“I love you Ira.”
“I love you too, Bye.” I hung up and went back to reading my book. This was my second Grisham. The first one had pretty much impressed me. I was never a book worm, but ever since Nihas left the city for work, I have consciously made an effort to keep my mind as occupied as possible. I dislike thick books. The thicker the book, the more displeasing it turns to my eye. Since I am the kind of person who easily gets bored, it’s hard for me to stick on to one thing for long. The same applies to books. After a point, I need a new story, new characters, and most importantly, a new plot. Reading has become more a necessity than a choice. I need something to keep me engrossed. When I have nothing to do, I miss him and miss him really miserably. Living alone, makes the whole process even more toilsome and enduring.
I sunk deeper into my bed, still reading, in an attempt to find the most comfortable position to lie in. But the discomfort was internal. Nihas had already called thrice today. May be he wished to say something, rather wished to find out what exactly is on my mind. I know I have not been myself lately. I did try to figure out the reason for my weirdness and came up with an obscure one to satisfy myself- I am trying too hard not to think about him.
At 11 in the night, I finally decided to hit the bed. It’s a good practice to sleep for 8 hours. Really. My eyes look beautifully luminous when I sleep well. I wondered if calling him to say good night would be a good idea. I could even strike a nice conversation and make up for my previous nonchalant attitude. I temporarily dismissed the idea though. I didn’t want to screw up again.
I quickly said a prayer and lay down to sleep. To ward off random thoughts, I tried focussing on sleep. I must have done that for about two minutes, and then it happened. My cell phone rang.
I assumed it to be Nihas’s call, but was a little disappointed to see an unknown number on my phone’s display. I shut my eyes again, pushed the answer key, strategically balanced the phone against my ear and came up with the most meek, curious and strained “Hello…??”
The response from the other end was just as spirited, loud and lively- “Heyyy Ira…Whats-aaaaappppp??!”
“It’s me! Paarth.”
At that very moment, for a millisecond, I saw of flash of Nihas’s face in my mind.