“I don’t know, this is definitely not working out.”
I didn’t understand his concern, reason or basic pragmatism behind what he supposedly claimed. We spoke over phone each day. He would call up five to six times (only if I could attend the calls in between my rounds and duties!). And we spoke late into the night. Often, he would simply snooze off while in conversation. I would listen to his heaving breaths for a while before disconnecting the call. His peace kind of made me happy somehow. Our conversations would sometimes be really long. And mostly, we would be laughing over the silliest jokes and verbal pranks that were immaculately childish. We never complained. We were missing each other on various realms; from physical to mental togetherness. LDR was inevitably a disease to him. I was still working on making it work.
“I can’t take another long distance gimmick. I am scared and not up for it!”
“So what are you suggesting?”
“Don’t freak out to what I suggest now…”
I was studying this new case of a subject with hereditary non-polyposis colon cancer. The patient was admitted in his fourth stage, where the stuff had metastasised pretty well into the vicinity. The MRI looked undermining.
“Well, let us just be friends for the time being. And then after a couple of years if we find this is working out? We may get back together. I mean, with you off to UK…”
I wasn’t listening to him. The macabre growths in the tissue interested me more than the obnoxious proposition that I was hearing over the phone.
“Are you contemplating a break-up? You are dumping me?”
“See, I am not dumping you. Just gracefully going about it.”
I loathed his grace. I loathed his indifference to all the intimacies that had led to a spontaneous and obvious dependence on him from my end. Yes, I was dependent. I had every right to be that. But insensitivities are ghastly impervious. Especially to people who manipulate consciously. I recalled what he had said a sometime back.
“I am a manipulator as well. I can make people do what I want to.”
“And what is with this manipulation?”
I don’t remember his answer now. Everything slowly seeped into the quicksand of muddled oblivion. And thus, I yielded to his manipulation. I had apprehended he would use it on me too someday. But then, I didn’t expect it to be so sudden.
“And you won’t give us a chance to survive?”
“No girl; I can’t take another round of LDR anymore. You need to be matured to understand this perfectly.”
He took a dig at my immaturity; or let’s say what relatively seemed immature to him. He was adamant, like a bull! And I knew it was over even before I made an attempt to fix it. There was a crack; an irreparable one.
“Sure. Please go ahead.”
That’s how it ended. Gracefully.
Though I don’t know how do you associate grace with something so morbid. Death of a relationship. Like the death of an organ? We as surgeons cut them out mercilessly; because they are diseases beyond cure or injured beyond correction. Was our relationship that deformed and wounded. But where was the bleed exactly? What happens in such medical cases where you don’t see a bleed, a scar, an abscess or a rot, or deformity or a potentially harmful cancerous manifestation and still you go ahead and cut the organ out?
You commit a felony. The doctor who does that is guilty of a crime.
I don’t know if he understands that way. I am a doctor and wired to see it that way. And somehow, the whole metaphorical analogy seems to fit.
I let him go. And Grandpa exactly knew what I was thinking in my head.
“What about work? You know right you need to keep on working fine?”
“I am fine Grandpa, work is everything to me. That didn’t get affected even when Mom passed away. It remains the same.”
I owed him truth. I always have done so. Telling him the truth when I owed him one. I never needed to hide anything from him. He was a surgeon; a strong-willed strong-minded one.
“Take my cell-phone.Erase his number. I have Rob’s number stored in it.”
To him? An organ turned out to be rot. And like a true surgeon he cut it out; without tallying the repercussions that the rot would disseminate.