On talking terms

Incomplete phone conversations, erratic emails and SOS texts had become commonplace. She never answered when he called. He was unable to call when she wanted talk. She forgot to reply to a text on her way to work and he felt a bit sidelined. It slipped his mind to update her of his holiday plans. Week-old belated birthday messages replaced spontaneous calls at midnight. Conversations were punctuated with a terse, guilt-ridden “sorry” and “I miss you.” And Facebook and Twitter provided an occasional glimpse of what the other was up to.

They weren’t always like this. Both remembered a more pleasant time, when both made the effort to keep in touch with each others’ lives. When conversation wasn’t so awkward and time wasn’t a barrier. They remembered the walks back home from the station, the ride to the neighborhood ice-cream parlor the night before an exam or a holiday and the final good night just before they went to bed each night.

What they craved now was some time together. Lots and lots of time together. When one wouldn’t have to keep track of the minutes gone by or worry about an impending deadline at work. They both acknowledged that they were being utopic about it.

They complained, and often. But there was no deep-rooted resentment in any of those complaints. Just a quiet little sense of gratitude that at least they had this; even if “this” only entailed incomplete phone conversations, erratic emails and SOS texts. At least they were on talking terms.

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