Tuesday, September 2, 2014

It takes two to tango

He was napping on the sofa when the doorbell rang. He opened the door and saw her tired physique and an exasperated visage.

“The dinner has been on the table for more than an hour now. I’ll heat it up.” He said, as he turned his back and shuffled towards the dining table. She didn’t take her eyes off her phone as she made her way into the bedroom.

A few minutes later, with the clock all poised to strike eleven, both of them were seated at the dining table.

“You didn’t eat?” she asked.

“You know very well I hate to have dinner alone. It is something I avoid as much as I can.”

They munched a few morsels in silence. “We need to talk,” he said.

“Please..! Not today. It was a bad day at office. Am in no mood to talk. I know what you are going to talk about. It is not like I wouldn’t want to come back home earlier, but my work forces me to stay late often.”

The conversation trailed off. One liners and short bursts of speech were becoming more and more common.

As they went to bed, she felt sorry for him. “Am sorry honey. I will take more care. I will try to give you more space in life. Somehow I always get tied up in work, but I will try to come home earlier on a regular basis. I love you. Give me a hug.”

“No. You give me a hug.”

She rolled over and embraced him tight.


For the umpteenth time, he sighed as he picked up his phone and went through his dialed numbers. Her name showed twelve entries. He had called her twelve times over the past two and half hours, and every single time, it had gone to voicemail. Every single time. He sighed, cast a forlorn look for the dinner he had prepared for this day’s special occasion. He got up from the dining table and paced around the room. He saw the China teapot, he had got for her on a trip to Shanghai couple of years ago. Wall paintings they had so thoroughly searched and bought together. Her smile when he used to give her rose bouquets back in the days. Back in the days, seemed so long away. On the calendar though, it was a month under two years.

He wished that life was simpler. That she would barge in with some surprise, on this special day, the anniversary of their marriage. As if his thoughts were read by someone, the doorbell rang. He rushed to open it, with anticipation.

Opened the door.

His arms about to stretch out.

“Madam is coming. She is on a call, so she didn’t take the elevator.”

Saying this, her driver handed him her bag with a big smile. Without a word, he took the bag and turned back, leaving the door ajar.

A couple of minutes later he overheard her voice over the phone, growing louder as she approached closer. “No Mr. Johnson, I can’t allow that to happen. Our company does need an advance payent of fifty percent. I cannot authorize the transaction until you pay your outstanding dues.” She didn’t look at him when she entered. Her energy was focused on the phone, and getting the money from some random Mr. Johnson. She headed to the bedroom to change.

He sat there, drained of emotions, drained on energy. As he scrolled through random forwarded messages on his phone, he had made up his mind. 

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