We are having salad for dinner tonight.
You grind pepper corns freshly into the bowl. You are catching up on world news on your tab. I have never regretted buying my iPad you like to say.
I am following you till a notification on my phone distracts me, and so I forget to ask you if you had a good day.
We are reduced to such banal exchanges now. Sometimes not even that. This, when between us we read at least thirty news articles a day. This, when we are both highly opinionated. After we had hit it off on Tinder, in those early days, we spoke a lot. It was a long time ago but you had fought with me about the deplorable roads in Bangalore in the early days of courtship. You had argued, point by little point, about how filthy your commute to work was and how the Government and the citizens were to blame. I had not been able to get a word in edgewise. Finally, I had wailed that you were screaming at me and that I had always been meticulous about waste. I never litter, I had assured you. In fact, I tell off people who litter in front of me. I believe in segregation. Don’t you think you are preaching to the choir? I had finally asked. You had softened your tone then, but it had left me shaken. Would we end this way, then? With you arguing accusingly and in points about why we were not working out anymore?
Such a waste.
Today, we rarely speak. It’s not necessary. We lead busy lives, as entrepreneurs and what not. I was even called successful at an event last week. You have two expensive cars, so you most certainly are. And when we do get free from work, we have all these social media sites where we must reassure our followers about our fabulous lives, our continuing pursuit of interests. So we contend ourselves with liking each other’s posts.
I fall in love with you again when I see how wonderfully you’ve clicked a picture of my favourite street in San Francisco. And that too with just an iPhone. And you haven’t been lame and edited it, I can tell.
You don’t tell me I should diet. I look a little too wholesome in my recent photo on Facebook, I know. I have been spending too much time working on my laptop. Sitting all the time I know I have blurred the line between sexily curvy and spherically unbeddable. You ‘Like’ the picture anyway.
But then you start posting pictures of healthy meals on Instagram. You had once said that I am a clever woman. I take the hint immediately.
We will have only delectable salads for dinner.
I imagine a stalker who is watching our online activities go mad with envy at how devoted we are. We never miss an opportunity to engage with each other.
I read an article on modern day dating recently on Buzzfeed, a site we both don’t respect. The article stated that continued interest in each other’s social accounts is a sign of committed and courteous relationships in today’s world. The article also disturbingly mentioned that the difference between interested and stalking lie in how cute the object of your affection found you.
It worries me a little.
Clearly, I am not the only one who is interested. We both follow each other every where, don’t we? You had even endorsed my skills in Business Strategy just last week on LinkedIn. But now, I am full of doubts.
In my head, I rehearse how to bring this up in conversation. I have to be teasing and light, I know. I can’t state it baldly. “So I read this article recently…” I sound ponderous and self-important to my own ears. It will be a disaster to message this on What’s App when I know you are in meetings that are all day long. I decide to save this conversation for when we sit down for a glass of wine. A date, we both simply don’t seem to have the time for.
I never get the chance.
We are at dinner. I look at the pear, pomegranate, peppers, corn, and spinach salad in identical bowls of yellow (yours) and purple (mine). The dressing is lemon and black salt. I can feel my weight dissolve.
“Darling, I am leaving the spinach bits for you.” I say and tag you. I like how classy I am. I know a discerning guy like you will appreciate the unsaid bunny reference there.
But tonight you don’t respond. I see that you have hidden the post from your timeline. I blush. But you don’t see me blush. I keep waiting, without sleeping, fretting about our future. Finally, around 2 am, I know you are asleep. Your apps show no activity.
I decide I am ugly and unexciting. Around 4 am I finally drift into a dreamless sleep.
The next morning, there’s still nothing on Facebook.
But you ‘Heart’ my picture on Instagram.