Fantastic Friday Fiction – VII
“My dear Ritika,
After all this time, I have finally sat down to write this private Facebook message to you because I can no longer bear the weight of all the unspoken words clinging to me, preventing me from breaking free from you.
Remember the first time we met during the Freshers’ Welcome event? I was lost in the huge college campus and you, despite being a fellow first year, confidently guided me to the auditorium. It was only because of you that I did not suffer ridicule and loneliness in that party and in my college days that followed. I was instantly charmed by your charisma and extremely thankful for extending your hand of friendship to the most socially awkward person in the room. No girl had, so much as cast a glance at me or talked properly to me before you. The fat weirdo, as they called me, never had a companion like you!
And I was not the only one – the whole batch was under your spell. Soon, you were getting elected as class representative, organising batch picnics and movie nights, winning singing contests and scoring A-s in end-semester examinations! And when the time came to dine out or party, you were the forerunner in treating your friends and dancing the night away.
Girls and boys flocked by your side for friendship. Senior boys made a beeline to woo you. Teachers were already setting aside for you, the trophy for the best all-round student to be awarded at the end of 3 years.
A beauty with brains, destined for fame and success is what everyone thought of you.
Like many, I too was besotted with you, so much so that I began to agonise over the moments I was not by your side.
Being a member of the hostel IT club gave me access to the server room and the IP addresses of everybody’s computers. I spent each moment outside of class in that room, checking out your internet footprints. How I wish I hadn’t!
Confronting you with details of your virtual life was the most painful and difficult thing I have done in my life. You screamed at me and called me a voyeuristic pervert. Or worse, a back-stabbing friend out to take revenge on you. But you did not realise that I was not doing this out of jealousy or malice but only out of concern for you.
You could have never fathomed the intensity of pain that I felt when I saw the girl of my dreams visiting sex-chat sites every day, kicking up a hormone storm there as “Blue Eyes” and getting handsomely paid for every minute of ‘chatting’ with her clients. I was enraged because you shattered my rainbow-hued feelings for you. I was aghast to find that my first love and my first object of passion was, in fact, a goddess of lust for numerous strangers!
Was it only an online hobby, I asked you. You denied, vehemently. But I knew you were lying. You stupid girl. Did you think that if I knew about the chats, I would not know about the contents? I have seen you making appointments over chats. The timings of each of your rendezvous matched with the times you went out of the campus.
My love for you had ended, forever, before I could express it before you. My heart remained heavy, with all the unspoken words of love which you no more deserved and those of my contempt for you which I could not fully express before you died.
As a result, I became more obsessed with you. You began to seem more alive to me now than other living people because I started spending so much time in the internet reading your thoughts and looking at your pictures.
It is time for me to move on. I have resolved not to visit your Facebook profile, twitter account or Instagram page ever again. I have promised myself that I will delete all your photos downloaded and saved in my computer. Wish me luck, my friend, that I find peace now that I have said all that was meant for you.”
My fingers felt strangely light after hitting the send button. I closed my eyes and leaned back on the chair.
A Facebook message sounded its arrival.
“Why did you mix so many pills in my bottle of water that night?” came Ritika’s reply.
Local news correspondent, Bangalore: In a bizzare turn of events, Mahi Sharma, a 3rd year computer science student of AG University was found dead in her hostel room today morning. When she did not come out of her room for two days, the students broke open the door and discovered her hunched over the table in front of her computer. Preliminary medical reports say that she died of heart attack. Around the time of her death, she was typing a Facebook private message to a student of the same University, Ritika Khanna, which was not sent. It must be noted that Ritika Khanna died a year ago in her hostel room as a result of overdose of sleeping pills, which, at that time seemed to be suicide. It has come to light that in the message Mahi revealed her unhealthy obsession for her friend Ritika and accused her of being an escort. The college authorities have declined to comment.