Call Me When You’re Sober | #AtoZChallenge

It’s a dingy room with a low ceiling that your head could bump into if you weren’t careful. The smell of soot covered every inch of the house, every crack in the red lacquered floor and every cobweb in the corners. You forgot about it, until it nudged you as the steam rose from the large pot where Grandma brewed tea all day long. Another thing snapped you back to attention in this old house, with its old soul and old soot – the cats. Constantly forming figure eights between your ankles as you sat in a low chair sipping the stale tea.

 

I’m brought back to the present as I watch your ginger cat stretch languorously on his pillow. I want to approach him, pet him, but I hesitate. I’ve never had pets. You bring him over and place him in my lap. He seems comfortable as I stroke him. He purrs, which is a funny sound to my ears. A few moments later, I lift him up and walk around the room. It comes so naturally to me that I’m surprised. I see wonder in your eyes too.

“What is it?” I ask.

“Nothing,” you reply with a small shake of your head, “It’s just that he doesn’t let any of my other friends carry him around like that. Or even pet or stroke him, for that matter.”

You mean nothing by it, there’s nothing between the lines, nothing beneath the surface. You’re quite simply amazed by your cat’s behaviour, his liking towards me     someone who is not even a friend to you anymore. I wish it were more. I wish you would say that the cat sensed our history. It is foolish of me, I know. But I find myself wishing nevertheless. You say nothing of the sort. It does not cross your mind. Something else does, because you ask, “How come you’re not at work this morning?”

I look up, wondering if it’s a joke. You seem genuinely clueless. It stings.

“You texted me last night telling me to meet you in the morning. Don’t you remember?”

“I didn’t text you.” You pick up your phone and go through your texts. You see the text I’m referring to. I see shock wrap itself around you as you realize a mistake has been made.

“I’m sorry… I was… it was… I was drunk,” you fumble. It’s a lie. What you mean is, “That text wasn’t meant for you.

My cheeks grow hot even as my mind desperately tries to reconcile the man you’ve become and the man you used to be.

 


Hi everyone! I’m working on a minimalist fiction project for this year’s #AtoZChallenge. The story will be shared in snippets, and the events occur non-sequentially. It is for the reader to interpret and form the “whole”. You can read all the posts here. Join me, and do share links to your AtoZ posts as well!

C

 

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62 thoughts on “Call Me When You’re Sober | #AtoZChallenge

  1. jazzfeathers April 4, 2017 / 2:35 AM

    Another great story. I really love how you can create a story from a simple occurance. That’s a rare gift.

    @JazzFeathers
    The Old Shelter – 1940s Film Noir

    Liked by 1 person

    • Sreesha Divakaran April 4, 2017 / 11:49 AM

      Thank you for saying that; means a lot to me 🙂 🙂

      Like

  2. Shailaja V April 4, 2017 / 6:49 AM

    Damn! That’s gotta sting. I can see why they’re not together anymore. But, Sreesha, you’re getting better at this. The almost-casual way you insert the mundane with the layered and implied meaning. Ooh, I’m loving it.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Sreesha Divakaran April 4, 2017 / 11:51 AM

      I’m truly glad. In the beginning, I had no idea if this would work. I almost decided against participating. So when you say this, it’s really encouraging 🙂

      Like

  3. Marquessa April 4, 2017 / 8:30 AM

    I love a little FF inspired by music. Great story. I often do the same and used this as a them for last year’s A to Z! Cheers.

    Marquessa @simplymarquessa from
    Simply Marquessa

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Lata Sunil April 4, 2017 / 9:17 AM

    Ooh no wonder the guy was impatient at why she is sticking around. And they way you wove it to show her familiarity, is too good. Keep them coming.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Sreesha Divakaran April 4, 2017 / 11:52 AM

      Ooh, I’m so glad you caught on the familiarity thing. I was wondering if I should make it a bit more obvious, but then I thought let it be as it is, and let it unfold slowly.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Vidya Sury April 4, 2017 / 11:07 AM

    How embarrassing for both. I put myself in the girl’s shoes (I am definitely on a shoe fetish today). I am not sure if I must apologize for guessing the end. In fact, I feel quite gleeful about it. Loving the song titles/choices, Sreesha! Hugs!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Sreesha Divakaran April 4, 2017 / 11:55 AM

      Must work harder to surprise you! 😀 But I’m also kinda glad you guessed the ending.
      Yeah, you’re all about the shoes today, aren’t you? 😛

      Like

  6. Sheethalsusan April 4, 2017 / 12:40 PM

    I kind of pictured the ending as she been awkward and making and exit and shouting at herself in the life downstairs. (Sheepish grin… Movie buff here)

    Loved the way you created a beautiful story with ease.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Sreesha Divakaran April 5, 2017 / 8:06 AM

      I’m glad! Picture it however you want. The whole story is open to the reader’s interpretation 😀

      Like

  7. Soumya (@soumyaprasad) April 4, 2017 / 12:58 PM

    “My cheeks grow hot even as my mind desperately tries to reconcile the man you’ve become and the man you used to be.” You know at times I wonder this about a lot of people. Not necessarily lovers. Lovers too, but not only them.

    If I was in her place, I’d have wrung the neck of the cat and walked out.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Sreesha Divakaran April 5, 2017 / 8:08 AM

      Yeah, now that you mention it, some erstwhile best friends come to mind…

      Like

  8. Modern Gypsy April 4, 2017 / 1:43 PM

    I love the poignancy woven between the lines of this story. So many feels! I know it’s just Day 3, and there’s 23 days more to go, but I don’t want these little vignettes to end!

    Liked by 1 person

  9. swathishenoy April 4, 2017 / 2:09 PM

    Ouch!! That sure does hurt a lot! You are getting better and better with each post Sreesha 🙂

    Crushes

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Lalita April 4, 2017 / 3:12 PM

    Mind blown. The textures, the ambiguity, the character arc in the space of such few words, amaze just amaze.

    Liked by 1 person

  11. sanchthewriter April 4, 2017 / 3:48 PM

    You’ve got a beautiful way with words. I love how you’ve woven this scene so seamlessly and yet, managed to build suspense and keep the reader hooked till the ned. I can’t wait for more.

    Liked by 1 person

  12. Titli s April 4, 2017 / 4:12 PM

    Another lovely story! I’m loving the way you are rolling forth your stories, the emotions are portrayed beautifully, and I love the way the story is layered…way to go girl!

    Shubhangi @ The Little Princess

    Liked by 1 person

    • Sreesha Divakaran April 5, 2017 / 8:17 AM

      Thank you so much! Comments like these are so encouraging!

      Like

  13. Louise April 4, 2017 / 4:38 PM

    It’s a sad and so mundane picture you’ve given with this piece. Nicely done. The dismissiveness of how casual he is about the whole thing. Ugh. Put the cat down and walk away!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Sreesha Divakaran April 5, 2017 / 8:19 AM

      A part of me wishes she takes the cat and bolts 😀
      Thanks for reading, Louise!

      Like

  14. Shilpa Garg April 4, 2017 / 5:19 PM

    Ah! That would have hurt. Love the way you have portrayed the shades of their relationship. Great going, Sreesha!

    Liked by 1 person

  15. Kaddu April 4, 2017 / 7:52 PM

    Oh boy! That must have been embarrassing for both, and hurtful too for her. I wish she had called/texted him first to confirm why he wanted to see her.
    I love your storytelling, by the way.
    Happy AtoZing!
    Chicky @ http://www.mysteriouskaddu.com

    Liked by 1 person

    • Sreesha Divakaran April 5, 2017 / 8:21 AM

      I was wondering why no one had asked this question yet. The thing is, I was trying to indicate that the kind of relationship they shared meant no questions asked, ever. So the minute she got the text, she agreed, without giving it a second thought.

      Like

  16. reemamichelle April 4, 2017 / 9:12 PM

    Sreesha, your narration is really amazing! I’m really intrigued by your stories. Looking forward to more stories 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • Sreesha Divakaran April 5, 2017 / 8:24 AM

      We like the version of people they were when we met them. When they change, there’s a disconnect. If both evolve in similar ways, it’s fine. If not, well…

      Like

  17. Parul Thakur April 4, 2017 / 10:34 PM

    Fabulous. Like they say – you will see what you want to see. Well done with the storytelling – loved the description and imagery.

    Liked by 1 person

  18. Mithila Menezes April 4, 2017 / 10:54 PM

    Oh mahn, if I ever got a text from my imaginary ex, I would never go, thanks to reading this story by you 😛

    Just kidding.

    I loved the indepth and vivid imagery in the first para. Not fond of cats, they always seem to stare at me and meow softly when I walk past them. But I liked how you brought the cat’s emotion as a testament of the narrator and the boyfriend’s past. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • Sreesha Divakaran April 5, 2017 / 8:30 AM

      Haha 😛

      Oh, the reason why I decided to go with cats is, there’s this theory that some people have (don’t know how true it is) that cats can sense a lot of things that others can’t. To some extent, dogs can understand human emotions, but they’re fiercely loyal to their owners and wouldn’t see beyond it. Cats are impartial and more perceptive. Cool if true, right? 😀

      Like

  19. shalzmojo April 5, 2017 / 11:10 AM

    You are such a gifted writer Sreesha- the way you weaves thoughts and emotions in the words to fall straight onto the heart! I cringed with her embaressment and rejection too! Way to go – bookmarking for a daily read!

    Theme: Peregrination Chronicles (travel)
    D is for Dolphin Delight in Goa #atozchallenge

    Liked by 1 person

    • Sreesha Divakaran April 5, 2017 / 1:54 PM

      Thanks, Anmol!
      I love Evanescence too! Stay tuned, there’s one more title reference coming up in the series. 😀

      Like

    • Sreesha Divakaran April 8, 2017 / 12:32 AM

      Sigh… I want to tell you, but I also want to keep it zipped…

      Like

    • Sreesha Divakaran April 13, 2017 / 8:47 AM

      Hehe, do you not like cats?

      Both and neither actually – I read Murakami, who loves cats, and so far I’ve petted exactly one cat.

      Like

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