I usually don’t attempt fiction. But I tried, anyway…

Blogging Challenge – Day 10

“Take care.” There was it again… sent at 7pm his time. While she was half-way through her REM sleep. As if she would wake up and respond to it immediately. Who did he think she was? The girl who let him win at palankuzhi when she was 12 and he was 15? The one who always took his side when the other boys teased him about playing ‘girl games’. The one who saved half her chocolate for him and happily gave away her umbrella during the rains. She kept his table tidy, copied his notes when he was too lazy and literally worshipped the ground he walked on.

He had left a heart-shaped hole when he moved with his family to Singapore. She remembered he did not even look back to see the tears in her eyes. Not even a goodbye… his impatience to get away showed when his mother had stood in the middle of the lane and had hugged her. But he pulled her away with, “Ma, it’s getting late!”

Eleven years later, they met again at a wedding; she was the bride’s colleague and he was the groom’s friend. Both were engineers; she with Infosys in Bangalore and he with a multi-national in Australia. They spoke all through the mapillai azhippu evening and half-way through the night till some nosey maamis started staring in their direction. On the evening of the wedding, he dragged her to the Worli Seaface where they ate channa chorgaram in the rain, she held the umbrella for him and wiped the ice cream off his nose.

Both of them left for their respective destinations the same night, after exchanging GTalk ids and adding each other on Facebook. And they came, the e-mails, calls and messages – in a storm – never mind the time difference! At first she was amused, but soon slipped into her childhood role easily – typing speeches for him, doing part of his research, watching over Skype as he cooked (again a strain because she sometimes had to be up the whole night) and generally looking after him as he demanded something of her day after day.

In six months… the heart-shaped hole began to fill up… as he smothered her with sweet nothings through e-mails and phone calls. Then suddenly, the messages began to decrease, the mails became hasty scribbles as she clung on. But there were sudden bursts of affection in between especially when he wanted something. And she complied… even as her heart warned, “He is using you again!”

But today, something snapped within. She first deleted his number off her phone, put it on the reject list and erased him from Gtalk and Skype. “Now you can bloody well take care of yourself,” she thought, saying a silent prayer for the time difference. She then went into the kitchen and baked a decadent chocolate cake and repeated to herself: “Yes, I can take care of myself.”

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