“Dude, what the hell? Why did you pack your curtains?” Inora asked, walking into Emil apartment, “And your mattress? What sort of escapade are you after, Emil?”
“He is moving to a new house after coming back.” Rehana informed.
“Oh my, hello there! I almost didn’t see you there…in the next apartment.”
“But I have seen you both often in this room.”
“Emil? Did you make a new friend?”
Emil made the introductions.
After coming back from work, Emil had realized it was going to be tough fitting the spare TeleDev into his travel-bag. With the AI so close, he did not want to travel anywhere without a TeleDev. So he tried to force the issue for a few minutes but failed to get the zipper all the way up and decided to take a break and tackle the task again later when he would be able to catch the zipper off guard and have his way with it.
“We’ll leave as soon as I’m out. It’s a long drive.” Inora said, heading into the washroom.
Emil decided to try a new tactic with the zipper. He took every out of the travel-bag, except the TeleDev, and tried the zipper.
He punched the air.
Then he realized that as long as he was taking the TeleDev, he did not need the travel-bag. So he took the TeleDev out of the bag and put it under his shoulder, like one may carry a newspaper.
It worked beautifully.
Then he had another flash of genius and put everything back inside the travel-bag (except the TeleDev) and zipped it shut.
It worked magnificently well.
He punched the air again.
But immediately, he was distracted from his triumph by fiddling outside his apartment; someone turned the doorknob. It was unlocked, but the door did not swing open. He heard keys jangling outside, and there was a soft click, as the lock set in place. Someone turned the doorknob. It was locked this time, and so the door did not swing open. Someone punched the door and twisted the doorknob again. Still it would not swing open.
“Let me in!” a mournful sob could be heard.
“Let her in!” Rehana exclaimed. So Emil did.
Sania walked in, ready for war. Facially speaking. Her heart was only ready for reconciliation.
“Where are you going?” she asked, “Why are you carrying a rug?” She asked, pointing at the rug Emil had under his shoulder. Her eyes darted around the empty apartment, fell on Inora’s tote-bag on Emil’s bed, she quickly looked around again, “And just what is she doing here?” she asked venomously, pointing a finger behind Emil.
“I have always been here. I see you here often.” Rehana said.
“Who are you? Emil, who is she? What is she doing here?”
“I don’t think she’s precisely here.”
Inora walked out from the washroom, “Hey, congratulations! You got your zipper all the way up! Hey Sania; you are back again.”
Sania said nothing.
“Will you be house-sitting for Emil while we go away?”
“You should come with us next time. We can hike up that mountain your father owns.”
“Heh, hehe.” Emil laughed, because he had no words that could diffuse the situation, “Heh.”
“What are you laughing about?” Inora asked testily.
“I don’t think Sania is much of a hiker, are you?” Emil asked…looked towards Sania…noticed trembling lips…quivering nose…puffed eyes…yelping…a tear drop…then she ran out and down the stairs as fast as her high-heels would allow. “I think she may have read into the situation incorrectly again.” Emil said.
“Should you maybe go after her?” Inora asked.
“Unnecessary. She will calm herself down in due course and call me again when she is ready to talk. She has a process.”
“But don’t you think you can help with the process by calling her?”
Yes, that is part of the process. But not now, Now is too soon. I have to give her time to brood. You ready to go?”
“Yeah, let’s go. But one of these days, you have to start treating your girlfriend better.”
“She will never leave me alone if I did that.”
“Why are you bringing a rug?”
“For good luck.”
Sania had forgotten her keychain in the lock. Emil took it out and handed it to Inora, “Here you go. Marco and you can have free reign to come and go as you please.”
“Aren’t you moving?”
“For until I do.”
She took them gingerly, “Thank you. Are you sure Sania won’t want this back? This seems to be all her keys.”
“No, they are all copies of the same key…don’t ask, I never did.”
Emil locked the door from outside and they headed down the stairs. Both of them had forgotten to say goodbye to Rehana. But she was used to it. People tended to forget she was there, anywhere. But she was always there. Cooking her chicken curry. Observing. And just because Inora or Emil or Sania were not there to observe her did not mean she ceased to exist. She had no need to be perceived.
It was her job to perceive.
Inora and Emil climbed down the stairs and headed towards Inora’s car.
Emil received another text from Sania; he chose to ignore it and turned his phone off.
They tossed their luggage in the back seat and got in the car which spluttered a little, roared into life, back-fired and then promptly refused to start. Inora asked Emil to get outside and give it a push.
She came back to pick Emil up ten minutes later, and apologized, “I forgot you were coming with me; I usually get some urchins to give the car a little push when needed.”
“That’s alright. It was an honest mistake.” Emil said; figuring acrimony was no way to start a road trip with.