People go, dates remain: Short Story
As he sat today to write something, something about the one particular special date, the old sweet memories of last year knocked the doors of his mind and he traveled backward in time to live those special moments again.
One year before, 22nd July 2014
He was lost in his own world, doing a work of his own, in his office. It was almost four hours that he was engaged with his work. His teammate could simply guess, that he was writing something as they knew it is the only time when he slips into other world and does not notice anyone or anything around him. That day, Patrick found himself fortunate enough to get needed free time during the office hours. He was working in afternoon shift and was into writing since last four hours.
“What are you writing today?” One of his teammates asked with curiosity.
“It’s a gift, a poem.” “I will show you once I finish it.” Patrick said smiling at him.
“That’s great, sure.”
Patrick was almost done with making a gift but he was unsure of how was he going to deliver that Gift to Rose, his friend. So far he had managed to write a few lines for her; a poem, which was supposed to be her birthday gift from him. The gift was ready but the wrapping was undone. Patrick knew what he was doing but he was concerned about time. It was almost 09:00pm and he had only an hour in his hand before his shift ends at office. His internet connection had broken down before few months, so no chance that he could send the poem being at home. He desperately wanted to deliver that poem to Rose, exactly at midnight 00:00. To make that gift look more special, he installed the add-on to his personal website and within half an hour, he managed to create a beautiful e-birthday card layout. He put that poem into e-birthday card layout which gave his poem that feel of birthday gift. Gift wrapping done! He scheduled an email with a short birthday message and his gift, from within his website to reach Rose exactly at 00:00 midnight. All was set but the job was still half done. How could he relay on that add-on which he had tested only once in the past to deliver his gift? He dialed his close friend in hurry.
“Hey Adam, where are you?” He inquired though he did not care of where Adam was at that moment.
“I’m leaving for office; night shift.” Adam said.
“See, I have dropped a message to you on Facebook. I want you to send that message on my cell phone before midnight. Okay?”
“What message? I am not sure. No guarantee from my side. Let me reach to office first, dude.” Adam too was in hurry.
“No, no! You have to! It’s a poem. It’s quite lengthy to send over SMS plus it’s not in English so make sure that I receive it completely in one piece. Okay?”
“Okay, will try.” “Will talk to you later, bye!” Adam cut the line.
Patrick was looking happy as well as excited. He left the office with smile on his face. He reached home and stayed awake till clock showed the time 00:00, 23rd July. He had received few SMSs on his old Nokia 7210 from Adam before an hour. Adam had sent him his poem twice to make sure that he receives it completely with no missing pieces. Patrick sent the same poem to Rose wishing her happy birthday. He waited for her reply for next half an hour but did not receive any. She might be busy talking to her parents or receiving wishes from her friends, he thought and closed his eyes to sleep.
Next morning, he woke up late as usual. He checked his cell phone first as he came out of his bed. He was excited and was expecting her reply to his special message. His excitement disappeared as he saw his inbox with no new SMS from her. He wondered. He wanted to make a call and wish her but thought she would be in office right then. He decided to wish her at night while coming back from office. He went to office in the afternoon.
Patrick and Rose were class mates to each other for two years and chat friends since last six months. The bond of friendship had grown strong for them in recent couple of months. They had met for couple of times before Rose moved to other city. They were quite happy being friends to each other and would talk to each other daily. One daily greeting SMS from Rose would make Patrick feel special. A nice friend he had found in her. They were sharing their lives with each other over the SMSs and that conversation between them would make both of them happy.
Patrick checked his cell phone again in the evening during lunch break at office. Neither she had sent any greeting message (which she used to sent and had sent till last day to him) today nor she had replied to his special message. Patrick felt sad as he had not expected such behavior from her. She must have run out of her limited SMS pack, he thought and placed his cell phone back in the locker. What’s wrong with Rose today, he was thinking, though he had already convinced himself with the thought that Rose must have met with some kind problem which is why she had not reached to him yet. No worries, will ask her once I dial her after leaving office, he thought and got back to work. He made a call to Adam as soon as he finished off his work, realizing that he must thank Adam for his quick help last night.
“Hey it’s Patrick, moving to office?”
“No, still an hour to go.” Adam said.
“I just wanted to thank you for sending those messages last night. Thanks for that.”
“Ha-ha, so did that help?”
“Off course, bro!” “Thanks.”
“So, what else?” “What’s going on?”
“Nothing much, routine life.”
“What about Victor and Martin?” “Are they doing well?”
“Well?” “Let me tell you, Martin is doing more than well. He has learned how to chat with girls.”
“Wow –wow. That’s great.” “So, finally he has found girls to chat with.” Patrick laughed.
“Ha-ha, yeah he has. Actually, he was chatting with Ashley, last night and guess what? He managed to grab her contact number. It was her birthday today.” Adam was laughing too.
“What? Okay! Okay!” The news of Ashley from Adam had struck him hard. He was feeling shocked more than surprised. He lost his senses for a second.
“What about you?” Adam inquired.
“Nothing special, routine as usual.” “Hey, will call you later, gotta go now” Patrick cut the line in hurry.
(Ashley was the same girl to whom Patrick would call as Rose.) Thousands of thoughts began to run in his head. He could not believe that Rose ignored him on her special day. For the next two hours he could not focused on his work. He decided that he will not wish her until he gets to hear from her. He left the office in night. He was looking broken and sad. He checked his cell phone again with no hopes this time. He had made no mistake this time, of keeping no expectations. The destiny proved him right as he had not received any SMS or call from Rose. It was more than twenty hours since he had wished Rose and she had ignored him. The girl who was talking to him daily for last couple of months, the girl who was sending a greeting SMS to him every morning, had behaved differently today.
Patrick left the office and moved to parking place. He had become angry of himself till now. He was not angry for she was talking with Martin but he was angry because she was talking on WhatsApp with Martin. This was the moment when Patrick realized and learned couple of things about people
- It’s all about convenience. If it is not convenient to be with you, then better you provide that convenience to them otherwise they will ignore/leave you just because it was making them to take efforts to be with you. In his case, technology had taken over the feelings.
- It’s all about new things/people. They seek immense pleasure and happiness to be with you until you are new, once they get replacement, no old can grab them back as the priorities change over the nights.
It was drizzling when Patrick left to his home on his bike. In addition to his sad mood, heavy rain played its part. The roadside lamps had gone off and no other vehicles he could see on the road being out on late night hours in such a heavy rain. He had got wet from his toe to head. He was driving faster than usual. He was lost in his own world of thoughts. His head was filled with anger and mind was filled with questions mostly of WHYs? He pulled his bike up and stopped midway, under the big banyan tree. It was dark all over the street. He turned his face to the sky above. He could only see the dark clouds from between the gaps of branches of trees. He was surrounded with darkness and clouds were pouring water on him heavily. He was shivering but tried to stay calm. He swallowed his anger and thought of what he had decided in the morning, today. He still wanted to wish her. He pulled his cell phone out from his pocket with his wet hands and dialed her number.
“Hello… Hello”. she said in low voice.
“Hey, Happy Birthday!” “Many many happy returns of the day” He wished her with trembling voice and heavy heart.
“Thank you!” She said.
“Listen, this is the last time we are talking to each other.” He declared.
“Look, Patrick. Sorry, I know I should have called you but…”
Patrick cut the line and drove off. She called him twice later in the night but failed to catch Patrick on line. The next day, she dialed him again but Patrick had made his mind. He did not receive her calls. Finally, she sent him a SMS saying
Hey, Sorry! I know I don’t deserve your friendship but thank you so much for the wishes. Your poor friend – Rose
Patrick felt the emotions behind the words. A single SMS from her made Patrick change his decision. He thought that, he was harsh at her last night. He forgave her but did not forget the incidence he had gone through. The day had taught him lessons for life. It hurts when you take people for granted and keep the expectations from them, he learned.
Few days later
“Rose, had you received my email that night?”
“Oh, yes. I had. Actually, I saw it after couple of days.” “Sorry, I forgot to told you about that.”
Since then, he thinks of that day as one of the worst days of his life but never regret of what he had done on that day.
Today, 23rd July 2015
People go, dates remain. Rose is no more there, in Patrick’s life. Today is her birthday and once again Patrick has decided not to wish her, personally.
Happy Birthday Rose!