Trrring trringg…Trrringg Trringg
“Oh for God’s sake! Who is it? Do you know what time it is? It’s almost midnight, you idiot!”, a very sleep deprived and grumpy me shouted at the door. It really was almost midnight and I hadn’t slept for 48 hours. It had been very busy at work. Some amaetur had cleared all the bank records and we had to submit the report and start to recover the records from scratch. It was like hell.
“I’M COMING! Do you not have some patience?!” I shouted at the door. I opened the door. And there he was, my dear friend Frank. A mixture of shock, anger and happiness all surged through my body.
“Come in” I invited him inside. I prepared some coffee and gave it to him, watching him as I did it. He had changed physically, a lot. We sat on the couch and waited for the other to speak. For a long time we remained silent. No one spoke. “So he is still the same” I wondered. I finished my coffee and kept the mug on the table. He had already done the same. The Game of silence continued. We looked at each other. A small hint of smile was visible in his face, which slowly grew into a grin and finally emerged as a big laughter. I laughed along, got up and hugged my best friend.
Even though it had been seven years since I had seen him, we talked like it was only yesterday.We laughed, we chatted we talked of our lives seven years back, how simple it was, how lively it was. Even through the laughter and chatter, I, his best friend noticed he was troubled, he was sad. I thought I’d ask about it later because now was the time for rejoice because it was the reunion of brothers. We drank, we partied, we danced, we sang, we laughed, just the two of us as though we were still young, we were carefree. It was sunrise when we finally rested.
Too excited to sleep, I made some more coffee and we sat on the porch hoping to see the sunrise. We drank in silence, and I looked at him. Even though he had changed physically, he still was my friend, my bestfriend. I had to ask him, it’s a bestfriend’s responsibiliy. First, I needed to break the ice. Even though we were bestfriends, we still hadn’t talked for years. It’d feel weird to ask personal questions straight at once.
“So how’s life?” I asked.
He fell silent. I waited for him to answer. It was as though he was in deep trouble. A tangled strings of thoughts he was trying very hard to untangle. He looked at me with sad eyes, “You remember seven years back?” he asked.
How could I forget. “Of course” I answered. “I’m here to give my anniversary gift.” He said.
I was dumbstruck. My mind raced down the memory lane. Seven years back, when we were still in college, when life was carefree. He had fallen in love with this girl from college, Allie. They both were deeply in love. People were facinated by their love story. Every one praised them and they were the most popular couple in the college. Allie was a lovely girl and every one became friends with her at once. I wasn’t surprised how fast had fallen in love with her. It went on for a while and after almost six-seven months, when they were both deeply and madly in love, Allie decided to introduce Frank to her parents. When her parents met Frank, they were “Disgusted” as Frank described to me later. Allie’s parents were country folks and were still old fashioned, they had to find the boy their daughter is marrying sastisfying and unfortunately in the case of Frank, they didn’t. This led to them being seperated for a month but since they both were equally stubborn, they decided to go against her parents wishes and marry. And who would they look up to in the most needy time but me, their bestfriend. I had to help. So I did but I swore a promise that nothing like this would ever happen with me again.
But at the day of their wedding, Allie got cold feet and ran away to her parents. We were all astonished. After a week we heard the news that she was married to a rich country guy. It broke Frank’s heart so badly that he left and I hadn’t seen him since. I heard that he sent Allie anniversary gift every year although I never found out for sure.
And here he was, seven years later still hung up on the girl who left him at the altar. Anger and pity surged through my heart. “Why are you still hung up on Allie? It has been seven years my friend! I’m starting to think you are crazy! Move on! I’ll find you another girl! I can not find a word to describe what you are now!” I said as I grabbed hold of his shoulder.
He removed my hand, and turned towards me and said, “ You don’t know the word? It’s love. Caring about soemone beyond all rationality, wanting them to have everything they want no matter how much it destroys you. It’s love! And when you love someone, you don’t stop. Ever. Even when people call you crazy and roll their eyes, even then. Especailly then! You don’t give up. Cause, If I could give up, if I could just take the whole world’s advice and move on and find someone else, that wouldn’t be love. That would be some other disposable thing that is not worth fighting for. That is not what this is!”
He looked away, his eyes tearful. What was I supposed to do? Should I help? Should I help him find his girl? But I had promised myself that I wouldn’t go through things like this again seven years ago. I couldn’t break my promise just because a person who was my bestfriend seven years ago returns. No. I just couldn’t. So, with a heavy heart, I turn away from him and said slowly, “I can be of no help then Frank. It’s better if you leave.” I could feel his eyesight on my back. The betrayl and agony he may have felt, but I had done what I thought was right. I waited until the door closed behind me. And I sat on the chair and looked at the sun, and with a piercing feeling in my heart, felt guilt rising through my veins.