Her phone rang.
She let it ring.
But as soon as the phone stopped ringing she felt a strange kind of restlessness. Suddenly she wanted to talk. She wanted to hold on to whatever could support her. But, she was just too self-righteous to part away with her pain. She was selfish. It was an important part of her. She could not think of herself without these moments.
She whined softly to suppress the mounting sense of hunger. She had not eaten since the last two days. It reminded her of her childhood. She had never had a time until now in her lived life when she had ever felt hungry for food. Even before the slightest sensation could arise and transmit its presence to the brain, the platter was full for her to savor.
The phone rang again.
It never happened these days. When she did not pick calls, her callers did not bother to call her again. They assumed she was busy.
But, this time the phone rang again. It unleashed a fresh supply of tears in her eyes. She adjusted her voice and tried to speak:
“Are you okay?”
“Yes…ofcourse. How are you?” she tried to sound more enthusiastic.
“How is dad?”
“Are you really alright?”
“A little feverish. That’s it” she desperately tried not to break down and her attempt became desperate with every syllable she spoke.
“You don’t miss your mom. You never call me.”
She wanted to say that she missed her. She missed her more than anything. She felt handicapped, paralyzed in this large abysmal pool of stasis. But, how could she? A grown up girl that she was, did she even have the right to feel that way. She wasn’t a kid anymore to admit that she was home-sick and cry over it.
She finally said, “Yes, I have been quite busy lately” pushing all the unexpected images of her mother that were pouring into her consciousness in the background.
Infact, she wasn’t home sick. She just missed her mother. She missed sleeping beside her with her head ducked in her stomach. Gossiping about all the spicy things around her.
“Do you sleep well, beta?”
“No. I don’t get enough to sleep maa.”
“Eat well. It doesn’t matter if you gain a few kilo. It looks good on you.”
“I will hang up mamma. I have to work on my assignment” she forced herself into saying this.
“Alright. Just eat well. No sunken eyes, anemic face please. Bye.”
“Bye mom.” And she could not disconnect the phone. She heard her mom breathing on the other side. She imagined her keeping the phone.
As she turned towards the couch again she felt her mom bustling around the house. Her shadow seemed to occupy the vacuum and then it was lost.
Shirin started to weep softly.
Her phone rang.