Two years ago...
Alisha breathed a sigh of relief as she walked down the corridor of her examination center and put on her shades to brace the scorching May heat. After almost three months of non-stop studying, she was done with her final MD exams, both theory and practical. A month or two later, she would be a qualified anesthetist. She was looking forward to that phase in her life.
She reached her hostel eagerly and decided to call Rohan. She was so busy since the last three months that they hardly spent time together.
She had met Rohan about a year and a half ago, at one of the conferences that she had attended to update herself about the recent advances in anesthesia. He was there at the five star venue with his friends and had bumped into her accidently. As she mused about their meeting, she giggled in delight, considering how polar opposites they were.
Though she always took time to adapt to a new person, she felt an instant connection with him. This resulted in their prompt exchange of numbers, followed by long chats. They were an official couple about six months after their first meeting.
Alisha had then decided to stay at a working women’s hostel to save time in travelling back home as the institute where she worked was in the suburbs. The shift also gave her more time to spend with Rohan. She would visit her house only once or twice a month.
For a few weeks, she stayed alone in her hostel room. Then, she was joined by Mansi Agarwal, who was studying to be an interior designer. Though they both were roommates for almost a year, they hardly knew each other, as they both had different working hours. They would only be in the room at the end of the day before retiring to sleep.
As Alisha reached her hostel room, she was surprised to find Mansi still sleeping with a full blast of the air conditioner on. She shivered at how cold the room felt. It was late afternoon. Shrugging at her sleeping form, Alisha decided to call Rohan and plan for a dinner date. She was looking forward to meeting him and spending some quality time with him, now that she was absolutely free. But, he did not answer her calls.
Irked by that, she went to the bathroom, showered and sat on the bed, contemplating what to do. As she was lost in her own thoughts, she felt the vibration of her phone. Thinking it must be Rohan, she quickly searched for her phone on the bed, and finally found it under the duvet. She smiled as she saw his name on the screen. But then she realized that it wasn’t her phone, it was Mansi’s.
Stunned by this unexpected turn of events, she did not answer the call. She tried to wake Mansi up, but the girl just wouldn’t move. Her phone rang again. This time, Alisha answered.
Before she could say anything, Rohan said, “Sweetheart, why aren’t you answering your phone? Looks like you had a heavy dose of me last night.”
Alisha could imagine him smirking and wiggling his brows as he said that. But no words came from her mouth.
“Hmm… looks like I’m right. Get ready for tonight as well sweetheart. I’ll text you an address. See you at 8 sharp. And Alisha has given me 3 missed calls. Looks like the bitch has finally got some time for me. I’ll handle her as well… see you later, bye!”
And he cut the phone.
Alisha couldn’t believe what she heard. She was a bitch? Really? She waited for the text and when she saw the address, she decided to meet him and sort everything out. May be there was some misunderstanding. After a year of dating, he wouldn’t do such a thing to her, would he? In her rush of emotions, she forgot to delete the text from Mansi’s phone.
At sharp 8, she went to the Hard Rock Café and looked around for Rohan. She spotted him by the bar and decided to sneak up on him. She went behind him and tapped him on his shoulder. The expression that he gave on seeing her was priceless.
“Look at how horrified you are! Don’t I look good?” Alisha batted her eyelashes at him.
He gave her the once over and saw that she was dressed in a black sleeveless mini dress. She looked gorgeous.
“Like what you see?” She asked.
“Hi, babes.” He finally said. He proceeded to give her a hug, but she moved a step back and put a hand in front of her to stop him.
Angered by her response he said in an irritated voice, “So, I can’t even hug you now?”
He continued further, “How did you find me here?”
Alisha shrugged as she said, “I tried calling you, but you did not answer, so I came here with my friends to celebrate.” She lied about the last part.
“Today was my last exam. I had told you. Don’t you remember?”
Rohan frowned and narrowed his eyes as he tried to remember.
“And by the way, it looks like you were expecting someone else.” Alisha sneered.
Just as she said that, Mansi walked in and gave Rohan a hug. She spotted Alisha and smiled smugly in her direction.
“Look who’s here, Rohan. Your nerd babe!” and she laughed aloud.
The café went silent at the sound of her laughter and the few patrons watched them interestingly. It was still early for the crowd to walk in as the party usually started by ten, so the place was practically empty.
Alisha felt nauseated at that, but she still managed to say, “So you were cheating on me with her?” She pointed at Mansi in disgust.
Mansi imitated her as she said, “Cheating on me with her? Look at yourself in the mirror. You don’t deserve a guy like him. Look at what you are wearing. Geek trying to be modern. Huh!”
Alisha was offended beyond words and she tried very hard to compose herself. This was not how she had imagined this night to be. She had come here to meet Rohan and clear all the doubts, instead she was getting humiliated in front of a bunch of strangers for no fault of hers.
Rohan smirked at her, “My poor baby Alisha. Don’t feel bad. I was going to break up with you anyway.”
“Break up? But why?” Alisha argued.
Mansi tried to say something, but Rohan stopped her, “Let me speak please. This is our problem. Let me sort this out with her.” He said looking at Mansi.
He turned to Alisha and continued, “Look, this is not going to work between us. You are very selfish and only concerned about your career. You never consider my needs. It’s just not done.”
“What do you mean by saying that I’m selfish? Had I not made it clear when we started dating that I have erratic working hours and I’m still studying? At that time you were quite supportive of my career and kept complimenting me and now! I’m selfish?”
“Forget your working hours. Hell! It’s been a year and we haven’t even properly kissed, damn you! What else do you want me to say?”
“Oh! So it’s all about getting in the pants right? I wasn’t available, so you went ahead and got yourself the next available girl. You should have told me in the beginning what your intention was. I wouldn’t have wasted my time with you.”
“It’s the other way round, I guess. I have wasted my time with you. And bless this beauty Mansi, whom I met when I had come to your hostel to give you flowers, who made me realize what true love really is!”
“Oh, so in three months you claim to be in love with her? What about all the ‘I love you's’ that you have been telling me all throughout?”
Mansi interrupted, “Not three months honey, its six months since we are together. But you wouldn’t know that. You were too busy in your books. You should get married to your books!” She sneered again.
Rohan then said, “Yes, so this is the end for you and me, Alisha. I was just waiting for your exams to get over so that I could break the news to you.”
“Oh. How considerate of you to think that. Should I thank you now? I don’t think you were planning to tell me all of this and I would have never known had I not answered your call on Mansi’s phone.”
“See, I told you she’s a sneaky bitch.” Mansi uttered.
“Whatever is done is done. I don’t want to ever see you again. That’s it. Good bye.” And he turned around and left with Mansi in tow.
“Wait! You cannot leave like that!” Alisha yelled. Mansi turned around and winked at her, gave her a flying kiss and waved a goodbye.
Alisha was left traumatized at the events that unfolded before her. She couldn’t understand where she went wrong and he just wouldn’t listen to her. Her eyes were brimming with tears and she felt defeated. She saw a number of customers staring at her in pity. She bowed her head down and left from the café.
As she went out, her tears merged with the pre monsoon showers that were pouring down. She was drenched from head to toe. 'How ironic,' she thought. The skies were also crying along with her at her heart break.
She felt miserable at her own plight. Her tears were flowing down like those pre monsoon showers. The rain would bring more heat in the coming days, but her flowing tears were cooling her down and with each tear that fell she became numb until there were no more left to fall.
She gathered her belongings and went back to her house. Minnie was there to help her out in her agony and heart break, but nothing helped. She was so badly affected by his words that they kept haunting her and she sunk even deeper into her shell. Her parents too weren’t with her, though they kept video calling her.
She felt absolutely lonely.
A ray of hope shone through when her results were out. She had stood second in the whole state and the best part was that she could choose the hospital of her choice to complete the one year of government service. So, she started working at the government hospital closest to her house and her favorite place, the sea.
She kept herself immersed in work until the memories of her time with Rohan faded into oblivion.