Was it all just a bad dream? Did my perfect life with all my friends and loved ones just take a drastic turn? I sat on the last desk of my college classroom, feeling numb. My hands trembling with what I just saw. My face fell, and for a while I couldn’t feel any emotion. AN saw the expression on my face and rushed towards me to grab my phone from my hand. It had a message from our teacher on the screen which said,
“I’m really sorry, I don’t know how to tell you this, but Tejaswee is no more.”
My best friend, Tejaswee, someone I had known for 11 years, was never going to come back. I couldn’t emote for a while when finally AN hugged me and we burst out crying. As we rushed to the hospital, my mom called me several times on my phone, but I had no energy left in me to even pick up the phone. Moreover, I hated the sight of that thing from then on for the bad news it brought to me. I wanted my mom, but I couldn’t bare to see my phone again.
AN picked up the phone and held it on my ear. While I couldn’t say a single word, all I did was listen, and my tears were the only thing that came out. AN held me as tight as she could and with numb faces we walked towards the hospital ward.
I hated my phone that day. I didn’t look at it for the next few days either. I couldn’t even reply to any of the messages which my friends sent as condolence. Usually it was her who called me most often, but just the thought of her name which would never flash on my screen again, made me sad and angry.
It took me a few days to gather myself. Everyday I wished for it to be a nightmare and get over with. But who knew, sometimes reality is worse than a nightmare.
I frequently went to her house, looking at her room, lying on her bed, pretending to talk to her, looking through her stuff.
One of those times I had gone to her house, and was looking through her stuff, I spotted her phone. Somehow I mustered up the courage to plug it into the charger and switch it on. I was scared to do so at first. I didn’t want to go through heartache. But there was a part of me that urged me to look into it.
I switched on the phone, and the first thing I saw was her wallpaper, which was a picture of both our hands which we had once taken in our college lawn. It reminded me of that day when the four of us, Tejaswee, AN, V and me, were together in that lawn and were making jokes and having fun, rolling over the grass like maniacs, not caring about the wide spectator-ship we had gathered. I smiled thinking about that day, it was one of those days in which we had a free class and had planned to explore the entire college for hideouts.
I looked further, and saw the call log. My number was the last received call on her phone. Life does take unexpected turns. Who knew that this would be the last time I would ever talk to her? In an instant, the last conversation we had began to play in my mind. It went something like this.
Me, “Stop being madam attention seeker, sweety, you’re scaring the hell out of all of us. Jokes apart, how do you feel now? Is there any improvement”
Tejaswee, “Don’t you worry I’ll be fine, just that my organs have enlarged and it hurts. But that’s okay, it’s just that I hate it so much, because I look so fat! ugh!”
Me, “Oh shut up. Silly girl. You better get okay soon. We have to finish making those crazy documentaries, and plan out our birthday we’re going to celebrate together.”
Tejaswee, “Arre don’t you worry, since I have nothing else to do I’m actually thinking about the guest-list and theme for our party. And don’t worry, the party’s going to be the best party ever.”
Me, “That it will. And the documentary has to be made with your magic hands.”
Tejaswee, “Achha listen, I’ve got to go now, time for some silly test again. Just remember to put a mosquito repellent cream whenever you go out, and please reduce your caffeine intake, it’s not good for you, sweety”
Me, “Dumbo, I will do that, don’t worry. But not before you’re back okay. Deal?”
Tejaswee, “We’ll see, I have to go now. Take care of yourself.”
Me, “Look who’s talking. You better get well soon okay. I love you sweety”
Tejaswee, “Muah! I will always love you, Roo” (‘Roo’ is a name only she called me)
Those last words kept playing in my mind, like a broken record. I wished I had recorded this conversation when it happened. But it was in a place far greater than that. It was engraved in my heart. In an instant as I thought about it, I broke into tears, thinking about our birthday we were supposed to celebrate together, and the fact that it would never ever happen now.
I kept staring at that call log and cried at the sight of our hands.
I shut the phone flap and tried to gather myself again. As I wiped my tears I opened the phone again. I opened the messages this time, and clicked the sent items folder. I only wanted to see the messages she had sent to me. I scrolled down further into the folder, ignoring many which were in fact sent to me, when finally I stopped at one particular message.
“Roo.. I’m taking revenge for all those times you nearly brought me into tears with those ultra lame and pathetically sad PJs of yours. 😛 (read the next message).”
And the second was this:
…….PJ arrested! :P”
The smile reappeared on my face, thinking about all those times I made PJs and she grudgingly tried to suppress her laughter but it ultimately led to all of us laughing in unison.
I still miss those times. And I still wish I could bring back those days. But I had to resign to the fact that those times would never come back. True, those days will never come back, but those memories will always be alive through her phone.
I realised how important my phone was, my faithful friend who saw me through my best and worst times. I opened the inbox in my own phone, and found that very same message. And all I felt thereafter, was that I would never let go of those memories which were inadvertently connected to my phone and hers.