Vagaries Of A Timid Heart


Priya sat cross legged in her warm fleece pajamas, cupping her hands around an almost cold mug of coffee, not realizing the time that had elapsed since the coffee went from piping hot to lukewarm and finally to icy cold. She was staring blankly at her empty room, her roommate wasn’t around and wouldn’t be for a while and she was thankful for these blissful moments of solitude, which she could spend with her own thoughts.

She knew that she was acting all weird. Her face had turned many shades. At one moment she felt angry and cheated, at the very next her eyes shone and her lips curled up into a contended smile and then suddenly a faint recollection of something funny that happened last night would make her giggle a little. This wasn’t her usual self, she was mulling over something or somebody despite the work that was piling up on her desk. Her phone had been ringing, the messages beeping and the whatsapps buzzing since forever, but all she wanted right now was to hold onto her thoughts. Because in them lay a world which was beyond her present reality, and which had been real just a couple of days ago. Now all that was left of it were the elusive memories which she feared would soon get lost if she occupied herself with something mundane.

She was getting anxious now. She picked up her phone to call him, to speak to him. But after the customary work and the weather talk wouldn’t there be an awkward silence? What will she say? Or what was it that she wanted to hear? She wasn’t stupid enough to expect an emotionally awkward man like him to say “I Love You”, that would be too much to ask for. And asking him whether he loves her was a risk that she didn’t have the heart to take. What if he decided to act all cool and said that all of it meant nothing much to him and things like this happen all the time? She hated to accept that she was being an escapist and avoiding the truth—something which had never done in her life, but she didn’t want to ruin it by being pushy. She wanted to give him time to settle into his life and put things in order, but she also knew that he found little time to think about anything else. And since they had been best friends for the last four years she was certain that he would surround himself with more work if he feared getting emotionally attached.

She wondered if he thought about her, missed her touch, her fragrance and her breath when he went to bed at night. But even if he did, she would never know; he would never confess. As she thought about it she smiled—thinking about that moment when she was wrapped in his arms. She had caught him off guard when she expressed her fear that she would get too emotionally attached if they went any further and he had said, “Do you think I don’t get emotionally attached? It’s been more than three years and you’re still asking me this?” and in that moment she was more than satisfied with his answer.

But now she was getting restless—her heartbeat was gaining pace and she sat clutching her mobile with her sweaty hands. She felt helpless, incapable of doing anything and left at the mercy of his ambivalent heart. All she needed right now was him to take her hand in hers, to make her feel better.

She was driving herself mad, when her phone rang. She jumped at the sound and picked the phone up with glee. She knew he would call, she knew she was thinking too much. As she noticed the name flashing on the screen of her phone, she couldn’t help the tears falling from her eyes. It wasn’t him.

Pulling herself together, she picked up the call with a heavy heart, “Sorry baby, couldn’t take your call. I was sleeping.”

She hated lying. But what else could she do?

Tell him—her own boyfriend—that she was in love with another man? Never.

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