Short Story – Games They Play

“I hope you do not call me back,” the voice said. “Ever.”

The man held the phone closer to his lips. He wanted to say many things, most of them apologies in one form or other. But he remained quiet. It wasn’t his day.

The voice grew distant. She slowly whispered a goodbye and then came the click. The man stood there with no idea what had happened. He began leaking in many places and wanted to stop it all at once. He began with Facebook. He went on Facebook and unfriended her. It felt like cutting one string of a tangled mesh. He went on Gmail and blocked her. It was weird because they never mailed anyway. Just in case, he thought. He went on Twitter and unfollowed her and then went to his contact list in his phone and straight up blocked her.

This is it, he thought. Now she can’t call me, message me or reach me in any way. All the bridges were burnt. And then there was a knock. He ran to open the door and it wasn’t her. It was a lady who had come to sell soap. He invited her in. She sat there and listened to his rant about love and life.

“There, there,” she said. “Such is life.”

He buried his face in his palms and sobbed.

“So, no soap for you sir? It really helps clean the toughest stains,” the lady tried one last time. Desperately.

He looked up. “All you want is for your soap to sell?”

“It is my job, sir.”

He purchased a couple of bars and let her go. And then he dialed her number out of memory. The phone rang. She hadn’t blocked him. Yet.

He spoke, “I need to talk to you.”

“I had told you to never talk to me.”

“I don’t know how to follow that instruction. I am like a soap saleswoman who can only talk about soap. Except that in my case, the soap is you.”

“I don’t follow.”

“You don’t have to. Just know that I am not going away.”

“Why had you blocked me then?”

“You tried my phone?”

And then they smiled.



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