I am leaving the country for good, you would want me to be dead anyways – making it easy on ya princess.
Deena had read and re-read the text a million times by now but till date, she couldn’t fathom the reason why the sender had sent her this in his senses. Let’s pretend he was not in his senses, why wasn’t there a follow-up text when he did come to his senses? Overthinking was killing her by the minute. He’s in the next room Deena, get up and ask him! On second thoughts I’d rather not – don’t want to hear something my female ego can’t take. I have had enough for the day. This thought made her cognizant of the fact that the meeting she walked out of mid-way had to be concluded. Pulling out her phone from her bag, she sent a meeting invite to the Board of Directors to finalise the deal first thing in the morning. A deal in time saves nine – courtesy Aunt Sharon of course! Now that business was taken care of, she shut her eyes and imagined conversing with her darling Aunt asking for advice given the squabble she had with her compelled roommate. Deena often found her pretend conversations with Sharon comforting and more often than not had turned out to be pretty helpful in arduous situations.
Being classy won’t work with him Aunty, this move has to be sassy – Deena reflected in her pretend conversation. Sharon simply put on a smile and played a memory from Deena’s childhood which brightened up her face. Thanks, Aunty! Deena saw Sharon fade away as she opened her eyes to a pile of clothes thrown on the floor.
“What the hell are these?!“, Deena questioned. A shirt hit her face shortly after she finished passing questionable looks at the queer antiques. She slid the garment down her face and inhaled a quick short breathes. Wrinkles at bay Deena, she reminded herself.
“Clothes!“, Vihaan explained, “at least that’s what I was taught in my not-so-fancy-school. I am sure kids in yours would’ve called it couture or something fancier. Oh, and before you ask, these are for the laundry. Someone will collect them shortly“, he turned around and threw another t-shirt over his head back on the floor. Picking up a bowl of noodles Vihaan jumped on the bed eating half the noodles from his hands and feeding rest to the sheets on the bed. Deena kept staring at the man behaving in the most uncouth manner she could have imagined. The barbarian display of gestures was shocking, to say the least. Keep Calm and Be the Bitch your Foe deserves, Deena chanted.
“Grilled Salmon please, could send along a mini grill as well – I like my fish overcooked!”
The phone conversation between Deena and the Kitchen attendant caused Vihaan to jump in his bed. The malevolent creature in Deena was at her best now.
“What do you think you are doing young lady, you’re very well aware I am allergic to Salmon’s awful smell“, Vihaan quibbled.
“Oh, I am sorry. Did we have a deal to consult each other about allergies?“, Deena argued back and looked at the mess all around the room Vihaan had caused on purpose to annoy her. Vihaan got her message loud and clear.
“This mess isn’t going to trigger your allergies princess, grow over yourself will you?“, Vihaan protested.
“Well, at least I don’t trigger heart attacks, you hypocrite!“, Deena knew she was alleging too far but she did want her answers.
“You don’t mean that!“, Vihaan choked and sunk in his bed wearing worried expressions. Could his father’s attack really be his fault? He had convinced himself out of this guilt for years with facts like excessive smoking and overeating of fried food would be more viable causes for the attack.
Deena had caught the right nerve now, how could Aunt Sharon be so sassily right. Accusations almost always make the person guilty spilling out the truth. Deena was a bit worried about the word almost in this advice. One of the rare bits of advice having an error margin, she thought.
“Well maybe not entirely your fault“, Deena empathised looking at Vihaan’s almost teary expressions which had turned borderline poignant now, “but let’s admit you were a catalyst!”
“He’s alive Deens, would you relax!“, Vihaan retaliated studying Deena’s accusational tone. She’s definitely up to something!
Deena observed Vihaan was returning to normalcy with his responses. She didn’t find it sensible to beat around the bush anymore.
“Why?”, she let out all her emotions in that one word. Her years of quizzical debates, anguish and uncharted emotions were all wrapped in that single word. The missing comfort during the long nights she spent crying when her parents didn’t find her worthy enough to be CFO as she was of a lesser acceptable gender. The emptiness of a family member she sensed when her dear Aunt passed away. All her pain was engulfed in that one single question she was wanting answers for.
Vihaan sighed watching the flood of emotions being thrown his way. He wasn’t good at handling emotions, that was the one thing which scared him more than a neat room. It’s high time I own up to the truth, she deserves to know! He jumped out of his bed and walked towards Deena and spoke looking her in the eye:
“I am not sorry Deens!“, Vihaan kept his gaze intact without blinking an eyelid “You were the smarter one, always aceing in studies and sports. The overachiever, the prodigy our parents yearned for and I was the normal below-average child. I wanted a normal life, where I can walk on the streets not worrying where my security is, not wanting to make millions at the end of every quarter, not strategising my next business takeover! I wanted to worry about what to cook at night, which instrument to play at the next concert. I knew mom and dad would want to hand over the business to their only son and that would be so utterly unfair to my talented and deserving younger sister! How could I let that happen Deens! Honestly, I did this for you but a tad bit more for myself. And for that I am sorry. I should have been more in contact, it’s the least I could do!”
Deena was shell-shocked to hear her brother speak things she couldn’t have imagined in her wildest of dreams. Accusations almost always make the person guilty spilling out the truth. She did realize where the almost bit came into play. She wrapped her brother in her arms and chirped:
“And I thought I was the classy one!”