Friday, 12:15 am. My mobile rang.
It’s Harry! After a gap of almost 10 years.
— ‘Peter, could we meet?’
— ‘Harry! What a surprise. Well, when?’
— ‘Tomorrow, evening 8:30, at ours lobby?’
— ‘Okay. Done.’
— ‘Goodnight.’
We were in the same Physics batch in college. Then he pursued cosmology, I took technical writing. The hotel-lobby was within a mile from the college campus. It was our hot-spot.
Saturday, I reached there at 8:25 pm.
Harry smiled. His dark eyes glittered. He marched to a corner table. I followed.
I could feel an ambient change in him. My tall, fair, soft-spoken friend appeared more silent than ever.
— ‘Surprised. Aren’t you?’ He said.
— ‘Not much, I’m habituated; it’s you’
Nodded silently.
— ‘Where have you been Harry?
— ‘I’m in Maerd’
— ‘And, your Cosmology papers?’
— ‘Undecided. I got a better choice’
— ‘That means?’
He told:
During PG research, one midnight I received an unexpected pattern of space-signal. I transcribed. It was from Maerd, a world approximately 255 light years apart. They wanted me join their inter-space exploration team! I could hardly leave the earth, but so tired of earthly struggles was I, I had to accept.
— ‘Dear, time is over. Keep it secret. None would believe it.’ Harry said.
— ‘Hey, wait!’ I tried leaning forward to catch him.
‘I’m in Maerd, 255 light years from you. It is an image. Take care. Bye-bye!’ disappeared.

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