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Goldie Kohli Goldie Kohli
Recommendations: 4

Cell Phone

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She had a friend.

It was 12.40 pm and the phone would ring in 5 minutes. At least that is what I hoped for as it had not done so for the past two days.

12.44. My heart beat was reaching a crescendo and I could not hear anything else. I panicked. What if I could not hear the phone ring? What if I passed out from this excitement?

12.45! The phone rang. I was not imagining it, as it vibrated too in my pocket. I got it out of my pocket. It was her. I recognised the long distance number.

“Why didn't you call for the past two days” I nearly screamed into the mobile phone.

I heard her sobbing. I heard her gasp. She always gasped when she sobbed.

The sound of her sobbing was crisp. Tears were flowing down my cheeks too and I said “You must promise me to call every day, like you have been doing for the past 237 days”.

It was then that she disconnected the phone. I was calm and at peace with myself.

She had been calling everyday for the past many weeks. Most days she cried like today. Twice she laughed. It was a guffaw straight from the belly. I laughed along with her. She did not share the joke with me.  She never shared any words with me. We laughed and cried together.

A few times there was silence from her. I said “Hi there” when the phone rang but she did not say anything. I held the phone to my ear and waited. She disconnected the phone. I kept the phone back into my pocket and waved my hand.

12.45 pm each Monday we listened to the news together. She kept the phone in front of the radio and I pressed my handset to my ear. We listened together. As the news reader announced the end of the news, she disconnected before the flourish of the news' signature tune came in.

I slept well on days when she rang my number. I woke up fresh on those days too.

So those two days when I did not get her calls seemed as if I was parched and turned inside out. I knew her number as it showed up on my phone. I had tried calling it. A recorded voice said “This number does not exist, please check your number”. I had been unable to move, to sleep and was tired.

Today she called again. I felt I had run many miles and was breathless. My heart was racing again. She had been a full 5 minutes late in her call. It was 12.50 pm when her phone rang.

“Look you must call on time each day”.

I knew she had now moved her call time to 12.50 pm and so must learn to live with it.

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