The Mirza Chronicles - Chapter 3: The Problematic Girl

Farhana had always been difficult. Mirza and Farhana had met through common friends, and since life isn't a fairy tale, they'd not instantly fallen in love. In fact, they'd been dating different people at that point. Months passed before they reconnected. Both of them were on "breaks", so they made the best of it. You'd be amazed at how many courtships start with a pretense of innocent friendship and flirting. Soon they were asking each other if they'd eaten or not.

But since life isn't a fairy tale (reiterating here), both of them had a whole lot of baggage and life was gonna be difficult. Firstly, they'd started with the "I like you but not like that" routine. For some reason, people are too scared to give romance a chance to blossom. But romance is but natural, so it sneaks up on you. And before you know it, you're missing a person's voice, a person you barely know.

Now, steering through life's garbage had never been Mirza's strong suit. He liked things sorted. He wanted things labelled and ready for consumption. Farhana on the other hand needed some priming. Even though Mirza's calls would give her butterflies, she'd still act unfazed and indifferent. She'd try to talk him down from pursuing her, which he did in his signature one-directional way. She'd tell him it would get him nowhere, like that ever worked on a guy.

Mirza was clear about what he wanted, and believe me, that wasn't very usual for him. She was decent, talked well and he could see a future there. So he knew he had to pursue. But reciprocation was kinda of a basic for Mirza. He hated being snubbed off like Farhana did at times. Now till this point of time, they were in touch through calls and text only. And the next step was freaking Farhana out. A real date? Who did those anymore? Meeting face to face made her anxious. The first time they'd met at this wedding and she'd been decked with make up, almost like her Instagram picures were decked up with filters. Was she even ready for #nofilter with this guy? What if he runs away?

Funny line of thought because she had, by this point, asked Mirza to leave like a hundred times. She chalked his not leaving to the mystery she'd created but the truth was that he couldn't walk away from anything that he'd invested time on. So on the fateful day, when she'd asked him to meet her, she feigned a sore throat and fever to get out of meeting. Now he could see through it, so he went ahead and reached the restaurant they'd planned to have dinner at. She didn't show. She switched off her phone and ghosted him straight. Mirza was heart-broken. He had a sumptuous meal and left with a sinking feeling in his heart. He didn't like being abandoned.

That's how he knew she was a problematic girl. He'd traveled 40kms in prime time traffic to around 1km from where she lived to keep that date but she'd stood him up. Part of him just wanted to break off all ties, but then another part of him liked the challenge. Once his anger from that night subsided, he called her up and told her he'd misjudged the situation and that he'd be more careful going forward.

Farhana was still skeptical. Where this was going was scaring her. His determination seemed obsessive at times and she wasn't ready for that. On the other hand, she knew he'd not be worth it if he just gave up. We can safely say she was of two minds. So, like any problematic girl that walked on earth before her, she decided to test him. And since he'd been nothing but a gentleman to her till now, she started testing his patience by being rude on texts. He showed amazing immunity towards her behavior by handling all her tantrums with an annoyingly effective problem solving attitude.

Now she couldn't be rude on calls because he spoke with such straight forward decency, so she tried a different approach. She started asking him for monetary favors - pay her phone bills, order some stuff online, etc. She wasn't a freeloader and had intended to return all the money he spent once he broke down and for lack of a better phrase, broke up.

Have you ever walked into a room and felt like something is different. That's how Mirza felt when Farhana started testing him. He knew this wasn't her usual self. So he played along to see where it led. After a while, Farhana lost her patience and returned him the money she made him spend and used that as an excuse to start a fight. And by fight, I mean a text fight. Because the lord knew Mirza could diffuse a fake fight over a call very easily. Next test was fun for her. She tried to make him jealous.

She started posting pictures with other guys. She'd randomly text a guy on Instagram and manipulate the conversation to get him to take her out to coffee. Voila, photo op!! But alas, Mirza was impervious to those as well. His trick was not showing what he really felt. But since she didn't know that, her wall was slowly and steadily coming down. Maybe he had what it takes to be with her. One fine morning, she woke up and realized she had no more tests for him.She decided she'd avoided him for too long and maybe she should just meet him. So she texted him a simple 'hi'.

He didn't reply.

Hours passed and he hadn't been online all this while. She thought maybe he was busy and waited. Then the phone rang. It was him. She let it ring. When she picked up, it wasn't him. Someone with a gruff voice informed her that the guy whose phone it was had been in an accident and was admitted at this hospital, with no one attending to him. Within a few hours, she was there by his side. He was critical. Cracked ribs, internal bleeding, the whole shebang. 

For the next few days, Mirza remained unconscious. Farhana didn't leave him alone for even a minute. At that moment, all her apprehensions had melted away. In fact she was amazed at herself. She'd never thought she'd ever be taking care of someone like this. And efforts bore fruit - Mirza regained consciousness after 72 hours. He was disoriented and couldn't recognize her. Her heart sank. The doctor told her it was normal in cases of concussion. She stayed with him. 

After a couple of days, he called out to her. She came to him and held his hand. He wasn't able to speak out much, so she leaned in to hear what he was saying. What he said left her gasping:
"I almost died to get you to meet me. Can we grab that dinner now?"

Someone once told me, "It doesn't take long to go from romantic to fanatic". Maybe they were right. 


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