Now, the way I’ve said it, it must’ve sounded like barely a week had passed since I joined my new school when all this happened. Well, it was more like a year when this helpful friend did me two huge favors. That sounds incredible, I know. But then, never claimed to be a very rational guy, did I?
Okay, what huge favors? Well, a map to her house and her phone number. In true espionage style, I memorized the information, and then tore up the piece of paper. It’s hard to explain, but at that time those two bits of information were probably my two most prized possessions in the entire world. I conducted numerous scouting trips in the proximity of her house. Now this wasn’t as easy as it sounds, because it was in an alley with a dead-end. Still I persisted. I’m not sure why. To see her? No, not really. I had other and more reliable options for that. I had her tuition schedule more or less memorized. And I used to strategically time my own trips to my own tuitions so that the chances of “accidentally” crossing her path were maximized. It was largely successful, but as I’ve said before, I had no idea what else I could do except stealing a half-hungry, half-scared glance at her while she rode by, sometimes with an enigmatic glance at me, sometimes without it.
I resorted to another sneaky, cowardly tactic at that time. Blank calls to her landline number. Nobody bothered with a caller ID where I come from. So I was safe. Pretty soon, I had the voices memorized, categorized and filed of everybody who answered that phone on the basis of time of the day and frequency of answering. From the observations, I concluded that since there were no other young female members in her family, the young, cheerful, female voice must be hers. I know, I’m a regular genius.
No, of course I didn’t have the courage to call her up and just speak to her. I mean, come on man, you can’t do that. So I just kept calling that number, 22***9, about once every ten days in the afternoon, just to hear that “Hello?”, that was delivered with a smile and tone and inflection that any Pan-Am front desk employee would kill for.
This routine, and I mean all of it, the desperate bicycle rides, the furtive sideways glances, the sneaky calls, I kept up all of that till a few months after the board exams. Until the day I learned that she was leaving town. She had been selected for an engineering course elsewhere. As for me, I’m sure you’ve gathered by now that I couldn’t find much time for studies in these two years. I wasn’t going anywhere.
Suddenly I was afraid.
- The Road To Ithaca – 4 (thecleverdog.wordpress.com)
- The Road To Ithaca – 6 (thecleverdog.wordpress.com)
- The Road To Ithaca – 5 (thecleverdog.wordpress.com)
- The Road To Ithaca – 3 (thecleverdog.wordpress.com)
- The Road To Ithaca – 2 (thecleverdog.wordpress.com)
- The Road To Ithaca – 1 (thecleverdog.wordpress.com)