BFFs5 mins 323 5 mins 323
WE ARE 15:
I creep into your room, you are sleeping sprawled on your bed, probably dreaming of Mr.Pitt (I know this from that cheesy smile on your face). I tiptoe to your bed careful not to spill any water from the tumbler I’m holding. I reach your bed and slowly tilt the tumbler so that the water trickles into your ear. You frown but are still asleep. I smile and upturn the entire tumbler on your face. You wake up screaming!
"Bitch!!” you yell, I’ve fallen on the floor laughing. No one at your house is surprised at the commotion, it happens every day!
“Good morning Rituuu!!” I yell. You jump out of the bed and chase me out of your house and into mine, next door.
“Ritu beta, did Taara throw water on you again?! Come sit, have some dosas!” mum tells you.
“Yes aunty, she did!!! I'm gonna kill you today Tars!!!” you scream.
“You say this every day! Catch up with me fatso!” I scream back.
Tired, you sit on the couch and eye the dosas with your usual I-have-been-starved-for a year-look.
“Mum stop stuffing her face with food! You never ask me to eat with so much love!”
Mum frowns at me and kisses you.
“I’ll brush and come back aunty, leave some dosas for me!” you say.
“You mean leave all the dosas for you!” I shout to her retreating figure.
I’m greeted by a middle-finger response.
* * *
WE ARE 18:
“Tars! He did it! He held my hand today!” you are gasping into the phone.
I yawn, “oh my God! I hope you used protection!”
I get a few obscenities in return.
“So what, he’s a little slow-“
"A LITTLE?! He's a snail! I thought a Goan swimming instructor would be fast!”
“WILL YOU LET ME SPEAK?! I really like him!”
“Ass, say something!” you yell.
I almost drop the phone down.
“Ritu, when are you coming back? I'm so bored here without you…” I say.
“Aaaww! Someone’s missing me? I miss you too!”
“Shut up, I’m not missing you…and I can see how much you are missing me! Doing ‘exciting’ things like holding guys hands and stuff!”
“hahahaha I can sense the sarcasm there! Stop getting jealous, I’ll call you tomorrow”
“Yeah… enjoy…come back soon…”
* * *
WE ARE 21:
“YAHOOOO! Finally, we can drink!” I exclaim.
“Keep it down, will you? Can't let the whole world know your wild ideas!”
“So when are we going?” I ask.
“Where? To drink? Err…I don’t know…” you say.
“You are still scared Ritu?! We are legally allowed to drink now!”
“Yeah, but not morally!”
“Crap! You wuss, go get dressed…”
“Tars! We are going now?” you ask.
“Yes! Your birthdays a good enough reason!”
Reluctantly you agree.
I’m sitting on the edge of the terrace, knowing that you’re scared to come to the edge.
“Tars I’m really sorry!” you plead.
“It was the first time I had alcohol!” you yell.
“THAT IS NO REASON TO GET DRUNK, DANCE ON THE TABLE AND THEN THROW UP ON ME IN FULL PUBLIC VIEW!” I yell back.
“You got to admit, it was funny…”you grin.
“I’m going to kill you Ritu!”
“It was quite funny actually…”
“I’m going to pee in your wardrobe!”
“YOU ARE GROSS!”
* * *
WE ARE 25:
“It's too tight!” you exclaim.
“Sit still, will you!”
We are sitting in your bedroom, in front of the dressing table. It’s your wedding day.
“Wait…there! It's done!” I turn towards the mirror.
“WOW!” you gasp!
“Thank me! If it wasn’t for me, you’d be wearing a boring choli instead of this corset on your wedding day!”
“You look gorgeous…”
“This is it, Tars…” you say, realization dawning on your face.
“I know…tomorrow, you will be a married woman…”
“Oh, God!” Your legs give way, and you topple onto me…
“What am I going to go without you?” I say.
“Don’t make me cry, Tara!”
“Hey save the tears for the bidaai! And I got to control myself from jumping with joy!”
You mock-punch me, "I know you’ll cry…”
“I won't!” I say adamantly.
It’s the end of the wedding ceremony… Everyone is crying, weeping, hugging you. Aunty is holding me and crying.
Its time for you to leave, you come to me and embrace me, your words muffled by your tears, “I’m going to miss you…”
“All the best…be happy” I say.
You get inside the car and are gone.
I run out of the hall, get inside the car and drive home. My mum-dad are still in the hall, consoling your mum-dad.
I reach my room and fall on the bed, the tears finally coming…and not stopping for hours afterward…maybe days…
* * *
10 YEARS LATER:
I’m standing beside the phone, too shocked to react…the conversation still ringing in my ears…
“Since the accident, She doesn’t eat, doesn’t speak to anyone, doesn’t sleep properly…she’s killing herself slowly!” your mum was saying.
“But a year back?! Why didn’t anyone tell me!” I said.
“I thought she had already told you…please come and meet her…you are the only hope we have left…she never made any good friends after marriage…”
“Aunty…it’s been years since we met! Everything has changed…”
I remember the last time we spoke…it was about five years ago, It was the day my first book was to be released…the dream of my life…and you didn’t come…because your son had a school function the next day…I was so sooo hurt…you apologized. I yelled.
You weren’t the same, I said, bringing out all the hidden anger that had come up after your marriage…all you cared about was your family…you were changing into those people who don’t have a life apart from family…I was rude…you said I act like a possessive boyfriend and I have to grow up…I hung up…we never spoke again.
Without you mothering me, I grew up.
I can’t sleep that night…I can’t think straight…all I’m thinking is you…with your husband and your son dead…and then I’m crying…crying for your loss, knowing that we are forever connected…however far…
And then, I know what I must do –
I pick the phone and dial your number.
“I don’t know what I can do now, but I know that I can't let you wither like this…I’m hurt that you didn’t tell me…I’ve missed you…” I’m trying not to cry.
You don’t say a word.
“It's going to be tough, but you have to move on…I’m going to be there with you…like I was for 25 years…you are still my best friend”
“I know everything has changed…but its okay…we’ll make up for the lost years…” I’m hoping you haven’t hung up on me.
“I’ve missed you…” I try a last attempt.
And then! Like rain on a drought ruined field, you speak!
“Tars you bitch…I thought you’d never call.”
And then we are laughing and crying and giggling and weeping.
Did I say everything has changed?
Nothing has changed.