Separated (part 1)

son_hugging_mother

_________Separated________

“How is that little one of yours doing?” her mum asked on the other end of the phone.

“He has a name mum, and yes he is doing perfectly fine” Sonia sighed in annoyance. “Anyways I have to go now” And without waiting for a reply, she cut the call.

She then picked up her coffee from the kitchen counter and took a sip out of it. She hated how her mum never called Dylan by his name. She would have thought that by now, her mother would have accepted and learnt to love Dylan, but clearly she was wrong.

She glanced over to the four year old boy who was in the living room, he was drawing away and colouring on the sketch pad that she had bought him a few days ago. He looked so content and care free as he scribbled away, his eyes were scrunched up in concentration and he was biting his bottom lip.

She knew exactly where he had gotten that habit from. Every time she looked at Dylan she couldn’t help but think of how much he looked like him. From his green eyes, to his light brown hair.

It had been four and a half years since she last saw him, Sonia often found herself wondering, what he must be doing right now and where he would be. But she knew the chances of her finding out, were pretty narrow. Though there was a part of her that wanted to know all this, there was another huge part of her that knew that she was better off not knowing.

She was dreading the day that Dylan would ask about his father, and though she avoided that topic, she knew that the coming of the day was inevitable. That is why she had kept away every memory that her and Jason had ever shared together, so that when the time came she would tell Dylan exactly what had happened.

She remembered it as if it were yesterday, the day she was dragged away from her home only because the people she called her parents had found out about her and Jason. It was a Saturday and she had come home for the summer holidays after completing her second to last year at university. She remembered how she didn’t want to go home that summer and how much she was dreading it. The main reason she had to come home in the first place, was to say goodbye to her Dad, who was leaving for London, because he had been transferred there for work.

Her Dad had been working in a multi-national company, in fact he still worked for the same company. Sonia remembered how much her dad had wanted her pursue something in the business field, but she had hated maths and business in high school and didn’t want anything to do with it at university or college. Writing and English had always been her passion and hence that is exactly what she wanted to do, but her Dad had refused her to do so, he had even threatened not to send her to university or college. Sonia knew that this was wrong on so many levels but back then she couldn’t help but think how her parents would feel if their only daughter disappointed them. So when she did go to college she majored in Business and did a minor in writing. This was the compromise that she made with her dad. Her mum as usual had no say in matters and always had to agree with what her dad said.

It was during her second year that she met Jason he was majoring in Writing and Journalism and they had a combined class once. At first they were just friends and then things slowly escalated and one thing lead to another. Then she made the biggest mistake of telling her parents about him. The only reason she had told them about him was because they indirectly kept on telling her to look at different Indian guys who could be potential boyfriends, these guys also happened to be family friends.

So one day she blurted it out in rage and frustration that she was in love with someone else and that his name was Jason. Her parents went on to give her a long lecture about differences in race, religion, culture amongst other things; this lecture ended in her dad threatening to pull her out of college. What had frustrated her so much back then, was the fact they didn’t even bother to meet Jason. So she pretended to end things with him because she loved her college and wanted to stay there.

When she returned to college for her third year she had known that she eventually had to end things with him. Just as she was about to call things off though, his dad passed away. She couldn’t bear to break his heart anymore and it also gave her an excuse not break up with him. So she stayed and she remembered how glad she was that she did.

Then came the devastating summer holidays where she had left her phone lying around and her father had happened to read through her messages. He made up his mind then and there that Sonia and her mother were to go with him to England. Her phone was taken away; she still remembers the last thing she had written to him. The three words that she only tells to those really close to her; ‘I love you’.

She often finds herself wondering what would have happened if her parents had not found out about her and Jason. Would they be staying together as a family?

She currently stays in a two bedroom apartment in New York with her best friend, Hannah. Hannah’s dad owns a publishing company and has his own magazine. She works in the sales department for the magazine and is also the assistant editor. Sonia partially owed what and who she was today, to Hannah. Hannah had been her friend since high school but they had both gone to separate colleges; that didn’t stop them from talking though.

Hannah is the only other person who knows about Dylan, Sonia had literally spent two years of her life in hiding until her parents had finally allowed her to get in touch with people here in America. Though the thought did cross her mind to call Jason she didn’t have the guts or the courage to, so she called Hannah. To say Hannah was shocked would be an understatement, but she was so understanding.

The magazine that Sonia works for is in fact a new venture of Hanna’s dad and Hannah had recommended Sonia to her dad. The hours were flexible, which allowed Sonia to spend time with Dylan and there were times where she could even work from home.

Sonia remembered how she had jumped at the opportunity as soon as Hannah had told her. That was two years ago, ever since then, she has been staying with Hannah and is now looking to buy her own flat with the money she has saved up. Obviously her parents had not been happy about her moving back to the states but she is glad she did.

Her long trail of thoughts and traveling back down memory lane, is interrupted by her phone ringing. The caller’s ID indicates that it is Hannah, so she quickly grabs it and picks it up. If it was her mum she wouldn’t have bothered doing so.

“Hey” She greets her, glancing over to Dylan who is now playing with his cars and watching TV; the volume is turned up to the max, preventing her from hearing Hannah’s reply.

Sonia quickly walks over to the TV and turns the volume down. Dylan immediately starts to whine but stops when Sonia shoots him a glare. She then turns her focus back to Hannah.

“Sorry what did you say?”

“We are still on for lunch yeah? The review has to be sent in by the end of the week and it is Wednesday today” Hannah informed her once again. The previous time being when the TV was too loud and Sonia hadn’t heard a thing.

“Oh my god to be honest I had totally forgotten, you already there?” Sonia glanced at her watch which showed 12:15pm.

“No but I am living the office now, should I come pick you then we head there together?”

“Don’t stress yourself, I’ll take the subway; it’ll only take about twenty minutes”

“Okay then I’ll see you there then” and with that she hung up.

Sonia immediately went to get her and Dylan ready, after pouring her already cold coffee in the sink and rinsing the Cup.

She combed Dylan’s light brown hair and scrubbed his hands to remove all the pen marks, she then changed his clothes to something more presentable. She herself changes into a decent outfit which is a peach coloured top with dark blue jeans. Sonia hardly wears make-up as she strongly believes in natural beauty and so she just put on a bit of mascara and dabs on a bit of brown lipstick. She leaves her dark brown highlighted hair to flow openly.

Before leaving the apartment with Dylan she makes sure to carry his beaker of water, her phone and a small notebook and pen in her purse. Sonia and Hannah sometimes contribute to the restaurant review section of the magazine and hence that is what they were going to do.

The nearest station is just a five minute walk away and soon Sonia is there and on the train. She gets the seat nearest to the door. She sits Dylan down on the seat next to hers and begins making a list of all the things she has to rate the restaurant by, on her phone.

Whilst doing so she eavesdrops on the conversation a girl her age has started with Dylan. The lady asks Dylan for her name and Dylan confidently tells her in his broken speech that he is not allowed to tell it to strangers. Sonia smiles to herself proud of her son, he does tell her how old he is when she asks, and Sonia does not mind this though. She quickly looks up from her phone to look at the lady who gives her a quick smile.

The lady looks to be about 25 or 26 which is Sonia’s age, she has blue eyes and dirty blonde hair. Sonia focuses back on her phone when she gets a message from Hannah that she is already there, Sonia is about to reply that she nearly there; in fact the stop after the one which is next, is hers. But just as her fingers glide over the screen of her phone, she freezes, for the stranger lady sitting next to Dylan says something that makes her breathing become unsteady.

The lady had spoken to the man sitting next to her, whose face had been buried in a newspaper when Sonia had previously glanced up.

The lady had called him Jason and had asked him to look at how cute Dylan was.

Sonia was having a mental inner battle on whether to look up or not. The train had just stopped at the station before hers. She is silently praying that this man is not who she thinks it is, but a part of her longs to see him, to see what he looks like and when the train departs the station she finally has the courage to look up. Her palms are sweaty and trembling.

She thought she was a bit prepared after she had let out that long breath, but nothing could have prepared her enough, for when she looks up there are a pair of very familiar green orbs already staring at her.

Her breath hitches in her throat and her mouth becomes dry as she stares at him and takes him in. He doesn’t look that different, except for the fact that he looks more mature.

Neither of them say a word but just stare at the other. Feelings of shock, anger, hatred, sadness, betrayal and disbelief can all be clearly seen on his face by Sonia. She herself, is going through an emotional battle as different flashbacks flood her mind.

Every memory that they had shared together, from the time they met- to the night when Dylan was conceived- to their final good-bye, hits Sonia like a brick. Tears threaten to fall from her eyes but she doesn’t let them, instead she continues to stare.

She is drawn back to reality by a tug at her sleeve, she lets out a shaky breath before glancing down to Dylan, as the train comes to halt. Sonia regains her posture and calm before getting up, whilst holding Dylan’s hand. She quickly glances at Jason one more time, his mouth is now open, indicating that he is about to say something but before he can, Sonia is already out of the train. The doors of the train shut behind her, and she turns to watch it, as it speeds away. A single tear drop does escape her eye as she stands at the platform, but only one question is circling her mind – Had he figured it out, when he saw Dylan?

___________________________  ©

I was listening to Charlie Puth’s album Nine Track Mind and the idea for this story just popped into my head; to be honest I don’t even know how. But Charlie Puth’s music is just amazing and I am a huge fan. In my last blog post I had mentioned that the next story was to be titled ‘Distance’ but after much thought I felt the title ‘Separated’ suits the story better. This story has two parts because though it is written in third person, part 1 will have an insight into Sonia’s thoughts and part 2 will have an insight into Jason’s thoughts. Part 2 is NOT going to be a continuation.  

Comment your thoughts and views.  

                                                                      – Sonaili

 

 

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