"Still!" Divya asked, her voice incredulous, as she lay next to me on the grass.
"Yup", I sighed, "He's always there at the back of my mind, its just I am not always this dysfunctional. Today is just a really bad day."
"Well Rahul texted, again, I replied, again. He says he's sorry about everything he said. I don't think he is but… anyway I have decided to meet him", she said quickly. I could detect a hint of guilt in her voice.
"We are both doomed", I snorted.
"Well as long as we both sort of function and maintain our grades we are fine," she countered.
I think my silence was an effective reply as any. I turned up and looked at the stars. There were so many of them. A million points of brilliant light filled the night sky. I wondered what he was doing right then. Was he looking up at that stars too? With that thought, I began to check myself. This was not a Nicholas Sparks novel. Whatever he was doing, he was definitely not looking up at the stars. For one thing the five and half time difference meant that it was almost time for sunrise in India. For another not even God himself would manage to see any stars in Mumbai because of the ridiculous amounts of air pollution.
The truth was that both of us knew what we were doing was unhealthy. I was holding on to a relationship that I had ended myself a year ago and Divya had managed to get herself involved with a guy who claimed to be madly in love with her, when he wasn't trying to get back together with his ex-girlfriend and/or hooking up with any and every girl who showed the smallest interest in him.
We were both smart, ambitious independent girls (I like to believe) and consciously we knew that we deserved better. There was also the added stress of worrying about our final year grades and securing a job. We were both international students at an expensive UK university and neither of us was in any particular rush to go back to India without getting some good solid work experience in UK first.
We could thus, ill afford the mental anguish that we were quite frankly inflicting on ourselves. For some reason though, our subconscious hadn't got the memo and somewhere deep down inside we both clung desperately to the hope that things would change and if we just waited it out. After all in all doesn't everybody want a happy ending? In the meanwhile I think it helped us both to have somebody to be miserable with.
Coming to this park had become a weekly ritual with us. It had become a sanctuary from our everyday lives: a place that we came to when our daily lives had got too difficult. Sometimes we talked here for hours, sometimes we just put our headphones and sat silently next to each other, swinging. I don't remember when we started going there and I don't really know why we kept returning. If I had to hazard a guess I would say it was because the children's park reminded both of us of a simpler time. Back when life had not been so complicated.