Chapter 9: Cut calls, past commitments and present with some future….
The quick change, so that I just don’t look wasted after reaching, the drive was hardly 5 minutes, especially with no traffic compared to what there is; during the normal rush hours. The funny point is that every day we crib about traffic; still we don’t think twice to fire the ignition to action. I wished we had dedicated roads to areas and locations. What is wrong with you Prithvi? One place Leela who was on the call and you drop her call off to meet Payal at a godforsaken time. All you can think is traffic light and dedicated roads, hello we have a problem here don’t we have to deal with it first? Yeah I know, me blabbering away to glory to myself. The point is there is an issue and it has to be dealt with, but so what I am single and I can get calls from any female friend in the night, what’s the big deal? The deal is that you becoming defensive, you starting to think of explanation already, so that you can counter accuse Leela. No this is not what I am doing; well this is exactly what you doing! Let me drive, I am here.
Gave the car to the valet for parking, rushed inside the place, the guy leaving said “Hey Prithvi, don’t rush man the party is still on and you for a party after ages, now the music is surely gonna go on” I said “thanks, mate” I don’t even remember this person, was I so wasted in life that all people remembered me is for parties and clubbing. Doesn’t matter now Payal Where are you? Not here; Where are you? Looking here and there and where else she could be, was off to enter the gate, where two bouncers who are surely twice my weight and blocking the door as if saying ‘Don’t you dare mess anything here’ were blocking my way to inside towards the dance floor. I was off to enter and then I knew where she was, near the poolside must be there lazying there. She was there as I had thought so.
Sat beside her, at the sofa, she was busy gazing the stars. I said “pretty good sight huh?” Payal replied “My boyfriend is around!” she is really drunk I said to myself “I thought, I am the guy you have been waiting for” she turned and suddenly she was bright, happy and cheerful and started speaking or rather blabbering and speaking combined together “Hey baby, I have been waiting only for you, where have you been? You know what now that you are here let’s have a drink to celebrate. So can I become your better half?” with all the cuteness she would have asked I said “Payal you are drunk, let’s get home will talk about it later, I wanna talk to you when you in your senses, alright let’s get moving”
Payal “Wait na, check out the pretty sight the stars in the sky, you beside me what could have been better”
“Payal we can discuss and talk about it later lets, go you had too much for tonight”
Payal “Are you avoiding me, or you don’t want to answer, you know what break me with truth but don’t delay it, I can’t prolong it anymore. I love you that is it; and my parents are thinking of getting married somewhere else altogether, I could not hold on and I have to make choice, but my only choice is you. Anybody else I will be screwing his and my life”
“Mind your language, why you becoming so difficult, I said I will talk to about it tomorrow and I mean it I would”
Payal “I am putting my step down for the first time and I wanna talk to about us right now, because for you it may be a small thing but for me it is my life”
“Fair enough let’s talk it through, now I know what suddenly made you speak, I know about your feelings for me there is no hiding about it. I know you are the best person I have ever met to share my life with but I haven’t really given it a thought much and why you wanna talk when you won’t re-collect what have we talked about, so what’s the point”
Payal all flared up now “what do you think I am drunk? I am not I need you why don’t you understand, I have never cribbed about anything to you, I have not made you leave your friends, I have never let you down in public, I have accused you of anything, I haven’t never asked who you talking to at whatever time of the day or night, where you going in the night, I have never called you a million times, just to make you feel miserable and accused you of meeting someone, when you had to rush to hospital for your friend…” after few seconds “I am sorry I should not have called for the things.
I lit a cigarette, Yes Payal had never put me in a tight situation, the reason I never turned off my mobile after receiving so many calls in a night by Leela, well because before the incident took place, one night I was off to sleep and I got a call of my childhood friend, he said that he is in the hospital, his elder brother had a cardiac arrest and needs to be moved to another hospital for the tests. At time I had a call waiting from Leela she got the nerves immediately without a second thought. I tried to explain it to her all the way to the hospital she was not ready to listen to me. I abused and kept the phone down, I reached for my friend, he said “I would not have disturbed you, but I was out on a bike when I got a call late in the evening and I just moved to the hospital.” I said “what are you talking about when the …..you started with formalities huh? Forget that how is bro?” He said “he is doing better just need some tests to be done”
Later in the night when everything was settled with my childhood friend and me just before leaving he said “dude it is just that, haven’t spoken with you since some time, you not around also, Leela doesn’t like our group but I knew it would be only you to turn up when things go bad, that is about it” his eyes were moist while saying this and I had no words.
After that I decided would never turn off my mobile phone ever; ever again. Payal knew a lot of things not from me but much from Leela then. Today what she blurted out; was just her I would say.
“Payal listen can you ever forget what has happened in the past and move ahead rather than making me to remember things, that are not relevant now”
Payal “I am seriously sorry, I just could not keep things to myself now, I love you and I just let you go just like that, I want to give ourselves one last try if you say no, I would not trouble you anymore. But I could not live with a regret that I never tried so I had to call you”
“hmm I am not denying anything, I am not saying that you are wrong, even the place you called for is apt to ask such a question, the only problem is that you are tipsy, so I don’t know if I say yes would you remember it or call it a mistake”
We both bursted out laughing, a least that lightened the mood a bit. I said to commit to you I need a few things but before than that I need a drink, I will grab a drink and same for you Long Island Iced Tea.
Payal “Anything with you would be make me tipsy”
“Well I never knew you are so romantic or would have given much thought about it already” the fact I needed some time to think and put the jig saw puzzle in place. I went in, the music was on full blast, the party was alive and awake. I pushed my way to the bar counter, ordered for two long island iced tea a perfect blend of whisky, rum, vodka and gin when mixed properly it is the drink. Waiting at the counter, nodded my head to a few old acquaintances. The perfect mixing of the music from ‘world hold on- Bob Sinclar to David Quetta’ was awesome, nobody I could recollect of who could have been with Payal made a mental note of it. Got the order and back with Payal on the couch.
Payal “thank you and did you think about it”
“Payal let me spontaneous and right now right here, I Prithvi in my full senses would like to confirm in the presence of millions of stars and, still water, with red rose I lifted from the table in front you that I..”
My phone rang, it stated CP Ashutosh Rane, Delhi calling “I am sorry I need to take this call” CP Ashutosh Rane was the top cop who had helped me settle the Leela issue and a few other errands during my work. “Yes sir, good evening”
Ashutosh “Hello, I need you to return me a favour”…