17 February

Of course, if I was expecting that So-On would leave it at that, I was mistaken. Much like 2x-y’s landlady, he is bound to pry.

So-On: “So who is that guy you were with?”

Me: “High BP.”

So-On: “And who’s he? I don’t know him.”

Me: “No, you don’t. So?”

So-On: “No, I mean, you’ve never mentioned him before.”

Me: “I have. Perhaps you weren’t listening. He is a client, I am fighting a divorce case for him.”

So-On: “I didn’t know you could go out with your clients.”

Me: “There’s no law against it.”

So-On: “No, but I mean …”

What follows is a litany of questions:

1. Why am I going out with a client in the first place?
2. How come I am going out with someone who is getting a divorce?
3. How come if I knew High BP in college, I have never talked about him to So-On?
4. Is there anything going on between High BP and me?

Finally, exasperated, I say: “So-On, does it occur to you that I am not answerable to you for any of my moves?”

That brings about a shocked silence. But I don’t care. I mean what IS he going on about? To listen to him, one would think that he is my boyfriend, which he certainly isn’t and never has been, not from any reluctance on my part, but largely due to indifference on his. In the last so many months, all he has gone on about whenever he talks to me or meets me is Sam. And then THIS?

I am still fuming when High BP calls.

I snap: “And what do YOU have to say?”

He laughs: “Appi. Bright, cheerful and warm, as usual.  Sunny side up.”

I say: “Whatever. But I’m sure you do have something to say. That’s why you called, isn’t it?”

High BP: “Oh, I just wanted to talk about yesterday evening.”

Me: “What about it?”

High BP: “It was a nice play. I haven’t seen many plays, as must have been evident from my lack of theatre-going manners, but still.”

Me: “I’m sorry about that. I shouldn’t have told you those stupid things.”

High BP: “Oh no. I’m used to your being all school-teacher-y. It suits you. I like it.”

Just when I am thinking that we are going to stick to familiar grounds, he says: “And that ‘regular boyfriend’ of yours? He’s cool, too. He directed the play, right?”

Me: “Yes, and he isn’t my ‘regular boyfriend’. Just my childhood friend.”

High BP: “Of course, of course. By the way, I think he’s interested in that girl we met, Sam, right? She’s gorgeous. Are they going out together?”

Me: “I don’t know. And I don’t see how it concerns you.”

High BP: “Just gossiping.”

Me: “I hate gossip.”

High BP: “Of course, you would. How could I imagine otherwise? Anyway, stick in there, Appi.”

Me: “What do you mean?”

High BP: “You know.”

He hangs up, with this enigmatic answer. I am truly riled by now. I hate men.

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