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Chapter 19 Six Months Later (After Half Breakup)

  • After my break-up, or half-break-up, with Riya, my personality changed. People in college started to call me SSS, or the Silent Saint of Stephen’s. I attended every class and sat in the front row. I took notes like a court stenographer. I never asked the professor any questions. I would sit with my friends in the residences but not contribute to the conversation. Initially, they tried to cheer me up. They gave me copies of Playboy and arranged booze parties to help me get over Riya. However, just like their earlier advice, their break-up cures were useless too. The only thing that helped somewhat was basketball. Every time I thought of her, I hit the court. Three hours of dribbling and shooting temporarily cured my heartache, if only because it left me physically exhausted. Frankly, I went to the courts in the hope she would come to practice. She never did. Perhaps her father had built her a court in the backyard of 100, Aurangzeb Road.
  • Sometimes I lurked in the college corridors, waiting for her class to end. I stood far away and avoided eye contact. I would watch her come out of class, only to disappear into a crowd of friends. Once she did see me. She didn’t smile or turn away. She didn’t even look angry. She didn’t react at all. It killed me. If she had come forward and slapped me or yelled, I would have been okay. However, she looked right through me, as if I didn’t exist.
  • Nights hit me the hardest. I couldn’t sleep. I lay on the same bed where I had messed it up with her.The same place where I had spoken like a Bhojpuri movie villain. I wished I had a time machine to undo my actions. I didn’t want a time machine to predict the stock market or buy property cheap. I only wanted it to un-say that sentence. I had said it in a combined state of horniness, bravado and stupidity. Well, it is also the state in which men are most of the time.
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