Today’s prompt is to tell a story from shifting perspectives. I decided to move to a different story. This one is rather short (first day of work!), and captures a moment revolving around some unknown misunderstanding or difference of communication.
She texted her new friend for the … Actually, she wasn’t sure how many times she had texted. And called. She had her best friend text. A few times. She didn’t understand why the American girl didn’t text back or answer anymore. She had spent all day getting the tickets for the movie using her own money; she couldn’t give them back. She slumped down to the floor of her room, exhausted with frustration. Then she texted another time.
The phone went off. Again. Her friends were eyeing her from across the table. At least her phone was buzzing in the middle of the day rather than at two in the morning, when the feral dogs were particularly good at keeping her from sleeping if she happened to be awake. She couldn’t put it on silent; there was an important call for her research coming. Telling the girl she had shared an umbrella with to walk home one monsoon night how busy she was and that she couldn’t make the movie hadn’t worked. Asking her politely to stop calling and texting hadn’t worked. And when the guy had texted, a piece of her was suddenly violated and vulnerable. That was when she stopped answering at all. Do people here just offer their homes, movies, and constantly text after meeting someone on a rainy street once? Had she offended some cultural practice?
When the American explained the situation, she couldn’t believe that someone from her country was behaving this way. This was not normal, and the girl relaxed at that information. She took the phone and asked if the American would like her call the girl and make sure she stopped. They spoke the same language; it would be easy. She declined; she had already found the blocking function on the phone. These Westerners always doing indirectly what should be done directly. But she handed the phone back with a promise, should the American change her mind.