OK. {fable}

They were polar opposites in nature. Maybe that’s why they were attracted to each other. She sighed wryly, almost every few days. The days she didn’t sigh, she reveled in the differences. That’s how relationships work I suppose, she reasoned. What’s the point of being in sync all the time? There ought to be some disagreements, some tiffs, some huffing and puffing, some sulking, some slamming doors.

Within an hour the mood would have dissipated. For her at least. She would calm down quickly. That’s coz she was the one who rose like the volcano, spewing anger and words and feelings and emotions all in one hot and heavy mess. Yep, they all have to come out. Quick. Boiling point and melting point all in one hot amalgamation of tears, red noses, angry clenching of fists and chanting why-me through it all. What rises must come down as they say.

So she would. She would calm herself down.

Like now.

Like how she was some time ago. When the volcano was erupting. Usually it erupted over whoever the closest to her. The distance was his savior, his backup, his armor. It was the much needed save. He didn’t see it that way, she did. That’s what human nature is all about, she reasoned. We protect ourselves.

From what hurts us.

From who hurt us.

It’s self-defense. Blocking memories even. Staying in our own happy places, so we feel safe, cocooned from what the reality is.

It’s alright. It’s all good. Except that it isn’t. She crumpled the bill she held in her hand and flung it across the room. Grabbed her phone and scrolled down, willing for the little blue dot and a ting to show up. It did. Pier 1 has a sale. Like am buying Pier 1 stuff, she flicked the switch and threw the phone on the couch.

She starts to load the dishwasher, waiting for the cold water to turn warm, and the suds started filling the sink.

He: Hey, remember me from back when? It’s been ages huh? 

She: Yeah, it has. Wait, am sorry, what was your nick back then again? 

He: Columbia ring a bell? 

She: Oh! Yes of course. Am sorry, it has been a while! 

He (Teasingly): Yes, it has. Missed me? 

She: :-) 

***

He: Heyy, ssup? 

She: Not much, just usual, work, home, crap, rinse and repeat. 

He: Haha, isn’t it the same everywhere? 

She: Oh totally! Where were you the past week? 

He: Yeah, work. Travel. Why? 

She: Oh nothing. 

He: Oh come on, tell me you missed me! 

She: Yea right, don’t flatter yourself! 

***

He: Hey! 

She: hey hey! 

He: :-)

She: :-) 

He: Okayyyyy

She: Okayyyy. :-D 

He: Lovely picture this morning btw. :-)

She: Thanks! :-) 

He: You’ve been gone for long. Is work ok? 

She: yeah, dumb meetings. Hate them. 

He: Tell me about it! With most of my team in the US, am on the telephone forever, what with all the interruptions. But it’s a lot of fun that way. 

She: Yes. Sigh. 

He: :-)

She: Miss me?

He: Yes. :-)  

***

He: Hi! 

She: Hiiiiii! 

He: haha, how are you? 

She: Am good. You? 

He: Good weekend? 

She: Yea, good! Weather is getting better. You?

He: Yeah, just the lazy kind. 

She: Was watching this movie, and there was this guy who spoke so much like you! Reminded me of you. Missed ya. :( 

He: aw! Feels good. 

She: Huh? It feels good that am sad. Idiot! 

He: No no, not that you are sad. 

She: (hug) 

He: Missed you too re. (hug) :) 

***

He: oh hi. 

She: Hi.

He: Am tired.

She: Same here. 

He: hm… had coffee?

She: No, will do. You?

He: no, will get. 

She: Here. [_]? :-)

(after 4 minutes) 

He: :-) aw thank you! 

She: This long eh? The coffee’s cold now. 

He: sorry. Just work. 

She: That’s fine. Go on, get to work, I’ll ping in a bit. 

He: ok. 

She: I miss talking with you tho. (sulks) 

He: Sorry re. You know I miss talking with you too. I’ll make time ok? 

She: ok

***

She: Hiiiii 

He: :) 

She: Ssup? 

(after 3 minutes) 

He: Not much. Having a buggy day. Hate bugs. 

She: haha, aw, sorry. I can be a bug-handler. Want me to come help you squish some bugs? 

He: :-) I wish you could. 

She: I wish I could too! 

(silence) 

She: Yo! 

(silence) 

She: arghhhh, you’re gone! &%$*&! 

***

She: Hiii

He: Hey

She: Wait, let me check again. That’s really you? 

He: Hello, sarcasm eh? 

She: Me? sarcasm? No way! I can’t believe you actually replied! 

He: :-) 

(silence)

She: Okay, so what’s going on?

He: more of the same, work, and more work. 

She: Okay. 

(11 minutes later) 

She: okay, good night then.

(…)

She: Oh cmon! you can’t even say bye properly! ugh. Why would you care anyway? :| 

(waits for 2 minutes and then leaves)  

***

She: Hi

(…)

She: Dude, like seriously! No email replies, no chat, no phone, cmon, you can’t work so much all the time! 

He: Am sorry. I explained right. I am just not available re. Work is there. I need to get this going. 

She: Yes! I get that. I get it loud and clear! Yes, work is there, Home is there. 24 hours are over. I am not somehow there. Am lost. Yes? Tell me Ive slipped in priority. Just tell me, and I’ll go away! 

He: Why do you have to agonize so much. I am here, am just not here always. I am like this all the time, not just with you. 

She: No, you aren’t! You were different. You talked. You cared. I don’t recognize you anymore! Why would you change so much? I don’t get it. It’s just work right? Why can’t we just have a conversation? I have so much to tell you! 

He: am sorry :( 

She: Change it! fix it no? please? It’s not fair. :'( 

(silence) 

He: what can I say? (hug) 

***

She: Hi?

(…)

She: hey, so how was your weekend?

(..)

She: okayyy, just sending you a hug. I know its been crazy. You don’t have to reply ok?

(…)

She: Am tired. So so tired. 

(…)

She: Am beyond anger. I just don’t recognize you anymore. This is frustrating and this has gone on too long. It’s not just you in this world you know, I exist too! How can you ignore me so much! Why did you make me believe that I was important?! argh. I wish I could hate you. I wish I could make you less important and move on. I can’t! I can get cold and impersonal, though what’s the point, why would I want to get that way with you? I don’t want to. This is a choice and am so lost and Ive lost you a s a friend too, and now I am all alone again and it’s all about me. Guess we are all selfish that way no? Fine! am leaving. Ive deleted everything and am so going to let you be. That’s what you want, that’s what you will get!

(…)

(…)

He: ok. 

***

CNN was on TV.

The newscaster “….has been declared as a dormant and most likely extinct in the southern hemisphere. People and geography enthusiasts can now heave a sigh of relief as we add this fiery and extremely volatile one to the list of extinct volcanoes.”

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