Ramya Srinivasan writes about a quiet night tinged with despair, love, and a generous helping of Ben & Jerry’s…

I ring the bell twice. I can’t wait for the evening to begin. I can’t wait to tell her.

As I walk into the house, I see the pizza and Coke on the dining table.

“You seem well-prepared for our movie night, but I’ve got you beaten though,” I tell her.

“How?” she asks.

“I got popcorn, and popcorn trumps pizza,” I say.

She doesn’t smile. Just pulls out two glass bowls from the cabinet and places them on the table. Then purposely picks one up.  I stare at it as the light bounces off its round smoothness.

“But I got ice-cream from Ben & Jerry’s which trumps everything,” she says.

We are doing our usual ‘who wins’ dance.

“Okay, I give in, you win. But isn’t it too early for it?” I ask.

She gives me a long stare. Then she reaches up for the ice-cream scooper.

 “You know that every time I’m stressed, I eat ice-cream,” she says, opening her fridge door and scooping out from the chocochip tub straight into her bowl. Our favourite flavour since college times.

“Remember how we used to bunk Thermodynamics to sneak out for ice-cream,” I warm up, getting ready for our bitch fest for the night.

She doesn’t say anything. Something is wrong, I just know. If Thermodynamics isn’t getting the hate, something is definitely wrong.

I watch her walk to the sofa and don’t like the droop of her slim shoulders. I wait for whatever is to come.

“IVF didn’t work. Doctor says Ajay and I should give one more shot,” she says. “Months of crying, planning and waiting, only to restart the whole damn thing.”

I know how much this means to her. My hands go to my belly involuntarily. This news can wait.

I sigh and walk up to the couch where she sits, curled up like a baby. I squeeze myself in next to her and hug her tightly. She pushes me away and the glass bowl in her hand falls down and shatters. I have a feeling that she knows.

Ramya Srinivasan
 is popular in her almost non-existent social circle for her resting B face. She is obsessed with Indian mythology, Harry Potter, ergonomic furniture, and binge-watching Schitt’s Creek. She is currently based in Bangalore.

Illustration by David Yambem for The Mean Journal.

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