The List

Posted by Ramya Shankar on Monday, April 12, 2010 in , ,
She checked it everyday on the notice board in the lobby opposite the elevators. Amidst the roommate wanted, yard sale and restaurant advertisements were the two loosely pinned white sheets with numbers and crosses on them. Everyday she would hurriedly scrutinize the list before she made a mad dash for the shuttle bus honking menacingly outside her block. It was the only sheet that caught her attention every time she stepped out of the elevator. No, the 5$ blender and the 45$ dining set offers did not lure her at all. And she wished "Mandarin" would stop advertising their stinky soy sauced laden tasteless menu.

Anyhow, focusing our attention back to the list; she knew exactly where her apartment number would appear. On the second sheet and ensconced somewhere between the numerous X's would sit her barren apartment number. Everyday her eyes would automatically focus on the blank line in the hope that someday it would bear an X against it. That "X" my dear friends, was the cross that meant there was something waiting for her. It was not like she was expecting something. Well, yes she did expect something or anything from deep within. She just called it her unfulfilled hope to get surprised someday! Oh what a sucker she was for surprises and yet not one still! It wasn't too much to ask for, was it? The only difference was, the day never seemed to come. Birthdays whizzed past and we fast forward the hands of the clock at astronomical speeds to a date in the future. No, our protagonist hasn't grayed or wrinkled and positively did not use a cane to walk yet. It was just a time in the very near future when she knew for sure that she was going to be receiving something. Her little slot was going to be fertile.

The checking routine increased frequencies between trips to the gym, walking the dog, and trips just to check if the cross had arrived itself on her real estate of the list. But it never came. What could have happened? She knew her mother had sent something last week. It should have reached her by now. She was almost going to believe that the position of her apartment number on the list did not adhere to the rules of the Feng Shui. She really shouldn't have cursed "Mandarin"!! A few calls later she found that her package had been misdirected and would reach her the next day. Finally, the package was hand-delivered to her doorstep, bypassing the list.

Alas! She still awaits the day when the little meaningless cross would grace its presence against her apartment number on the list.


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