She made another cup of coffee and stared at her contact list once again. No green dot visible. He was not online. Staring at the contact list won,t help but what option was there. Loneliness was killing, the day and evening kept her busy, but the nights at home... the unknown chat rooms lured her and kept her awake till late. She knew the virtual world was nothing but real and basically those logged in who were as frustrated and as lonely as her, or those who just looked for dates and some fun or may be those who in some odd moments had a desire for the unknown.
In one of these rooms she came across ' stranger11' , though she had long chat sessions with many...things lingered on between her and ' stranger 11' till it became a habit and a necessity. He had divulged the details about himself, few years younger than her and in software, well that,s what everybody says. Besides was she interested...the chat sessions were fun and captivating. And she was happy it wasn,t coming to ' let us meet' , the part she avoided and disliked. Reason being her looks and age though she wouldn,t like to believe, that the one deterrent and she was contented in the virtual world which at least didn,t need a make up and latest outfits, grey hair cover and a flat tummy. Was she unsocial, introvert... well forty four years of life had sown an aversion for social life which she didn,t and couldn,t get over.
Stranger11 called himself Deepu and never asked for her pic to her relief. Chats, texts used to pour in through out the day making her smile at any odd time when she was totally immersed in her work. And they stopped one fine day, this is what happened in chat rooms she knew. Yet the pain was there invariably, the suffocating unbearable pain.. like it was when Sanjay had left her. Only this time she did not have to answer the prying eyes, her parents... it was her own private hell which gnawed at her from all sides once she reached home. She would log out of the messenger, re log try to ping anyone else she finds gets frustrated to the full then drift off to sleep. She knew it wasn,t Deepu , it was just her loneliness... if Sanjay hadn,t left her... tears pricked her eyes. She could settle again, why wander in these bogus chat rooms, mom always insisted....incoherent thoughts stumbled one upon another and she couldn,t remember any more.
Mornings found her fresh and active, being friday she was in a extra cheerful mood. Time to pack her bags and get ready for a lovely weekend with mom and Rishu her nine year old son. The ' stranger11' mourning seemed exaggerated and irrelevant. End of a hectic day at work she cheerfully sat behind the wheels, couple of hours and Rishu. She was humming her favourite tune when the messenger beeped, she opened her inbox absent mindedly.
stranger11 Hey was out of network for a while, problem with SIM card.
Oh really, and problem with wi fi and cell number as well, she murmured, her eyes on the road.
stranger11 Arey believe me, dont stare with those eyes. Ok fine it was my wedding so kept the number inactive.
She stared disbelievingly.
stranger11 ( lots of smileys) and you believed it... arey baba i,m dad to two big kids. So can,t be my wedding. And please rule out the ideas of old and new girl friends, i have a big fat wife.
She had to smile. There were many questions, but did they need answer...
stranger11 ok will ping you after you finish your hug sessions with Rishu and bitch sessions with mom. Can look at the road now.
And she did, looked at the lovely road ahead, road to Rishu, road to her existence and went offline.