Written by Nandini Sethi
“I think my toes are going to fall off!” I screamed at Jay, burrowing my gloved hands deeper into my woollen coat, which seemed to be too thin and flimsy for this unforgiving weather. The snowfall had begun, and we had only just made it to our chalet in the woods, and in time, because it looked like the winds were only going to get harsher.
“Could you for once make yourself useful and turn on the heater!” I screamed again. The cold was getting to my head. Jay walked over to the switchboard, played around a little, turned towards me, and braced himself for the wrath that was to follow. “The electricity is down.”
I glared at him for a minute. Which became two. “And why is that?” I spoke in a low, intimidating voice. He didn’t say anything. “Is it because you forgot to pay even when I told you a hundred times, even yesterday?” Now I was screaming again.
“Listen, I paid-”, I cut him off to make my point – “no! No, you didn’t because you never listen to me! You only do the things you want to, at your own pace, without even so much as pretending to care about the people around you!”
He walked towards me and put his hands on my shoulders, “Tia, is this about something else?”
I glared at him again. “No, it isn’t. This isn’t about the stupid trash you won’t take out when we’re back home, and it isn’t about the flight tickets you waited until the last minute to book.” I took a deep breath and looked at him one final time before walking into the bedroom and banging the door shut.
I tried my best to get warm, but the only heat I could feel was from the tears that rolled down my cheek. I don’t know why I was so upset, I think my mind was numb because of the cold. I felt so lonely at that moment, that even the thickest possible comforter known to humankind felt flimsy and small. I burrowed my head under it, breathing in the scent of familiarity, only to realize that I wanted the one thing that I was fighting with. Jay.
No. The trash, the tickets, and the hundred other things he perpetually disappointed me with. But this comforter, it didn’t feel warm without him in it. I still remember the day he surprised me with it, way back in the day, as we prepared for our first vacation in the woods. It was his way of apologizing to me for forgetting to book the tickets beforehand. I sniffed at the thought.
Maybe people are not meant to change. And because of that, we stop loving them. Is it okay to change yourself for someone, someone who would bring you the world if they could? I know everyone says don’t do it, be yourself, no man is worth it, but at what expense? To live the rest of my life alone just because I was proving some ridiculous point?
Undraping myself from the useless comforter, I walk sheepishly outside. I walk towards Jay sprawled out on the ground with his back rested on the couch, scrolling through his phone. I dragged the comforter, paying close attention to not letting it entangle with my feet and trip me.
I brought it over to the edge of the couch, placing myself on the floor, next to Jay, as I draped the blanket on our freezing limbs. I snuggled up to him, kissing him on the cheek, letting the silence do all the talking.
Just then, I heard a bzz followed by something akin to a spark. I looked up to the lights a bright and the heating whirring to a start. I smiled up to the low lighting and watched the snow with the only person who understood what I meant to say without having said it.