Archive | 2:21 pm

You’ve Got Mail

20 Jul

The elevator pinged and its doors slid open. Shanti walked out into the gleaming granite lobby, almost bumping into the mailman stuffing envelopes and pizza flyers into individual numbered slots. He greeted her with his usual good cheer and asked after her family. We are all well, she replied, a half-smile fluttering around the corners of her mouth. She found a strange comfort in her daily interactions with him, brief as they were. They spoke about the weather, his children, her family’s plans for the summer, and he would invariably hand her the pile of envelopes from her mailbox as a friendly gesture. She’d leaf through them: Shanti, Shanti, Ashok, something from the children’s school, Ashok, a general request for donation, and one addressed to the both of them. Sorting them in a His and Hers pile, she’d fuss with her keys until she found the one to her front door and unlocked it.

Throwing the two piles onto the entrance console, she’d step into the kitchen for a cool glass of lassi before emerging and thoughtfully considering the stack of mail again. She was a creature of habit, she knew that. She nestled in the grooves of patterns and they rocked her to calmness. There was a secure familiarity in receiving mail from the same smiling person each morning, sorting it neatly and arranging it chronologically, newest mail first. She didn’t have to change that just because Ashok had been dead 8 months. Shanti patted his tall pile, straightened it a wee bit, and walked away to cook lunch.

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