Act 3, Scene 2: Sincerely

Prompt from here.

For the umpteenth time in the last two hours, I froze in front of the old Macbook with the tiny cursor blinking in the almost-empty e-mail draft.

Dear A

How do people write e-mails nowadays? How do they start? Do they still use the old “Dear X” thing? I took a deep breath and squinted my eyes at the screen, hesitantly pressing the delete button a few times and typed in something else.

Good morning,

The forgotten telly blinked on the other side of the room – could tell from the dialogues that it was still the House MD rerun. I’ve forgotten what it’s about since I tried writing this bloody thing. Good morning, though? It’ll be less funny if he opened the mail at midnight. Nah.


The hell. This is not high school. And it sounds unprofessional. Let’s not jeopardize my own career here. Remember the big fat line between work and personal life.

Dear A,

Do I really have to use this format?

Dear A,
Thank you for

Thank you for… what?

I groaned, throwing my head back and stared at the ceiling, somehow knowing how long the night was going to be.


Act 3, Scene 1: Scent

Prompt from here.
A companion to this post.

The smell of cigarette smoke filled the usually sandalwood-scented room for a reason I still couldn’t justify.

I don’t smoke.
Nobody I grew up with had kept any kind of cigarette in the house.
I grew up looking down on every smoker I know.
They reek; their stench nauseate – but bearing it was a part of being social – meaning if everyone in your office smoked and you didn’t, you just have to hold your breath and pray you’d make it out alive.

I locked the door behind me and dropped the leather bag unceremoniously on the floor, the censor turning the lights on as I walked into the apartment.

There is always a first time for everything, people told me.
That night, shedding the clothes that brought in the corrupting smell in the first place felt like some kind of loss instead of relieve.

Took me three days and a coworker to realise how much of a dense idiot I am for not realising the reason why.

“Don’t you know? He’s a smoker.”