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.