Saturday, April 23, 2016

T for Tall Tales

She is crying. Again. It is, in fact, a barely audible whimper that would escape the notice of a less discerning ear, like that of a random co-passenger in a crowded bus. But, she is not in a bus. And, I am not a random co-passenger. Nothing she does escapes my eyes. And her slightest jitters unnerve my very being. For, I love her much more than I can ever express, to her even.

The day I was born was an emotional one; for her, more than for me, as she caressed and kissed me and jumped around with joy. I didn’t mind the love being showered on me. I, in fact, was slowly warming up to all the attention. But the moment she tried to crush me mindlessly, not knowing how to handle me, I got angry. Whoever treats a poor little baby like me so roughly, I seethed. But, in my heart, I knew she was new to this, and was trying to do her best, for me more than for her. As days went by, I would notice her going for hours without food and drink if I were so much as barely touched, let alone scratched.

She has always been emotional like that. I remember the first time she got into a fight over phone, in my presence. She yelled, then cried, and then laughed, only to end up yelling again. I never understood what really the issue was or who she was speaking with, then. But, that agitated self of hers, biting her nails and looking like the world had crumbled upon her, is etched clearly in my memory.

She can be happy too, like when she listens to her favorite music and shakes her hands and feet in joy. It is fun watching her at such times, drinking her in, drinking her joy in, wishing she would remain so, wishing she wouldn’t pick up her phone and get lost in that silly, sad world of hers again.

The last time we went off on a weekend getaway was magical, just she and I, like eloping lovers, without a care in the world; I, because she was there with me, my best friend, confidante, guide; she, because I was there for her, sticking by her, through thick and thin, never giving up, never tiring of her. It was a lovely morning, the road was wide and empty, and early mists were breaking away. As we went, on either side, wild flowers blossomed and bloomed, in pink, yellow and blue, heralding the arrival of spring, and perhaps us, too.

But those memories are all from the past now. I am not sure when we will go like that on a getaway again.

She received a phone call yesterday. I could hear a guy speaking to her, firmly and officiously at first, mellowing down towards the middle, and almost kindly consoling her at the end. She, uncharacteristically, did not respond, except for the occasional ‘Umm’, and hung up with a curt ‘Thanks’. She was very silent after that, as if she were at someone’s funeral. I feared the worst, but I was at a loss as to how to console her. She picked up her phone again, after what seemed to be eons, to call a number listed on her Favorites.

“My boss called me just now, firing me for underperformance. And, during the conversation, he added in a slight undertone – Manage your personal relationship better. I think they know about us and that was the reason I was fired. What did you do? How did they find out?” As she spoke, her voice was dangerously calm, unlike her usual agitated conversations when under emotional duress.

I know who is on the other end of the line. I try avoiding thoughts of her other love, but it comes back to haunt me, at times like this. They have been together for some time now, I learnt much after I myself fell irrevocably in love with her. I am not jealous of their relationship (well, a little, perhaps), but I personally think their association is taking a toll on her emotional well-being. However, she is neither the listening kind, nor the thinking kind. 

They talked for some time; she seemed dissatisfied with the assurance from the other side, but made fake claims that she was and would be fine, and disconnected the call. I wondered how, if this was true love, such a feeble and halfhearted “Love you” from her might have put her girlfriend at ease.

As she went home that night, I had a gut feel it wouldn’t be the same again. In fact, I was worried I would never see her again.

But, now, I don’t know which is worse – not seeing her, or seeing her cry like this. As she wipes away the last of her silent tears, she hugs herself, and then hugs me for much longer than usual. She then puts the seat back, pops a couple of pills in her mouth and closes her eyes. I wait for 5 minutes, hoping she would get up. And then, I start getting agitated. 

Something is wrong here.

‘No, don’t do it. Wake up now.’ I yell at her. But, I know she can’t hear me. Her breathing slowly turns ragged.

For the first time in life, I realize my incapability to do things that living beings can do, for I do have a mind and feelings just like living beings. As I try to pray and hope a miracle would bring her back to life, the carbon monoxide in me slowly consumes what little oxygen is left in her.

I, her beloved hatchback, kill the love of my life, if not through action, only by inaction, and keep watch a mute spectator, as her soul disappears from this Earth, forever. Perhaps, she will find peace finally, whereas I will go to my grave a tormented car, the touch of her last hug lingering in my steering wheel, for long after I am dismantled.

P. S. This post is the twentieth in the A-Z blogging challenge series for April. 

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