A Break-up Story
A Break-up Story8 mins 240 8 mins 240
Rose pressed the button and was waiting for the lift to come. She was eager in anticipation, not because she was in any hurry to go somewhere. She was praying for the elevator to be empty. To her luck, there were none in it. As soon as she got in, she clicked send on the message she drafted earlier. The elevator travelled a few floors down and stopped. The door opened, and her office colleague Jones got in. They did not acknowledge each other's presence at first. The moment the lift closed, Rose jumped on Jones, and they started to kiss each other in passion.
"I cannot take this WFH and lockdowns. I need the office to open soon", said Jones in an exasperated tone.
"Me too. My mother is sharing recipes on youtube, and I am her permanent camerawoman. I cannot take it. Most of all, I miss our escapades", replied Rose in a passionate tone.
There was a time between the end of breakfast deliveries and the start of lunch deliveries. That was a sweet time when no one used the lift. They made a plan to use the elevator to save themselves from preying eyes and meet. Everything was going as planned when suddenly the elevator stopped on the thirteenth floor. Rose started to panic and pushed Jones out of her embrace. Jones, whose face was deep inside Rose's heart, opened his eyes to the world around him. One view at the floor number he went back to try and hug Rose.
"Someone will come, go away", said scared Rose pushing Jones away.
"No one will come. This floor now has only Sunil uncle. He never stepped out of his home in the last ten years", coyly hugging Jones replied.
"Then, why did it stop here."
"Maybe the elevator has a repair."
"Then, why are you not panicking."
"Well, why do I need to panic. I will be elated if the elevator needs repair. Until someone fixes, I have you all for myself", said Jones smugly.
Rose started to feel shy as Jones's hands moved all on her silky thin dress. As the door was about to open, Rose noticed a man outside waiting to get in. She immediately pushed away Jones, a little harder this time. With the unexpected force, Jones hit his head on the wall of the elevator. The sound of Jones head hitting the metal pulled his attention into the happenings inside the lift. Until that point, he was busy picking his bags. Rose quickly adjusted her dress which was all over the place. Jones acting brave, helped the man with his bags. There were too many of them bags, exclaimed Rose.
Rose never saw the man ever. It was nothing surprising. Till a year ago, she did not know her next-door neighbour is her colleague in the office. Only after lockdowns and not being able to go anywhere made the neighbours humans. But, Sunil was different. No one knew anything about him. A few assumed he was a divorcee, and others felt he was a love failure, like Arjun Reddy trying to drink away his problems.
In all this, the time they had was running away. With the anticipation and waiting, the elevator seemed going slower than usual. Jones, on the other hand, kept looking at the man in awe. He imagined the man to be depressed and out of shape. With the dark khakis and tucked-in nice white shirt, nothing seemed right. Jones always believed if he lost Rose, his world was to crumble. How was that this man looking good? Did he finally get a chance to go back to his love? Many questions were going through his mind.
After the lift stopped on the ground floor and the man was exiting. With the excuse of helping him with his bags, Jones walked with the man. The walk to the road to get into the taxi was a long one. Jones started a conversation.
"Is it true, what they say about you?"
"What you heard?"
"You are a love failure?" asked Jones.
"Yes and No."
"What do you mean?"
"Well, from one side, it is a failure, and from another, it is not."
"If you don't mind, please tell me."
"Why are you interested?"
"I am in love with the girl you saw in the lift. I cannot survive if we break up for any reason. I want to know if drinking and break-up somehow are made for each other. Is that how you are coping up? How do you live without anyone for these ten years?"
"Okay, I will tell you. If I did not finish before my car comes, we can talk later over the phone."
They exchanged numbers, and the man started to tell his story.
"I fell in love with a woman in my twenties. She was everything I wanted. She never expected me to pick her bill, never expected anything from me. It was not that I did not want to give anything to her. I came from a family with means and was ready to give anything she wanted. But, her individuality and strength made me fall for her head over heels. She wanted us to know each other well. So, we decided to marry after dating a few years.
The time to get married had come. We agreed we had to tell our parents together. It was a cakewalk at my home. My mother liked her very much, as she could not believe any woman would like me. My father was happy I am going to get married. Once married, he wanted to hand over the company and go on her post-retirement voyages.
The first one went by like a breeze. I was hoping the next one to be the same. Confident, I went to meet her parents. Before I finished expressing why we were there, her mother and father picked the slipper they were wearing and said they were going to thrash me."
"What?" exclaimed Jones.
"They are a strict family, who believe in their religion. They are not going to marry her daughter to me. I asked if they will be ready if I convert. They outright rejected it. His father had a political background which he needs to protect, it seems."
"Is that how you had a break-up?"
"No, no. I told you the girl was strong. She left her home for me, and we got married. "
"Then, what happened? Did her father kill her or something?"
"No. Life was a breeze for few years. One day I went to sleep in a different room. Searching, she came to my room. That was all."
"What was all?"
"That room is filled with all my babies. I could only sleep if I feel them around me. "
"Well, I have a walking liquor cabinet, covered with bottles of various forms of liquor. She was surprised to see so many different bottles. She asked how can one man have this many liquor bottles. "
"How many there can be, a hundred?" asked Jones.
"There were many."
"With all the globalisation also. Today in India, we get maybe, two or three hundred varieties."
"I had about thousand five hundred different bottles."
Jones falling on his feet with respect, asked, "How?"
"My father is the CEO. Anyone travels any country in the company they have to bring me that countries specials. We have branches in about 50 countries. Let us not forget the number of foreign trips I had myself."
"Sir, you are god."
"There is the problem."
"What do you mean, sir?" quizzed Jones.
"Well, my wife ordered, I can never sleep in that room. I agreed. After all, I was in love with her. "
"Then, what? A few days went by. One night I had a nightmare, and I was not able to sleep. To calm down, I went to have a drink. Before I even finished my drink, I was deep in sleep. From that day onwards, I started to sleepwalk into the room where my babies were."
"One night, she woke up and saw that I was sleeping in the other room. She woke me up and said, get out of the house. I tried to calm her down. Crying, she said, get out and only come back when you finished drinking."
That was when the car stopped in front of them. The man started getting into it.
Jones was still curious, had it been ten years since he saw his wife? Will she be waiting for him? Most importantly, were there any bottles left for Jones. The car started and whizzed past him before he could ask.
Walking back into the lift, Jones noticed Rose was still there. He told her all about the man. Rose could not believe what she was hearing.
"I should have known the man before", exclaimed Jones.
"I would have had a chance to see the various liquors".
"I meant, I would have learnt about his addiction. I would have convinced him that love is bigger than any of that. If I tell how I feel about losing you, no man ever wants to leave their love. He would have immediately left", said Jones, trying to appease her. In his mind, he was thinking so many varieties, with me giving company he would have left many years ago. It would have been a win-win.
P.S: After coming back home, Jones remembered he had his phone number. He messaged the man, "Hope you can mend your ties with your wife". A few minutes later, the phone tinged, "I am going to my other baby. The liquor cabinet in the other guest house. We can count the varieties together and even take a picture for memories". Jones started his trials to get an e-pass.