The next message appeared.
LET`S PLAY A GAME TODAY
Feriha expected excitement.
She replied back
LET I GUESS WHAT IS THE COLOUR OF YOUR DRESS TODAY
Came the reply
She was too eager to know what he would come up with.
She responded coolly while trying to hide her excitement.
YOU ARE WEARING A PINK DRESS
The sentence in bold letters appeared on the screen before her eyes. He always wrote his messages in bold letters.
She had met him on DABEGGO, an internet friendship site just a couple of days earlier. He appeared different
from others. He was too sober, cool and soft in his approach towards her. He was very unlike the others that she had been experiencing on the net. There was something different in him, which she could not understand. Something in his messages had attracted him. Of course, not much time had passed. She needed time to understand him. But he was so direct and appeared so honest and cute. She could not stop herself exchanging messages with him uninterrupted till evening the day before. They had started understanding each other, by the end of the first day.
She did not reply to any of her friends that day, who kept on trying to approach her. She was busy with her new find. His name was Kamal, an artist from Karachi, Pakistan.
Feriha was the one remaining closed within herself. She was having psychological problems of hers. She was all alone. She did not have any social life outside her house.
Of late she had started facing problems within her nervous system; her doctors had advised her to come out of her closed life. They had advised her to be social, otherwise in their opinion; her psychological problems which had already started affecting her fingers, might spread over other parts of her body. A couple of times she had felt part of her fingers becoming senseless and motionless.
She could not find herself ready to be social out of her house, but she did want to be so, to get rid of her medical problems. She did not want to die at an early age, on hospital bed. As a first serious step towards socializing she had recently purchased a laptop and had become member of DABEGGO, a site for finding friends.
Her screen name was APPLEGREEN. She herself did not know why she had selected that screen name. It had just come to her mind, when she was becoming member of DABEGGO. So she selected that name to represent her. Indeed that was a sweet name. All her friends on the net knew her by that name. She never told them anything about herself. That had been her foremost principle on the net.
She was polite, cooperative and honest with her friends. But she had not put her personal information on her profile page. No name, no photo, no email address, no telephone number or address. Nothing was there. She wanted to remain in hiding. But she never left any of her friends unattended. She became too popular in a short period of time. Most of her friends did try to know her identity but she never told them anything.
She wanted to remain in hiding as Applegreen, Let Applegreen deal with everybody in her place. Applegreen was successful in dealing with the traffic of her ever increasing number of friends on DABEGGO. The latest number of her friends on her profile was 225. She was never saying No to anybody asking to be her friend. She wanted to come in touch with as many persons as possible from everywhere in the world.
She wanted to be happy. The souring number of her friends was sufficient to ensure a sense of happiness, bringing to her.
She felt herself happy by looking at the messages that they used to send to her.
But Kamal was different. He wanted to know who she was. She appeared to be a challenge to him, since she had not spoken a single word about her actual identity. Every
time he asked her name, her answer was "Applegreen". He decided to drop that issue, and preferred to gain her
confidence first, slowly over a passage of time. His jokes, funny stories had attracted her. He was happy.
He looked at the screen of his laptop. His own message YOU ARE WEARING A PINK DRESS was there, waiting for a reply from Applegreen. There was no answer.
WHAT HAPPENED? he wrote
Still there was no reply.
WHERE ARE YOUUUUUUUUUUUUU ????????????
Still there was no answer.
She was still online, he checked. His own question was staring him in his face. He was perturbed, disturbed and confused.
Where had she gone? He did not get any answer.
At the same time, on the Asian side of Istanbul, Turkey, in the small flat on the fourth floor of the building, in Kadikoy area, Feriha was standing in the middle of the room, in front of her laptop…. Staring at the writing in bold words on its screen.
YOU ARE WEARING A PINK DRESS
Her eyes were locked to the screen. She was unable to read any other line before or after that.
She was standing there, all alone, totally confused, panicked. She was no more the one that she had been moments earlier. That simple sentence had hit her as an arrow, somewhere inside her. She could not realize what had happened to her. The more she was trying to understand the situation, the more she was getting confused. Panicked, she started perspirating.
"My God where have I put my pink dress", she questioned herself.
Since she started exchanging messages with Kamal, she had started feeling something different inside her. But she never gave that feeling any serious importance. She had been simply ignoring that. Over years many a times
such a feeling had aroused inside her heart, but she had made herself aloof of such feelings. "I will not allow anybody to love me. I am not going to love anybody", she had committed herself.
However, this time she could not realize that she no more was the same, what she had been a day earlier. Every passing moment was pushing her towards Kamal, whom she had met just on the net. On DABEGGO, he was simply one of her 225 friends. But, the whole world of hers had changed, and she could not have even noticed that.
"Noooooooo", a scream from inside her shrugged her. "I don't have much time. I must find my pink dress first", still her lost mind could not remember the place where she had put that. "I must find it……….immediately. He is waiting", she was almost in tears.
Totally cut off from the world around her, lost, almost bursting into tears she felt herself helpless. She had
dragged all her dresses from the cupboard. Ironed and carefully hung, her favorite dresses were lying on the floor by her feet. But the pink dress was not there. She was running from room to room, fathoming the whole house, but of no avail. The pink dress had perhaps flown away…….evaporated.
"Don't let him wait". Her mind was not able to think anything else.
"What are you trying to do Applegreen", a weak voice from her inside came. But her heart had overtaken control of all of her senses. Applegreen had already taken over the control of Feriha. She was simply Applegreen, trying to find her pink dress. "Feriha, come back to your senses", her mind did not want to lose control to Applegreen. "Don't be that serious for something on the net", her mind reprimanded.
But her heart was no more listening to the voice of her mind. She had failed to realize the realities of the world of internet. Kamal, might be somebody, anybody, may be a girl. He might be anybody sitting over his pc just to kill time and enjoy. "No, he is not like that", she cried. Her mind gave in to her seriousness and strong determination. She had announced her decision. Her brain succumbed.
"I must find that pink dress….he is waiting….its already late", Applegreen had taken full control of Feriha. She restarted running through the rooms which she had already searched a bit earlier.
"Oh my God, why I had not thought of that earlier," she screamed. Something flashed into her mind. Her flat was not too big. It was a small flat, but she was running as if she had to cover miles and miles to reach her destination,
and that too within the shortest possible time period. She sprinted to the kitchen where her pink dress was being washed in the washing machine.
The washing machine stopped with a thud, as she pulled the wire from the switch. The soapy water in the washing machine oozed out of its door, that she had opened up in a hurry. The smelly water found its way on a larger part of the kitchen floor.. She picked up her pink dress from among the half washed wet clothes. She felt satisfied, as if she had won the marathon.
She did not care about the foul smell and the line of muddy soap water, trickling behind her from the kitchen to the room where her laptop was open, waiting for her.
YOU ARE WEARING A PINK DRESS
She looked at that sentence. Standing there in front of the pc as if he was looking at her, dressed in her pink dress, water dripping from top to bottom, with foul smell of soapy water, her hair disturbed, and face exhibiting fatigue, but filled with a sweet unexplainable smile. Somewhere inside herself, she had felt something achieved. Job successfully completed. She was satisfied, but mesmerized.
Yes you guessed correctly
The much awaited line appeared.
YOU ARE MY PINK LADY. APPLEGREEN
He wrote back.