Second Chance

Last night the phone rang continuously but, I wasn’t interested in talking to anyone. Every year when this day comes, I get paralyzed. August 26, a terrible day! I get nightmares, where I see her repeating the same words she said to me five years ago, “It’s better we stay away from each other.” These words get repeated in my dreams, I can even see how her expressions were when she said these heartbreaking words to me. Best friend, that’s what I thought we were but, it looks like we weren’t even friends. Alas, how could she break a friendship of ten years just because a guy came into her life? She didn’t tell me any reason, if she had told me, it would have healed me. It’s not that we didn’t talk after that, but everything was different. 

The incident affected me mentally. Since then I was scared to make friends, because once when I took the initiative to make things right with us, she said she was sorry she couldn’t “pretend” the friendship anymore. Well, there goes my idea of friendship but, when I needed someone in my life, she brought me back to be a human. I value her, even if she was pretending. Maybe that’s why I still can’t move on. Sometimes I blame myself. After all, I thought she didn’t want a friend like me because I wasn’t a friend material. Well, that’s alright, ’cause when you stay away from people you won’t get hurt. Thanks to her for teaching me that. 

The night was a bit scary, I was distracted from my thoughts when I heard some rattling in the kitchen. I took a deep sigh and walked towards the kitchen. This reminded me of horror movies. It felt like someone outside the movie shouting at me not to go there but, I followed my instincts. I remembered Thumber’s words, ‘If something scares you, then be something scarier than that.’ Well, to my surprise there was this box lying on my kitchen floor. I took it in my hands and wondered who would have sent me that. There was a small message placed outside the box, I read it aloud, “whatever you seek is inside this box but, will you be able to face your fears again?” I didn’t understand what it was but, I decided to open it up. Suddenly, my room was glittering with the light that emitted out from the box. I was wonderstruck. My phone rang again, I picked it up, “Hello Ganga, it is me the God!” 

I thought it was a prank, well, why the hell would “the God” call me on my cellphone when he could just appear before me.

“Don’t worry, it’s not like how you see in movies, I can’t come and disappear like that. I am here to help you move on from your friend.”

I was silent, all my childhood I used to wish that he would take human form and come down to earth to be my friend, and now here he is calling me to tell me that he is here to help me move on from my best friend.

“That is impossible, she left me with a broken heart which already has forgotten to trust anyone. I don’t trust you anymore. Did you forget? I don’t believe in God now.” I argued because I was scared of what I would be if I decided to move on from her.

“I don’t think so, you still say the mantras, before you take a nap because you are scared of the darkness.” She heard a laugh from the other side.

She closed her eyes, she thought for some time. She realized that if this truly happens, she can finally be happy. So she picked up her phone, “Yes, only if you tell me what you want in return?”

“My child, I don’t ask anything in return, I am the God, why would I want something in return. Well, maybe he was God after all. I didn’t say anything back.

“You have to accept yourself first, then only you will be saved.”

I didn’t understand what he said, I didn’t want to know either but, I wanted to move on from her. That’s what mattered. I nodded my head in approval. He asked me to close my eyes and think of the time I want to go back.

All I could think about was her, and I thought about the moment we both enjoyed together. Suddenly, when I opened my eyes, I was there in her room, she was dressing up for her date with Rahul. She wears a dress and shows me. I was very happy to see her after a very long time. She saw me staring at her, “I will wear this one then from the way you drool at me, I guess he will do the same.”

I laughed but, He won’t love you as I do.” I winked.

“I know nobody will love me as you do.” 

She got ready within a few seconds. I couldn’t speak, maybe I couldn’t believe this was happening. She kept smiling at me. Once she was done, she stood up in front of me,

“How do I look GG.”

“You look gorgeous Ahalya.”

She nearly took my breath away. This time I am going to be her friend who supports her in her relationship rather than the old one who was jealous and complaining. Maybe this time I won’t screw up.

“He’s lucky! let us book a cab.”

“No, he said he will pick me up by 8.” Both of us stared at the clock. It was almost 8. 

“He will be here any minute now. I am nervous.”

“Hey, don’t be. You look perfect!” I kissed her forehead.

“You know what you should be my boyfriend. You support me, you care about me. You are seriously a boyfriend material. I wish you were a boy.”

I don’t remember her saying this to me back then, maybe because when she was dressing up that day, out of my insecurities I was asking her to think about one more time before she decides to go out with this guy and a lot of other complains. I was happy that I could make it up to her now but, something she said made me so happy. I nearly had butterflies in my stomach. Accepting myself as her friend was what God meant. 

We heard a cab outside. She looked at the mirror one last time. “Wish me luck.” She kissed me and went out hurriedly. Oh, Man! I felt amazing. She looked gorgeous. I went to sleep that night peacefully, knowing I will see her again tomorrow. 

The next day when I woke up, she was sleeping right next to me. I looked at her, she looked like a baby sleeping safe and sound under the protection of her mother. Well, I was happy that she came back to sleep here rather than going up to the guy’s apartment. I made her breakfast and woke her up. She rubbed her eyes and smiled at me, “See I was right. You are boyfriend material.” I couldn’t think otherwise. Maybe this was it. All these years I couldn’t move on from her because I was in love with her but, it didn’t make any sense. I never knew I was into girls. Suddenly I came back to conscious, I cannot ruin this again. If I tell her how I feel about her, I might lose her again. I can’t let her hate me. I stood up to leave, she realised something was wrong,

“What is it, you look terrible, is it something I said?”

“No, I am alright, Why don’t you freshen up, we have college to attend.”

“Duh… We don’t, it’s Saturday. Let’s watch Little things all day.”

“Okie, but freshen up first ‘Cause you stink.” I covered my nose with my hands and ran. While she was freshening up, I received a phone call. When I picked it up, it was God. 

“Ganga, I see you are bonding with your best friend again. But you only had 24 hours back to the present life and counting the rest, you have 10 more hours left. You will only be saved if you accept yourself.”

“10 more hours?! You didn’t tell me that then, I thought this was my life now.”

“I am sorry dear, I can never change the time, yet, I made an exception for you. There is nothing else I can do. My power has restrictions too.”

“You mean, I gotta tell her I love her and freak her out! Perfect!”

“I think you do.” He hang-up.

When I turned around, I saw Ahalya standing there, her eyes were curious, “Who pissed you off on the phone?” 

“No one.” I tried to change the topic but, she wouldn’t leave it, “You said you were in love with someone. Do I know the person?”

“Me? In love? Are you even listening to what you are saying?”

“Ganga, you realise that I know when you lie, and now you are definitely lying to me.” She got me. I couldn’t lie to her. Last time I lied to her, we didn’t speak for one month.

“Ahalya, you are right I am lying but, but it is complicated. I don’t think you will understand that.”

“Try me.” I hesitated, I sighed and said, “I love you.”

“Listen I love you too, but tell me what’s wrong. We will find a way to solve it.”

“See, I told you already. I love you that’s the problem. For the past five years, I have been thinking about you but, I didn’t know I had feelings for you. It all makes sense now. I was jealous that you were with this guy all the time. You didn’t have time for us. and…” I looked at her face, she seemed confused, “I didn’t want to freak you out Ahalya, I am sorry. I shouldn’t have come back. This makes it more difficult, knowing I had feelings for you.” I sat down on my knees and cried.

“Ganga, I am sorry. I regretted saying all those bad things to you, the thing was I was madly in love with you then, but I couldn’t confess because I was scared I might lose you. But, I took a risk and said, I didn’t want to pretend friendship but you took it in the wrong way. I was going to confess my love, but when you didn’t come back to me being mad, I thought you hated me so I send you a text which I regret sending every day. I am sorry.”

I was surprised, “So God sent you back in time too?!”

“Yes, he did! I never thought he would send you back as well. I was going to make things right and looks like we already have.”

I was excited and surprised at the same time. God did that for us; our happiness mattered to him, “Let us do it right then, shall we?”

Ahalya took my hands in hers and looked into my eyes, “I love you Ganga, I always have.”

“I love you too, it is just that I never realised it.” 

Suddenly, the room was filled with divine light, our eyes were closed, “I see, you have accepted yourself and confessed your love. Both of you are saved and will be sent to the present. Since the past has been changed for you, the future would also be changed. The present you would be sent back to you won’t be the same present you left. I hope you live your life to the fullest.” The divine light became brighter and everything went blank. 

Ahalya woke me up in the morning, it felt like I knew the place. It was our hostel room. He gave us a present in which we never lost time, but I couldn’t remember what my future looked like before. It felt blank. When I asked Ahalya about it, she felt the same. Well, why worry about it, when I have her and we can make a wonderful future together and I call it ‘Second chance.’

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