Un-Falling for Mr. Stranger

Hinali Parab

One day during summer vacation, me and my two sisters decided to do something fun. We had the house to ourselves. I was 13 then. We had a phone directory at home. So, we randomly selected some numbers and called people. One of us came up with the genius idea of mimicking the famous Hindi Cinema actresses. I chose to speak as Karishma Kapoor. Not because I liked the actress or something, but the way she used to talk in movies, so innocently, I could relate to that. It was all fun until my aunt found out about it. One of the people we called, made a call back. It was a woman! God knows what she must have told our aunt. That night we each got a beating from a wooden scale on our hands as punishment.

It was the first time that I did something out of my character. Talking to random
people out of the blue and that too imposing as someone else. It was so irrational but so exciting, very, very exciting. Now, as I sat on the sofa, staring at the screensaver on my laptop at 1 AM in the night, I realized I quite miss those days. Loneliness will make you do that; memories and feelings that you kept a tight hold on would let loose. I’m Kim, short for Kimaya. I’m 27 and unmarried. I thought I was going to marry my boyfriend one day. Now, it’s been a year that I broke up with him, we were together for 3 years. Not that I’m missing him or even feeling sad about the break up, I’m actually relieved. But I’m lonely and I don’t like this feeling.

I felt like talking to someone right now. It was an urge I couldn’t decipher and
couldn’t ignore. I had to go there, I had to go to the online site. I discovered that talking to strangers on some random online chatting site is far better than letting my brain fuss about the same things again and again. There, I’m just an Anonymous Girl. A girl with no past, no future, no present. I just am. I talk to different people there, well, guys mostly. I have been doing this for the past year now, since the breakup. It is therapeutic in a sense. It’s like dating someone online but not like normal dating. Talking about any random stuff but never meeting them or sharing the personal details. That’s the rule. At
least it’s my rule.

Taking my laptop from the center table, I open the browser and type “Talking to
strangers online”. I still feel like someone who likes ‘dirty’ talking with a stranger
whenever I type the line. A lot of search results pop up but I don’t bother to click on any of them. I know which site I want to go to. I log in with my ‘Anonymous Girl’ ID and password to the site. I’m greeted with the simple design, the home page where I can see the many profiles of the people who are online.I don’t know any of them. That’s the way it works. The profiles you’ve seen today,
you won’t see them tomorrow. It’s a good thing for me, I can easily hide in here.
I browse through the profiles for some time and chat with one or two guys but
nothing feels right. I hit the home page again and as I’m scrolling, I catch a weird name, 'Just Bored'. It was a male profile.

I click on it and send him a message, “Are you really bored?” I didn’t bother with the pleasantries because I was beyond fed up with the usual route of introductions. I just wanted to grill someone. The reply came after a minute, “Hi, yeah I guess I am”
AnonymousGirl: “How can you ‘guess’ that you are bored?”
JustBored: “Well it's easy, I just have to ‘guess’ and then I ‘know’,”
AnonymousGirl: “Ha ha! Funny…why are you bored then? And why are you on this site?”
JustBored: “It’s just something I do when I feel like talking to someone or want to doother stuff,”
AnonymousGirl: “Other stuff? Like what?”
JustBored: “You know other stuff, like sexting,”
AnonymousGirl: “Alright, got it. I’m not here for that, so if I’m wasting your time you can exit the chat,”
JustBored: “No no, it’s fine…I’m not looking for that now,”
AnonymousGirl: “Well okay,”
This is the same thing that happens every time. I start talking but they expect
something else which I don’t want to do, so I let go and then I have to start all over again. But there are some rare ones who just want to talk to someone.
AnonymousGirl: “What are you looking for then?”
JustBored: “Many things, but for now just something normal…”
AnonymousGirl: “That’s interesting, talking to strangers is so normal right?”
JustBored: “Haha! as normal as it can get! What are YOU looking for on this site? You didn’t even say ‘Hi’, usually that is what people start with,”
AnonymousGirl: “Yeah, sorry about that, I wasn’t in the mood. I’m here for the same reason you are, not for the other part though,”
JustBored: “Okay! Then are you looking for a relationship here?”
AnonymousGirl: No ways! I’m not looking for that, I just wanted to talk to some
strangers, get to know them…it’s fascinating and helps me distract,”
JustBored: “I get it, sometimes I feel like getting out of my skin too…”
AnonymousGirl: “Are you not looking for a relationship here?”
JustBored: “Not really, to tell you the truth I am engaged to be married…”
Whoa! I know there are people here who cheat on their girlfriends or even their
wives. This is the prime example of it. Why do I always get stuck with people who lie and cheat? Like my ex! Why do they do it? What do they even get from it? I really want to understand these people.
AnonymousGirl: “When were you going to give me that bit of information?”
JustBored: “It didn’t come up…and how does it matter here? I’m just talking to you. It’s not like I’m hiding it now…”
AnonymousGirl: “But why are you here? You have a fiancée, why don’t you talk to her? Don’t you love her?”
JustBored: “I know what you must be thinking and I get it from everyone I share it with, but believe it or not I do love my girlfriend. Like I said before, I’m here to talk to someone other than my girlfriend. I have my own life too.”
AnonymousGirl: “But isn’t this cheating?”
JustBored: “How is that? It’s a matter of perspective really. You think it's cheating but for me it's just another aspect of my personal life.”
AnonymousGirl: “Another aspect of your personal life? Isn’t your girlfriend included in that part of your life?”
JustBored: “She definitely is but that’s what it means giving space to each other. This is how our relationship works, we don’t interfere in each other’s personal space,”
AnonymousGirl: “So she is okay with you fooling around?”
JustBored: “I don’t know, we don’t ask each other whom we are meeting or talking with in our personal time,”
AnonymousGirl: “Wow, you are using a lot of ‘personal’ in here. So, is it like an ‘open
JustBored: “You could say that. Now enough about me, tell me about yourself
'Anonymous Girl'.”
AnonymousGirl: “What about me? I don’t fool around with people”
JustBored: “Okay! Alright! I’m a cheater! Happy now?”
AnonymousGirl: “Not really!”
JustBored: “Forget it, so you are not looking for a relationship here and currently you are not with anyone I’m assuming, so what exactly are you looking for? What is your story?” That’s a good question, what is my story?
AnonymousGirl: “There is no story…I’m here to distract myself for some time,”
JustBored: “Distract yourself from what? Ex-boyfriend?”
AnonymousGirl: “Not Bad! Are you a psychiatrist? But since you were ‘honest’ about your engagement, I’ll tell you; yes, I had a boyfriend and I broke with him last year.”
JustBored: “Why did you break up?”
AnonymousGirl: “He cheated, went back to his ex-girlfriend”
JustBored: “Oh…”
AnonymousGirl: “Yeah ‘oh’, you wouldn’t know what to say over that now would
JustBored: “Maybe not, but I don’t lie to the other girls I talk to…I didn’t lie to you about my engagement or about me meeting other girls…”
AnonymousGirl: “Other girls? You didn’t say anything about other girls…oh, you are sleeping around too…how does your girlfriend not know about this?”
JustBored: “I told you, my relationship with my girlfriend is one part of my life and I have my personal life too. I think this is a never-ending conversation; you believe what you believe and I believe what I believe.”
AnonymousGirl: “And I still believe this is infidelity.” How ironic is it? I have been cheated on by one guy but I’m talking to another guy who is just the same and yet very different. It's 3 AM in the night now and we are still talking. I know his likes and dislikes by now, well some of them.
His favorite color is Blue, he likes to play guitar in his free time, he likes running early in the morning, he likes those colorful sugar candies and he likes long hair in girls. I don’t know why I know the last part but it doesn’t matter, the more I talk to him the more I want to know. He is 30 years old now, his girlfriend is one year younger than him and he is going to marry her next year in December.
What am I doing? Am I that lonely that I’m ready to get involved with a guy who is already engaged to someone? Not that he cares about the fact.
JustBored: “So, would you like to continue this somewhere else? I liked talking to you.”
AnonymousGirl: “I’m not sure if it’s the right thing to do…”
JustBored: “I’m simply asking you to continue talking to me, nothing else.”
It is so very tempting to say yes to that, just ‘talking’ to this stranger whenever I feel like. Although it takes more than just a few chats to fall for someone completely. What if I don’t know that person entirely? Would it still happen?
They say that to move on from your past you need to submit yourself to the new things.
AnonymousGirl: “For some reason I liked talking to you too. It was simple, just a stranger talking to another stranger, but I feel that if we come to know who we
really are, it would get complicated…”
JustBored: “What are you saying…?”
AnonymousGirl: “I’m saying that I want it to stay like this. I don’t want to know who you are, what you do or where you live…this way there will be an emotional distance between us and I want to maintain it…”
JustBored: “You are right…I don’t want to lose this…”

I don’t either.

The End?

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