I love the shape you take when crawling towards the pillowcase //
To deny herself the pain of missing him was like denying her the privilege of getting up and facing each new day with misery. She wondered what had transpired. When did the positions got swapped and when she got to be on the other side of the court in this relationship?
Frivolous thoughts crossed her mind. Of checking his old text messages and the several old voice messages on the answering machine. There was again a struggle to find a tone that assured her he was pining for her as well. The fake self-assurance and the burden of her forgiving attitude was driving her towards finding a new level in the courtship. She knew that this has been cruel to her and him. To find a comforting voice or a calm assurance was the sole motive left. Love indeed does strange things to you. It might make you happy but with it, it brings a whole new set of illogical arguments that gets you to support any idea or thought that will make you feel assured that the other person is an equal stakeholder as well. It makes you calculate fake assumptions that the other person knows you as much you want him to know you. This is where the expectation nudged in.
Expectations and calculated assumptions tethered the sanctity of their relationship on the public front. On the personal front, it had reached the status of ‘taken for granted’. The over confidence of not ever losing touch and keeping the flame alive was stamped with a degree of surmountable trust. They had reached a point where they knew what words were coming out of each other’s lips and what thoughts crossed each other’s mind. The predictability had created rough edges around their daily communication. This is where the void peeped in.
Emptiness was always there. But this time it was different. It was sonorous and pricked their hope of making things work like the last time. He knew that the status quo of hope was a banality that any long term distance guaranteed to its holders. He had spent many dull evenings being carefully careless to avoid another mock confrontation of saying a vacuum laminated I love you. She had also felt her stone eyes devoid of any more emotions. The tethering was a continuum for him as it brought stability to his severely routined life. The tethering was a continuum for her as it occasionally brought tears to her stoned eyes.
This is where the commitment swayed in.
Currently listening to Tera Bina Zindagi Se Koi Shikwa To Nahi (Aandhi)
Story title is as per Fubar69’s 100 blog topics. (Topic #31)
As the bubble wrap got over, she realized there were three more items to wrap and kept in cardboard boxes. They would be coming any time soon. Was it the low quality tape or the old newspapers or the thermo-col pieces flying as the fan creaked on speed 1 or the fact she hadn’t eaten anything or hadn’t slept for a day was boggling her tired frame. The time was scarce and the to-do list wasn’t looking generous.
Taking a minute out to ponder over the list was something that she was carefully avoiding. There were things that were far important than cursing how humid it was that day or how the room reeked of that smell. She gathered those last three items and looked at them for couple of minutes. There were countless memories attached with them, funny anecdotes and priceless tags too. Her phone was ringing and she looked around to reach for her handbag. Her mother had been calling her and she was avoiding her like the list. ‘Hello, yes mother I am fine. Yeah I am still at the apartment. No, they aren’t here. Yes I ate something. No, I didn’t see your previous calls. Yes, I will call you as soon as I will reach there. She stopped to hear another round of twenty questions dreading she’d say that any moment now.
It all started with when she first told her about the whole thing. At first she thought she had her at the customary affirmative nod. She was wrong like always. Her mother’s queer view on just about everything and about this whole thing was much expected. To avoid it and yet be a part of the tension in the room was her skill. That evening came to an end with them saying good bye to each other while she looked at her wrinkled face and a look that said what she always dread.
Yes mother, I have kept everything. Yes, I have called them up to confirm. Initially it sounded like a convenient option to just respond in monosyllables but that was perhaps a bit rude considering the sanctity of the relationship and the assumption of protocols it carried. She was now waiting for her to end the call so that she could scream loudly and throw her scratched cell phone to the wall as soon as the dreaded phrase was uttered. It had taken another three minutes thirty-six seconds for her to say that.
The phone was damaged beyond repair, a fact that made her happy in a far corner of heart. That dreadful phrase had ruined too much of it already to have enough corners for happiness. She had learnt her first lesson as a mother of her yet to be conceived child.
She had learnt to be kind enough not to say, ‘ I told you so’.
Story idea came after looking at the picture above (courtesy: Eternal Click of a Spotless Lense ~ I saw, I captured). I told you so is a cruel phrase. Yes, it is almost like rubbing salt in your wounds. Avoid.
Gyanji were looking at her. She was quiet and unusual. She didn’t get him tea this morning. He was worried, he shook her fragile shoulders. She didn’t reply.
54 years and now this deal was broken. He felt angry and betrayed. He felt cheated.
‘Sameer, Sameer Malik, Technical Analyst‘, she said the name putting her lips closer to the mouthpiece. The cooing engines made it difficult for her to listen. She was crying when the operator said – sorry this person is not working for us. Were her friends right – was he really not worth taking the risk for?
(Image Courtesy : Getty Images)
The date was now ending after saying bye to each other since last one hour. The gotta go and bye take care were coming after each interjection of missing you. The vibes were mutual – of not letting go off that moment – the precious moment where they two were in their own little world.
Music mood : currently playing – Haare haare haare hum to dil se haare (OST – Josh)
He was still confused. He couldn’t understand what was that that happened five minutes back. Was it a lucky streak or a sheer banal expression of affection from her?
He was holding his right cheek and trying to figure out what that kiss meant, when did it happen so suddenly and what it really implied?
(my first attempt at 55ers, a story woven in just 55 words – what do you think?)
It was still raining and she was tired of wiping the mud footprints from the carpet. Sonia kept yelling at the children to either stay out or stay in. Her rattled behaviour was much avoided by the children who kept running in the garden.
Mahi was lost; she knew this day would be coming and had practiced what all she would say but at this stage it all looked bizzarre. Mahi was motionless and was seeing the flashes of scenes that took her two years back.
Yash’s sister was giggling and not letting them enter the home while negotiating for a good neg for her new bhabhi. Mahi was tired and sore of wearing heavy wedding trousseau and could feel the flowers turning soggy in her hair. The cold morning was indifferent and she waited for a moment of silence.
Several seasons had passed since both of them talked. The words were said but without substance, the pleasantries were exchanged but without warmth, the emotions were transformed from being affected to being aloof. The relationship was going on a track too straight with no exciting corners to look forward to or any romantic tunnels to cozy up to. The lock that binded them became more of a communal sect one adheres to.
Sonia came into their life when they were almost unaware of their existence under the same roof. Sonia had discovered the illness that prevailed in the house, she felt the emptiness that was not hiding well behind the décor of the house nor the heavy picture frames that hung on the otherwise white walls. She talked to Yash and tried diving in his heart and check if any feelings were left in the otherwise happy guy she knew earlier. He couldn’t say much and stuck to monosyllables for the rest of the seemingly pointless conversation. She didn’t give up and told him to talk to her whenever he wanted. She hugged him and let him feel some emotional warmth he had been missing all the while.
Mahi was even difficult to approach. If Yash was stuck on his monosyllables, she was stuck with her stone cold appearance that shooked Sonia. Sonia blabbered for hours and hours while Mahi sat motionless as if the two shared different languages.
Sonia knew she had no place in that house and prepared to make a move. The sound was coming from outside, a sound which was not heard in the house for years. She went out to check. They were laughing, Mahi was making fun of Yash’s dance steps and giggled and tears rolled down her eyes. They both looked like young people who had first time fallen in love. Her smile was captivating and Yash just looked at her cherubic face and thanked god million times inside his heart for gifting him Mahi. Mahi was happy with the five balloons he had bought for her on the beach and felt happy and prayed to god to freeze the moment as she never wanted more. Sonia looked at Mahi and Yash who were watching the recording of their honeymoon video which the children had found in the big rimu finished CD rack next to the LCD screen.
The house was big and everything whatever Mahi and Yash had dreamt of their dream home. It was large and in the posh suburbs right next to the golf course Yash went every Saturday morning. The house was inhabited in two rooms by them and the other spare space was adorned with pieces of everything glorious Mahi could figure out from the bulk of Interior magazines she had subscribed since last five years.
TV news, newspapers, radio, internet all the media made them aware of the first recession they had seen in their lives. The pressure was overgrowing at the workplace and both were coping with it and gasping at the monthly installments they were paying for their dream. His pressure was rising at the mention of relocating to Qatar where there was still hope for Mechanical Engineers like him while Mahi relented to the demand of extra shifts in her troubled KPO. They both knew they were paying the installments with their relationship and its bond.
The time difference and the stress and the loneliness ensured they spoke perfectly to each other on the web chats. They both told how their day was, what did they eat and how was the weather. The chat ended with their stoic yawns and banalities of love you’s and an obvious distance that was separating them now even virtually.
GDP was progressing and the economy was finally “out” of recession. The economic cycle was moving to another state and so was Yash. Two years had passed when they had started as newly weds to a couple who celebrated their anniversaries in different worlds. They were like strangers who lived together and paid the bills together to keep the dream home running. The void looked irreparable and enough damage was done when the phone call came. Sonia was back in Yash’s life.
The recording finished with Mahi proclaming on a mountain ‘I Love you’ and Yash smiled at the echo when Mahi giggled at her echo. All they could hear now was the noise of the rain while Sonia yelled at the children to either stay out or stay in.
Just of two of them were there. So much to be said and heard. The words were just not coming right in the mind at the very moment when they felt a sudden urge to wipe the distance. She knew this day would be coming and had practiced what all she would say but at this stage it all looked bizzarre. They hugged and now all looked better and worth paying for.
They held hands while Sonia and the children looked for the correct gate number at the airport. She hugged them and asked Yash for a good neg for her new bhabhi.
neg = customary gifts that sisters ask during a wedding; bhabhi = sister in law