I was so lucky to have a friend like Rachel. She had immediately agreed to help me. She will take care of everything. I had full faith in her.
Ten days had passed however with absolutely no communication whatsoever from either Phani or Rachel. I was beginning to feel very restless. Had something gone wrong? Whenever I had some problem, Phani had been the strong pillar for me to lean back on. Now that the problem was related to Phani himself who would I lean on? No point calling up Rachel and pestering her either. If she had heard from Phani, she would have informed me. Instead I decided to seek solace in the one thing that never failed to cheer me up: the stack of letters from Phani that I had preserved carefully in the inner drawer of my cupboard. I sat down on my bed and ran my fingers over them one by one. There seemed to be some magic in them. Their very touch seemed to fill my heart with joy.
My eyes fell on the very first letter from him. It started, “Hi, Sarah. Do you remember me? I was with you in the engineering and medical entrance coaching. “
Of course I had remembered him quite well. He was that well-built guy of medium height who usually frequented the back benches. He hardly ever used to open his mouth in class. What had caught my attention was his bronze colored hair. It stood out stubbornly like a crown. He used to remind me of the character Jughead from Archie comics. He looked funny with his turned up nose, lively eyes and his mouth always in a kind of lazy, cynical twirl. He usually wore a jaded black t-shirt and I hardly remembered seeing him clean shaven. Though I had found his looks rather interesting, I had never given him a serious thought as such. Not just him. I had never given any serious consideration to any boy in class. My entire focus had been directed towards cracking the medical entrance.
I continued to read the letter. “One of my close friends has joined AMC medical college and happened to mention you were in the same college with him. I was happy to learn about your whereabouts. So I thought I will drop a note to you and check out how you are doing.”
I had been surprised at receiving a letter from him at that time. People who you have hardly even spoken to do not shoot letters to you just like that out of the blue. My feminine intuition hinted at it being more than just a casual greeting. But then I had found his interest in me rather flattering. What vain creatures we women are, eh? And I had been kind of curious what he would say next. So I had decided to humour him.
I picked through some of the other letters at random. Some of them had me laughing like crazy. I can’t imagine how he always manages to find humor in every situation. I don’t know how I would have tided through the first year at college without these letters so full of life and fun. I had been so lonely, homesick and depressed those days.
Then there was this letter he had written to me when my family was undergoing financial crisis. I read through his sensitive words. They were so consoling. I still remember those days vividly. He had not just stopped with words. He had actually lent me the money his parents had given him for his college fees to pay mine. If I had not returned his money on time, he might have been rusticated. How much he cares for me! He had also gone one step ahead and enlisted the help of his uncle to solve my father’s tax problems. My father never found out the reason for his benefactor’s benevolence though.
I sadly wrapped up the packet and put it back in the cupboard. I hope eventually things turn out well. I am already missing him so much. A week without a letter from him and life has begun to feel so empty!
Beginning of the Series : Four Letters and a Phone Call - I
Previous Part : Four Letters and a Phone Call - II
Next Part : Four Letters and a Phone Call - IV