1 year later
Fatty’s body was lying in its own cast on the couch. The blanket was forming the border of his ponch and legs. His television was running but he had no clue what it was running. His soft chubby hands were lying dead on his ponch. His head was swallowed by the pillows. His eyes were pierced towards the window, where light was entering as the curtain was playing with the air.
“So it was a shimmering light of love from as far as I am from that window now but turned into a big pile of dust as soon as I got up and went towards it. Then I was supposed to clean it but I muddled myself with it for a while. Now I realize my marriage was a big mistake. I do not even know how It came down to a divorce so quickly! Maybe we never belonged together and maybe this is the new beginning!”
He closed his eyes, put his right hand on his face. His forehead turned into a criss-cross road leading nowhere and small round tears rolled down his chubby cheeks. He was sobbing, like a child who understands love but has just lost it!
Days went by and Fatty survived on canned food. He had a half grown beard, big dark circles beneath his sad eyes, and a peculiar smell which could be found in a pig sty as his new companions.
He was lying in the empty bathing tub with his chubby flesh pouring out like molten fat. He was looking at the shower in front of him and thinking of all the times he saw his wife with love and for a moment lost himself in the light of her beauty. “Her hair fell on her hips like a waterfall! Her eyes were these beaming brown balls of happiness! Her smile was this invitation to the love planet! She always smiled a lot! She always cared about me! She showed me how to stand on my feet and be a man! Her man! She always criticized me for the right reasons! Like what kinds of clothes look good on me! What kind of car I should drive! What kind of haircut I should get! ” His eyebrow lines started to frown as his brain started to churn out a long list of what she controlled about him.”What kind of food I should eat to stay fit! What kind of people I should hang out with! What kind of behavior I should have in my office!” The list was unending. In a strange twist of his self evaluation, He had fumbled upon his happiness! His frown changed into a smile “she is gone! I can do whatever I really want to do!”
He was now sitting on the couch “What should I do? Oo I always wanted to swim but never learned it!” He sprung up and ran to the bedroom to find his laptop.
He researched for an hour and found a good swimming class nearby. There was a different smile on his face now!
But as soon as he called them, and they told him it was 120 dollars per class, the smile went away!
“I am paying her more than half of my salary! She took all the savings we had! It was not much but I am left with month to month survival on half of what I get! How did it get to this?!” He face grew sad. He put his hands on his head. Then he put his hands back on the laptop keyboard and typed – ‘Cheap swimming classes nearby’.
As days passed by, Fatty grew more social again. He was trying to save a little on his own now and had been promoted in the office too. He had started to get his sanity back again. Around 6 months from the day of his self repair, He was standing at his bank manager’s desk
“So how much have I saved in the past six months?”
“You have saved around 3000 dollars. It is a good start. There was a time when your monthly earnings were not sufficient for your needs but you have really turned yourself around! That too twice! I personally think you have a great financial sensibility!” the bank manager was looking at him with strange proud eyes.
“I know! Tragedy happened to me twice! But both times I stood up and walked again. I do feel good now. After a very long time!” Fatty went on with his self praise “I always thought love was the final destination. Now I have found self indulgence and growth. I am happy, truly!”
The bank manager was trying to hide his yawn now. He disrupted Fatty’s self reckoning
“So do you know how is she doing these days?”
Fatty focused on his face with no intention of looking at him and then looked at the window in the room “I have no clue! She never visited, called or even texted after the settlement. All I have now is an account number where the money gets transferred to. She never even complained about the money even when I had paid late for a couple of times. Money was never her agenda! I think she just lost the trust in me. And that too being her own suspicious behavior being at large.”
“Wait!” interrupted the manager again “But if she was so not interested in your money, why is she getting more than half your salary now and has already vanished all your savings? ”
Fatty looked at him with mild anger now “I think you should not be so personal in my matter! She was angry at me! Maybe that drove her to take the money from me!”
“I was just putting a reasonable point across. I apologize if I crossed the line.” Bank Manager said gently.
Fatty looked away from him and pulled his lower lip up with a nod away from the manager.
“I have put all your financial details in this envelope. I want to ask you one last question. Everyone seems to be using the online account to keep a tab on their finances. Why do you visit me every month for a hard copy of it? Just being a little inquisitive here if you don’t mind telling!”
Fatty broke out of his window gaze and looked at him with a subtle smile ” First, I like perspective! Second, I like talking to you! It goes beyond the surface!” Fatty pulled his sagging pants up ” I think I should get going now. Time for my cheap swimming class.” Then he grinned, grabbed the envelope from Manager’s table and left.
A grilling swimming session had brought Fatty to a 10 min break before he could do another 5 laps. He was getting better. But today he had a new realization bugging his head “Did she want my money ? I was never involved in any affair! She thought I was having an affair with Debby, but I wasn’t really! And I have not seen Debby in the office for 3 months now! They spoke once and Debby gave a dubious version of my friendly behavior in the court! Then they both just disappeared?! I just hate all those weeks of fighting when she just did not listen to me. As if she was entirely someone else! She always gave at least one chance to what I had to say before that. Did she just want to run away from me? Was the affair just an excuse to leave me dry for whatever money I had and whatever I will ever make?” He had grown tired of all these thoughts. He called it a day and left the pool early.
He went back home and went straight to the garage.
“I need to get rid of all her things instantly” He was speaking to himself. Loud and clear.
“Everything that belongs to her needs to be out of this house”
“This house is mine! It is mine and mine alone!”
Suddenly, he just stopped rambling.
“The house is still mine. The house is still mine?” He kept thinking
“How can she not take the house or even mention it in the settlement?”
He was growing mysteriously confused now.
He sat down on the chair in the garage with his hands on his head and kept thinking
“I need to back it up. She met me through Mike in college. She did not respond to any kind of flirting or friendship in college. Then she met me in the mall some years after graduation” He was trying to remember everything about her since the time he set his eyes on her “This time she totally gave me all the signs of a connection. Oh Shit! She was pretending! She was never a person who could connect with me! How can somebody change so much after college! How can I not sense this then? Ahhhhhh…..”
He was growing very anxious of his own thoughts.
“So why would she pretend to like me? Money? What else could it be?”
He was burning with agony now. His stomach had started to churn a little and his teeth were clenched with anger.
“She always wanted to run away! She cheated me all along! I hate her!”
And then he just could not control himself “Ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh”
He screamed as if he did not care!
He kept screaming for a long time. Then coughed and ran to get some water. He drank like a thirsty dragon gulping pints of water at the only lake left on earth. Wiping the water off his face, which had grown sinister by now, he took out the mobile out of his pocket and started shuffling through contacts.
“Ah, it is still here!” His eyes had a strange glow now. The ‘T’ section of his contacts started with ‘Taller’.