The continuous message notification tone was what startled Sharon and woke her up. She looked at the alarm clock and then at her husband lying next to her on the bed.
It was past midnight, not too late by any standards for a phone chat with friends for many, but for her it was, someone who has now been used to go off to sleep by ten o’clock. She looked again at Francis who was deep in his slumber, his eyes firmly closed, she assumed.
Who could it be, continuously messaging at this hour; Sharon wondered as picked up her mobile phone, opened her message box and saw that it was from an unknown number. There were around 15 messages from the same number and as Sharon started reading them her hands started trembling with uneasiness. “Hi Sharon, Sandeep here”, the first message read and Sharon suddenly remembered the name.
It was little earlier that evening that this handsome young man had come over for dinner. Francis had mentioned about Sandeep as the executive who had joined his company a few months before Francis was to retire and was the one who was slated to take over his mantle at work. But it was only three years after his retirement, the day when Sharon finally got the chance to meet Sandeep in person when he was called for dinner at their place.
Sandeep had casually asked for her mobile number while they were conversing over dinner and she had given it to him immediately, as though by impulse. She had pondered why he would ask her for her personal number but somehow she too had felt the urge to share it with him. She surely had a staring glance at her husband and had noticed his uneasiness at this conversation though he had tried his best to camouflage it.
Why Sandeep would message her so late in the night, she wondered as she read the next one. “May I take the liberty to say that you look so young and beautiful, Sharon”, the next message read. Sharon read the messages one after the other and by this time, her heart was pacing. “May I ask you out for a dinner date tomorrow”, that’s how the last message ended.
Sharon slowly got up from her bed and walked towards the dressing table at the other end of the room. She looked at herself in the mirror in the dimly lit room with just the moonlight to lighten up her image falling on it. But still she could see herself so well. She kept staring at her own facial contours.
“What’s the matter, are you alright”, the voice shook her up from her thoughts. She had presumed that Francis was fast asleep, but he was looking at her and she wondered what he must be thinking. “It’s nothing, I just was feeling a bit uneasy”, Sharon quipped.
“Then why are you standing near the mirror”, Francis enquired and as if not expecting an answer to his query, he continued. “Come over here and sleep, you will feel better”, he gestured to Sharon to lie down next to him.
As Sharon came back to the bed, Francis spread his arm so that she could rest her head on it. “Whose message was it”, Sharon was bewildered yet again as she tried to hide her nervousness. “Some random message from some wrong number,” she replied trying to steal a glance at her husband, but his eyes seemed to be tightly closed.
“You could spend a good time just reading messages from wrong numbers”, Francis said as he tightened his arms and pulled her towards him and Sharon felt the warmth in his embrace. She closed her eyes but her thoughts still revolved around the messages that she read.
“You are looking prettier than ever”, Francis remarked as she brought him his morning cup of tea. “You find this 60 year old lady beautiful”, Sharon retorted sounding as a wisecrack but actually expecting a reply from Francis.
Sharon had indeed made efforts to look beautiful in the morning. She had indulged in some time before the dressing table, getting her make-up kit out, which she had shunned almost three years back. She felt her heart prompting that she was indeed still beautiful and why should she not flaunt it.
“I had never felt that you have aged above 16”, Francis had replied to her earlier query, “It was you who had felt that you have aged”. For some reason, Sharon felt that this was the answer that she wanted to hear from her husband and all the efforts she did in the morning was just to hear these words.
Francis looked up from the newspaper he was holding in his hands, kept it down on the table, and looked at Sharon as he picked up the cup of tea. “Can I ask my beloved wife to come with me for a movie today evening,” Francis asked “and while we return, we can have a nice dinner at the new Chinese restaurant that has just opened”.
Sharon walked over to Francis, caressed his hair with her hands, bent down to kiss his head and said, “Of course, so let me go over and get my best dress out from the wardrobe”. Francis could see the glee in her eyes and the delight in her heart as she walked away.
“Would this dress still look good on me”, Sharon came out from the bedroom a little while later as Francis just kept his phone down. As Francis smiled and nodded in the affirmative, she asked, “You have some other work today, whose call was that”. Francis grinned at her inquisitiveness and replied, “It was just a wrong message from some unknown number”.
“Thank you Sandeep for all you did. She is suddenly feeling so much more buoyant and attractive now. I would always be indebted to you for doing all this for me, beta”, Francis had sent this message and was keeping the phone down when Sharon had seen him and had enquired.
Francis got up and walked towards the bedroom and as he did, his phone beeped with a message. He knew who it was as he picked up the phone and read the message. “I just followed what you told me to do. I shall do anything for you anytime, Uncle Francis. You both are such a cute couple”, Sandeep had replied.
Adj. Extremely small and/or cute, especially in reference to Japanese cars, homes, dogs, etc.
Interj. When used with “teeny tiny”, expresses amazement at the tiny size and/or cuteness of the object in question.
Derived from Japanese stationery with typically cute chibi characters on it containing the Engrish phrase “teeny tiny pinky ponky”
Engrish: It’s a form of English characterized by bad translation from Japanese by someone who is decent at translating vocabulary but has a poor grasp of English grammar. It tends to be a word-by-word literal translation with humorous results for native English speakers.
Chibi: It is an adjective that means small and/or miniature in a good or cute way. Normally used to describe (young) people or animals, and is endearing.