10 Dec 2020

Curtains? On the Fifth Anniversary?

“Thanks so much! I absolutely loved the silver bracelet!”
“The fifth anniversary demands a gift in silver!”
“Yes. I know. How does it look?” He waved his hand in front of Terry.
“Is that the one I gave you, John?”
“Didn’t you buy it? Hmmm… if you didn’t, then who did? I know you’ve been busy with your writing thingie…”
The hand-on-hips stance spelt danger. He smartly sensed it.
He looked up from his laptop.

“Hey! It’s a workshop, and it’s just on Wednes…
Oh! It looks awesome. And er, I did get help from your sister. As in… she told me what to order, where to order it from, when to order it and also maybe what to do when it arrived. That too on a Wednesday. Just a teeny bit of help”, Terry said sheepishly.
If the temperature in the room went up, he attributed it only to his coffee.
“Look, I’ve been working on this assignment since last night. It’s titled. ‘Curtains’… I just want to perfect it. Can’t come up with a title. No clichés, she told us…”
He suddenly felt a new level of chill in the room. John did not understand the import of the assignment.

“Terry. You. Didn’t. Notice.”
When John addressed him as Terry, he knew he was in big trouble.
“The bracelet? Of course I did. Just told you, dear, it looks awesome. Or maybe I didn’t? Well, it looks awesome. Especially with the… er… new shirt.”
“I don’t have a new shirt.”
The phrase ‘you could cut the air with a knife’ came to mind. But he nixed it as a cliché. Then he thought of the words, ‘dripping icicles’. He would use it in his next writing sprint.

Back to John.
“Well…NICE shirt. See? Oh okay… what did I not notice this time?”
“The silver. The silver last night.”
Last night was a Wednesday. Obviously, the air-conditioning was not working. He made a mental note to call the AC guy – or to ask John to call the AC guy.

“Yes, the silver bracelet, right?”
“Noooo! I laid the table last night with silver. Our old precious silverware. For our fifth silver anniversary. Get it? Silver? And silver? And silver!
And you? You didn’t even notice. You’re just so busy with your… er…workshopping… or whatever that is you are doing nowadays! Curtains indeed!”

He made air quotes with his hands around the word, ‘workshopping’ much to Terry’s dismay.
“And…and… you keep telling me how to spell certain words – even in your sleep!” His hands were no longer on his hips; they were flailing around in the air.
“Oh… was it about doze and dose? Oh must be loose and lose…that one is so common…”
Terry laughed but got no response. He was trying to find the right phrase to describe the tension in the air, but could not. Even the ‘dripping icicles’ had frozen.

Then he heard a sniffle. Obviously looking for the right phrase was bad timing.
“Oh, I am sorry,” he said. “There! There! Should I get you a hot beverage?” he was the only one who smiled at his ‘Sheldon’ joke.
John snorted and stormed out of the room, slamming the door on the way out. The curtains flapped violently, as if in reaction.

“I got it!” said Terry, and ran back to his laptop.
As he punched the keys he thought to himself, “I have two hours to finish this. Then try and make it up to John. He looked at his assignment.
Then with a flourish, typed in the title … SILVER LINING!”

Read more on My Alchemy

My Alchemy: the online writing workshop. New batches coming up in January 2021. For more information, write to me at alchemy@abacusyellow.com

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