Tobi, Monday, 9 October

. . .




Blaring horns and raucous babble seep into my sleep. It’s the usual, but it gets me thinking, Can’t anyone get some sleep in this freaking city?!

I trundle up. Today I want to do things fast, or at least start the day with precision. I make for the bathroom and quickly brush my teeth. I put some water on the fire for bathing. I want to be brisk, but it doesn’t mean I must bathe cold water.

Puppy, my fast growing bulldog is flat on the other side of the bed. I signal for him to follow me and he springs up. We both stroll to the kitchen where I unroll his bag of dog food and poor him some in his bowl.

The day is promising, hot. I guess the heat signals the end of the wet season. But it’s camouflage, because in mere hours heavy rain is going to be pelting down.

After taking my bath, I head downstairs to my mailbox half expecting to see a letter from Vivian. Puppy follows. In my heart I’m happy that she’s kept to our pact thus far, that she hasn’t damned the consequences, that’s if there are any. I open the lid and the box is empty. I’m sad. She had the whole weekend to write back to me. Could it be that she’s double thinking about the pact? Maybe she thinks it was childish after all. But we made the pact in love. People do childish things in love.

I take out my phone from my pocket and open Facebook Messenger. I write her a message:

You had the whole weekend
to write back to me. Are you
chickening out of our pact?

I know she hasn’t seen it because her tiny picture hasn’t dropped under the message. But it’s blue and sent. She’d probably read it after work.

I feel childish, I feel like I’m distracting her from something more serious. But the pact is serious to me too, to us. We made an agreement to always write each other letters, no matter what happens, to preserve the age-old art of letterwriting. My mind darts to the times we were still together; we would write letters to each other and bring it along to a date. It was our thing, it was one of the things that set us apart from thousands of other lovers around.

I head back upstairs, past the floors of flats. Today I imagine I’m going to write something. I must write something. Everyone is at work doing something, right? So naturally I must be doing something too. Writing is more than just art, it’s a job.

I do some push-ups to heat my body and soul for the task at hand. I flip open my laptop and launch Word. First thing I see is the cursor blinking at the end of the last word. I blink back. Empty.


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