HURT - Short Love Story By Olivia

The first time I saw H3773N on his phone, I thought it was just a random digit. An ordinary alphanumeric code so I overlooked. 'It's probably one of the reference codes he uses at the office', I had mused.

But this morning, a call came into his phone. He was in the bath house. Water splashing down his body. I sat on the couch by the window side. Looking out through the window pane, calculating the day my monthly visitor would arrive. I had taken note of its late arrival a month afore,  an issue which I should be worried about.

I am not one who cherishes the idea of peeking at someone's phone, be it taking a call or doing the other one, which will not only irk the owner but put them in defensive mode, even when no question has been doled out.

His phone rang the third time. FOURTH. Fifth. I snatched it from its stand on the sixth ring and placed it close to my ear. 'Hello,' I said to the caller.

'I' m pregnant Emmy and I need us to talk,' her tremulous voice whispered. She expected him to reply. To Mutter something back, which would erase fear of being alone from her mind. But I hung up on her.

I wasn't sure what to say. Or how to react. The statement caught me off guard. I was the only one who referred to him as' Emmy' or so I thought. I staggered back and hopelessly fell back onto the ornate couch. Mouth hung open. And like one who touched litters of hot charcoal, I dropped the phone, it scattered on the hard surface. With me, making no attempt to pick it up again.

Sanity has always been a thing of the mind to me. It vanishes whenever it jams that, which is mightier!

I waited for him to come out from the bathroom so he'd explain himself. I was still pondering on how to tackle the mess when he sauntered into the room, with his white-patterned-towel clasped tightly on his fingers, drying up streak of water dropping from his head to the other parts of his body.

'Honey, I began, trying hard to suppress my enraged temper. Some random number called your phone to inform you about being pregnant for you. Are you seeing someone else? I added.'

He was pensive. An unreadable expression creased his forehead. He looked at me, his eyes pleading, seeking supplication. The manner at which he was  taking in, the question indescribable. I stood akimbo, observing. Watching his every move. He wasn't denying. He was lost with words. Unsure how to explain this bizarre situation.

I wanted to burst out of tears. I wanted to hit him so hard. To tear him apart. To kick him so hard in the groin. To push him or puncture his face with my fist. Anything at all that could hurt him. I need him to feel excruciating pain inside of him. To feel half of what I was feeling. Betrayed and shattered. But I was too weak to do any of these.

He stood watching me leave. He watched me pick up my things. Few clothes I'd taken to his place. He didn't try to apologize. Or stop me. He just stood there. With the ghostly expression on his face. No attempt to explain. Just like a statue. I banged the door the moment I was out of his sight. To go bury my face in my palms, and cry myself to sleep.

Later, I would find out that this code 'H3773N' meant HELLEN.