Four months had gone by and they had never exchanged a word. They worked around each other – R filling the water bottle from the water-bubble at J’s side of the room, J leaning over R’s stuff to reach the switch board, R getting back from work to watch another Korean series and laugh out loud over the silly acts, J watching Bade Achhe Lagte Ho and sigh out loudly every single time Mr. Ram Kapoor says something endearing to say to his better half – both moving away, giving space when the other was in the vicinity; communication between them was non-existent. They shared the room, but did not share their words. Each seemed so absorbed, sunken in the silence – that they were wary, almost afraid to break it, afraid to disturb the sanctity of what silence usually meant.
The relationship had soured, and the situation had come to this. Few months ago they were congratulating each other to have found the perfect roommate in the other, and today their silence was only testimony to their acknowledgement for the other. Girls who would spend hours together discussing work, friends, family, shopping in Pondy Bazar and dancing together the crazy moves of meringue and calypso in the weekend held Zumba class – could now barely tolerate the sight of each other. ‘What happened between them’ - neither could figure. Both parties were aware of the relevance of the question, but neither wanted to be the one find the answer.
Yesterday I saw R speaking to the warden. She was paying up her monthly rent. Along with the rent money, there was a letter with the subject: Vacating Room in bold letters. Turns out she is leaving the city and J.