Love Lasts Forever? – Long Distance Relationship In The Time Of An MBA – InsideIIM Short Story Corner
“Pick up the phone, please pick up the phone.”
He kept talking to the ringing melody on the other end. And then a busy tone followed for the 10th time. Or was it the 20th? He didn’t care. All he needed was an audience. He had made the biggest mistake of his life, by expressing the thoughts he should have kept to himself. He should have remained silent about the things that he had thought for a second: who cares about these things? How could he forget about billions of happy seconds he had imagined with her? How could he be so stupid? A stupid, emotional fool, thought about sharing the darkest thoughts with her, with an expectation of some shouting, a bit of scolding, a long silence followed by a 15-min warmup talk, and then just a warm virtual hug that will alleviate the embarrassment he is going through. He just needed an audience, or did he?
Was overthinking the biggest boon for being a painter? It helped him create pictures out of the blue, imagine things that no one could imagine and weave thoughts that no one can think of. But wasn’t it the biggest bane for being a boyfriend? It made him create stories out of the blue, imagine things that no one could imagine and weave thoughts that no one can think of. Thousands of thoughts in a small tiny brain. Checking millions of possibilities in the nick of a time. But expressing what you think is acceptable for a painter, but forbidden for a person. The painter will get some relief when his thoughts will fall on a white canvas, and a person will get relief only when he’ll be draped with a white canvas and buried under the ground. He had mixed his mind with his heart, and his words had a clear access to express whatever he felt like, but he crossed the limits this time. He questioned the basic premise of his relationship: “Love”.
“What work do you have in this placecomm thing? What makes you spend all the nights away from your room all the time? Why are you never accessible? Why can’t you talk to me? Why don’t you love me anymore?”
So many whys and whats he had asked, without knowing what does the placecomm of an IIM does. Or rather, the doubts in his minds made him blind to the reality.
They have been together for 3 years now. They got enough time for each other in their college days. They’d have enough time to roam around the city, watch movies and spend nights in the each other’s arms. They’d have enough time to talk about the home they will buy, kids they’ll have, places they’ll visit: together. But since she had joined IIM A (and then its placecomm) and he had given up his job to become a full-time painter, things have been completely different.
He has always been emotionally dependent on her. Every crisis would make him cry, and but she’d take him in her lap and soothe him. And then he’d sleep in it like a baby, just to wake up the next day to fight all the odds that he felt were unconquerable. All he needed was a nap in that lap, and a caressing hand on his head. But tonight, after he was alone.
But alone was fine for him. What killed him was the embarrassment of the whys and whats he had asked, and the silence that had followed. A silence he was not used to. He could feel the hurt and suffering on the other end. Tonight, he wanted to play her part, and alleviate her pain. He wanted to take her in his arms. He wanted her to reassure about how much he regretted the things he had said, and how much he loved her. He wanted to promise her how he’d cope up with every negative thought he had. He wanted to soothe her. But that didn’t happen. Hundreds of miles of a distance they had between each other, suddenly multiplied by hundred more. He couldn’t even touch her and let his eyes tell her what he felt. He was powerless. He had never felt this before. He never wanted to feel this again, but he had no choice. This long distance was not working the way he had thought it would.
The parking lot of his building was very silent now, only cars being his companions. He sat on the bench he’d always sit and talk to her. But tonight, he only kept staring at the pictures he always liked looking at. The pictures were blurred now, his eyes were blocked by the curtains of tears. All he wanted at that time, was a sudden and unexpected thunder from the sky, right on his head. Or rather, in his heart, because it pained the most.
Nothing like that happened. He just sat there, staring at the ground, which was warm and wet with his tears now, creating a picture, which even the painter in him couldn’t control.