then the temperament of the people involved in the relationship and the situations and phases they are going through add up impacting the whole equation. I wanted him to talk to her to at-least get some closure and if nothing else, then move on. “It doesn’t matter. All that you did or what she did has already been done. Try talking to her once to get that last shard out of your heart.” Pranshul looked at me and the face was of a person wincing in pain. “I know her too well. I know what she’ll say. I know the shard will be pulled out and I won’t survive the loss of blood. This is the only thing which even if is paining me has bound me together. If she removed it, I’ll fall apart.” Anything sounding positive would have been giving false hope or a hope without a basis. I was talking about giving her up but how can someone preach something which he didn’t even practice. I didn’t know the girl at all. She must have had a story too, and by her description, pretty logical one. She had her own circumstances. I could only hope that she regrets her decision and it was just in a fit of rage.
I felt helpless. Knowing the feeling always helps. So I decided to break it to him. “Only one thing could be done. Go and meet her.” “Are you kidding me?” He stood up and sighed in disappointment. “Listen to me first. I am not asking you to go and talk to her or beg her. Go and meet her for the last time. And when you meet her, lean in and inject the syringe you bought on your way, filled up with air. She’ll die with air embolism.”
Pranshul stood aghast with no clue how to respond. “Excuse Me??” I couldn’t control my laughter and let out a smile. “Only that could solve your problem. Love, my friend has, doomed you forever. It’s either this or nothing.” Pranshul realized what happened and smiled properly for the first time since he entered the room, apart from the narration of the moments he cherished with her. “Kill her haan.. Could that be done?” “O yes! Detailed information has been gathered on this topic. Pretty neat way of killing.” “Whom do you plan to kill by this method?” he asked cheekily. “Well, we all have our list, right?”
This lead to a proper discussion. We talked and talked and maybe that helped him to know his feelings better than telling about it to me. “So how does one decide if things ended right or not?” “Things never end right, if they ended they were not right, but that doesn’t mean mistakes can’t happen.” I went to my philosophical zone and pulled this one out. “Do you feel that if things were to be started from the scratch again and you were given the chance to remake decisions, knowing her and yourself thoroughly now, would you make the same choices again and try to avoid the crap you pulled, or you think whatever happened was for a reason and would take a different route?”
I thought he would actually take some time on it but he instantly shot back “Same decisions again.” And it was clear to me and him that the ball was not in his court. We went ahead and had maggie, looked at some shoes online, he told me some of his favorite college stories and it was 5 A.M in the morning. “It’s morning! Let us take a nap of 3-4 hours and you should do the same.” I pleaded him while pushing him out of the door. “OK. See you at class.” and he walked down the corridor. “Suddenly I remembered something and shouted, “Do congratulate her on my behalf!”
He turned back, smiled and replied “Sure I will.”