The phone started buzzing. I knew what that meant. He was calling me again. This was probably the 15th time he called me in the past hour. Doesn’t he know I cannot pick up any calls when I’m working?
I work as a news reporter in a reputed channel and my show airs at 12:30 pm every day. Today will be my 100th time reading news on air. I was to come in early and do a little preparation for this, but the idiot my boyfriend is, he didn’t wake me up. And above that, he had switched off the alarm that I had set for myself to wake up. That idiot. And now he’s calling to apologize. Why does he do stuff like this always?
I have a few minutes till I complete the reading to pick up his call. Luckily, it has been made mandatory to switch off our cell phones or put it in our desks, before we start reading the news. As we are not field reporters, we have access to desks. But, I personally prefer not to put away my phone. Nomophobia, the fear of losing my phone. Yes, I have that. But, it is at these times, that having my phone near me becomes more than irritating.
After I was done, I came out and started looking at the calls. Although it was only him, I preferred looking through the list and confirming it once. Somebody might have called. There was no other. And there were some text messages, “I’m sorry, baby”. “I didn’t know”. Stuff like that. How could he not know? I was telling about that all day yesterday. I went to sleep early after dinner, and told him that today was my 100th news reading and its a proud occasion for me, and many other things related to this. Still, he had the audacity to say that he had no idea what I was very anxious about?
The assistant manager comes to me and congratulates on completing 100 readings . I felt happy at that. I started calling the idiotic person I so proudly call as my “boyfriend” to ask him where he was and give him a piece of my mind, if it is required. He picked up and even before I could say “Hello”, he started apologizing. “I’m really sorry, baby. I didn’t know. I forgot”
“Yeah, yeah. I understand. Where are you? We’re supposed to go out for lunch” I asked him, a little seriousness in my tone.
“I’m just around the corner” he replied. I could hear the traffic sounds. I believed him.
“So, what’s up?” I asked, to pass the time till he came here.
“Well, congrats. You keep talking. I’ll listen” he said.
“Okay, thanks. Well, as you know, I have some time on my hands, and I am thinking of learning something new which might help me in my life. Like you know, singing. Or dancing. It’s just boring in life. I mean, I have you, but when you’re not nearby, I’m bored and confused as to what to do.” He might not listen, but I could hear him breathing. That gave me a sense of relief. I always tell him to not talk on the phone, even if it is me, when he’s on the road. But he doesn’t listen to me. No matter how many stupid things he does, he will remain the love of my life.
After a while, I couldn’t hear any sound. I was terrified. What happened to him? People were talking around him. But he wasn’t. Tension was building up in me. What happened? Is he all right? Is he there? What happened?
Slowly from behind, I heard a faint voice. Familiar, but faint voice. He was panting. Idiot ran all the way up on the stairs. He could have called me from downstairs and I would have gotten down.
“Hey. Shall… we… go… to… lunch?” he said, pausing between each word.
“You could have called. Anyway, come on” I said and I slowly left.
As all of these events unfolded, the Assistant Manager had been watching it. He looked puzzled and when the Manager came to him and asked him what happened, he explained in his terms. The manager was cool in his reply.
“Oh, that! Don’t worry about that. She has a boyfriend who is only visible to her. Like a personal ghost.”