“What’s with this I love you business yaar. I’m done with it. You say it when you pick up the phone, you say it when you slam the phone. And while we are at it, what’s with these phone conversations. I can’t take those anymore, either. Why must we talk on the phone everyday. I have too much to deal with right now. You have too much to deal with right now. Dude, can we not deal with each other at least. “
I lit my cigarette and let out a blissful exhalation, thanking my stars I wasn’t the dude in question. Wasn’t it last week that I got an unusually graphic description of Sana’s sex life with the same dude? Sana wasn’t prone to dramatic swings in opinion, I thought figuratively scratching my head.
“I’ve had it. I need a break from this guy. “ she said grabbing her mobile.
“Sana…Sana…wait….” I shouted, in a theatrical attempt to stop the SMS Talaq.
“The least he can do is mean it when he says I love you. He doesn’t mean it…he’s faking it….every time…”,
How does one fake an I love you? I obviously didn’t ask that.
“You mean…he doesn’t love you…?” I was quite sure that these two had a solid mature relationship, especially for the youngsters they were.
“Of course he loves me. But his I love you’s are fake…he’s forcing it out…and he forces it out of me. If I don’t say it…he sulks…he thinks I am angry with him. I’m just not in the mood for an I love you. Can’t he get it?”
It turned out Sana was on her period, and that I would have many more tortuously awesome bedroom encounter descriptions to survive through. But the concept interested me nonetheless. Fake I love yous….They were a year or so into the relationship….and tired of their I love yous perhaps. My next target was Jisha. Old as I was, cynical as rot and married as far. We were hags. I recounted the story.
“Do you say it? This I love you business?”
She smirked. “Ages ago it seems like…But yeah..there was a time…” she had a nostalgic expression…like she would suddenly churn out a romantic blog.
It was like imagining my parents having sex. I covered my grimace as the phone buzzed. You too, Jisha, I thought picking up the crying equipment.
“Did you call the Airtel folks? The internet is out again” said the voice through the phone.
“So why don’t you pick up the phone and call them. I don’t work at Airtel” I reply. Everyday there was something or the other. Is love a list of things to do? We both suffered from phone phobia and this was the only call I answered. The argument was already giving me a headache.
“Because it is registered on your number?” he replied “Because it is reimbursed from your office?” He was always full of logical bullshit like this. “And did you talk to your manager about your leaves?” he continued, “Or are you going to keep it till just before your vacation?”
“I love you”, I replied.
The phone line sounded dead.
“Hello, Hello?”, I asked.
“Yes, I am still here. Did your mother call?”
“Did you go for a health checkup or something?”
“No? I didn’t have any health checkup. What kind of question is that? I just said I love you.”
“Ok. Ok. That’s nice. I’ve done the groceries. The cook is not in, so I brought a sandwich from subway. “
“Tuna sandwich, I hope? Without Jalapeno, onions and….“
“…sweet onion sauce…Yes yes….all the customizations have been taken care.”
“Yeyyy!! It’s been a while. Thanks. So? What should I do to get back an I love you?”
“Ohh…I thought you gave it to me for keeps,” he laughed, “Why do you want it back? And why this sudden burst of I love yous?”
“Well. Its what you say when you are in love. Everyone is saying it, supposedly.”
“So you want to say it cos everyone is saying it?”
“Nooo. Shucks. Why do you make everything a bad thing? “
“Its ok, ok.” He said hurriedly, “I love you too.”
“There. Was that so bad?”
“No. I feel so loved. And I hope I have put you in a good mood too, madam. Maybe now you can go and talk to your manager about your leaves?”
“Awww mannn…..you still remember that?” I slammed the phone. What a waste of an I love you.