Time flew and we enjoyed every second of it. We were teens at school carefree of the world and time that awaited us.
Class twelfth was almost over and it was the farewell.
“It is almost time that we leave school and part. What have you thought about us? Have you considered anything about staying together somehow?”
“I haven’t given a thought about it yet. But I will consider and think about it. Don’t worry. I will take care of us.” I said even though I hadn’t given it a thought once. Even I wanted the same but could never be sure given our careers were at stake. But I could never tell her this and would always wander the point away whenever she raised the topic before me.
It finally came to what I feared the most. The school ended and it time for us to part. I took Delhi as my Alma mater city while she chose a college in Bangalore.
It was just a week away from our scheduled train boarding dates when she met me.
“Excited?” I asked when we met.
“A lot. You could at least have given a thought about us.”
“Well, um… I would rather let fate figure us out. But it will be an inexplicable feeling if we meet after some years suddenly!”
“What! You will let fate figure that out! I never thought you could be so careless. Two years and you will still let fate figure that out! That sounds incredible! Well then let’s have fate’s way.” saying so, she turned around and walked away. I kept looking at her until she went down the road and disappeared among the crowds on the dusty street.
That was the last time I saw her. She said I was too immature to figure important decisions in life and sort them according to priorities. For the four years I stayed away at college, I tried too many times to call her but her number had been changed.
It was the school reunion and I happened to be in my hometown. Being an alumnus, I had received an invitation too. With a hope to see her again, I decided to go to the reunion.
I met everyone there except the one I was dying to. Even Avantika was there. She came to me and we were happy to meet again. I asked her about her friend and her whereabouts to which she replied that she was still in Bangalore.
“You know she was so upset that day when she came to meet you. I remember she told me your response to her question about you together- that you preferred fate to play roulette with your lives. She did not like your attitude towards life. She left you for your good. She said that she was happy to be the one who could cause a change in your attitude towards life. That’ll help you be a better and successful man in life.”
“Do you have her new number? Can you please give it to me? I need to talk to her just once. Please…”
“Fine. I can give it to you. But don’t get your hopes too high. Even I tried talking to her in vain. I don’t think she would relent. She wants you to learn from it. Good luck though” Avantika said, giving the number to me.
“Goodbye, Avantika. Thank you and take care.”
Even though I took the number, I could never gather myself to call her up. It was soon time for me to get back to college.
Three days after I reached college, I gained all the courage I believed I had in me and called her number. I heard the phone pick up four rings later.
“Oh my God! How are you!! Remember me? It’s been six years and I have missed you every second of it.” I let it go off my mouth in a single breath. “Hello?”
A moment of silence followed on the other side before I heard something.
“Wrong number,” said a familiar voice.
I believe this was harsh on her side but I think was fair enough that she never gave me a second chance. She wanted me to get wiser and serious towards life. Humans never learn unless they lose something valuable to the blunders they make. I too lost my most precious and it was the blunder worth repenting for. She chose to teach me my lesson in life over moments of happiness in hers. Even though I have never got to meet her again, but I continue to hope that someday I will, so as to be able to thank her for adding a virtue in my otherwise useless life.