It's been a week since Rajesh has been single. His girlfriend of 11 years decided to go separate ways. Not that the indications weren't there, they were very much evident. Long distance relationships always take a toll and since the day Rohini went to a different city, things weren't the same again. Besides Rajesh was very possessive, he needed minute details of where his love was, what she was eating, who she was hanging out with, where she was staying. Sometimes he would even call her up in the middle of some important seminar or meeting and that would totally piss Rohini off. Not that he did it on purpose, he just felt he wanted to communicate as much as possible, convey how much he missed her etc. Rohini, on the other hand, was more practical. She would clearly say, "Look I am kinda busy right now, can we please talk in the evening?" That wouldn't go down well with Rajesh at times and he felt ignored.
But anyway, now that it was over, he breathed a heavy sigh. He was still not sure if it was a sigh of relief or of hopelessness. He didn't want to categorise. The memories were very much intact. So many memories. He found it difficult to erase all of them. He started with removing any photographs, then trashed all gifts, all this while struggling to contain his tears from oozing out. The pain was real. It hurt like a thousand needles pressing hard on his tender heart. But he had to, anyway. He would keep reminding himself that time heals everything, time would heal his deep wound as well.
The nights kept getting unbearable as memories after memories kept flooding his senses. He would try to resort to ways of pleasure and entertainment, but those didn't help him in any way.
Even if he managed to sleep, Rohini would call him in his dreams like the days gone by. He would giggle and laugh in his sleep. Then the moment he woke up, everything would tumble down like a pack of playing cards. He had no idea what triggered those dreams and how he could get rid of her in his dreams. At times he would turn to booze to induce a dreamless sleep. Sometimes it worked, sometimes it did not.
He had to rely on time and time only to bail him out of this gloom.
Then one fine day he decided to go for an anonymous chat platform. It was fun as no individual could be identified by real name or age. Any identifiable information would be masked. Only the gender identity had to be specified. Rajesh got hooked onto it. So many people willing to try out friendship. So many girls willing to have a good time. It was refreshing and it helped him keep gloom at bay. On weekends he would spend like 10-14 hours on the app, chatting incessantly with random people, mostly those claiming to be girls. Here it is important to mention 'claiming to be girls' as he had encountered at least a dozen people with aggressive profiles who turned out to be guys, not that he had anything against same sex relationships, but he was straight oriented first of all and second of all, why would someone pretend to be of a different gender than what he / she actually is? Such a turn off, he thought! May be some people got cheap thrills out of making fool of others. Anyway, by now, Rajesh could make out who were real and who were fake. He ended up being very good friends with a girl on the chat app. Although she was well guarded as far as personal details were concerned, her thoughts and ideals made chatting fun for both of them. She gelled really well with him.
Days went by and then months. Rajesh, by now, had nearly forgotten about Rohini. This new girl had the name Tweety and that's how he called her as well. For Tweety, Rajesh was Rohan (his onscreen pet name).
By now both of them had started feeling it was more than just friendship. But Rajesh was scared to bring it up, lest it drew curtains over whatever they had going between them. So it went on like this, until one fine day Tweety said something Rajesh had never expected!
She said she wanted to leave the chat platform as it had no future. Although she enjoyed chatting with him, it was taking too much of her time. Without a clear future on the horizon, all of it felt like waste of time. Rajesh tried to convince her by saying that they could get to know the real individuals behind their on-screen persona and may be even try to meet. To this, Tweety said that he knew nothing personal about her and even then, she did not feel comfortable sharing personal details.
Rajesh said, "Fine! Let's exchange real email IDs, shall we? Let's get to know each other better. We will take it slow and then decide on the next steps."
Saying it, he proactively shared his own email address with Tweety over chat. And waited, there was no response. She suddenly went offline.
Rajesh thought, may be, there was a network issue or such. He logged in next day, but there was no Tweety. Did she leave the chat platform already? He searched for her username, "The user you are searching for cannot be found."
"Oh dear!", he thought. Well, at least she had his email address. He hurriedly opened his email hoping for some new emails to turn up.
There were none. He kept checking his emails every day just in case Tweety contacted him.
Finally on the seventh day, there was an email he was looking for.
Yes, Tweety had sent an email to him! He felt so relieved seeing the subject line. It read, "Have you been missing me?"
He opened the email.
Thanks for sending across your original email address. I was in two minds whether to share mine or not. These last few months, we grew so close to each other. Although we may not know each other's personal details, I got to know you as a person. I think anonymity helped too, as we could open our hearts to each other. I think you are a gem of a person. You might be wondering why I was in two minds about sharing my email address, yeah? (Smiles)
Well take a look. Here is my email address:
firstname.lastname@example.org. I could have given a different one, but I wanted to give the one you knew since last 12 years!
Not sure how you feel about it. But it looks like, we are destined for each other. I am happy to have found you again, in a different avatar. When can we meet?"
Rajesh didn't know what to say. He sat down on the floor, still processing the information he just received...