The Road To Ithaca – 14

To return to the other story, she called me the day before she was to leave for college.

She wasn’t in a happy mood. This was somewhat strange. After all, she had always been looking forward to joining college. She had been excited about everything, the life away from home, new friends, new place, college life, the prospect of ragging (yeah, she had actually been looking forward to it.) When she called me that day, however, she was strangely reserved and quiet. In most of our conversations, she did most of the talking. That day, however, I kept babbling on about my plans and prospects, how I was looking forward to my college, the coaching classes I had enrolled in etc, while she kept mostly silent.

“Is something wrong?” I finally asked.

“No, nothing’s wrong. Listen, I’m leaving tomorrow. And..I don’t know when I’ll speak to you again.” She began in what didn’t sound anything like her usual chirpy and cheerful voice, “Dad’s not getting me a cellphone, not now at least. I learned there’s a landline in the warden’s room that the girls can use. But apparently, the old hag doesn’t let the students call anyone but family. So I can’t call you from there, and you can’t call me there either. They won’t let us come home on weekends either. I don’t know whether they are running a college or a prison. There’s this senior who I met, and she says..” She continued speaking in the same hesitant and sad tone.

“Hey,” I interrupted gently, “It’s okay. Really, it is.” And it was. I wasn’t feeling any better about it than she did, but it was my turn to comfort her.  And I wanted her to leave with a smile on her face.

“Are you going to miss me?” I asked, more as a joke than anything else. I was expecting one of her signature retorts, scathing and yet funny. It didn’t come. She was silent for a second or two, just like the occasion when I had called her for the first time. Then I guess she caught herself.

“Miss you?? Oh please..” She laughed. “Did I tell you there will be two hundred and forty guys in our batch, for us sixty girls to choose from? Good luck with your zoology.”

Still laughing uncontrollably, she hung up.

As I put the receiver back in the cradle, I realised I was laughing as well, but for different reasons.

 

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7 thoughts on “The Road To Ithaca – 14

  1. Pingback: The Road To Ithaca – 15 | The Clever Dog

  2. Pingback: The Road To Ithaca – 16 | The Clever Dog

  3. Pingback: The Road To Ithaca – 17 | The Clever Dog

  4. Pingback: The Road To Ithaca – 18 | The Clever Dog

  5. Pingback: The Road To Ithaca – 19 | The Clever Dog

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