My Un(usual) Breakup Story

My Un(usual) Breakup Story

You read out the piece of paper under the chair- ‘DONT LEAVE’. You know it is meant for you. Without hesitation, you add an apostrophe to correct the note- Don’t leave.

I, the supposedly anonymous writer of the note, flinch. You know it is me, and I allowed you to correct me, again. You know I am watching you, but you move on, in your faded red dress, with threads coming off at the seams. From a corner in the library, I inhale your scent for one last time. 

***

She came into my life when I was not looking for love. Clad in sea green, she looked at me with a knowing eye, like she knew me from another universe. 

She called me Mr. Sen. I gave her my poems to read, something I had never done except with you. She corrected my punctuation, I complained she did not look at the feelings beneath my verses. We both laughed. Is it not funny how you laugh at the same things during courtship, that you would fight over later? Is it not funnier, that you would repeat the same in your next relationship? 

You both get on my nerves alike, when I have a deadline approaching. Why do you need so much attention? If I am tense, does that make me a Sen-tense? She cringed at my puns, while you celebrated them. 

She was a breath of fresh air. She gave me my space, unlike you. Initially, she’d offer suggestions only when I asked her to. She never tried to rewire me, unlike you. She was as practical as you were conservative. Even in being different, she reminded me of you.

We have been married for a year now. We finish each other’s sentences. I type out my story, then anticipate her reaction, and reword it. But she has to find some fault! So, she misjudges the tone and suggests horribly inappropriate punctuation. She goes through my emails, my social media posts, and my texts…she has to opine! 

Of late she has begun acting pricey. She simply points out my faults, offering no explanations. Such a tease! You had a distinct voice; she can talk in any voice I want her to- if I pay her well.

I remember you breaking your spine as you tried to reason with me. You had to go by the rules, and you never rested till you convinced me. 

When I am stuck, I sometimes wonder how you would handle a situation, and do that, even if she disagrees. Maybe you were beyond my league. Were you my first love? I don’t know, but you were my first lesson. I know you have my back. And so does she.

Also, dear Wren-and-Martin, could you stop ridiculing my wife’s name? Yes- it is Grammarly, and yes, it is an adverb. Are you laughing, you wicked woman? I guess I will just sign off. Your’s truly, Sentence. 

PS: Did you just correct me- Yours truly? Unbelievable!
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Author’s note:
Wren & Martin refers to a single book High School English Grammar and Composition or collectively, a series of English grammar textbooks written jointly by P. C. Wren and H. Martin. Written primarily for the children of British officers residing in India, these books were widely adopted by Indian and Pakistani schools in the post-colonial era.

Grammarly is a cloud-based typing assistant that reviews spelling, grammar, punctuation, clarity, engagement, and delivery mistakes. It uses artificial intelligence to identify and search for an appropriate replacement for the error it locates. It also allows users to customize their style, tone, and context-specific language.

Here is my attempt at highlighting the importance and the relationship of both these aides in a modern-day writer’s life.

Disclaimer:  I have no financial interests in any of these aides mentioned in my story.
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