Tia and Pia

by

Karan

Volume 1, Issue 1, Pg 46-49

She stared at the e-mail message on the screen, her mind racing so fast that the words blurred and no longer made any sense.

It was ten in the morning. She had just woken up. Like always, even before brushing her teeth, she logged on to her computer. Little did she know that the moment she opened her Gmail account, her world would be shaken to the core, almost like an earthquake.

She stared at the e-mail message on the screen, her mind racing so fast that the words blurred and no longer made any sense. Just three lines, but enough to make her life—the life she’d worked so hard and sacrificed so much to build—begin to crumble around her.

The email said:

Tia,

I’m sorry. We can’t be together anymore. Please forget everything and move on.

Goodbye,

Kartik

Now, a five-year long relationship generally doesn’t end on that note.

Someone she loved more than herself; trusted to the zenith; had planned her future with; knew for sure would be her life partner; used to fight with for one hour only to make up in the next; could shout at any time; could listen to always; who, for her, could fight with anyone —that someone , ‘the most important’, ‘the most loving’, ‘the most special’ someone was going away from her all of a sudden, for reasons best known only to him; thereby creating a vacuum in her life, which was certainly way too difficult for her to live with.

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“What would you do, if I leave you some day?” Kartik used to ask her jokingly, sometimes, just to pull her leg.

Now that question repeatedly rang in her ears. Her usual reply would be, “I’ll kill you,” but right now he wasn’t there to listen to her answer.

Quite expectedly, she was shocked and heartbroken too. She couldn’t control her emotions well, like some people can. She cried out loud. While it was important for her to cry and release the pain, there had to be an end even to that. But, her tears kept flowing for more than a couple of hours. She was alone at her place, with nobody to console her. May be, that’s why...

However, around 2 p.m. her roomie, Roma, returned from the theatre. It took her some time to calm Tia down, but, eventually, she stopped sobbing.

After a while, Roma tried to get to the heart of the issue, and began questioning Tia, her bestie, to understand what exactly had happened.

“Tell me...Did you have any fight with Kartik yesterday or today? ... Are you sure, it’s not a prank?”

“Neither did we fight, nor is this a prank,” Tia told her.

“Okay...Okay...Any other girl? I mean...,” Roma interrupted.

“No. I can doubt anything but his degree of commitment,” Tia was quick to negate any such possibilities.

“Did you reply to his email?” was the next question.

“Yeah. I did. But, got a Failure Daemon message stating that the e-mail id no longer exists,” Tia promptly replied.

“What about his mobile number? WhatsApp, Facebook?” Roma enquired.

“It seems he has blocked me everywhere,” stated Tia .

“And you don’t know any of his friends, right?” Roma muttered.

Tia nodded and said, “He never introduced me to any of his friends. In fact, every time I talked about you, he’d tell me to stop. As far as common friends are concerned, we don’t have even one. I was always keen to party along with his friends, but he always dodged such requests of mine by citing some stupid superstitions that he had himself planted in his life.”

“Yes, I told you, this is so strange. I always wanted to ask, but I never did, what kind of superstitions?” Roma asked, in wonder.

“He used to tell me that he believed that he might lose me if more people got to know that we are a couple. Some strange and silly superstition. All superstitions are strange, by default,” Tia answered.

“So, you guys didn’t fight. No love-triangle scene either. Yet a break-up...rather, I should say, a one-sided breakup. That certainly is quite mysterious.”

“I wonder if he’s under some sort of pressure”, Roma added.

“No matter what it is or what it may be, I’ll never forgive him,” an emotionally down, angry Tia yelled at herself.

“Relax Baby. Let’s not judge him without knowing the entire matter. We need to find out what’s going on,” Roma said, trying to take control of the situation.

“What relax? I trusted him a lot, but he betrayed me for no reason. God can, even the world can, but I can’t forgive him. I won’t forgive him. I’ll commit suicide, and hold him responsible for that. He destroyed me. I’ll destroy him back,” Tia started crying, again.

“What nonsense are you talking? You aren’t that low a person to do such things. Be calm, and let’s try to figure out together the Whats and Whys of the situation,” a firm Roma tried controlling her again. “Now, listen. He has blocked you. He doesn’t know me, not well, that is. So, possibly, he wouldn’t have blocked me. These days, you can find almost everything and everyone under the Sun, through social media.”

They then tried accessing Kartik’s Facebook account, but Kartik turned out to be smarter than they had thought him to be. He didn’t just block Roma, but, also all of Tia’s friends.

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But Roma was no less. She created another account, and then, was able to access his profile. The poor guy had missed out on one simple setting. He could have either simply deactivated his account or made his account, posts, friend lists, and so on not public, that is, visible to only those he chose — himself, friends, or friends of friends. He went the long and not-so-smart and secretive route.

Anyway, the reason Roma wanted to take a look at his profile was to see who all had become his Facebook friends recently. Despite all that Tia said, Roma had a feeling that there was a third angle —in this case, another girl. The search result was there in front of both. In the last one month, only two new connections had been made. While one was a married lady, Anita, the other was a girl named Tina. It didn’t take them long to make out that both these new Facebook friends of Kartik were somehow related/connected to each other, for both (as per their profiles) belonged to the same city (Kanpur), and had the same surname.

Now, before Roma could say anything, Tia started, “Yeah, you were right, Roma. See, he’s marrying this girl now, and this lady is his mother-in-law to be. Kartik is such a thug. He’s just another dog...He’s...”

“Calm down. Calm down, baby. Right now, we are close to the truth. But, we haven’t found it yet. So, don’t speculate. We can do all that anytime later,” Roma stressed.

Roma then texted a ‘Hi’ to Tina on Facebook Messenger, to which she got a response almost instantly. Now, Roma didn’t want to waste anybody’s time. She got straight to the point.

“So, how do you know Kartik?” Roma asked her.

“How does that matter to you?” Tina replied with a counter question.

“It does a lot to my friend. Maybe we should be straightforward with each other. You may not be aware, but a lot of lives are at stake right now,” Roma tried explaining herself.

“What...???? See, I’m not getting you. I don’t know you at all. Please, can you tell me what you want from me?” several bullets fired simultaneously at Roma.

“I understand. Maybe we should talk over the phone. Would have been better if we could meet, but you seem to be in Kanpur, and I happen to be in Gurgaon,” Roma replied.

“Wait a minute. Why would I talk or meet a stranger?” Tina questioned again.

“The fact that it has got something to do with Kartik should be enough of a concern to you, I believe,” an angry Roma replied, in all caps! .

“You told me you live in Gurgaon, right? Okay. Let’s meet at Cafe Coffee Day, Ambience Mall, tomorrow at 11 in the morning”, she said in one line.

“You are in Gurgaon?” Roma asked.

“CCD, Ambience Mall, 11 AM, tomorrow. Talk to you there,” Tina signed off.

“Sorry baby. Kartik here. Sorry about that e-mail. I know you must be angry, but, please give me a chance to explain myself. Please...,” Kartik said, apologetically.

Post this conversation, it was almost clear to both Roma and Tia that something was brewing between Kartik and Tina. And the whole evening Tia kept on muttering, “That bitch, Tina, took Kartik away from me. What does she have? Just an extra ‘N’?”

Next day, they all met at the decided venue. Now, when Tia and Roma reached there, they saw someone else along with Tina.

Before they could ask, Tina herself introduced her to them, “She’s my elder sister, Pia. She’s getting married to Kartik next week, and because you mentioned that you had something to tell about him, I thought it right to have his wife-to be too to listen to that.”

“The thing is, I and Kartik have been in quite a steady five-year long relationship,” Tia sighed, and said. “He means everything to me. I didn’t know why he suddenly left me, but now I know the reason. You’re responsible for this debacle. You bitch!”

Tia got up, knocking her coffee cup to the ground, and stormed out of the cafe.

Roma tried to stop Tia, but in vain. She then apologized to Tina and her sister, on Tia’s behalf; stayed on to have coffee with them; and tried to explain to them how strongly and deeply Tia and Kartik were committed to each other, and how everything just changed in an instant, way too abruptly, and in a very weird manner too.

The meet got over by 12 noon. Roma even wished Pia the best, while seeing them off.

That’s quite a good gesture, some people might think -- a sign of a clean-hearted human-being. On the other hand, for some it may seem a little strange because Roma should have at least tried to persuade Pia to call off the marriage, but, she chose not to do so. Her bestie, her roomie, was being put through a turbulent situation, for which none but Pia was largely responsible; and here she was shaking hands with her, and wishing her a happy married life. Anyway, that is how it all went down.

Later, at around 5 p.m. in the evening, while Roma was watching television, Tia got several calls from an unknown number, but they all went unanswered, because Tia was sleeping. Eventually, the repeated rings woke her up.

“Who the hell is this calling me?” she asked.

“Sorry baby. Kartik here. Sorry about that e-mail. I know you must be angry, but, please give me a chance to explain myself. Please...,” Kartik said, apologetically.

Tia didn’t respond, but, didn’t end the call either.

“So, it wasn’t just because of me. I was just sacrificing our love and relationship, for my sister. The thing is, no matter which family we approached for my sister’s marriage, they all asked for a huge amount of dowry. You know my family isn’t that sound financially, and can’t afford to give a huge dowry to anyone. So, they thought of getting a similar amount from someone else, for my marriage. Coincidentally, they were able to find one such family. I’m ashamed to say this, but, indeed, they were kind of selling me to that family. That’s the way I see dowry. Maybe I was brain-washed for some time, or maybe I was restless seeing the condition of my family, but, it was my mistake that I agreed to what they had decided for me.

“After you and your roomie met Pia this morning, Pia called me and asked me about our relationship. I told her everything. And you know what, whatever wrong path my family was pushing me into, she just put me back in the reverse direction, i.e. the right path. She assured me that she would call off the marriage, provided I go back to you - no matter what it takes. As for my sister’s marriage, we will find for her a suitable match, and not wed her to any greedy and materialistic person.

“That’s all, your honour,” Kartik concluded.

“Hmm...But, how can I be sure that you won’t do this again?” Tia asked.

“I don’t think there’s anything bigger and cleaner than marriage as a guarantee in our society. We’re getting married tonight in the temple. We can go for the extensive version later, but let’s close the doors to chances of any such mishaps once and for all,” Kartik summed up.

Silence still...

“I am sorry, Tia. Please forgive me!”

Silence.

“And by the way, you know what. It wasn’t the abuse that you hurled at Pia that made her do this. It was your friend’s simple, plain assertion of our relationship to her, and my honest confession that influenced her,” Kartik further added.

“Then, why don’t you marry Roma instead?” saying that Tia cut the call.

“Your wedding gown is ready there in your wardrobe, baby,” Tia heard Roma speak.

“Hey. I have been meaning to ask you, how did you cut this deal?” Tia promptly asked Roma.

“I just did what I’m good at,” replied Roma, with a sly smile. “I acted in front of them. I kind of indirectly threatened them. I started off by saying that it’s good for Kartik that he’s not getting married to an insane person like you. I told them that you suffer from split personality disorder. To substantiate that, I instantly wove and narrated cock and bull stories of you causing physical harm to a lot of girls in the past who once tried to enter Kartik’s life. The way you expressed your anger did the rest. I shook hands with her, and even gave her my best wishes. Anyway, by that time, she had got an idea of what could have happened to her had she gone ahead and married Kartik,” Roma chuckled.

“What?!” exclaimed Tia.

“I am sure Pia was all praises for me when she talked to Kartik. He probably told you that. Didn’t he?" Roma continued.

“Yeah...But...” Tia was dumbfounded

“You go get ready now. Time is running out,” Roma said, back in control.

About the Author:

A software engineering professional, Karan has been writing for the last eight years, with few published/adapted works in almost all the forms of writing - poetry, short stories, articles, write-ups, spoofs, advertisements, and slogans. A realistic idealist, a true optimist, and a strong believer in Karma, Karan likes watching cricket and movies in his free time. Currently, he's busy working on the draft of his dream novel. His Facebook Name is Karan Anand, and you can write to him at www.anishanand@yahoo.co.in.

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