Ahem, Me is in the prime of life. Me holds a PhD and is trying to be jobless. Me masquerades the time spent on the net as doing research in Artificial Intelligence. Me desists from praising 'myself', so I won't proceed further :D ...
(To avoid any controversy: This is a work of fiction and thus does not reflect reality in anyway. The feelings echoed by the protagonists belong to them alone and should not be attributed to the author :D. All copyrights held by the author i.e me i.e mythalez)
"Oh, Come on!", the boy exclaimed.
"Get lost, I dont want to talk to you anymore", the girl stated not so emphatically.
"Thank god! Atleast I would get some peace for sometime", the boy remarked and walked away from her to grab a chair. Her eyes followed him while simultaneously making a generous contribution to the sullen look on her face.
Just as he reached the chair, the boy turned around with a large smile on his face. That brought about a sudden transformation in the girl's face. She sat down on the bed and wondered loudly enough for the boy to hear, "I do wonder what would happen if we stop talking to each other for a day."
"Yeah, good. I hope at least then your voice would stop ringing in my ears.", the boy continued his sarcasm.
"Anyway, we wont be meeting tomorrow. We might as well not talk?", the girl was making a strange proposition. The boy discarded those thoughts questioning the purpose of such an exercise and focussed his mind on those that leapt at joy at the innovation involved.
"Ok fine. We shall not talk to each other tomorrow. That is the 8th of august.", he made it more precise.
"Hmm, By the way ..." and they moved onto other things. This happened at 9pm on 7th august.
The boy soon left for his home. She knew how exactly how much time it would take him to reach his room. The landline phone rang just as he unlocked his door, just as the time went past 11pm. He picked it up and they continued talking about all the sundry things. All through the conversation, the boy kept glancing at the time displayed by his computer screen. He was silent for a while and so she asked, "what happened? Is it 12 already?"
"No, you still have 5 more minutes."
"Okay, will you please, please wake me up at 4 tomorrow morning?"
"You expect me to wake up at 4 to wake you up eh?", the boy questioned.
"No, you dont need to wake up, but incase you are awake, do give me the wake up call."
"Why, for what possible reason would I be awake at 4? Even if i were awake, we werent supposed to talk remember?", the boy reminded her.
She explained, "You dont need to talk. You just call. I would wake up, pick up the phone and hang up again. I would know that it was you."
"Hmm. that is fine I guess. But I wont be awake nor would I wake up at 4. So you can forget this option. Wake up yourself, lazy girl!"
"Yeah, I shall try to. I certainly cant afford to miss the bus."
"Okay, its 12 now."
"Yeah, bye bye then. goodnight. Talk to you day after 24 hours.", the girl said.
"Bye, have a nice trip."
"Hey, what about the trip gift?", the girl reminded him.
"You will get it. Dont worry", the boy teased.
"When? I have a bus at 5 remember?"
"Maybe, you would find it in the bus?", he continued.
"Ahan, lets see. bye bye goodnight. sweet dreams", with this she ended her part of the conversation.
"Bye and the rest to you too." He ended his and they both hung up their phones.
Immediately, the boy picked up his cell and set the alarm to 4:10 am.
He was still glued to his computer around 1am when he noticed that the girl had come online on the messenger. So he IMed her, 'boy: go to sleep lady!'
'girl: sssh! we were not supposed to talk remember?'
'boy: yeah, and we are not talking.'
'girl: no thats cheating. no communication through any means permitted.'
'boy: oh :(. well then, the the next message shall be the last one'
'boy: bye bye'
'girl: bye cya'
"Tring tring!", the sound kept getting progressively louder with every tring. The hand reached out to the source of that raucous noise, picked it up and switched off the alarm. It then picked up the phone, dialed the number and held the receiver to the side of the face. The eyes had still been tightly shut all through these actions. "Tring tring!", this time the ringing wasnt as irritating. After the third ring, she picked it up. After a couple of moments of silence, the female voice said, "bon jour". Satisfied, the boy replaced the receiver and went back to sleep.
He finally woke up after 9. The first thoughts that crossed his conscious mind were the questions, "did she reach in time? Has everything gone all right?" He pushed these thoughts into the background and went about the morning rituals dispassionately. As he was rushing through the actions, getting ready to leave, he often glanced at the time, trying to figure out which city bus he had to catch to reach in time. However, everytime he looked at the time, the first thought was whether her job would have been done by then. He knew that it would be done by noon for sure. But would she inform him when its done? And how? He was in the bus, about to reach his office, when his mobile vibrated. '1 new message'. Is it from her? But wasnt she not supposed to message him? Pondering in this way, he opened it. It was indeed from her phone and read, "Done. will see you soon. Dummy." 'Aah, so she was using an alias eh?', he smiled at the thought. Dummy was their common friend and her colleague who was accompanying her on this day trip. As soon as he got down the bus, he called on Dummy's cell. As usual, Dummy didnt pick up. Now, he had to call her cell. He did that but the annoyance was evident on his face and in his voice. She picked up immediately with a "yeah?". He replied with "Dummy". She got the message and handed over the phone to Dummy. Dummy got an earful from the boy for never receiving his mobile calls. Relieved of the frustration finally, the boy enquired about the events of the day and whether everything went fine. Dummy described it all and then handed over the phone to the girl without much of a warning. The girl said, "Yeah tell". The boy said, "I have got nothing to tell". So, the girl handed the mobile back to Dummy. Dummy again got an earful for having given the phone to her. The boy ended the conversation soon, went to his office and got involved in his work.
After a satisfying lunch and a refreshing coffee with his colleagues, he returned to his desk only to find his mind not enthusiastic about the work anymore. He whiled away some time doing trivial things and having trivial chat with friends. Then he started reflecting upon the events since yesterday night. He felt an urge to call her and talk to her, know what she doing at that very instant. But the urge remained at that. He transferred his attention into something else. Something closely related though. Something that had absolutely nothing to do with the work that he was supposed to do in the office. He was totally involved in it when he was jolted suddenly by a voice behind his head. He jumped around, switching windows on the computer screen simultaneously. It was his colleague-friend who unable to bear his concentration just wanted to startle him. He smiled, removed the headphones, got up and had some small talk with his friend. He returned soon, put on the headphones and was soon immersed in continuing what he had left midway. And before he knew, it was 4 in the evening. 'Aah, 8 more hours', he calculated. He also realised that though he had his headphones on, no music was playing on his PC and that he had been too lost in his current 'work' to have noticed it. Anyway, he continued what he was doing. His pace was considerably reduced now as it was no longer as easy as it had been earlier. Now it was more thinking than typing.
After some more time, he stopped his 'work' to check for any new mails in his innumerable logins. There was one new mail in the login that he uses the least. It was from her, though not directly. It was from a social network website informing him about her wall message. He looked at the time it was sent. It was dated 7th Aug. He wondered why he got the intimation now and not yesterday as it should have been. He felt too distracted to continue anymore. He was thinking too much about her now. Yeah, he had been having thoughts about her all this while, but it was at the back of his mind. Finally, they seemed to have succeeded to have come into the forefront, catalysed by the mail perhaps. He wondered what she was doing. Why wasnt she calling or SMSing him? If not directly, at least through Dummy. Maybe she was waiting for him to do the same? Or maybe she was enjoying herself too much to even remember him? Thus, his thoughts wandered from relief to envy and all emotions in between.
Soon, it was 5pm. He remembered that he had been invited to a friend's birthday celebration at 6. The birthday boy was hardly a friend. He had just met him three or four times. But, it was very sweet of him to have actually invited him. So perhaps, he should go? Though he wasnt particularly interested in any food or drinks at the pub where the party was being planned, he hoped that by going, some of the remaining hours would pass away quickly. He would also get to meet some new people. So it didnt seem to be a bad idea at all. The only drawback was that his wallet would lose considerable weight. He decided to go.
Soon, he left office and went home. He called up his friend and informed him of his intention of coming to the party. All this time, thoughts of her were nagging him. He realised that he was actually getting angry at her for not being desperate enough to call him. But looking from the other perspective, he was equally at fault. Maybe, she too was hoping that he would call soon? There didnt seem to be any way of finding out or tackling this deadlock. A little after 6, he met his friend, the birthday boy and a host of other people. After all the introductions subsided, they went to the pub. The pub seemed pretty good. But, it reminded him of his promise to her of taking her to one of the best pubs in town.
Everyone in the group was having a nice time. The food was good, the drinks were good, the ambience excellent and the service okayish. However, the boy was quiet, as usual. Being slightly introvert, he could never be gregarious among a bunch of people that he just met. He did keep smiling and following the conversations with interest, but contributed very little to them. And yeah, his thoughts were predominantly occupied by her. Then, a couple from a nearby table got up and started dancing. Looking at them, he couldnt have wished more fervently that she was beside him right then, and that they could dance too. Just then, someone asked him something about his work. He tried to explain as best as he could, even though he knew that however wonderful and clear his exposition was, there was no way that an economics major would get the hang of it.
Soon, it was 9 pm and the group left the pub. Some were interested in continuing pubbing into the night, while a few others were eager to go back home. He was among the latter. He finally reached his room a few minutes before 10. He thought that she would be in the return bus, right now. It disturbed him that she hadnt contacted him in any way, directly or indirectly. Dummy didnt either! Maybe Dummy should be rewarded with a few more earfuls before he gets his act together. He sat down in front of the computer in his room and started to finish the task that he had started in the afternoon. It got over quicker than he had expected. It was almost 11pm. 'The final hour', he leaned back looking at the roof.
He decided to wrap up the task. So he opened his mailbox, clicked on the 'compose' button and selected her email address. He deliberated a moment for the subject and decided upon "open at 0000 hrs". He copy-pasted the whole story in the message box. Then he had to scroll up to type the title in bold- "24 hours of separation". He scrolled down and added at the end- "Apologies for giving you the 'trip gift' at the end of the trip and not at the begining."
And clicked send.