I rubbed my eyes yet again. Was it really his call? The butterflies in my stomach made my fingers tremble as I swiped right on the screen.
“Hello!” said a familiar voice.
“Hello! I can’t believe this.” I heard my decibels amplified with excitement.
“You still have to react the same way. Miss hyper! Anyway, just to inform you that I’m here on a vacation with my daughter. Wife couldn’t come along. Would love to catch up. Free in the evening today?”
Of all the details, what hit me most was the fact that he was back in his home town. After ages. I had to be free.
“Of course, where? ”
“You know very well, where.”
Yes I did know. The brief call made my soul dance within me. What should I wear? His favourite – orange? Or my favourite – blue? Who cares anyway? I resolved my confusions eventually and reached half an hour before time.
The place of reunion was indeed well known to both of us. A garden of memories- where we narrated our umpteen stories, where he imitated my silly laughter, where he tried teaching me Salsa, where he hummed songs to cheer me up, where we discussed Physics assignments and family problems with equal importance, where he provoked me to get angry but I never could, where we planned what we would do at each other’s marriage, where we discussed the desired qualities in our future soul mates. “A lot like you. But never you. You know me too well.” We both used to say. And then there would be explosions of high fives.
It was the same place where he handed over his marriage invitation card to me. Honestly, I did feel a void in me. Sometimes the expected behaves like the unexpected.
“You said you’ll not marry before me. See it’s your turn first. I win!” I teased.
After the festivities got over, he found a new job and got transferred. I too, got busy with my life. We haven’t talked much since. But it was just a spacebar, not a full stop.
We always gave each other a box of “Celebrations” on occasions. Yes, we were born misers. But that made us happier than anything else. Today I bought two – one for his daughter.
I walked back from my memory lane as I saw him coming. Unkempt hair and overgrown beard, his all-time obsession. Yet, I still saw the same innocence in his eyes.
“How did you manage to still remain the same kid? Don’t worry, I will get you married before I leave this time.”
I greeted him with a smile and my signature “shut-up-punch” and turned to the cuteness that accompanied him.
“What’s your name, dear?” I asked.
The little creature hid behind her father, blushing.
“Meet your namesake. I couldn’t have found a better replacement for you.” smirked the father.
I got filled with 20 percent of jealousy, 20 percent of pride and 60 per cent of pure bliss; as my namesake, me and a person who played the dual role of a father and a lifelong best friend, sat down to redefine friendship, with three boxes of “Celebrations”.