Sep 12, 2009

Out of Balance

Out of Balance

The phone rang. Once again, she gave it her most cold-blooded stare. It continued to ring.

"Answer it, S, answer it - just so that you can give that bastard what he deserves."

This time she agreed with her mind, so she pressed "Accept".

"Hi". His voice didn't have its usual confidence, which was a good sign - he had better be terrified of her right now.

She said nothing.

"Sweetsie? are you there? hello?"

Let him roast, that dungball.

"Sups - are you there?", he asked anxiously. She was loving every second of it.

She spoke carefully: "you are a slimy liar, you know that?"

"Yes, I know."

"No, you don't. I waited and waited outside the wedding hall. Where everyone could ask me: your fiance has not come?"

"I was tied up." His voice seemed to quiver.

"With what? Rope? Piano wire? You get here, and I'll tie you up, you see."

Despite himself, he seemed to chuckle at that. That should have maddened her even more. But it didn't.

She began to giggle and felt the angry mood wash away in its wake.

"You idiot", she continued, "have you any idea how I felt there, standing alone in that crowd? And you couldn't even call and let me know."

He started to say something, but didn't.

"I felt so miserable. Where were you? Don't ever do that to me, hmm?"

"I'm sorry Sweets". His voice had gained some of its characteristic solidity. "I didn't mean to. Some people had come and I had to attend to them. Business stuff. You wouldn't know."

"That's what you keep saying. Everytime, business this and business that. When will you stop and begin paying some attention to me? When I'm a hundred?"

"I didn't mean to keep you waiting like that, Sweetsie."

"But that's all you do, all the time, you do."

A white silence signaled the beginning of a truce.

"Listen, Sups - I just have about 5 minutes left on this - I'm almost out of balance. I don't want to hear you cry. Or shout."

The anger rose again at this - again, he was ordering her about - it was always about him.

"Your stupid connection - can't you change..."

He cut her mid-way.

"Really, sweets - just talk. C'mon babes, don't cry. Don't yell at me."

He sounded sincere. And sweet. He hadn't been like that in a long while.

So she talked to him (she could shout at him tomorrow?) about the wedding, how the horse licked the wedding cake (he laughed), how over-dressed the bride was (her cousin, she never liked her much), how lovely the moon looked (how do we get it that way on our day?).

At that point, the call ended abruptly.

The last thing she heard could just have been static, but (she thought) it was a peck on the cheek.

"Dumbass", she couldn't help thinking. "Wait till he gets here". She smiled as she wiped a tear away with the edge of her new sari.

***
"Very touching", sniggered one of the three men standing over him, who took the phone away from his bleeding ear.

"I would have just smoked a final cigarette", laughed the big bearded man behind, who continued to point the gun at him.

"That's because you don't have a girlfriend", said the first man before ducking the bearded man's lunge.

"Enough!" shouted the third man at them. He beckoned to him with a knife.

"Pity - looks like the girl's going to miss you. Get up."

Just like the last three hours, he had no choice but to obey. He didn't notice that as he got up, the phone fell to the ground and knocked itself out.

9 comments:

Upasna said...

Oh.

Ramanand said...

I think that's the smallest comment this blog's ever received :-)

Siddharth said...

sorry for my being so novice. but what does the last line signify?

Upasna said...

Hehe, I was in this reverie, I had judged her for being not so strong, especially after she accused him of "always". And then towards the later half, he almost made himself Matilda, which caught me by surprise :)

Mankutimma said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Mankutimma said...

When I read "out of balance", I thought that was directed at some of those mobile service plans :-)

Didn't expect the twist coming later.
A nice tragicomedy story I should say.
Dish out more of those "O(h) Henry"

Ramanand said...

U: I see
M: thanks!
S: nothing much - just a way to end the story with the phone shutting down (don't read too much into it :-) )

paamar said...

Awesome ! You have mastered the twist :)

Vedang said...

nice! neat twist at the end of it :)