Anita felt numb. She felt lifeless and completely drained of all energy after weeping all through the night. Questions were shooting inside her head. What went wrong?? What happened?? When??? And why her?? She wished all this had never happened. She wished Rohit were mean to her. She wished she could catch him red handed. She wished he would say something nasty to her. She wished him to actually have a full fledged affair. Anything to put her on a definite side.
Their last conversation kept rewinding in her head. Amit had come back from a tour to
“ Of all the people, could my boss find only me to go to
“ You asked him about her??”, queried Anita, her right eyebrow raised a little, as she fixed herself a sandwich.
“ Well ya.. I mean people take her to be a very friendly and outgoing person but I had never quite believed that. So I asked Varun about her. And he told me that she has actually been rather unlucky in love.”, he explained.
“Oh of course. And that she’s trying to put a brave front with all the flirting and back slapping and literally throwing herself at every eligible bachelor she meets. Poor girl!”, she gibed.
“ Well.. I’m just saying what Varun told me. In any case, I still find her very irritating. Don’t know what’s with the other guys. Can’t really understand why they are so over her.”
“She is beautiful and carries a sign post that says in red ‘Take me. I am available’”, Anita gestured as if she held the signpost in her hands.
“How did you know she was beautiful??”
“ Isn’t she??”
“ Well… emmm.. she’s decent. Above average. And speaks well. Except that she goes really overboard with it and ends up irritating
“ Decent??”, smiles she, “It’s okay, you don’t have to use euphemisms”
“ I am not. I think she’s obnoxious. The way she’s all the time coming to me, asking me in her cacophonic falsetto about silly work-related problems. What kind of recruitment process do these companies have? They just see a beau… a girl and they forget all about work. And then she really bugs me with her non stop commentary. ‘O Rohit, that blue really suits you’, ‘Oh look how cute Rohit looks when he’s sulking’, ‘Do you like that music you’re playing on your comp?? Isn’t it Van Halen. I love them!’ I so want to tell her ‘No, I just get the kicks from playing the music that I loathe’. What a moron!”
“Do you like her, Rohit??”
Silence flooded the room like Tsunami.
“ I..I didn’t get you”, stammered a nonplussed Rohit.
“There’s nothing about the question to be got. I just asked if you liked her.”
“ Why would you ask that?”
“Why are you answering my question with another question?”
“ Because I don’t get you! Why would you think that I liked her??”
“ Is that a yes or a no?”
“ NO!! I don’t!! I hate her for all you know! What are you?? Deaf?? Have you ever heard me speak well of her??”
“No. But I hear you talk an awful lot about her.”
“ That’s because.. because she just gets on my nerves’
“ Does she?? So that’s why you go around asking people about her.”
“ I don’t go around asking people about her. I was just curious.”
“ Ah yes! Curious. Do you realise that for the past five m onths we have been talking about nothing but Shikha. You are obsessed with her. Every time we meet I secretly hope that you’d talk about me, about us. But no, there’s just Shikha- the all pervading being! And if that’s really the extent to which she bugs you, why didn’t you change your project, like you had announced the very first day you met that bane of my existence?”
Rohit was speechless. He felt his head dizzying from a volley of questions. Not just the ones Anita was asking him, but also the ones he had not been asking of himself all this while. “It cannot be. It should not be.” He thought. It is true that he had had at times those wild flights of fantasy if only for a moment. But that’s what they were- wild , beyond reason, untrue, just the perverseness of his mind. Weren’t they??