Written in third person during the pandemic by a star-crossed lover.
“I love you,” I let him know. He continues to watch over his breakfast – Maggie and Cheese – unmindful of my words. Inhale deeply, let it go.
But it wouldn’t. Like grease stains, my words stick and rankle. My love you’s have changed. From that night 9 months ago, it slipped casually (not) after we did it, to 3 months later in assurance after he lost his job, to today when the same word has turned up again. I love you, Same words – different meanings.
I move away to my part of the room in the neutral zone, thoughts drifting to such words and how they can do a number on us. Spring pleasant surprises like my security guard Ram’s, “Gaod morning”, compared to the War Bucks staff’s plastic and over-/under-done greetings. Simple words ring so different when written right. At work, there’s Natasha’s, “Pleasse Diane, do this na”, to the calculative Hemant’s, “Please send the file across, thank you”.
Then there are signs flashing “Danger” – warning – see them on electric poles at secure locations that don’t even register. But put “Warning” on my M+ and I start freaking out. SALE is a fun word – believe it on Insta, deny it on Twitter. NEWS is another one fav – if its Faye it’s cool, Scoop Whoop gets me to laugh, Toins I don’t give a duck about.
“You want some?” he offered his breakfast knowing well that I wouldn’t accept.
“I love you,” the response I received as I shook my head, but he had moved on to eating and reading Hum dekhenge. Respect.
Ping. Massive tree captioned “Roots” on Insta. Roots – I checked on Ravi anna’s profile. Note to self – Should write love you anna note soon. I turn to look at him – laughing at something. Should visit home. Get me some love. From there break it to him. The text would begin with “I love you……”