The Phone Call
The Phone Call
He stared long at the blank wall in front of him.
His life had been blank too just like that he thought.
Life looked meaningless.
It was a hot April afternoon in Chennai .
And the city was eerie quiet on account of the lock down, thanks to the pandemic.
The silence of the afternoon was occasionally brought to life by the rare passing vehicles on the road.
Samanth had been staying alone in this apartment for the past three years. He had worked in an IT company along the same road his apartment was, at the IT corridor of Chennai, Old Mahabalipuram Road. Just yesterday he got a call from his HR that he no more had a job with that company. He was loosing himself at work, keeping his mind occupied taking as much work as he could and now all of a sudden he had nothing to loose himself to.
Won’t a company care for its employee during difficult times? After all it wasn’t running on loss, he thought.
A selfish world, he reinforced his beliefs.
He had no interest of having food today . He had already skipped his breakfast and now lunch.
It didn’t make any sense to carry on with his life, life just looked like a narrow road to death . He had a choice now to make that road a shorter one and close his life story.
For one last time, he wanted to talk to her.
It was after all his mistake that the relationship broke. He let all his insecurity take control of him in their relationship. She felt it and when she felt she could take it no more, she called it quits.
He cried, he cried heavily and broke down.
One more phone call. That’s it.
She will call her and will not tell her anything about his plans. He will just say bye to her, a goodbye for ever.
He took his iPhone and called her.
350 kms away in an apartment in Bangalore, Tanya’s iPhone ringed with the default tone most iPhone users cared not to change.
She was in her headphones attending an official meeting over webex in her laptop.
She noticed the call in her phone screen. She felt like a sudden brake was applied on her monotonous office life and felt a jolt in her heart.
They had not spoken to each other for 3 years. She never wanted to speak to him again for the rest of her life. She had moved on.
“Guys I need to step out for 5 minutes, I will be back soon” she told her team mates and moved away from her laptop taking her phone with her.
The phone ring didn’t wait until she could make up a decision to pick the phone.
Samanth felt even more hollow adding to his already depressed state.
He tried to relax, drank a cup of water and thought he would try one more time.
Just one more time.
Just one more time.
Tanya’s phone rang again. This time she picked up.
“H h heey T t aa nu..” Samanth mumbled.
Tanya was silent. She felt the broken voice of Samanth . But this wasn’t the first time he had spoken to her like that. For almost a year when their relationship was breaking bit by bit, he had spoken like this every now and then. She had got used to it and had made up her mind to ignore it.
“Hi” she said after few moments.
“I .. just .. wanted to talk to you …for ..few minutes..” he said .
“Samanth, you know it is all over” she gave a sharp reply.
“Yes ..I know.. ” and he searched for words.
“I am in a meeting Samanth, it is an important call . I will call you later” she said paused for a while and hung up.
He felt slapped on his face hard.
“I will call you later”
She used these words often to ignore his emotional blackmails.
He stared long at the blank wall again.
Will she call again?
After 2 hours she closed her webex and called her friend Rachel.
“Hey Tanu, what happened” she asked sensing it wasn’t typical of Tanya to call on a weekday morning.
“He called” Tanya said.
“He..who?” Rachel asked and realizing who Tanya meant just when she was asking that question.
“Samanth” Tanya confirmed.
“Was it another emotional blackmail? And after all these years, he has still not given up ? He is so adamant” Rachel said in anger.
“He said he wants to talk to me . I was in a meeting . I said I will call later”
she said confused.
“Good, don’t call back . You have had enough of this” Rachel shot back.
“I know..but he sounded very depressed..I am not able to get that out of my mind..” she expressed her confusion.
“Hmmm..I can understand…Try to concentrate on your work now..take a decision after your office hours…Get yourself occupied until then..” Rachel advised.
“Hmmm ok da” Tanya said and bid bye.
She looked at her phone. Memories with him flooded her mind. The Good, the Bad and the Ugly.
Samanth kept staring at his phone for 3 hours. She didn’t call.
Why would she?
He was trying to write a better ending to the last chapter of the book they wrote together while she had already closed the book and thrown it away.
Samanth made up his mind.
He had already bought ropes from Amazon and learned how to tie them on a fan and hang oneself, after googling a bit.
He climbed on a chair and tied the rope on the fan and again stared long at the blank wall.
Blank, blank, blank.
And then his iPhone made that sound every iPhone makes.
He glared at it to check if it was Tanya.
It was from an unknown number.
Probably some one trying to sell something to him who had nothing to buy from life.
What if it is Tanya calling from another number?
But why should she?
May be I should check it and then die peacefully.
He swiped the green button.
“Hello, is this Samanth ?”
“Haan ” he said without interest.
“I am calling from ‘Stories Online’ company One of our members wants to do a short movie on the story you had posted an year back. Is this a good time to talk to you?”
How should he respond to this.
His gaze again went to the blank wall in front of him.
A spider he had chased away yesterday was spinning its web one more time.
“Yes we can talk”