“Hi”. It was a short message from Dev but it was all he could think in the last two hours. After finishing his dinner and avoiding conversation with his parents about JEE , he had locked himself in his room. He had had a small conversation with his younger sister Shikha. And again it was not about JEE, but Isha. Shikha was someone with whom Dev could always share his personal secrets. For a boy, having a sister is always a bliss; You can share your secrets, make her do all the work like a servant yet she would do it happily; And the best part is that you are always her hero.
Isha smiled again, and then again. That’s the beauty of teenage infatuation. Even without the exchange of mushy-gushy words, they express the true feelings of a person. Isha also had the butterflies flying inside her stomach, one of the reason she did not have her dinner tonight. She was staying as a paying guest and skipping a meal there wasn’t that regretful. She had talked to her father over the phone but the conversation did not last for more than two minutes. It was not unusual and it was not unexpected. A father who had been responsible for her mother’s death could never be loved by any child. Her father never talked about it. She had heard it from her maternal grandmother who never talked with her father after her mother had left. Isha used to meet her often, almost every week even though she lived in Kullu, which was 40 kms from Isha’s house. She never called it a home, house was appropriate she thought.
It was one of those visits of Isha to grandma’s place when she learnt about her mother. She learnt how her father had left her mother in their house when Isha was coming to this world. It was their neighbors who took her to the hospital but it was too late then. Isha came to this world but the woman who brought her, left. Every time Isha thought about it, she blamed herself as much as she blamed her father. But she had to live and live happily, to make it worthwhile- the struggle and sacrifice of her mother’s life. She always considered herself as a part of her mother. She would see the photos when Mom was young, then see herself in the mirror and smile for the simple reason that they resembled a lot. And the Mom was beautiful, so was Isha.
Dev had checked his mobile at least fifty times in the last five minutes. Still no reply. Few more minutes passed and then his phone beeped. He jumped to see it. His heart was racing. Yes, it was from Isha. Ah! Thank God.
“Hey. I was thinking about you only.” he jumped again while reading this.
“About me? How’s that even possible.” He was almost blushing when he typed this message.
She smiled while reading it and replied, “It is possible. Very much possible.”
Dev thought for long before he could reply. In the initial stages, people are always careful about what to say to the opposite sex. They choose their words very carefully, make zero grammatical mistakes and present it beautifully.
“Years later when i will look back, I will think about it and will tell myself- it happened one summer. Good night.” He texted after good ten fifteen minutes had passed. Although the reply from her was a simple Good Night with a smiley, and the conversation ended there but Isha was far more interested than it appeared from her message. She had read his last message more than a dozen times and yet she felt like reading it again. She was not able to sleep that night and neither was Dev.
In the next two-three days they exchanged dozens of text messages and shared many things. But no one called the other. They found texting a convenient and more appropriate way to converse.
It was thursday and Isha had to leave for Manali. Her father had come to Chandigarh to take her with him. The old WagonR that she could recognize from a mile even though she never wanted to see it. It would come near her and a devil would appear from it. The devil had appeared again and it was the time to go back to Devil’s house. She was ready with her luggage. He helped her putting the luggage in the car. She sat on the back seat and looked away though the window. She did not want to see his face. They had not had any conversation since he had arrived. They rarely had any conversations except those few mandatory ones which they could not avoid in order to live in the same house.
Isha kept looking through the window for some time as the car raced through the busy roads of Chandigarh. She noticed that a cycle was also racing near their car in the busy traffic. Due to the morning traffic, cycle could easily manage to keep itself at the same pace as those of the WagonR. Isha looked carefully; It was Dev. He smiled, she smiled back. Once the traffic had cleared, Dev slowed and then stopped. Isha could see him waiting for her. She felt little pain of going away from him, but she had to. She was sure she would come back and he would still be waiting for her in the same way as he was waiting now.
Dev knew she would come back soon but he could hardly wait for three months. He wanted to see her again in this summer, he did not want to wait till the rains.