[Editor’s Note : Every week we will be publishing one chapter from Ansh Das’s book, The Memory Of A Face. Needless to say, we are super excited! Chapter 1, Chapter 2, Chapter 3, Chapter 4, Chapter 5, Chapter 6, Chapter 7, Chapter 8, Chapter 9, Chapter 10, Chapter 11, Chapter 12, Chapter 13, Chapter 14, Chapter 15, Chapter 16, Chapter 17, Chapter 18, Chapter 19, Chapter 20, Chapter 21, Chapter 22, Chapter 23, Chapter 24, Chapter 25, Chapter 26, Chapter 27, Chapter 28, Chapter 29, Chapter 30, Chapter 31, Chapter 32, Chapter 33 & Chapter 34]
Love on MSN
Diano checked on Jai Jai who was sleeping on his bed. It had been an exciting week. The kitten had adjusted well. He wasn’t fussy at all. And he was clean in the way he used the litter box. If you picked him up and stroked him, he’d purr and close his eyes. He liked being stroked.
It had also provided them with a reason to come together more often since they spent more time at home now. The only problem was monitoring the kitten while they were away. They had agreed on a routine. Everyday during lunch one of them would drop by to check on Jai Jai. And they would make sure that all windows were shut. The washroom and kitchen doors had to stay shut all the time irrespective of whether they were around or not.
Diano took out his laptop and joined Jai Jai on the bed. Jai Jai opened an eye to check out what was going on. He stretched and turned over on his back, but fell back asleep.
Diano smiled as he booted up the laptop. Once he was in, he double-clicked on the MSN icon. It hadn’t finished logging in when a message popped up. It was Andy.
Andy: Hi! 😉
Diano: Hello! How are you, baby?
Andy: Fine. Where have you been? :-p
Diano: Sorry. Finishing up some household stuff.
Andy: I see. Howz Jai Jai?
Diano: Sleeping next to me. Hehe. 😀
Andy: I saw his photos. So cute!
Diano: Yup. I keep drooling over him all the time.
Andy: :-O What about me?
Andy: Just drool over him only. :-X
Diano: Haha. Too bad you are too far away. My drool would dry up before it reached you…
Andy: I hate you.
Diano: But I love you.
Diano: … …
Andy: … … …
Diano: What’s up?
Andy: Are you serious?
Diano: I’m always serious.
Andy: You really love me?
Diano: Why not?
Andy: I don’t believe you!
Diano: You don’t need to!
Andy: What do you mean?
Andy: hmmm. So why do you love me?
Andy: … …
Diano: I don’t know. Just the feeling in my heart.
Andy: Haha. Right!
Diano: What about you?
Andy: What about me?
Diano: Do you like me?
Andy: Of coz, I like you!
Diano: Just like? No love?
Andy: Don’t tell you…
Diano: Ha? Why?
Andy: I’m shy.
Diano: Haha. Yes. The whole world knows it. ;-p
Andy: Come on. Don’t tease me lah.
Diano: Then don’t play me lah.
Andy: I’m not playing you wor.
Diano: Then? Do you love me?
Andy: How can I say?
Diano: Try typing it on MSN? :-p
Andy: A little bit lu.
Diano: A little bit what?
Andy: Love you. :$
Diano: Haha. So unfair!
Andy: What is?
Diano: You are!
Diano: I love you very much and you just love me a little bit! So unfair.
Andy: Maybe my little bit is more than your very much?
Diano: Thank You!
Diano: When are you flying home?
Andy: Tuesday night.
Diano: You must be excited — finally getting to see mom.
Andy: Yeah. Excited about CNY too. Will you go home?
Diano: Don’t know yet. Maybe. I wanna see mom too.
Andy: Why doesn’t your dad just let you be?
Diano: He has in a way. I moved out. It killed me to see him look sad and frustrated all the time.
Diano: Thanks. I’m ok. Maybe I’ll go back for the dinner gathering with relatives. I know that is the only time when dad won’t show his sadness. He’ll put up an act to show everybody that everything is ok.
Andy: Are you angry?
Diano: Sometimes. I think he could have done better. But not really angry at him. Just disappointed. I didn’t ask to be born gay. Why should I be treated badly for that?
Andy: Not many will understand. Sigh.
Diano: But it affects us so much. My whole life has changed. I live like an orphan.
Andy: Don’t say that, please. I’ll never let you feel lonely again.
Diano: Are you sure?
Andy: Yes. I can’t explain my feelings for you. I know it is love but I just wanna ask you to give me more time.
Andy: I need to give up my past in order to move into the future. I have to leave my emotional baggage behind. I want us to be just about us. No memories of anybody else.
Diano: That is difficult to achieve… But I’m prepared to wait.
Andy: Hehe. How are your flatmates?
Diano: They are fine. Summer is working hard on a presentation. Cute is asleep like Jai Jai. They are both lazy. Haha.
Andy: Samuel is busy with his own stuff and friends. They make a lot of noise sometimes. I just put on my headphones to drown them out.
Diano: Are you all settled now then?
Andy: Yes. Comfortable.
Diano: Can I stay with you when I come over next time?
Andy: Yup. But I think if you are coming on business then you should pick a hotel. Your company can reimburse it and I can have a few days break from this place too.
Diano: Yes! But what if I’m coming to meet you?
Andy: Stay with me and save the money. We can go to Hangzhou or other nearby cities.
Diano: Yes. Wanna see you again…soon!
Andy: Welcome. 😀
Diano looked at Jai Jai who had rolled over his back again and was now stretching out.
Diano: The baby is awake.
Andy: Go play with him. I need to wash my clothes and then pick up dinner. Chat later.
Diano: Okay. Take care. Love you. Hug.
Andy: You too. Cya.
He picked up Jai Jai and went over to find Summer.
“Still working?” He popped his head into her room.
“Almost finished. What’s up? Hungry?”
“Yes. But I can wait. Shall we go out?” Diano asked. He had a craving for some Thai food. All that talk with Andy had reminded him of their first meal together.
“Sure. Is Cute up yet?” she asked.
“Not yet. Let me go wake him up. He sleeps such odd hours. And by the way, I have a craving for—”
“Thai food.” Summer finished the sentence for him.
“How did you know that?” Diano was puzzled. Jai Jai began purring again.
“You have got that silly grin on your face.”
“What grin?” Diano asked.
“The one you caught in Shanghai!” She winked and laughed.