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I LOVE YOU : 3000

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VIRTUAL REALITY

2990, FEB 14

“Hey, Arya…”

“Hey, Sophie. How are you? Surprise me.”

“Is it funny? Shall I laugh? Ha… Ha, Ha..”

“Why? Am I clown here?”

“Arya! We are sisters, and we live under the same roof. You know how I am.”

“Yeah, I know. Looking ugly must be pretty bad for you.”

“I can hear you, Arya.”

“I know that too, sister. You’ve got perfect four senses, there is no doubt in that.”

“Agh, crap, I don’t have time for all these. Where is mom?”

“Downstairs, probably in her room.”

“Uff, you’re getting on my nerves, I mean virtually, Arya. Not in physical or reality.”

“I don’t know. But why do you need her in VR?”

“I think I need to talk to her. I just broke up with my boyfriend.”

“I strongly believe you need an amber here, sis, not mom.”

“Wait, what?… what are you talking about?”

“Whoa! I was correct in your other sense. Find it by yourself, sis.”

“You know what, I give up. I don’t believe you still enjoy doing this.”

“What is life without little humour, sis? Anyway, I’ve my condolences for you.”

“Enough Arya, If I come to your room, it’ll be the end.”

“Funny, you don’t even move your ass to meet mom, Sophie. I’ll be glad if you do so for me.”

“I’m not a fool, Arya, I know about VR. I don’t waste my oxygen for my stupid sister.”

“Oh! You started regaining your other sense by talking with me, sis. By now you must have found out how to search for anyone in VR.”

“What? There is an option like that. Wait, I understand your fishing, I won’t fall for your bait and stuck in your hook for this. Tada.”

“Oh god! You are too easy sis. What do you do all the time in VR? Don’t you follow the upgradations?”

“I follow and I think I knew her place.”

“Whoa! What now? Are you non-sense-psychic, sis?”

“What is that?”

“Psychic… guys who claim to have spiritual connections through their brain. Funny is that you’re behaving like one with no brain.”

“Don’t laugh. It’s enough, I’m going bye.”

“Fine, I can find mom. Open your tab – open app mapordinator – go to setting – click privacy – select find out buddies – type mom’s avatar name. Here, these are the coordinates.”

“My god! She is in Abad street. Anyway, this doesn’t change my opinion of you, Arya. Bye.”

“Same here sis, by-bye.”

Then both sisters walked away from each other. Sophie took a cab to reach her mom, and Arya stepped inside the coffeehouse to refresh her mind. Arya knew someone was following her past few weeks, but she ignored him. Today the guy bought all his courage to face her and propose to her as today is valentine’s day. So, he walked straight to her table.

“Are you single?” He asked Arya.

“No, I have a sister. You got any problem!”

“Oh! No… no. I was asking for the chair.”

“You can take it, man, it’s not mine.”

“I was wondering, can I sit here?”

“See, now you have learnt to speak straight. Thank me and stop asking permission, I’m not your teacher.”

“Okay, thanks. If you don’t mind, Can I ask you a question?”

“Haha. There, you just did, and the question contradicts you. What should I say?”

“Maybe yes. Fine, whatever. How do you make all these?”

“I feel sorry for you but we have coffee machines for all these.”

“Won’t you give a single straight answer or talk normally?”

“I can if you know how to ask! And I can’t be normal in this weird world.”

“Wow! I think you can. So, what is your name?”

“Gotcha! I hope you are not blind or fool enough to see my avatar.”

“Right, but your voice is so sweet. I wanted to hear from you. Now, can I say gotcha?”

“No… wait, you can also hear this voice daily if…”

“If I marry you.” He blurted out before she completed her sentence.

“No, if you choose the same option…no… wait, Wh…What?” She was shocked and for the first time, someone had zipped her lips.

“Nothing, what happened? Why did you stop? Did you hear anything?”

“Right…smart move, ah. I understand what you are doing here. Well, congrats, you’ve got your complete life to try.” She paid coins for her coffee and left the place.

“I’ll be waiting for you here till you show up again and I love you.” He shouted at her while she stormed out of the room.

She felt a little humiliated, but it got defamed with the fog of crush on him. She started thinking about him. Many questions were running in her mind. She opened her tab and checked his profile. He is an artisan. She saw his relationship status and was shocked. He digitally inscribed as In relationship with iCracker_43. It is her avatar name. She got furious and ran to the cafe. He was sitting at the same table calmly and waiting for her. But it is not in her nature to crack out of her mind which she does to others. So, she took a deep breath and walked near him coolly. 

“How do you know I would come?”

“It was quite an obvious and psychological fact. Everyone in this world is curious about others, and I just touched my artisan talent.” 

“So, you say, scribbling my name in your relationship status is your art. Quite a gutsy hobby. I should award you, man.”          

“I understand, you’re angry with me. Can I get you banana chocolate yoghurt?”

“Oh! You got yourself prepared well, it seems. Yeah, get me yoghurt and let’s wrap this up.”

“My life will not end in just 5 min, Cracker.”

“So, what do you say? You’ll tag along with me for your entire life.”

“As you wish, I’ll try to the end.”

“So, you think, if you know my likes/dislikes, you know me everything.”

“I know you everything, Arya. Just be more serious for at least one time in your life and be with me.”

Arya is in shock as soon as she hears her name. She became silent and started thinking about him.

“I would say I’ve flattened for you, but that doesn’t make me fall for you with just a bit of information about me. I’m not an ordinary girl.”

“I know you’re not and I’ll do anything for you, Arya. Your wish is my command.”

“Whoa! Cool down, man. Just a small favour. Write the love letter (in paper) for me in reality and deliver it to me in person.”

“You’re kidding, right?”

“Oh! You wish. Someone asked me to be serious, at least for today. Here I’m.”

“Okay, I’ll do it. But remember one thing, I’ll not confront you until I fulfil your wish.”

“Oh! Don’t punish me, dear. I can’t live without seeing you.”

“Funny, I wish this is your last mocking me because you just gave me a suicidal mission. Get ready to meet me in reality, enjoy your dessert, bye.”

“Wow, you just skipped my heartbeat with those words. Anyway, I don’t want you to die as a nameless guy. What is your name?”

“Do you love me, Arya? Because I love you.”

3000, FEB 13

“Arya, what are you doing here? It’s already 9. Come, let’s walk home.”

  “Leave me alone, Sophie. I’ll come later.”

“Is it about him? It’s been ten years, Arya. Every day you can’t come to this cafe and wait for him. You’ve to forget about him.”

“It is easy for you to say, Sophie. The pain and guilt are in my heart. You and mom wouldn’t understand me, who dates every random guy.”

“Yes, Arya. You are right, we date and sleep with a lot of guys. I may not know about your pain, but I know about love, Arya. Because of our dating culture, you misjudged him. This is not your fault, Arya.”

“I’m sorry, Sophie. I didn’t mean to hurt you.”

“I know you, Arya. Never apologise to me again.”

“But this is all my fault, Sophie. I’ve let him down with my whining humour.”

“No, Arya. I think it is the fault of the era. Everyone in this era behaves like me and like a mom only. No one is true. But he is a genuine lover and you’ve overlooked him. You are very lucky to have his love and unlucky at the same time to not have him along with you.”

“I understand your concern, Sophie. But I can’t get over him. I’ve to do something to get to him”

“Do nothing stupid, Arya. We already missed you so much. I miss you calling me sis and I also miss your humour. Don’t let us lose you as well.”

“Let me do one thing, I’ll wake up from my virtual box and go out to the actual world. If he knows about me, then he would definitely come looking for me.”

“Look at me, Arya. Are you not listening to me? I’ll not allow anything like your stupid activities. What if he doesn’t find out? What if you lose all your oxygen? What if he is not there out anymore?”

“Sophieee,… If he is dead, I’m dead too. But I can feel, he is still out there waiting for me.”

“You have lost your mind, Arya. Please listen to me, come let’s go home.”

Sophie started dragging Arya forcefully to home, but Arya stuck to the chair silently without moving her muscle. In their hustle, one guy came for Arya. He gave her the message (intimated to give at the exact time) and went off. She opened the tab, and it read: ‘I’m waiting outside.’

As soon as Arya saw the message, she knew what to do? Now she has to open her pod and go out to meet him in reality. Arya promised her sister she would come back to the virtual as soon as she ran out of oxygen. She ran to her room in the virtual world, opened the pod and slipped inside. She opened her eyes inside the pod in reality. She felt amnesia for a moment and remembered everything like a flash. As soon as she unlocked the box, her eyes became blurry and gasping for air. She stepped outside with her hands stretching as if searching for something. She fell down as she took her first step and immediately started crawling to reach near the oxygen. She got hold of it and wore her mask. She started moving with clear eyes but crumbled at her first steps with heavy breathing. Later she stood steadily, took a long breath and walked to the door. When she opened the door, she saw a man holding the pot. They looked into each other for some time without moving. Their eyes met and suddenly Arya slapped him on the cheek. He was shocked, but Arya started beating him off everywhere and crying. He held her hands, but in vain, so he ran away from her. Arya started chasing him after with tears rolling in her eyes, and at some distance, they both fell to the ground. They both laughed and laid on the ground holding their hands, staring at the sky. The surrounding sight became blank and calm. They felt as if they were inside the vacuum.

“Arya, have you ever wondered, where we are?’

“Nope. I know, we are lying on the ground.”

“Lol, you haven’t changed. Do you?”

“You know nothing, I have done this for the first time in a decade.”

“Lucky for the virtual world. Anyway, I was saying, people like us on the earth can see both the moon and the stars, but we have got only stars for our eye feast.”

“Yeah, you are right. Wait, I almost forgot, where is my gift?”

“No hurry, I’ll give you at midnight and by the way, do you don’t want to know my name?”

“Close your eyes”, Arya told him.

She started smiling while he was closing his eyes and she said, “I love you” in his ear. He trembled his body and before he opened his eyes, she removed both of their masks and started kissing him. After kissing, they both put their masks on, gasping for air. 

“What took you so long?”

“Your wish, cracker… your wish.”

“You fool… you know my humour. I was just kidding, man.”

“You too know my love, Arya. I’m serious and I’ll do anything for you.”

“Aww! So sweet of you, but my foolishness lost you for a decade.”

“Don’t say it, Arya. I love the way you are and I just want to be a fool too. I never imagined I would sleep beside you, holding your hand. We are the only two people left in this world, diving in this vast universe to touch the stars and feel it.”

Arya stared at him this whole time, his voice soothing her mind, and she forgot all the past that she spent without him. 

Suddenly they heard a computerised female voice saying, ‘critical oxygen level.’ The situation panicked them, but Arya got to her senses and asked him, “Can you make it to your pod?”

“I can do it, Arya. Please, first go to your pod immediately.”

She then kissed him again and ran towards her pod. As she opened the door, she realised her gift and ran back towards him.

“What are you doing, man? Were you not going to your pod?”

“Hey, Arya. Yeah, I’ll go, but first, you leave from here.”

“No, I’m not leaving you like this here. What happened?”

“I couldn’t make it to my pod in time, Arya. I don’t want to die alone and hurt you at the same time. I never thought that you would show up to me and fall in love with me. Actually, I came here to die, so I dug a hole to bury myself.”

She then hugged him very tight and cried. She held onto him with tears in her eyes and started weeping with hiccups, “I cannot live without you anymore and I’m ready to come along with you to the other world. Please don’t force me to go away from you.”

After a long argument in favour, he agreed to her and they both laid on the ground to have their last breath together. As they were staring at the sky, she remembered about the moon and the stars. So, she asked him, “Where did you get the paper, as there are no trees here?”

She didn’t have any response from him. Almost at midnight, she asked him about her gift as well. But he didn’t move his lip. She broke the pot, took the paper and laid her head on his heart. She then unwrapped the paper and read, I LOVE YOU: 3000, FEB 14TH.

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