We don’t talk anymore.
I don’t know why. But we don’t talk anymore.
Do you remember how much we used to talk though?
Doesn’t it surprise you sometimes, how at one point in life, you are so close to this one person, that every imaginings of the future included him, and it so happens that just after a few years, you just don’t talk anymore?
Why do people grow apart? – Why do we distance ourselves from our ex-boyfriends, ex-friends and ex-life so much so that the very existence of such a past is obliterated from our cores?
I had one such friend – I knew him for probably just a year – We used to talk all the time, and we were really close. At least I thought so. One could say that he was a pen friend, because we would never meet. We lived in different cities. But we used to think about each other all the time. We used to deeply care for each other.
Or at least I thought so.
He was present in every dream of mine, a sure part of my future life, I would think. I was heavily influenced by him at the time. He was just a little older to me, but given that I am the kind of girl who is easily prejudiced for well-spoken, well-read individuals who have the effortless power to hold conversations, I was quite taken by him. One could stretch it a little further even and perhaps tell you that I had given him a sort of mentor-like status in my life.
I was young, and possibly inane, but at the same time, extremely idealistic. The distance did not bother me. The lack of touch did not bother. The phone calls, or the lack of them did not bother me. My eyes would light up at the prospect of our next chat session. This was a charm of those days, when dial-up internet ruled the roost. I would patiently wait with my fingers crossed that the internet would get connected smoothly and I wouldn’t be late for our online date. Sometimes, when the internet at my house wouldn’t connect, I would quickly change into my jeans, run down the flight of stairs and walk in the humidity of Mumbai streets to reach the nearest internet café.
All for a few minutes of chatting.
But those few minutes, every week, shaped me into what I am, and for that, I am thankful to this person.
Within a year though, it was over.
We promised to stay in touch, be friends, talk often, and be there for each other.
But just as days turned into months, YahooMail was replaced with Gmail and YahooMessenger disappeared off our lives, just as suddenly as our innocent youth left us. Emails changed, phone numbers were now with an international dialing code, addresses changed, our relationship status changed, and our promises elapsed.
We know that we are both alive, yet, we don’t talk anymore.
We aren’t friends anymore.
We aren’t there for each other anymore.
I am not sure what has changed – Is it priorities?
It surely hurts to think that the person with whom you could talk about anything under the sun once upon a time, is no longer a priority.
Or are we afraid to go back and explore what we had left behind?
Are we afraid of the ghosts of the past to haunt our present?
One can never be too sure, but here’s what I think.
Forming connections between two human beings is magic in itself – There are very few people in life that you meet, towards whom you have an instant attraction, with whom you can talk about your darkest fears and your deepest secrets. And when such people cross the path of your lives, and you both form a connection so strong in human nature that it exceeds the strength of all your other associations, you shouldn’t let them go.
Whether they were a significant part of your life then, and now they have moved on and so have you, it still doesn’t hurt to talk.
It doesn’t hurt to respect the promises you had made to each other.
It doesn’t hurt to be friends.
It doesn’t hurt to be there for each other.
Because in life, there aren’t a lot of people who would be there for you when you needed them.
So, I leave it to you – Are you ready to dial up the internet again and go to the archives of our old emails, that are full of incorrect use of grammar, spelling and flinch-worthy chat acronyms (mostly from my end) and refresh your memories about the times we used to talk?
Are you ready to pick up the phone, dial that all-familiar number after ten years and just say, just like old times, “Hey Beautiful”?