Chapter Nineteen

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That night when I arrived home, I went through the motions as required. Greet the parents, feed the cat, make a salad, set the table.

No one had a clue that my heart was on the edge of being crushed to smithereens. The hardest part was trying to eat a full dinner. Food seemed irrelevant tonight, and I didn’t want to let it in. My mother suspected I was ill, which was perfect since it gave me an excuse to leave the table.

So I went to my room and fell asleep by nine o’ clock.

No phone calls, no e-mails, no nothing.

***

I didn’t even wait for my alarm the next morning. It was five a.m. and I was up, already switching on my laptop.

Having eaten little the day before, and now tasting nothing but morning breath, my stomach was on the brink of releasing something liquefied (and possibly chunky).

Then I saw his name in my inbox.

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Hello Romi.

Last night’s conversation seemed intense. I hope you’re feeling a bit better, you seemed a bit tightly wound.

J

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Wow.

So nothing had changed at all. Is this how it was with guys? In one ear, and right out their butt-hole?

I didn’t even know what I would say, but I wasn’t quite ready to deal with him yet. First I had to deal with an e-mail to my boss. Sick Day here I come

***

I groaned into consciousness at noon. I vaguely recalled muttering the words “I’m siccckkk” to my mother at a certain point, but other than that I’d been sleeping on and off the whole time. It was a new and lazy first.

I still didn’t know what to write to this emotionally-challenged block-head. He who had never seemed emotionally-challenged before.

I switched sides on the pillow, my symbolic way of considering his perspective. Okay, so maybe the arranged-marriage mentions with him as my saviour were a little bit much, but they hadn’t been entirely serious. And if it seemed like they were serious, well he could talk to me about it. I’m not a psycho man-trap in actual life! And shouldn’t he have already known I wasn’t a psycho by now? Maybe it was time for my blunt response.

Stand-by for the hate-mail reply.

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Hey James,

I just woke up now because I didn’t go to work. I don’t feel well today.

Not really sure what else to say…

Romi

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It wasn’t even “hate mail” really. It was “logic mail,” and how could you fight with logic?

I crawled out of bed to begin my day, and I could sense it was going to be a crazy one.

***

A half an hour later I was back in bed with a steaming cup of tea. And waiting there for me, almost like a ticking time bomb was his next response.

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Romi,

Just so we are clear on this, I never signed a contract that said I would visit and when. It was a nice idea back in July and that was it. Quite frankly I regret ever having mentioned it.

If you ask me - and let’s face it you have done that often enough in the past - it’s high time you stopped playing the victim so well. You are in a crappy job you don’t like and have parents that can’t accept you have grown up. It seems your greatest creative talent is complaining about the two.

You have great potential as a writer. Tear the walls down and start living your life.

James

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The first part of his note made me furious. The second part made me think. But a couple of minutes later, the second part made me furious too. Of course it was easy if you grew up in England and your parents had no rules and you conveniently had all of Europe at your doorstep. But had he ever walked a mile in Romi’s damn shoes?

Apparently not.

Fine, end this shit.

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Hey James,

I’m not sure what to tell you.

I guess I got it all wrong. That’s all I can think of right now.

Romi

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Even as I told myself it was “closure,” there was a sprinkle of hope in that final e-mail. I wanted him to tell me that I hadn’t misunderstood after all.

But he didn’t tell me that, or anything at all that day. Which could only mean the end of this Internet chapter in my life…

[It's me again, the author. Just wanted to add that writing this chapter made me kind of sad, because this story is somewhat based on real life :-(. I have learned a lot since then and the story goes on, so hopefully you're excited to see how this really ends. Please let me know what you think via comment and votes as I love to interact, thanks!]


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