Phew. The week's finally over. I am really glad. This week was a pretty heavy one. And, the good part is: the storm's finally over. So I can breathe easy!
There were tons of deadlines to be met by today. It’s good that I met all of them on time. The mad rush was done and over by 4pm today. Suddenly, things took a leisurely pace.
So I returned home with an exuberant mood, full of energy to do some good amount of talking that I always wanted to do with S.
S and I sat on the lounge to just chill and talk. It was great. I love being able to just sit down and enjoy great company.
We had a guest at home, one of S’s old schoolmate and she was all so happy about getting her first job…so ‘S’ was catching up with her and I was into my weekly clean-up activity. An hour later she left and then I and ‘S’ were in the hall trying to watch some TV. Neither of us is an ardent TV watcher, with the exceptions of course given in for “FRIENDS” & “Everybody Loves Raymond” !
Half hour past we were talking about general things on what’s going on presently in each others life and what are the short term milestones and stuff like that and suddenly we were both hungry. Eh heh! Our stomach was grumbling with full-force and just about ready to start a third world war with us demanding sustenance. So we decided to grab something from outside rather than cook & loose the residual energy cells that were keeping us active. That decided, we pulled our coats from the coat-stand and sneaked into our shoes and locked the door behind us and got onto the elevator to set-out for a food-hunting. It was very cold outside; temperature was close to -2 degree Celsius. And we kept walking on those long deserted lanes hoping to find a place to extinguish our fire of hunger as soon as possible.
Fifteen vain minutes would have trudged by, and we were still fruitless in our search, and the climate was getting more and more chilly & windy making us barely able to step forward and walk. Groping with intent eyes hitherto, I jumped out of joy at the first sight of success that came our way after 20mins of tiresome scrutiny.
There was this McDonalds board glowing bright in that dark and windy Chicago night, around 2 blocks away, which lit up my eyes with a glow like a treasure trove of gold, platinum and diamonds being found! I nudged S and pointed to the direction of Our-Treasure-Trove and we were tempted to buy some food right at that second... which we did after 5 more minutes –which was spent in reaching that place. We both got one each of veg & cheese sandwiches. Well ya, sure shot it weren’t enough and I ended up having an additional French Fries and Sprite combo pack while she went for a Thunder Apple pie. I got a bite of the pie and it was triple delicious…Better than the best one could ever have laid their mouths on (For consuming food of course!). It was really tasty and delicious…Ummm….. Yummy…… That was the closest to heaven experience that I had in the recent past…
S and I were chatting while we were together just then on our way back home. Talking to S is so easy. There’s no effort required. I am very comfortable around her. We were talking about the future and what it might hold. I found out that both of us are super idealistic. We have dreams which we will have lotsa difficulty fulfilling. Anyways, I wanna wish S good luck! Am very sure S can accomplish and achieve what she wants if she puts her mind to it. She’s got the skills and the brains.... She’s got a damn cool temperament, which one hardly finds in youth of today’s world. She’s what you call a Gem-of-a-Person. She’s real witty, real cool and smart brains who can get things easily done in her own way – Not the materialistic sort, if you know what I mean!
Well, of late I am not finding S as cheerful as she used to be in the beginning. I can feel something is terribly wrong and it’s just that she hasn’t chosen to open-up yet about it.
It makes me feel bad sometimes at such junctures where in you are left clueless about what exactly should your next step be towards lending a helping hand to someone you know whom you love is in deep trouble. I wanted to bring on the topic somehow; although she always makes sure that she talks about my work, my day, the climate today, my taking care of health and other stuff. I wanted to be stubborn for a change now, so I just slightly hinted on saying that work’s getting hectic for me and might lead to an extent of staying back late in office or working too late into the night.
She responded with her usual “oh that’s so sad… but don’t worry it’s gonna pass shortly, things will be alright soon”, I immediately jumped on to my question understanding that this is the best time to pick-up talks about things happening in her life.
“So how’s it with you… what are your plans after your graduation? Do you intend to go for higher studies or you wanna go back to your parents and start practicing?”
There was a long pause, a deep sigh and then comes an answer. “Well, ya I haven’t decided as yet. I wanna get to my parents though, cos I aint doing a jackshit here except for wasting all my savings, that’s gonna make me bankrupt soon. So, if not for anything else at least for the heck of cost-cutting I would fly back to my parents.”
Crap she’s so shallow. I need to help her, in turn help myself cos she’s the only good soul around and I don’t want her to go back to her parents because of some COST-CUTTING-FUCKING-CRAP; Money should never be a deciding factor in ones life. Why are people always handicapped with financial matters? Talk More...Talk More…. Someone inside me was yelling at me… And I wouldn’t get even the world’s worst thing ever as a topic to discuss. My mind just went totally blank!
Suddenly, I feel overwhelmed with tears just fighting to burst out of my eyes; I just wanted to dig my face deep into her lap and sob-it-out. She’s probably one of the very few people that I met here who has contributed to my rational self. I just cannot let her go-poof all at once when there’s so many things that are happening at work life and I’ve been speaking to her barely in the past couple weeks that was no more than an infuriating rush-of-life.
So, at last I muster all my strength and try to put in words cautiously the subtle message of my not wishing her to go, which had been looming large in front of me, ever since she spoke-out about her future plans.
“So…you’ve decided to back to home? What about your job? Chicago’s probably got better opportunities for you, a job with a good pay and stuff.. Not that you wouldn’t have considered it, but just curious to know.. did you try applying here?”
“Ah, right… Ummm.. I …Hmm… Ya I have applied to a couple of places though… but haven’t heard from any of them so far.. So, its not bad news, but its just “No News”.. so, Ummm I’m kind of thinking more on the lines of trying my hand at full length for job search once am back at my home town.”
And then, she wouldn’t look at me… Now I am at a loss for words, I just couldn’t think of anything else more to speak. She puts her arm around my shoulder giving me a quick squeeze and telling me that everything’s gonna be alright and that I am to visit a bunch of places before the pleasant climate changes its face.
She would never buy-in my idea of going back to home; In fact, she even made me write an email to my boss asking him to extend my stay out here so that I can get to know more of this place and have some good time before I return.
We had a lovely time on the New Years, watching the Fireworks all night at the river bank and walking down all the way in the stone-cold night exploring the colossal and bright-lit streets of downtown Chicago and talking about the opportunities in US and back at home. Those were days to be cherished for the rest of my life. I am generally not this kind to break down with tears…. But today I badly wanted to cry for someone who is so nice, so pure and so good in heart and mind you, this is not just an acquaintance. We had grown to be good, pretty good friends…
I was walking at a much slower pace in the gray patches of my memory lanes while in reality the time was clicking away… and we were just sitting there, staring at the space with that impending silence eating our souls….. No words to exchange… I knew I was losing her…..She knew she was going away from me…sometimes, you just can’t do anything about people walking out of your life.
- On a note, of losing one of the brightest feathers of my cap!