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Suchet Baba | Waiting

“I’m 11 minutes away.”

Your phone buzzes, as you read the text through the preview tab on your phone. Time is a funny concept when you have to wait. Suddenly everything moves at minus 0.5 speed and you know turning the hands of the clock wouldn’t bring the moment closer. So you wait, peeling through, minute after minute till 11 months become 11 minutes and now waiting seems easier. You can count the seconds, literally. Afterall, 11 minutes is only 660 seconds. As a child, counting to a thousand was a game you and Bayani enjoyed. The six hundreds were always tough because of the many slithering sounds that made it an easy tongue twister, but you always made it through.

So you start to count, ‘One, two, three, four…” you look at your phone and in the space of that time, 2 minutes has elapsed and you have to wait only 9 more minutes, so you text him back.

“I’m waiting, patiently.”

It’s an obvious lie as you pace around the house, fixing everything that is already well fixed. You straighten the already straight books sitting on your bookshelf. You put the curtains already in place, in place. You are desperate for something to do with your hands. Anything to make time move with alacrity.

You sit and take in a deep breath. You aren’t nervous about meeting him. It is more of a blend of excitement, and uncertainty. 11 months is enough time to change a person. You feel like a different person yourself. How much more him. You look at the clock on your phone. There’s 5 minutes left. 5 minutes of eternity.

He is 4 minutes away from your embrace. No matter how much he has changed, you would still hold him because he is yours. And you would take in his smell, the same one that convinced you that home was in his arms.

At 3 minutes to time, you play a song you both like by Cigarettes After Sex, it’s 3 minutes and 20 seconds long. By the end of the song, he would be walking up to your door and you would be running into him to make up for an eternity of not being there. You sway your hips with your eyes closed to the rhythm, as the song crescendos to a gentle halt. 3 minutes has elapsed. You open your eyes and run to the window, waiting for the gate to come open. You wait and you wait and you wait.

It never opens.


Image: Microsoft Co-Pilot AI remixed

Suchet Baba
Suchet Baba
Suchet Baba is a writer, blogger and copywriter. Rainy days, cats and a good book are top on the list of her favourite things. She was shortlisted for the 2023 Alinea Prize in Nonfiction as well as the Okada Books Campus Writing Challenge in 2018. Her works have been featured in several literary magazines including Brittle Paper, Kalahari Review, Punocracy and others. She is @suchett_ on IG and X

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