Live by the side
I wasn’t particularly interested when she asked me out. Having been out of sorts myself, I did not think going out would be a source of relief. It’d be great if you’d come with me to have a cup of coffee, she said. I prefer tea, I reacted in a second. Till day I have this ongoing debate in my head: what if I replied a NO!
I pulled a chair which creaked and it signaled something disturbing to come. The pretty girl seated behind looked at me with a raised eyebrow. It wasn’t for the sound the chair made but with the way I left the girl who I came with. It would have been a good sign of courtesy had I allowed her to take the first seat. Huh! I’m not on a date, I told myself. Oh! Courtesy! I have very little of that. I’m sorry, I kinda forgot I came with you. I said with an uncomfortable look on my face, drops of sweat trickling down my face.
Before you say anything, I wanna tell you something, she said with an expression of urgency and excitement. Green tea please! I told the waiter. Nothing for me¸ she said. Yeah, so tell me about it, I asked with a sudden boost of curiosity. She began…
‘An year ago, I thought I lost Nic, my brother. He cornered himself in a room and tied himself up and kept all words of silence with himself. He was afraid to let a hiss of air. He refused to talk to anyone. He does not remember his parents. Oh, he’s my cousin by the way. You know him.’ She paused to tell me this. yes yes yes, I do. Tell me more. ‘Yes..eh… so the only thing he said was that he lost his identity to himself. I would keep a check on him through the window slit or sometimes I had my ear to the door to know if he did anything to come out of his homemade prison. Mindmade prison I would say. He also said happiness is inversely proportional to your boundaries. I never really understood him. His parents died rich, left him property worth millions and I’m the only sister or brother he has. No girlfriends, no friends for that matter. My parents abandoned him saying he’s lost his mind. And today, he called me up and asked me to check my mail. What I found was this: four lines….
With an open heart I tried,
To see if the happiness untied.
It is with my alter-ego I realised,
I go with it united.
‘For the first time in a year he smiled and said it’s just the placing of the ‘I’. I replied saying ‘I believe’. I guess all this also explains the change in his name.’
Well, interestingly Nick is british slang for prison. I told her with a smile after two minutes of thought.
That’s the first right mistake I had committed. I said TEA instead of a NO. And nothing disturbing came across.
So was it your alter-ego that said ‘TEA’? She winked….