September 23, 2022
When the phone shouts “EMOTIONAL DAMAGE” for a message notification, I woke up and took my phone and read the message “Good morning Anna” and a usual gif of Kim Namjoon from Kanimozhi. I just gave a reply, “Good morning my princess” and went for a shower.
After I took a nice bath, I saw a yellow colour note, stuck on the refrigerator written:
“Good morning, I and your dad are going to the hospital, breakfast is ready. Make sure you wake up and eat soon
Okay, that is one hell of a coincidence because I was about to have my breakfast. I had two dosas and tomato chutney for my breakfast and watched my favourite songs on Television. My boring morning went on like this. A few hours later, I heard someone knocking at my door and my calling bell started to scream. I opened a door, a postman came and gave me a letter and I signed my name in that entry. I wonder who sent this letter to me. I came to know that this one is from my best friend Khatija. She has gone to the US without notice. It’s been three years and I wonder how come she remember me after all these years. I hesitated to open it just because she left without knowing me, but my heart aches to know how she is in the US. I opened the top of the envelope and her handwriting is somewhat a bit understandable.
How are you? Were you missing me? I know you’re a bit angry with me. I’m so sorry about that. Anyways, I just want to let you know that I’m fine here and I miss you so much. Never think that I have forgotten you. You’re the most precious gem I ever had and I still have in my heart. One fine day, I will come to you and spend that entire day with you. Till then, take care, and have lots of Pani Puri.
Oh, Kat! I wish you could be here with me. My mind was occupied with her thoughts, the memories we’d been through, small fights, our Pani Puri diaries, etc. I still remember our last sleepover and our school farewell party, where we hugged each other. But I never believed that was our last hug. My heart calls her to come back now and that boring and lonely day continues. Yet another calling bell scream in my house. Now what? Do my mom and dad arrive? With my exhausted face, I slowly opened the door.
“Special delivery.” A fair-looking girl with a black leather coat and black jeans pants carrying a handbag in her hands shouts with excitement on her face. Her. That’s her, my Kat came back to see me.
“Kat”, I shouted with happy tears in my eyes and hugged and felt like never leaving her right now. My anger at her had just forgotten about that one single hug. She came into my house. My darkroom became brighter and better. She sat on a sofa and I sat next to her. We both converse and burst out with laughter and we both lost in our LOLs and ROFL.
“Hey, let’s go out,” Kat says with excitement.
“Yeah! Let’s go,” replied with the same level of excitement. Before leaving I wrote a note to my mom and dad:
“Mom, dad. Khathija had arrived from the US, she came to our house to see me. We both going to the market. We’ll come back soon.
It’s 5 o clock in the evening, and we have both gone into the market. “Anna”, a voice heard from a distance. That’s her. That’s my Kanimozhi’s voice. I looked at her outside her house. That same Cleopatra wearing a white designed shirt and black jean pants with loosened hair that flows along with the wind.
“Hey,” I said.
“So what’s up?” asked Kanimozhi.
“My best friend came from the US. So we’re going to the market side and having great fun here” I replied.
“Oh, that’s great. Enjoy. Will text you or meet you sometime” said Kanimozhi.
“Okay then, got to go, bye, love you,” I replied.
After Kanimozhi said “Love you too Anna,” I gave a tight hug to her and move on with Kat to a bakery. This bakery is something special to me and Kat. We always used to come here and eat Pani Puri during our school days. Her way she ate Pani Puri during her school days was wow. I used to sight her for that.
“Hey, come. Let’s eat some Pani Puri. It’s been so long.” Said Khatija with excitement. Finally, I could sight her again for the way she eat those. I never said a word, but she knew that I’m ready to eat those through my smile. Yeah, she’s a face reader, but she reads only my face.
When the Pani Puri is ready to serve, I saw her eyes filled with eagerness and excitement to take her first bite of it. The Pani Puri vendor gave one piece to me and one piece to Khatija. When Kat gets her first piece, she drinks that Pani like sipping tea, and with her enlarged looks, she bites that Puri with her eyes closed and admires every inch of it. But, I admired the way she ate and her reaction after that very first bite after so long.
“Yummy! After so long time, this is bliss.” Said Khatija.
“You know what? You’re so beautiful while eating Pani Puri.” I said. She made a blushing smile and said, “Stop it, don’t lay eyes on me.”
After we ate five pieces of Pani Puri each, we were on our way to return home.
“Hey, who’s that girl by the way? I was about to ask you.” Kat asked.
“Oh! That’s my dear friend and loving sister Kanimozhi. I just came to know about her yesterday. She’s our school junior and she used to admire me when I play music at school assemblies and programs. I never noticed her and neither had she told me when we were in school.” I replied.
“Is that so? Interesting. Then, go on.” She asked me to continue. I resumed that unforgettable day with that Cleopatra till we reach home. After we reached home, my mom and dad had a nice time with Kat and we finished our dinner. Before we’re going to sleep,
“Give me your phone buddy.” Asked Kat. I gave my phone. She saw my wallpaper having Kim Namjoon’s photograph. “Oh, my Joonie boy! I never knew you were a BTS fan” she exclaimed as though she were in a romantic relationship with him. She started to type something and her phone shouts a notification. She gave back my phone and said, “I sent me a message on WhatsApp and I’m following you on Instagram too. We’ll keep in touch even though I’m going back to the US. I’ll be boarding my flight to Delhi tomorrow afternoon and Texas the day after tomorrow from Delhi.” After all the fun and enjoyment we had, the news about she was leaving tomorrow made me feel like having a heart attack. “Hey, I got something for you.” She said. She forgot about giving me something. She gave me a wrapped gift box to me. I unwrapped the ribbon and the gift cover. That’s a painting. The same painting which I saw at Kanimozhi’s house and my rap monster’s post. That was a cloud-nine moment for me. I have no words to describe it, just gave a smile and said “Thank you,” and went to sleep.
The next morning, this time I woke up so early because I didn’t have much sleep last night. My fellow Kat is leaving me today and so soon. Kat got ready to go to the Airport.
“Kat, Can I drop you if I’m not wrong?” I asked.
“Yeah sure.” She said. At last, I had the privilege to drop her at the airport one last time. I took my car and she sat near to my seat. I started driving the car. The music player starts to play, Life Goes On by BTS. “Like an echo in the forest….” She started to sing along with the song. “Khatija,” I called her name.
“You used to call me Kat, why all of a sudden?” Kat asked me.
“Nothing, just I want to,” I replied.
We finally reached the airport around 12:50 PM. It’s just 20 minutes from the departure. We’re still alone and waiting for her turn to board the flight. Till then, I just sighted her face for one last time and took a selfie with her.
“The next flight to Delhi is ready to depart in five minutes. Passengers are requested on board immediately.” The announcement alarms around the airport. She is ready to leave me. She slowly walks away from me with her baggage. “Kat” I called her one last time. She looked me back with some drops of tears inside her eyes. “Will you miss me?” I asked her in a lower tone. She ran towards me, gave me a tight hug and cried aloud. “Of course I miss you, and I love you.” She said in tears. After that tight hug, I said, “Take care, bye,” with a smile and she waved to me back a goodbye and boarded her plane. I drove my car to my home and went to sleep.
At 4:30 PM, my phone shouts, “EMOTIONAL DAMAGE” notification. That’s her. That’s my Kat.
“Were you missing me?” she texted.