It had to be someone pranking me. I whipped my head around to check if someone was standing nearby sneering at my expression. There wasn't anyone. I shoved my phone back in to my pocket. It lay there like a hot stone burning a hole. I could feel it's weight, solid and heavy. I pulled my phone back up. The message was gone.
I hadn't deleted it or had I? I checked it again. It wasn't there. Kinley opened the door to our shared dorm room. "You okay? You didn't have dinner even today." I shook my head. "Just not hungry", I said glancing at my phone again. "Starving yourself won't help... and he isn't the only guy in the world. I never liked him anyway..." "Stop" I cut in. "I really don't want to talk about it Kinley. Don't worry about me. I am over him", I lied.
I didn't have the energy to go through all of "the talk" again. It was draining and it didn't do me any good either. Note to self: if a friend breaks up, never say stuff like how she was too good for him or how she would eventually get over him. It does not help. All that this had achieved was making me wonder if I appeared that pathetic in her eyes. But I couldn't blame Kinley, I didn't know what to tell myself either.
When Kinley closed the door, I caught sight of my reflection on the full length mirror on the back of my door. My eyes were puffy and my belly had folded over. I looked ugly.
"You're not ugly. You're not fat either."
Kinley stood in front of the mirror. "I wasn't thinking that", I lied. She crossed her arms and frowned. "But I could lose some weight", I said. She walked over to me and pinched my cheek. "You're cute. If I was a guy, I would totally date you", she said. I smiled. "I wouldn't date you. You're too bossy", I joked. She punched me playfully.
I forgot all about the text till the next morning. Kinley frantically searched for our books as I kept glancing at my watch. We were late. Madam Lhamo was going to kill us. She would sneeringly inform us that time would be better spent on educating ourselves rather than "advertising" what we didn't have. I didn't want to be late for class.
"Found it! Let's run" she declared, her hair all over the place. I nodded as she rushed out of the room. Kinley was fast. She was taller and you got to understand that my short legs could not keep up with hers. I half ran, trying to keep up with her and failed to notice the uneven floor.
I crashed down clumsily. "You okay?" I looked up. There was a cute guy smiling at me. "I am fine." I said taking his hand. He pulled me up. "Good to know, see you" he said waving his hand. Kinley tugged on my hand. "We are late", she reminded.
I turned to look at the cute guy only to find my ex looking at me. He had a blank look on his face like I was a stranger. I smiled at him. He gave me a weak smile before turning away.
I had thought I could be friends with him but I had been wrong. I could never be friends with him. I would never be able to hear him talk about another girl without getting my heart shredded to bits. I was actually grateful to get Madam Lhamo's sardonic speech about tardiness as it took my mind off him.
I was making notes when I heard someone whisper, "I heard she broke up with her boyfriend?" I pretended not to hear as the other person whispered back, "more like he dumped her. Heard he has some new girl in Thimphu. I am not surprised. They were mismatched anyway." I froze. He had a new girl? He broke up with me for someone else?
My ears buzzed. I sucked in a cold breath of air as my head spun. So he dumped me for someone new? How long had he been going out with her? Had he cheated on me? After all the things I did for him? After all the time I spent waiting for his call...
I bit my lip as it trembled. I had to talk to him. I rushed out of the room as soon as the lecturer left. My fingers trembled as I pressed his number. I hadn't forgotten it. How could I? He didn't pick up the first time. I called again. He picked up. "You have someone new?" I asked as soon as he answered. He was quiet. "You... you know how much I loved you. You will never get someone who would love you like I did. What did I do..." I rambled.
He was quiet through the entire time as I cried on the phone. "I am going to find someone new too. I will make you regret it. I hate you" I said. He didn't say a single word.
I missed classes as I rushed to my room and snuck under the covers. Memories rushed back. We had met when I was a freshman. He had told me that he loved me to the moon and back. He told me that I deserved to be loved, that I was beautiful in a way no girl could be. I believed him. The way he smiled at me, the way he looked at me... did those things just fade away?
I had to forget him.
My phone buzzed. It had the same cryptic message:
Reply 1 to make an appointment with the memory bottler.
I didn't care if it was a prank. I replied.
Another message came through:
11:11 PM at the place you first came in touch with the memory you want to forget. Knock thrice.
I squinted at the message. It disappeared. I opened my inbox again but it was gone. I bit my lip. There wasn't anything that could be worse anyway. Even if someone was playing a prank on me...
I laid down. How many nights had I spent looking at my phone hoping he would text me that it was a mistake and that he wanted to get back with me. I had it all pictured. He would beg for me to come back. I would say no at first. He would keep begging and I would eventually give in.
I would see it my dreams. I guess I had wanted it so very badly. The dreams made it worse. When I woke up, it would hit me that it had been just a dream and I would feel even worse. "Please come back" I prayed.
He wouldn't come back. He had someone new.
I looked at my phone again. There was only a single message from Kinley asking me if I was okay. I did not reply. I fell into an uncomfortable sleep where I dreamt I was being chased around a room. Suddenly I was chasing something. It was a strange dream.
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