Friday, February 26, 2016

Don't Come Back

It could have been just another Monday morning. They had breakfast together. They talked about bills, kid’s PTA meeting, extended family, a trip and even chuckled over a news-column. He got ready to leave. She walked him to the door, his arm around her waist. Before opening the front door, he leaned towards her to kiss her. She moved back. She opened the door.
“Don’t come back,” she told him.
He looked surprised. They stared at each other for a while. She closed the door.
She walked around the house, tidying, trying not to think. Sandbags against a tsunami, what a cliché metaphor, she thought.
She thought of calling him on his mobile, “I was joking.” Or, “I don’t know what came over me.” He would accept it, she knew.
I must pack, she told herself. Move elsewhere. Lawyer…? She shuddered.
The landline phone rang; then, her mobile. She did not pick up either.
It could be him. Or, he has called her folks. She was not ready, she decided.
What’s wrong with him? Do you think you can get a better husband? Get real, he has to work, he has to travel. You get at least couple of days every month, don’t you know how it was with my husband, years! Are you crazy? What do you want?
She was not ready for all that. She did not have answers. She knew she might not have answers even much later.
Maybe, it is exactly because of that she must be doing the right thing, she thought. If she had an answer to all that, she would have been happy with maintaining status quo, she reasoned. No, she does not know him, not enough. Life might go downhill but that’s better than sitting on a ledge admiring a beautiful scene day and night.
She picked up a handkerchief lying on a sofa. It was his. She walked to the balcony of the thirteenth-floor apartment. She dropped it. It fell like a stone. Was it heavy with snot, she tried to recollect.
She raised her head. A man on a balcony in an adjacent building was watching her, frowning at her. She made an apologetic gesture, also indicated that she would pick up the litter.
Then, she saw him drop a handkerchief. He had unfolded it. They watched it float, drop, rise and drop.

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