Another story

What do I do with this? Why do I still have what she gave me?

I first came to know of her existence through one of those online matrimonial services. I don’t know what had made me register there – some strange impulse? But I’d made sure my profile was witty, interesting. I’d never been one to do things by half-measures.

She’d seen the profile and left me a message, asking why I called myself after a character who was unlucky in love. And I hadn’t even realised I’d done that – it had just been a character I’d identified with for most of my adult life. Or wanted to. I’d used the name for my screen name because I didn’t want to be identified by a boring random set of letters and numbers.

It was a short enough message, but interesting enough for me to want to know more. I gave her my email id, and she had questions about that too! Intelligent, well-read, or just Google-adept?

The emails flew thick and fast, and I discovered a bundle of contradictions. An indecisive control-freak, a giggly girl who could talk about Hegel, and would pretend to be interested in mathematics. We lived in different worlds. Half way across the globe from each other, geographically. And each time we chatted, I discovered new things about her. Not just the things she told me about herself, but things unsaid and unspoken.

I didn’t realise I could be attracted to what were, essentially, words on a screen. A computer screen, a mobile screen. I called her once. She had a lovely voice. Now I had a voice to go with the words. Interesting, and in a rather weird way, attractive.

My birthday was a couple of months after that first email, and that was when she gave me this. I’m looking at it now, and trying to remember what I’d felt when I first saw it. It was so oddly intimate; we hardly knew each other. And she’d seemed confused about it. It must have taken time and effort, sending me something that was so much a part of her. And yet, she wrote to me, it was an impulse that made her send it. She wasn’t sure, having sent it, that she ought to have. I don’t know what I felt when I first saw it. She had nice handwriting, this well-read, interesting woman with the nice voice; she’d written a note to go with the gift.

A few months later, we decided it wasn’t going to work. We’d still never met, and except for her gift, I have no idea what she looks like. We had ‘different expectations’, maybe. Maybe it just wasn’t meant to be.

That was last year, when I’d just moved here. I’m holding it in my hand now – I found it as I was emptying the cupboard, trying to pack up my stuff. Should I keep it? Send it back? Her address is on the envelope, still visible. Does she still live there? I wonder what she thought of never having gotten it back – did she expect to?

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5 Responses

  1. You should pack it up and store it away. For these make nice memories, but needn’t encroach upon space that could be used for things that deserve it more, in your daily life.

    Or atleast that would be my advice if this story is inspired by life. 😉 Very nicely written.

  2. Thank you!

  3. There are so many chords. And so many people with stories like this one. It’s easier when you actually never see the person again.

  4. Filed under fiction, I see. Not a long time ago, I wrote something like this too.

  5. Sometimes miracles happen. Until they definitely don’t, cherish the memories you do have. It would be worth it…

    In case this is more than fiction. 🙂

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