(Please read the post https://anooppillaiz.wordpress.com/2014/07/28/42-days-part-2/ before attempting to read this )
That night again lying on her bed, her mind continuously trying to justify Anand and his behaviour. ‘May be he has gone through a great deal after the girl’s death. May be he is a nice guy.’
The next day, in the evening when she is out she sees Anand standing far staring at her. She thought to herself ‘Never mind.’
Again a couple of days later, she sees him outside a cafeteria.
Later in the library. She thinks to herself, ‘What does a boxing guy doing in the library?’ She walks up to him and asks him,
‘Hello Anand, I hope you are not following me. I see you everywhere I go last couple of days.’
To her surprise, he answers back, ‘Yes, I am following you.’
As shocked she was to hear that, he continues ‘See, this city is filled with filth around nook and corners. After you mentioned about that incident to uncle, he had warned me to have an eye on you. I didn’t want to interfere with your privacy, but just wanted to make sure you are free from trouble.’
She was happy to know that someone cared for her in the city though none of that expressed on her face. She didn’t feel the need to answer that and turned to leave. But then she remembers and says to him,
‘I am sorry for what happened to Betty. I heard it from him when he was telling me about you.’
Saying so, she walked past him.
By then she completed 27 days here, and her internship was going pretty well. Two weeks more and she could get over with it and leave. From that day in library, she never met him. Wherever she went, her eyeballs made it a point to do a quick scan but he was nowhere to be found.
Then again days passed by, internship was almost done. It was that time, when she had to leave India. Five more days to 42nd day. Today she decided that she would call Anand and convey her gratitude for his time with her. Without any rehearsal, she dials him up.
‘Hello Anand, this is Priya.’ she tells. He had recognized her by the voice and didn’t need the unnecessary introduction.
‘Yes, tell me. Do you want to go out somewhere?’
’No, I am fine. I will be leaving in 5 days. Just wanted to thank you for all the troubles.’
She paused for a second and again ‘If you don’t mind, one of these days, please come over to my place. I haven’t invited you on a coffee or couldn’t offer you one when you came over then.’
Again there is silence for couple of seconds,
‘I’m not sure if I will be free but let me see what can be done.’ Anand again in his husky tone.
‘Alright.’ and this time she hangs up the phone.
She was almost sure that Anand won’t be coming. Neither did she expect him to, though she wished he turned up one of these days before she left.
(To be continued)