I lay awake in Ann’s guest room long after midnight. I knew Ann thought I was making a big mistake. But to me, it felt right. Suddenly the shackles of responsibilities started falling off my shoulders. I didn’t have to answer to anyone or expect anything from anyone anymore.
I was free.
I turned to my side, and felt my phone vibrate.
Anurag was calling. I squinted my eyes and checked the time on my watch. It was fifteen minutes past two.
I debated whether I should answer his call or not. And then I thought, what the heck, I was bored and unable to sleep.
“Hey Anurag, what’s up, everything okay?” I forced some cheer in my voice.
“Wow, that was fake.” Came back the prompt reply.
I smiled despite myself.
“So why are you calling me this late?” I asked.
“To see if you’d answer. And since you answered, I’m guessing he’s not around. So what’s going on?” He was remarkably astute.
“Oh nothing much, I stayed over at Ann’s.” I tried to downplay it.
Did not work.
“You what? Did you guys fight? I hope it wasn’t because of me.”
“Don’t flatter yourself.” I jested.
We both laughed half heartedly. Despite the humorous tone of our conversation, we were both aware of the unsaid things.
“Anagha..” He said kindly.
I couldn’t bear it, “I don’t think I love him anymore..”
There was silence at the other end.
“I am sick of waiting for his attention. Just sick of living for those moments which never come. We’re like strangers who live together. I don’t even know what he does the whole day. I doubt he cares what I do! Is it wrong? To ask for a little affection? It shouldn’t be this difficult should it? I have put aside everything for him. Everything. And he can’t give me a little bit of his time? That’s pathetic.”
Still no response.
“Hello?” I said tentatively.
“I’m here. Wow Anagha, you sound so selfish.”
I stopped, shocked. Selfish? Me?
“What are you saying? How does this make me selfish?” I was offended and I needed an explanation.
He sighed deeply over the phone. “Can’t believe, of all the people in this world, I have to tell you this. But honestly Anagha, the guy dotes on you. And have you ever told him you need more time with him? Have you ever bothered to find out what he does the whole day? Have you ever spoken about it? He can’t read your mind.”
I was stunned. “YOU are telling me that? Stop taking his side. Be a friend. Be supportive.”
“Sorry Anagha, I can’t. I feel bad for the poor guy. The way you are treating him.”
“He didn’t even stop me from going to Ann’s.” As I said it, I realized, even though he hadn’t said anything, I could tell I had hurt him. I stopped mid-sentence. I closed my eyes and the whole scene replayed in front of my eyes.
“Anagha?” Anurag interrupted my thoughts “I’m not judging you.. You did what you..”
“Anurag.” I said. “I’ve to go.”
“Wait, where are you.. ?”
That’s all I heard. I had to do this before my ego kicked in and made me change my mind.
I tiptoed to Ann’s room and shook her gently.
“Ann, wake up, I need your car.”
“It’s three. Now can I have your car?” I asked impatiently.
“Should I even bother asking why?” Ann eyed me suspiciously.
“No. Where are the keys?”
I was going home.