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  • Writer's pictureAditi

Ripping the Entwined

Updated: Feb 4

Ruby sighed and glanced out of the taxi window as they made their way through the maddening traffic. She looked to her right and adjusted her specs, admiring her darling David. She sighed again, resting her head back, closing her eyes trying to keep her emotions in check. They both had a single Airpod in their ear. Right with Ruby and left with David, listening to their favourite song.

David seemed to be lost in another world. His mother was on the road to recovery after critical surgery. He lived alone in a one-bedroom apartment in Berlin, spending most of his time working as a game developer. He had received a frantic phone call from his father and had immediately flown to Bangalore.

Most of Ruby and David’s childhood and school experiences had been filled with fun, happy, and crazy days. Although they had parted ways for college, they always stayed in touch, keeping their friendship alive. Eventually, they had started dating, and their long-distance relationship, with Ruby in Mumbai and David in Delhi, was the mainstay of each of their lives. Holidays were always spent together, their exciting surprise visits were the spark that kept them going, while late-night phone calls and early-morning text messages were the glue to their relationship. Bickering wasn’t a regular affair, but when it happened, David would surprise Ruby with a bouquet of flowers waiting at her doorstep when she returned from work.

As the taxi approached the airport, the twosome had their fingers interlocked between them.

‘It’s going to be okay,’ Ruby said softly, breaking the silence and squeezing David’s hand firmly.

‘I know. Mom is going to be fine,’ he replied, slipping his Airpod into his pocket.

‘We both know how strong that woman is. And I wasn’t talking about her,’ Ruby added. ‘There’s something else, isn’t it?’

David sighed. ‘You know how much I hate this part.’

‘Well, me too. But what choice do we have,’ she sighed.

David still had that worried look plastered on his face.

‘You know, an amazing thing happened the other day when I was at work… You know how much I love my job as an interior designer. Well, I met this client, Melissa. She seemed to be such a wonderful person. And we just got along so well. I went to her house to see the place, and over coffee, she suggested I cut my hair. You know she’s one of the best hairdressers in the city. And she charges a bomb for a haircut.’

‘What?!?!? How can you even think about cutting your hair? I think she’s just trying to roll in another customer!’’ David exclaimed.

‘Are you kidding!?! It’s been so cold since I moved to Delhi, and my hair takes ages to dry,’ Ruby explained.

David rolled his eyes. ‘We’re not going to get into this right now. And you already know my answer.’

Ruby sighed. ‘Have you got your passport?' shuffling through her things.

David nodded.

Minutes later, the taxi approached the drop-off lane at the airport. They dumped their bags on two separate trolleys and headed toward the entry gate. As they walked through the crowd to the entry gate, Ruby caught sight of a Nescafe stall. They exchanged looks and giggled as they made their way toward the stall. ‘One last cup of coffee won’t do any harm,’ David smiled lovingly.

‘Well, we are kind of early. Plus, coffee is our thing, and it gives us more time,’ Ruby added and walked over to one of the tall tables as David brought the coffee.

‘Care for a cookie?’ he asked, handing her a sealed packet.

‘You are definitely going to make me fat. You keep stuffing me with all these treats.’

Over the next few minutes, the two sipped their coffee silently. Looking around and exchanging glances of deep love and desperate sorrow.

‘It felt so right to wake up next to you this morning… to feel your warmth, to have your strong arms wrapped around me,’ Ruby said, tears welling in her eyes. ‘We’re so close to each other yet so far away, David.’

David listened silently and caressed her cheek. He kissed her forehead and said let’s run away together. I’ll help you find a job in Germany. Nobody needs to know.’

Ruby's tears began to fall. ‘You know that’s never going to happen. It would kill my mother, and my father would never speak to me again. We’ve been over this so many times. It’s just hopeless.’

‘So that’s it? That’s all… we’re just going to go on living our lives like this? Away from each other? Meeting once or twice a year? Spending most of our time together over video calls and messages?’

‘This is all so difficult,’ Ruby sobbed. ‘I’m going to miss you, David. I think it’s time to go and catch that flight.’

‘I can’t leave you like this,’ David said.

‘I’ll keep sobbing until you don’t enter the gate. Come, let’s go. I’ll walk with you.’

As they lined up to enter the airport, David and Ruby admired each other. She wiped away her tears hoping to get herself together.

‘Here,’ David said, taking a packet out of his pocket and handing it to his love.

Ruby looked at the small packet of cookies and giggled, tucking it inside her pocket.

‘You’re an idiot. And I hope you know how much I love you.’

‘I’ll keep you posted,’ David said and wrapped his arms around his darling as she rested her head on his chest, as her tears reemerged.

David took a deep breath and pushed his trolley inside the airport. Ruby watched him move forward. She put her hand in her pocket and took out the right side of David’s Airpod. ‘Oh, God!’

‘DAVID!’ Ruby yelled. ‘DAVID!’

David looked over his shoulder and shouted back, ‘I love you too, Ruby.’

‘I know you do. HEY! I’ve got your Airpod!’ she shouted and left her trolley and charged towards him. The guards stopped her and didn’t allow her to go any further. She handed the single Airpod to the security guard so he could pass it on to David.

Ruby stood there, watching David disappear into the crowd, suddenly feeling empty and lost. The guard gave her a sad look and told her to step aside as she was blocking the line.

Ruby then headed towards the other entry gate to catch her flight back to Delhi, she received a message from David.

‘You’re crazy, you know!’

‘I know! And that’s why you love me!’ Ruby replied, smiling to herself.

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