Saturday, May 21, 2005
I'll call you...
It was ten o'clock when Anu reached her flat. She plonked herself on the couch beside the land phone and looked up at the ceiling fan. On a lark, she sat up, grabbed the receiver of the land line off the hook and dialled Amit.
The baritone relaxed her. "Hello?" Oh, how she wished they'd met today. It was a tough day and she needed his reassuring presence. But then she also wanted to fight with him. Why did he leave her stranded? Why couldn't he make it for her sake? A million thoughts.
She opened her mouth to answer in a curt tone. "Don't react, Anu. This is not how things are sorted out," she reminded herself and took a deep breath.
"Where were you, Amit?"
"Yeah, it's me Anu, Amit. Can't you hear me?"
Strange. She could hear him so clearly. Why couldn't he hear her? She was going to write to the phone company for sure this time. This was the third time in a row.
She hung up, waiting for the call again. It rang after over a minute. Amit went 'hello hello' again.
She hung up, waited a minute and called. Same thing. She hung up and wrung her hands in frustration.
Amit was all red-eyed. The cop sat facing him.
"Are you sure you got the call from her flat?"
"That's what puzzles me too, officer. As far as I know her roomie was out of town the last one week and there was no way..."
"But you still maintain there was someone in her flat?"
Amit pointed his cell phone's screen to the officer. "That's her number, see? I'm positive".
He twiddled his fingers some more. "I..and then..I don't know..I called her back. But nobody spoke. Somebody picked up the receiver, I'm sure of that. And then I got a call from there again. I assumed it was Anu, but...I'd never imagined in my wildest of dreams..." his voice shook.
The officer looked at the cell phone and scratched his chin. "Well, that's strange. The time here says it was about 2 hours after the accident. Anyway..."
He got up. "Do let us know if her room-mate calls. We need to speak with her as well. You take care.I'm sorry for your loss, Mr. Amit".
After the officer left, Amit held the cell phone in his hand and looked at the number, his hands shaking. He was never late for their dates. And today...he couldn't bear to think about it. He was shattered. He laid his head on the table, his mind blank. The silence in his apartment was so deafening, he winced. He didn't know what to think. What to do. He just kept looking at Anu's number on his phone.
And then...it rang again. But the number hadn't changed.