“Papa you are a liar. You said we need to work hard till 10th standard, after that life is set. Once I passed 10th you told me once we are done with 12th, we need not worry about anything. Now you are saying its only graduation.”
I was bathing in one of those common bathrooms of girls’ hostel, when I couldn’t resist the urge to peep, in order to find out whose father is a liar. She was a skinny girl in her pajamas, fighting with her father on phone. That evening, I ran into her when I returned from my office.
“Oh!! Today you are not on phone” She said, acting surprised. I just smiled, thinking does everyone notices my calls or is it just her. I left that hostel a week later and we exchanged numbers with the formal words “Keep in touch”.
But, we actually kept in touch. She was eight years younger to me and I liked her because she was exactly like I was at her age. She had my energy, my mindset and my overconfidence of being mature, when I was 18. She liked me because I resembled some friend of hers. She was the first person with whom I shared my fear of going into a committed relationship. Though, she was too young to understand but, for me she was the safest person. I had known her hardly for a month (mostly on phone) and I was sure we won’t be in contact for long. To my surprise, she already had some idea about what I am going to tell her.
We talked for long hours on phone. She always knew, what is going on my life before I told her. We made stories and fooled people around us together. She knew my deepest secret. Rather than supporting, she used it to blackmail me. Somehow, everything about her made me laugh. Secretly, I wished for a younger sister like her.
I got married and my priorities changed. But, her place was secure in my life. I stopped sharing my problems, my joys or anything related to me. I just listened to her. I wonder if she still understands what is going on in my mind or she is just too busy in her life to give a thought to that.
“I am pregnant.” I told her once
“OK..” she stuttered, “What I have to say.. congrats??”
“I don’t know. Maybe.” I was smiling at her reaction
“Are you happy?”
“Me too..” She replied in scared tone.
“I am kidding Annie. But why are you scared?” I busted laughing
“I don’t know. I just felt confused.” She was angry for a few days about the joke.
Then, I received a picture message from her. It was a sketch with tears in eyes and hands joined and the text was written “Aap marr jao na, please.”
She took her revenge by telling me she is dating someone. Both of us laughed about the jokes together.
Then, our jokes turned into reality. I was actually pregnant and she actually started seeing someone. I didn’t approve of her boyfriend.
“Will you stop talking to me, if I don’t breakup with him?” She asked
“No, that won’t happen. But, I don’t like this guy.”
She broke up with him and said, “Shruti, you not talking to me is not an option. We cannot stop talking, you better hear me.”
I don’t know, if I am really that important to her. Her friends tease her, ‘Shruti is not your friend. She is your second Mom. She scolds you like your mom.’
My husband often teases me, “Her ex-boyfriend might not be as ex as you think. Priorities change. You might not be that important to her anymore.”
We laugh together about it. She is not my daughter. She is not my sister. She is not my friend. We are actually free of any name. There are no expectations. Whatever one of us does, the other one gladly accepts it. So, free of any mistakes or forgiveness, its pure fun and energy.
Six years have already passed. I literally live this relation, one day at a time.