Bangggg!! came the sound as Tina shut the door and stormed out of the car.
"Careful....", Arin shouted.
Tina kept walking without turning back even once.
The signal light indicated 35 seconds. 25seconds were not enough for him to get out of the car and grab her hand. She was too fast. Arin kept drumming his fingers on the steering irritatingly as he cursed the traffic and started the engine.
Tina on the other hand was successful in holding back a few vehicles in a single file as she crossed the road hurriedly. Arin could she her figure disappearing faintly as he drove past the crossing.
Tina reached bus and enquired about buses that would take her home. She looked nervous. Meanwhile, the traffic on the other side of the road had been cleared . Tina looked longingly at the signal just wishing Arin's car to be still there. She felt that she had taken an impulsive decision.
The scorching sun was hammering on her head along with anger, nervousness and irritation . She stomped her aching feet twice. Her heels had started giving pain. It was for the first time she had tried pencil heel shoes only to match up to Arin's height. He soles were red.
" Oh God!!! These pencil heels are a nuisance," Tina muttered to herself. She couldn't justify her anger. It was due to mixed reasons. One reason being Arin's attitude and her impulsive decision to walk out. She was totally out of her mind and couldn't think of anything sensible.
15 minutes went by since Arin had left Tina at the junction . He was nearing his house. He cursed the traffic at every point and also every vehicle that tried to over take him. He looked at the empty seat beside him which was now occupied by her mobile pouch alone. He so wished to be with her again. Their date wasn't complete without he expressing his feelings to her. He had planned more for the day . He just wanted to wait for the right opportunity.
She had trampled over all his plans. This shattered him, angered him and also made him terribly upset not only with himself but also with Tina.
Tina, that one girl whom he had liked and found sensible after screening 20 good marriage prospects in the past 2 years. Finally, when he started talking to Tina he felt it could work out between them.
He felt as a failure at his very first important step when he had met her just the second time in person. Beads of perspiration trickled down his forehead as he got out of his car park and headed for his room.His mom looked worried looking at his flushed face. Arin shut the door tight and bolted it, tossed his phone on the bed only to make it perch on one corner enough to save it from falling and breaking to pieces. The A.C was switched on and he landed flat on the bed with his head facing the ceiling.
His head was pounding out of tension. Blood gushed though his veins. He wiped the sweat beads off and closed his eyes. All he could remember was Tina walking away from him.
Tina was still struggling to get on to the right bus. She had walked 1 km by then ahead of the bus stop in search for an alternative means of transport. Haggling with the auto rickshaw drivers was another nuisance in the city. They never gave a genuine deal.
" How could he have allowed me to walk away so easily in an unknown area like this?" Tina thought angrily.
" He seems ill mannered and in considerate."
She walked more having just negative thoughts about Arin. Her shoes were making a creaky sound as if they weer not able bear the friction anymore. One more step of hers and there was an extended low sounds due to the friction. Her right foot scraped through a cemented drain cover, her heel got stuck in a small hole due to the loss of cement on the cover. In the event of pulling her stuck shoes out of it she twisted her ankle and fell down due to improper balance. The impact of the fall was too hard to bear. Thankfully it was the footpath and there were no vehicles near by. Her hand hit the lamp post behind shoving off the cell phone to some corner.
She groaned in pain and her feet ached badly. She cried out in pain and screamed for help. The heat and the sharp pain took a toll upon her.
She woke up only to see herself in a nursing home with her cousin by her side.
She had become unconscious because of the great fall she had. The auto rickshaw drivers had been kind enough to reach through her ID card and find her cousin's contact number.
Her throat had dried making it difficult for her to speak. Indicting Anita to get her some water Tina tried to recollect the incident that had happened in the morning. Bad roads, bad shoes and an ill mannered Arin had spoilt her day.If only she was with Arin , she would never have had to be in the current state. The city had already turned her mad due to the long distance travel, the terrible heat and hectic work schedule. It was only Arin who could have made life little simpler for her. She was too confused whether to proceed with him after just talking and chatting. Meeting him just once hadn't made much difference to her.
Tina's ankle was wrapped with a crepe bandage tightly. Arin lay calmly on his bed wondering what had gone wrong that Tina had to leave angrily not even giving him a chance to explain.He didn't brood over the matter much. He stretched his hand, got his phone and immediately dialed her number.
The voice said, " You are not allowed to dial this number".
" What crap!," Arin muttered.
He tried again.
"This call cannot be completed."
" Ugghhh......," Arin muttered again.
" This number is out of coverage area."
Arin slammed the phone down again in anger. Now how would he talk to her or contact her?
Tina's phone had been taken by some rag picker who was already celebrating by selling it off in a local mobile repair shop .
Arin tried sending her a message but it was left undelivered.
Tina on the other hand was searching for her phone and was very upset having not found it. Her cousin immediately blocked her number and applied to for another SIM. It would take at least 2 days for the number to get activated.
Tina was discharged immediately with some pain killers and instructions for taking care of her swollen ankle. She couldn't touch heel shoes or slippers for the next six months until her ankle healed completely.
Tina could remember Arin's long face as she had attempted to leave the car.
Arin tried calling Tina again. It was 5 hours past their meeting. There was no answer from her end again. He was irritated . He decided not to speak to her until she tried calling or messaging him. His ego was on its peak. He expected at least an explanation for her rude behavior and the reason for her anger.
Tina's parents were informed and they also felt relieved after speaking to her. As Tina lay on the bed sipping hot coffee she started wondering as to how she would contact Arin. She felt that he certainly had deserved some time to explain . It was wrong on her part to have left like that.
Noticing the worried look on her face Anita asked her patting on her shoulder, " Anything else that is troubling you?"
" Ummmmm... Nothing much. Just worried about retrieving all contacts that I had lost with my phone," Tina said casually.
" Worried about all or only one such contact ?", Anita asked playfully.
" Well........ Yes ...... and...... No also, " Tina said with a faint smile.
" So how was your date with Arin. At least talk about that. It'll make you feel better ," Anita said excitedly.
" Oh, don't even ask how it was. The whole day was spoilt because of him, " Tina said in a very shattered tone.
" It wasn't after all a date. It seemed like a confused trip with us going around from one destination to the other, looking for some place to talk. He was not sure where we were going. He seemed too preoccupied with office calls each second . We spent 2 hours just in deciding the place for lunch. I thought he would have planned something for the day in stead of just making me go merry go round. Neither did I have breakfast nor lunch and there was no further scope for him to continue the conversation and he couldn't talk more that where- to-go or what-do- you- want- to- do. I gave him few choices like a mall or some restaurant with a large area to sit and talk comfortably but he still couldn't decide. It was not like we were meeting for the first time. He seemed so unplanned and stupid." Tina blurted out everything at once.
Anita looked at her in amazement and said," You have immense capacity to talk even after being in pain."
"Yes, I just needed to say everything as I can't hold this anger anymore. I walked out of the car without explaining him to him the reason."Tina's voice became soft as she completed the sentence. She could feel that her decision had been wrong.
"That was certainly wrong on your part Tina. You should have explained to him the discomfort . It could have helped him. May be he was really nervous and didn't know what to do," Anita said in a concerned tone.
" In fact I tried expressing my discomfort by telling him that he should have planned well before in stead of roaming around the city and wasting time."
" Okay, what is done is done. At least talk to him now. Take my cell and call him," Anita said trying to provide a reasonable solution.
" I don't remember his mobile number," Tina said innocently.
"I need to check my mail and find out from old chats where he had shared his mobile number with me. I am too tired now . I need some rest. I shall message him later," saying this Tina went to sleep. The pain killers were doing their job.
Arin was walking up and down in his room trying to re collect as to what exactly would have made her so furious . Was it not planning the day properly, making her go here and there or not talking about the exact reason they were meeting ? He wondered if it could be any of these. He had planned the later half but he didn't know what to do till lunch time. The evening was booked at a roof top restaurant where he could express his desire to proceed with the relationship further as he had started liking her and she fit really well with his choice.
It was 8 :00 PM Arin, tried calling her again but no use. He had luckily got her cousin's address.
He rushed out with his car keys , put the engine on ignition and off he went speeding towards her cousin place. He was determined to talk to her openly and also apologize to her. The day was not over and he was not a person who would let go a great match like Tina.
He reached Anita's apartment. Finding their house wasn't difficult as Anita was a very old resident and the guard knew their house number.
Arin was welcomed inside by a very surprised Anita. She took him to Tina's room.
He stood there at the door in shock looking at her bandaged ankle.
She went pale seeing Arin standing at her doorstep . Before she could say anything more, Arin cut her short.
" Please listen to what I have been wanting to say from morning," Arin said in a pleading tone.
A faint smile cut across Tina's face.