Straight Lines

Black & White

Posted on: June 30, 2009

It was the world’s worst break-up. After being a couple for almost seven years, they didn’t know what to do without the other. It was difficult to forget all those good times, and they both did lots of things to try and forget – the guy, for instance, drank cold milk with glucose all night and played World of Warcraft and the girl, she competed with herself in a mind numbing contest of ‘Who can cut an Onion into the smallest of pieces?’ The thrill of the game is not in the cutting itself, it’s the measuring. It would suffice to say that she kept herself occupied.

Traffic on Wednesday mornings was the worst. Indeed, one mother dropping off her son in school had recounted the tale ‘Rabbit and the tortoise’ so many times during the journey that the kid now saw hundreds of rabbits and tortoises rushing toward him. A John Nash in making, one would say. The frequent traffic signals made the journey even more uncomfortable. It was at one of these traffic signals that the unexpected happened. The estranged lovers, each holding a bag, found themselves on opposite sides of the zebra crossing waiting for the red light.

‘Oh, it’s her. Damn, I didn’t want this happening!’ thought he, to himself.

‘Oh, it’s him. Damn!’

No point mentioning that she was thinking to herself too.

‘Poor thing, she looks so emaciated. Has she not been eating?’

‘Whatever happened to his beautiful wavy hair? Is he not taking care of himself?’

‘Has she been crying? Red eyes. Has she been crying?!’ he thought, clearly ignorant of a certain game with Onions.

‘Oh, his eyes are so droopy and red. Has he not been sleeping?’

‘She’s wearing my favorite T-shirt! She looks so good, help me God!’

‘Ah, the watch I gave him for our 5th anniversary…’

‘I can almost smell her lavender perfume here…’

‘God, he looks so handsome. Why did we even break up!?’

‘The tender touch of her long fingers…’

‘How I loved the feel of his stubble on my face…’

‘Ah, she’s wearing the brooch I got her from the Andaman Islands’

‘He still uses that pen I got him from Amsterdam?’

‘God, the way she cooks chicken. I have never tasted chicken like that elsewhere!’

‘How I miss the foot massage he gives!’

‘We must definitely try and work things out’ thought the both of them, almost simultaneously.

She lifted her face up a bit and smiled a little. He shifted his weight from one foot to the other and smiled back. She saw him take his hand out of the pocket and thinking he was about to wave, she waved. Not noticing that, his hand went straight to his nose.

‘That irritating habit of his! How many times do I tell him not to pick his nose in public!?’

‘Er, why is she glaring at me like that!? She glares for every damn thing I do!’

‘Stupid obscene habit!’ she thought, as a strand of hair fell across her face.

‘There she goes again, chewing vigorously on her hair. How hard is it to not do that?’ and turned his face away.

‘Oh, now he’s ogling at other girls. The dirty pervert!’, as he turned his face back.

‘Ah, how can I forget the impatient foot tapping? As if she were a tap dancer…’

‘That fidgety creep! Why can’t he keep his hands to himself? He just has to scratch and touch everything. Can’t he stand quiet for a moment?’

‘Oh, now she’s mad with me. She’s gnashing her jaws and biting her teeth. Can’t she stay still without judging others for a moment?’

‘How did I ever end up with such an irritating bloke?’

‘How did I ever end up with such a high-handed wench?’

The traffic light turned red and the pedestrians poured onto the zebra crossing. They went past each other without as much as a nod.

22 Responses to "Black & White"

hmm! typical relationships!
this is the first piece of fiction i’ve read of yours, and it was nice and interesting!
You could’ve done away with the ‘Moral of the story’ though.

The moral has a connection with the story. Subtle, though. Thanks! :)

Exactly what i came here to write. The moral SHOULD have been done away with. Loved the love-hate bit. Nayce :)

Did away with the Moral. Thanks! :)

:O oh no!
that renders most of our comments irrelevant!

Nice one ! A typical Naren post.

Ah, but you had my best interests in your heart. :) No problem, Kay Gee! :)

hey very nice..its like readin a o.henry r guy de maupassants story ;) didnt think it was urs at all :)

lol..nice post. any personal exps involved here..??

Ah, well, no. Pure fiction based on fact. :)

@ rums: Thank you. Am honored. :)

Nice… Nice and smooth! Well done.

Very nice work of fiction.. Typical relationship conversation brought out very well.

seriously she tolerated such a bloke for 5yrs(or even more), hats off to her

hey u have improved alot. You sound like a true writer now. Do send me your next entry too because I really like reading them

LOL, nice. It’s a pity that the post ended at all! Go pretend lightning hit you or something a couple of lines before the end!

why cant they have an heated argument in the middle of the road while the passers by enjoy?

@ KVM: Thought making it larger than this would be overkill. And frankly, I don’t know of any signal that would stay in Green for that long. ;)

@ Ashtung: More complications, it would have become a full fledged Bollywood movie. Wanted to keep it short and sustain the readers’ interest. Thanks for your idea, though. :)

@Pratyu, Shravya, Yojana, Jenny – Thanks a ton. Means a lot to me.

hey naren…i liked the way u presented it…its nice :)

Stumbled upon ur blog and really liked this post of urs!

Looking fwd to reading more…

Got so involved with the writing that didn’t like the events of the story. But then, the fundamental rule of making worst things happen to the favourite characters…

Loved the story!

hey really nice post. wud have been awesome if u stopped with -the lights turned red and they walked towards each other, leaving the reader to guess the rest! :) would have loved it end-less, if u know what i mean! :)

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