Life is weird. From being strangers to being friends, to being more than friends and to be practically strangers again; the awkward silence between us was quite evident.
“Should I start the conversation… or..? No… Wait! Let her start first. Don’t impose yourself on her”; in midst of this quarrel between my heart and my head, Priya asked me, “So… how have you been?” Umm.. Good! Life’s good” I replied regaining my composure… “And what about you… How’s life?”, I enquired. “It’s different… everything is different though”, Priya replied.
Between me and Priya, she could always be honest with her emotions. And I would always be in awe of her for that amazing quality. It was after seven years that we had met and she being so warm and cordial was not surprising at all.
Priya’s rise to success was extra ordinary. Within the first three years of starting our respective careers she was made the team leader. Whereas I still was testing the waters, trying to chalk out my path. I was always happy for her success; as she deserved every bit of it. She was career driven. She loved her independence and hated any sort of restrictions. By then I had known her well and respected her decision.
Spending time with her made me know more about her. Over the time our bond had matured to such an extent that I could anticipate her reply to my questions. Except that evening…
“Mr. Avinash, would you like veg or non-veg food for the dinner”, the air-hostess enquired. “Non-veg please”, I replied. “Excuse me ma’am…”, the air-hostess was trying to check on Priya for the dinner. She was fast asleep. I requested the air-hostess to come back later. Priya always chose sleep over food.
Even then, after working late hours our team used to go out for quick bite. But Priya, skipping her dinner, waited to go home and hit the bed. She was a perfect example of a workaholic.
Like in every relationship, we too had fair share of fights and differences. Few months later after she got promoted as the team leader, Priya seemed to be insensitive towards me. Or, if I have to go by her “version” of our story, I had started to expect more from her. But the real reason for alleged change in my behaviour was coz I had started to fall in love with her. Unknowingly, my whole world revolved around her. On the other hand, she wasn’t aware of this development.
She neither realized nor understood the care, the concern and the emotions what I felt for her. In fact at times she disliked me for this kind of behaviour. She always wanted to be seen as a strong independent woman who could take care of herself.
After knowing her so well I didn’t want to ruin the friendship by declaring my love to her. I always believed true love is transcended through emotions and experienced through unsaid words. One doesn’t need to make the other realize the love by forcing down your feelings onto them. As much as we thirst for approval; we dread condemnation. Also, her apprehension of being tied down to a relationship was known to me.
“Hey… Sorry, I purposely didn’t wake you up as you fast asleep”, seeing Priya get up I told her. “I will just call the air hostess…” “No Avinash, it’s ok. I don’t feel like having anything now”, said Priya.
“You haven’t changed a bit. You still prefer sleep over food, don’t you?”, I said to her. “Who knows me better than you, Avinash?” remarked Priya with a grin. I just shrugged my shoulders. “Sometimes knowing too well can be fatal”, I said to myself.
“So… What takes you to New York?”, asked Priya. “Work… Now I train the young executives. I finally found my calling”, I replied. “Great! I’m happy for you. So I believe, now there is finally peace between your heart and mind. You found your happiness”, inquired Priya. I just nodded my head eating kebab. Sometimes silence is the most powerful scream and indication of something having gone terribly wrong.
“What about you… What takes you to NY?”, I enquired. “To be with my family”, Priya replied. “Family? So… have you shifted to New York?” I enquired. “Yeah… New York is my new home, post marriage” replied Priya.
“Due to unpleasant weather conditions we might face some turbulence…” cautioned the pilot. “Ladies and gentlemen kindly return to your seats and fasten your seat belts”, cabin crew announced.
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