Today my husband took me out shopping, after months of my asking. We got back tired after having bought half the mall and dinner at the fancy new place. Both of us were glad the evening had ended. I was dying to get to my lap top but he looked like he wanted to talk. It’s actually a pain to know someone so well that you can know what they want without their having to ask. “Who is rahul?” he asked casually. I could feel the colour rise to my cheeks.
“Just someone I met online”, I tried to make it sound casual. He shrugged and smiled the smile that I once used to love. “Well, he certainly creeps into your conversations a lot these days”
I looked away but actually wanted to tell him that he is the one who kept me going for the last eight months. While you were always too busy.
Rahul and I met on a social networking site. It was uncanny that we liked exactly the same things. His views on most things were exactly mine. We got chatting.
It seemed ok since we lived in different parts of the country. Till date we have not exchanged phone numbers but what we have exchanged is an integral part of our lives.
Rahul is special. There is no attraction or love. Any desire to meet either. Just a bond between two lonely strangers. We both know everything about each other. Maybe the anonymity makes it easier to open up. Maybe the fact that we are not in any relationship makes the expectations and the baggage that comes with it, vanish.
Maybe if we did meet and discovered flaws in each other we would be devastated.
What my always absent husband does not know is that part of my patience with him comes from the fact that I have someone to talk to. Someone who cares to listen, despite having a high profile job himself. Maybe rahul’s wife complains of the same neglect but like I have learnt from her husband, a little bit of selfishness is needed to survive. So I am not complaining.
In fact I am grateful that this stranger has come into my life.
Sure we fight, sulk and call each other names sometimes. Like normal friends do.
We also care a lot. Yet neither of us has voiced the need to be there for each other in the physical sense. Even if you are ill and alone or hurting after a bitter fight with the spouse.
Will this last? I honestly don’t know. I am practical enough to know that it may not.
I can’t afford to lose what we have worrying over what will happen in the future.
Maybe he is part of my life for a reason. A lesson I need to learn. When I learn it he may just vanish. Without a trace.
Today is what I have. And today seeing him pop up on my friends list makes me happy.