Beautiful Eyes – 100 words on Saturday # 12

He saw her talking with her friends seated outside the café. She was laughing at something in a manner that made her throw her head back and eyes sparkle. He was in love with her beautiful eyes. It was her eyes that drew him closer. After a long wait he had finally mustered the courage to ask her to be his girlfriend. She said that she already had a boyfriend, but they could be friends. He walked towards her, and in a sudden motion splashed a bottle of acid in her face. Nobody else would now see her beautiful eyes.

 

100 Words On Saturday
Advertisements

Her mischievous grin

He was sitting in his car admiring the river flow by ahead of him. He didn’t know when he had stopped by the bridge, or for how long had he been staring at the river. The river with all of its calm flow and huge size seemed serene. He smiled, and pulled the car out in reverse before taking it to the main road. In just a few moments he had driven over the bridge and then took the right turn as he approached it. It would take him towards the mall where he had planned to watch a movie with her.

 

Her. Her, is where his brain would stop working on other things for a moment and just think about her. Her. He tried to take his mind of her for a while since he was driving. It was as empty road ahead except for the odd car or two far away. Since such empty roads were hard to come by at such times, he made good use of them and reached the mall much earlier than he had thought. After parking the car outside, he went towards the ticket counter to collect the tickets. He had already booked the tickets online and just showed the sms before signing on the receipt and taking his tickets.

 

Before he could wonder about what to do next, he could make out a white car coming towards the mall. It looked like her car from afar. As the car came closer it did not turn towards the mall parking but kept going on the road ahead. He shrugged and walked towards the coffee shop. He opened the door and walked towards his favorite spot near the glass pane. It was a wonderful spot as one could see the roads outside, and smell the aroma of the coffee coming from the coffee machine nearby. There was no lingering aroma today though but the barista was busy making something. He signaled for his usual to be brought to him. He calmly sipped his coffee and waited for her to arrive while lost in his thoughts.

 

A few moments later he could see her coming out of the parking. He walked into the atrium towards her signaling for her with a wave. She was talking on her cell but nodded her head after seeing him wave. His mind began to focus on her again. This time he was looking at her lips move such effortlessly as she spoke and felt that he could just stand there and watch her talk for long and admire the motion of her lips. He began to feel an urge to kiss her.

‘Not like this,’ he thought ‘tell her about it first. Tell her what she makes you feel.’

“Did I make you wait for long?”

“Nope not much, got here early enough to have a coffee though. Let’s go.”

 

He walked ahead but she didn’t walk with him, and just stood there with a smile on her face. He went back and tried to pull her by her hand. He tried to, but his hand just passed through. He didn’t realize it at first and tried to pull her hand, but it passed through again. He had a look of wonder on his face, as he looked up at her face. She had a mischievous grin on her face now. He couldn’t understand what was happening, and tried to pull her hand again. As his hand passed through hers, she disappeared in a puff of smoke. He stood there, shocked.  

 

“Come on Rahul, aren’t we getting late?” She called him with the same impish grin and a wave. She was now standing behind him.

“What are you doing?” He tried to touch her waving hand again, but the moment he touched it she disappeared in smoke again.

“What happened Rahul? Why aren’t you coming?” and she appeared to his right.

This time she didn’t wait for him to touch her but disappeared again as soon as he turned.

Rahul didn’t know how to react as she kept coming and disappearing in clouds of smoke all around the atrium. His eyes just kept following her eyes. Her eyes that were full of mischief.

 

“Get up.”

“HHmnmnmn”, he grunted.

“Get up, I need to put this sheet away for washing.”

He turned around to see his mom come in to focus. He took a moment to check his surroundings. He was in his bed and his mother was pulling the sheet off. It had all been a dream. He got up and sat on the edge of the bed wondering about this dream. While his mom was talking something about the sheet, he was still under shock from what had happened in this dream. He didn’t collect anything of what was being told but just nodded before going to the bathroom. He had a nice long cold shower while he tried not to think about the dream. He quietly had his breakfast and kissed his mom on the forehead before leaving for the movie. He told her that since he was going for a movie, he wouldn’t be coming home for lunch.

 

He took out his car and drove towards the mall. Had it not been for the traffic that was normal for this hour, he would have been there earlier. He parked his car, and slowly walked towards the ticket counter. She was already standing there waiting for him. He collected the tickets before walking towards her. She was smiling at him. Just a regular smile at seeing someone familiar and quite unlike the grin he dreamt of. They hugged when he came close, and he held on to her for a moment longer than he normally would.  

 

He wanted to tell her about the dream, and what he felt about her. He tried to reassure himself that she was real in that extra moment with her. But instead he just felt afraid.

Quiet Conversations

He was walking down the road when he crossed her shop. He had stopped momentarily with no intention walking in when with his next breath he took in the fresh, warm aroma of hot cake. The kind that makes you take a deep breath and fills you with warmth and joy. He walked in, guided by his nose and saw her laying the cakes out. He gestured with his finger for one and she smiled as she put one on plate for him. He sat down and took a small bite while she smiled in return at his happy smile.

 

Written for 100 words on Saturday – Week 9 Prompt: Quiet Conversations

100 Words On Saturday

Beauty Sleep

“When does your train leave?”

“It leaves at ten, so we have about an hour’s worth of time left.”

“Ohhh let me stop at a chemist first. The shops will close by the time I return.”

“You’re not well?”

“No, I am fine. I just need to pick up sanitaries.”

“Why do you need to pick up sanitaries?”

 

He realized it was a stupid question to ask of her. She gave him a glance as she pulled over close the chemist shop. She silently turned the ignition off and got down to purchase the sanitary pads. He turned on a game on his cell phone to pass time till she would come back. She returned in a few minutes and started the engine. A few quiet minutes passed before he started staring at her.

 

“What?”

“I have an awkward question.”

“Your questions are always awkward.”

“It is possibly stupid too”

“They happen to be that as well. But I am used to them now, ask.”

 “If diapers and sanitary pads work on the same principle, why doesn’t a company make them both? I mean wouldn’t it make sense to use the same technology on two different products.”
“Companies already do that.”

“Oh, they do? It makes sense to do so.”
“Remind me again, why I am still a friend with you?”

“Because of my intelligence and charm!” he said as he made a rolling motion with his hand and grinned wide.

“And yet you ask questions like this.”

She continued to smile at him. 

“So why are you leaving by the train, when you can take the early morning flight?”

Arrey, I will have to wake up early for the early flight. Sleep will get screwed.”

“Yeah, I know how much you need your beauty sleep.” 

Haaww… I need to be my best for the presentation tomorrow. I thought I can catch up on my sleep in the train. Both will reach at the same time anyway.”

“No baba, beauty sleep.”

“Yeah, yeah, Beauty sleep. What do we know; some hot girl might end up hitting on me in the train.”

“Oh please do check if the girl is short sighted before you get such an impression from her.”

 

Both of them ended up guffawing. They had reached the railway station, and she parked the car. He took his bag out and walked towards the stairs while she went towards the ticket counter to purchase an entry ticket. She came back with one soon as there was no queue, and they both started climbing the stairs together. Since he was carrying his bag, she got ahead by a few steps. He noticed the way in which she climbed the stairs. How she took long strides that would make her take two steps instead of one. How her pants would pull against her and accentuate her rear, and how while climbing down there would be a little jiggle in them if she skipped a step.

 

She started looking at the overhead sign boards which would inform them where which compartment would be once the train would stop. Since they were still early by almost twenty minutes they were not showing any information. He set his bag down on one of the many seats on the platform while she asked a vendor where the AC coaches would stop. He saw that he had forgotten to bring water with him for the journey and signalled her to get a bottle for him from the same vendor.

 

“Your coach will be just a little ahead, so we can sit here till the train comes.”

“Oh good, I don’t have to lug this bag around then.”

“What are you carrying in it?”

“My laptop, a pair of clothes for tomorrow and a tee and capris for the return trip tomorrow.”

“You know if this presentation doesn’t work out, you can always try to find work as a coolie. You have good experience.”

“It’s not that heavy. Besides I can’t sleep in pants on the way back. So I packed a set of capris as well. I will come back to the company guest house and change before returning.”

“And why are you not taking a flight back?”

“Umm. I thought I could shop around a little and take the late night train back. Catch up on my beauty sleep.”

“You and your sleep.”

 

There was a pregnant pause. He didn’t know what she was thinking. He wanted to talk to her about it, but was unsure how to bring it about. He stared at her feet for a while which she was tapping away. She was wearing brown colored chappasl which had a pattern of red curves drawn into them. They were quiet for a while before they heard the announcement of his train. Soon enough they could make out the beam of the headlight of the train, followed by the blaring horn seconds later. Once the train came to stop, she stood by the waiting chairs while he went and kept his bag on his berth. He came out to say a bye.

“Reshma.” He called her name in a slow prolonged voice.

“Yes Sri?”

“Do you want me to get you anything from there?”

“I thought you’d never ask. I hear you can get good street-wear there. Get me some bracelets or beads.” She replied with a grin.

“Sure”

 

The train gave another blaring horn which meant that it would now leave. He turned and climbed on to it. She waived a bye.

“Message me one you reach home.”

This is how both of them parted. He got back to his berth, and lay down thinking about the night. Of all the things he had told, the ones he wanted to tell, and more importantly the ones he didn’t. He was lost in his thoughts of her, wondering when and how should he tell her about it. Few minutes passed before he received her message that she had reached home. Seconds later he received another wishing him a good night’s sleep. His beauty sleep was far from his mind as he lay awake on the berth now, lost in his thoughts.

Made it

He was leaning against the gate and waiting for him to come out of the house. He took out his mobile to check on the time and saw that it was not even eight in the night yet. There would be enough time to get things done before sleeping. He heard the noise of someone rushing down steps and turned to see him come out of his house.
“What were you searching for so long?”
“I was searching for my watch.”
“What the hell do you need a watch for?”
“Anyway, while taking my watch out my eyes fell on this, so I thought that maybe we could have it today”
He pulled out a slender metal cylinder from his pocket and handed it to him. He pulled open the cap and inhaled a deep long breath, taking in the aroma of the cigar in.
“Romeo Juliet, good stuff. I thought you were saving this to enjoy on some occasion.”
“I was, and I will be leaving today. What better a time to enjoy it? Besides if I leave it behind, how is going to anything to it?”
Having secured a seat for studying statistics, Rajesh was to leave for Washington the next day and wanted to spend some time of his last day with his good friend and class mate Sameer. Rajesh wanted to go to the States for quite some time now, for he believed that not only a better education but also a better life style and standard of living awaited him there. Sameer had not shown such desires yet. Rajesh pocketed the cigar case and sat behind Sameer on his bike. Sameer pushed the start button on the handle, changed gears and rode off towards the road, careful to avoid the potholes on the connecting lanes from the society to the road.
It was a short drive to his place which was just about 2 kilo meters away. Rajesh got down so that Sameer may park his bike in the ground floor parking. He nodded to the watchman sitting on his steel chair next to the elevator and pressed the button to call the elevator down. Sameer was there with him by the time the elevator doors opened. They got in together and he pressed 6 for the floor on which his house was while Rajesh closed the grille which served as the inner door. 
“Have you got booze in the house or will we have to go and get it?”
“I think three or four bottles of beer and some of the vodka we had got the other day.”
“Should do enough. If there is any less you’re going to drag your fat ass all by yourself to buy some.”
“ Balls. I am just going relax on the bean bag while you bring it yourself. Who asked you to drink so much last time?”
“Oi, it’s not like I made a mess!”
“Yeah, that is all I need. Feed you free food and beer and then clean up after you throw up. Very relaxing.”
“Exactly, I don’t see why you’re cribbing about it.”
Both of them entered the house grinning. Sameer went on to the kitchen to bring glasses and bottles while Rajesh sat on the couch and turned the TV on. Sameer brought it all out on the table and while he was pouring the drinks out, Rajesh was emptying packets of salted cashews and dried figs. They took their first glasses of beer, clinked them, said cheers and drank it up. Soon the cigar came out and Rajesh and took two puffs before passing it to Sameer. He put it in his mouth and waited for the flavour to seep in before taking a puff and heaving a deep sigh.
“This is some real good stuff. Top Notch”
“Totally. Do you remember our first cigar?”
“Hahaha, yeah. We went to the other side of the city to have it so that no one would catch us.”
“It was one of those cheap flavoured cigars, but back then we felt so rich doing it.”
“Yeah, stupid kids.”
“Oye. Speak for yourself, mister.”
And then they went on to talk about some of other good times they had shared together in college and after it.
“So when do you leave for the airport tomorrow?”
“Around 12, want to check in a little early and go inside. You know how mum and papa are, they will get teary.”
“And will they be ok going back on their own?”
“ Yeah, my cousin will also come to drop me off. You should come too, you know. ”
“I wish, but I have a presentation tomorrow and boss won’t give me a day off.”
“Not to the airport, I am talking about US.”
“Now where did this come from?”
“I know I am going to do masters before getting a full time job, but it’s different there. You can save up from your part time while studying so you don’t have to ask your parents.”
“I know.”
“And other than that it is not like here. Over there people aren’t bothered about others. You’re only treated as good as your work. People let you be who you are.”
“Yeah, that is what Sonal told me too. It’s a great country that you’re going to, and I would totally love it over there. But you know how I feel about it. We all want to leave here because we say that this place sucks, but nobody wants to stay back and do something about it.”
“Dude, that is all nice to read about in the books you have. You’ve been reading too much of this philosophy crap. Someone as good as you would do great there.”
“Hmn.., which is I want to stay back here.”
“Whatever, if you change your mind let me know. Now come drop me off to my house.”
“Can’t man, can’t drive like this. I am a little drowsy. I’ll walk you down to the road and get you an auto.”
They walked down to the road and waited for a couple of minutes till an auto rickshaw came. They hugged each other and Rajesh left in the auto.
Sameer was sipping coffee with his back rested against the wall. He straightened when he saw the boss coming his way. He greeted him and told him that the presentation went well and the director was pleased with the results. The boss shook his hands on a job done well, gave him some updates on what was supposed to be done the next day and walked ahead. Sameer got back to his coffee with his back against the wall. He looked at the large wall clock in front of him. It was almost five in the evening. Rajesh must be in his flight by now. He couldn’t help but feel envious of him. He smiled and wondered if it was because he had made it.

Indecent

He was standing near the hospital entrance waiting for the rains to stop. The sudden rains had brought things to a jam in the city. Since he hadn’t brought an umbrella he couldn’t walk and the traffic was too slow moving to take a cab. He reached into his pocket for a cigarette and the lighter. Out of habit he ran his fingers along the length of the stick before inhaling it in before flicking the lighter open and lighting it up. He hadn’t been smoking for a while, but today he had remembered to pick up the pack and lighter from the drawer in the office up in the hospital. He was feeling tensed, scared for himself and for her. He half had a mind to call her up to check up on her, but he had already done that a couple of minutes back.
The ambulance came in to a screeching stop near the entrance, and the orderlies rushed towards it as two patients were brought out of it. It was a young man and a woman both seemed to be in their early twenties. Both seemed to have been beaten up pretty bad. The boy had bruises and assault marks all over him and seemed to be bleeding from his mouth. His shirt had been ripped apart half way through and he winced every time someone touched him to support him while he was being moved on a stretcher. The girl seemed to have had it worse. She was beaten up as well, but had bite and scratch marks all over her naked body. It wasn’t that she wasn’t covered up, there was a sheet covering her body but her clothes were missing, and the sheet slipped when she was lifted to be put on the stretcher. One of the female nurses stepped back when she was being wheeled through along with him to the emergency room. He threw the half smoked cigarette and put on his apron as he ran through with the stretchers, ordering the orderlies to prep the room and the supplies he would need.
He and the team tried to work the best they could through the two hours that followed, but the girl did not make it through. Apart from the marks visible on her body, she had suffered two broken ribs, severe trauma on the head and her vagina. She had been raped. Gang raped, brutally. She had tried to put up a fight like anyone would do defend themselves, but was over powered by the men who had gone down on her. Turn by turn. The boy it seems had tried to intervene to help her but was beaten up brutally by the same men. He would however go on to live. He was standing still standing there in room slightly taken aback at the condition of the two. He was pulling of the gloves off his hand to wash them when a man came running in. “Please doctor, please save Riya. She is the only daughter I have.  She has been through enough for a life time. Please doctor, please save her!” He didn’t know what to say. Almost robotically he started “I am sorry sir, but we did all that we could. I am afraid the injuries she has had are far too severe.  She has had too much blood loss and I am afraid there is nothing we can do to save her.”
The father kept on speaking as he tugged at his scrubs. He didn’t hear a word of what was being told, but could only see the expressions on his face as it contorted with pain, anger and helplessness. An orderly came in and lead the weeping father out. He walked out after them. A group had gathered outside the room, probably friends and family of the two. He kept hearing while he stood there. It seemed that the boy and girl were engaged, and had gone to a bar in the city to celebrate. They had run in to a rowdy group of men when they were leaving the bar. The same group proceeded to beat them before proceeding to rape the girl. He couldn’t stand there anymore as more people tried to ask him if anything could be done for the girl. He changed into his clothes and took a cab to home. It was early morning now, and she was still sleeping when he came in. He did not wake her up but just lay next to her and kept staring at her till he dozed off to sleep. When he woke up in the evening she was predictably not there. She would have gone to her shift in the hospital but he still called her up to check up on her. He felt a sense of relief when she answered. She had come to know of the case too, and asked him to come and check up on the boy was sleeping now.
He took an hour to get ready, had a long hot bath to come to his senses before he left for the hospital. The police were there in the boy’s room with both the families when he entered.
“Yes officer, I had kissed her before the three of them started calling names at us.”
“What time was it? Were you drinking?”
“It was slightly past eleven, I remember paying the bill around eleven. We had been drinking, yes, but only a beer or two while the match was on.”
“Any other description of the three people who raped her?” He winced when he heard that word. “No, all that I remember of them I have already told the officer who came in just before you.”
“Very well, the bar has a CCTV camera near its entrance where you were attacked; we will try to pull up some useful footage from it. I am deeply sorry for your loss. I understand that you were recently engaged, and you have my word that we will try all we can to catch the men responsible for this. Doctor, will you please come with us, we need to just go through your statements as well.”
He left with the cops to give his statements in a different room. The officer had the presence of mind to not take his statements in front of the families thinking that they would it hurt them even more. He went down to her section to meet her once. He waited for her to come out of a patient’s room. The two of them did not talk much, but just sat together for a while before she went off on her rounds again, and he to the boy’s room.
“Why were you drinking and kissing her on the street? Have you no sense of shame, how to behave decently?”
“Decency, you ask me to behave decently father? So it was indecent in kissing her as we walked out of the bar? Just a small innocent kiss. Yes, that was indecent of me. Do you know what they did to her?”
“Of course I do.”
“You weren’t there when it happened. The three of them were drunk silly. They called us names, and when we walked away, they ran after us. We called for help but there was no one nearby.
They beat me first while one of them held her. She tried to fight as well, but the guy holding her, he pulled her hair and kept slapping her. When they were done with me they went on to rape her. She fought, but they bit her, punched her and one after other raped her.
I had only kissed her, but they stripped her naked and beat her before raping her on a street. Where is the decency in that? Where is the decency in that?”
Everyone went silent. He asked them to leave the room so that the nurse could change his dressings. The nurse was not due for another hour, but he felt that the boy could do with this little comfort.
“You know doctor, I loved her and she loved me back. We were so happy to have been engaged. Even our parents approved of it. I still remember the kiss she gave me that night. Her lips were so soft and moist. I still remember it like an old memory that you keep thinking of, because she always kissed me like that. I don’t think I have the will to live much longer. But I must tell you this because I am told you tried to save her. You did more for her than the rest of the world could. That night we had planned to save up to buy a house for ourselves to movie in to when we would get married.
I still cannot understand why they did this to us. Why do they hate us so much? Ours was an act of love, why did they do this to her…to anyone…”
“Hush now, you need to be quiet and rest. The nurse will be on her way soon. I will give you a dose of sedative to put you to sleep. You need more rest to recover.” He gave him a shot before calling the nurse in.
He was standing near the hospital entrance waiting for the rains to stop. The sudden rains had brought things to a jam in the city. Since he hadn’t brought an umbrella he couldn’t walk and the traffic was too slow moving to take a cab. He reached into his pocket for a cigarette and the lighter. Out of habit he ran his fingers along the length of the stick before inhaling it in before flicking the lighter open and lighting it up. He hadn’t been smoking for a while, but today he had remembered to pick up the pack and lighter from the drawer in the office up in the hospital. He was feeling tensed, scared for himself and for her. He half had a mind to call her up to check up on her, but he had already done that a couple of minutes back.
The boy had taken a blade and slit his wrists in the bathroom. He was dead minutes before his family had noticed that he was taking too long in the bathroom. Today was his funeral. It seemed odd that it should rain today in the winters. He finished smoking his cigarette before he threw the stub on the ground and crushed it with his heel. He pulled up the collars of his jacket before walking off. He was going to attend the funeral.

Courage to face a lifetime

He was feeling uneasy today, again. He had been feeling so for the last few days now. He stood up from his chair and walked towards his window to slide it open. The view was wonderful. In the night he could see all the houses ahead with their lights as stars on earth. In the far one could make out a power plant with its silhouette of more tiny lights, like a cluster of stars. This was one of his favourite sights, and on a particularly good day a cool breeze would blow across. Today it didn’t have the relaxing feel as it normally did. He looked at the book in his hand and wondered where he had gone wrong.

He was reading Fountainhead when he paused upon a line. “He did not know that he had given someone the courage to face a lifetime..”. He brushed his hair with his hands as he thought of it. Courage. Courage had changed its meaning. It once meant walking across the hall in the dark, or crossing a street full of dogs on his own. Now it meant doing something to come out of where he was. Few weeks ago his mother had seen his bank statements. He had taken a loan some time back that was half way through. He hadn’t told her anything about it. Nor could he explain to her where he had spent it. In his defense he thought, he had taken the loan so that he would not have to take money from his mom for the expenses and investments that were due. But then he had no ways to explain how and where he had spent them away in the past few months, with some thing being bought every other day. It is a good thing he thought, that she hadn’t seen his credit card statements. That would have lead to hell, whatever of it was left to see.

Things were sour between him and his mother before. If they didn’t get along that well before now was a miserable time. He didn’t blame her, she lived alone in a different city, and the fact that he didn’t trust her with things hurt her more. Every discussion would end up in an argument. He wanted to change how things were, but end up walking out of each argument with his fist clenched or biting his lips so that he would not speak something he would end up regretting later. It was not that his mother had raised him in poverty. They were a well to do family, but money was spent only on the necessary things. Now that he had a good job, the sudden influx of money made him spend at things he wouldn’t have spent before. Now that he thought of it, that money was only as good as the person who was controlling it. This is not who he wanted to be. He thought himself to be great, and now had only great mistakes.

A week later after the first argument with his mother, he was almost run over by a car. He was walking around the park for some fresh air with his earphones on, trying to be away for some time. He didn’t pay attention to the car that was coming his way while crossing the road, but was lucky that the driver braked in time. It did give him ideas. He walked back to his home and picked up the chef’s knife. He had always admired it, all 8 inches of it with its smooth sharp blade. He was particularly fond of it as it cut vegetables of all sorts with great speed. He wondered if it could cut through his veins too with it. Maybe that would a way to end it all. He would not burn out as he had always thought, but would silently bleed through in the night. To be found later in the morning when his room mate would come back from his job. He took a moment for it to sink in, before the the horror of the very idea of taking his own life struck him. The knife fell with a clang as he began to take in deep breaths. The idea that he could even think of something like this was revolting.

A month had now passed since that incident. He got back to reading from that line. He thought the line was right. He needed courage, courage to face a lifetime. And he had to find that courage in himself.

This is in response to WEEK #53 (5-20-12 to 5-26-12): Pick a Line from a Book and Write from There. My entry is based on a line from The Fountainhead by Ayn Rand.

A letter in the present to the future

Tejaswee Rao died some days ago. She is the daughter of the woman known to some of us as the Indian Homemaker after fighting the painful dengue for quite some days. A bright soul, one of her last blog posts was a letter to her future daughter. It did make me think that yes, life is quite unpredictable. We never know that I like anyone else might one fine day just cease to be, whether it may be after a lengthy battle with an affliction, a swift death in some accident or just sleep never wake up in this world again. So like her, I write this letter to you my future love, knowing that maybe you’re somewhere out there reading this. We may not know each other now or maybe are acquaintances ready to get reacquainted as more significantly. Maybe we’re already in love and this is something that I think that you must read because I wrote it for you. This is a dream I had of you one night. I can still remember details of it vividly, except your face. Try as much I may, I still cannot recall how or who you liked like.

I can see a meadow materialize in front of me. There’s a mixture of fresh green and drying yellow grass around. You sit rested along the trunk of a tree with a wide canopy which stands near the centre of the meadow. As you sit in the shade of the tree, pillars of light cut through the leaves and graze the grass around, creating an aura of illustration. Your long hair dances with the currents of the gentle breeze quite like the blades of the grass around you. You’re lost from the world in the book that you’re reading barely noticing that I am walking towards you. You look hauntingly beautiful, drowned in your care free innocence while you’re smiling at something which you’ve read in the book. It’s a weird smile as if something has dawned upon you, making you realize something simple. It’s fitting though, maybe sometimes we’re meant to realize things and not know them. You put the book down momentarily and reach for a cigarette from your pocket. You light it up and let the first puff out quite like the long breaths you let out after inhaling the smells of the fresh flowers. I pause in my approach to just stand there and let the sight consume me when our eyes meet after you turn around to see me standing there. You lips spread in to a smile and you beckon me nodding gesture as I walk briskly and come sit next to you. You keep the book aside and stretch your legs in front of you. I just sit there and gaze in to your eyes for some time when you blow a long puff of smoke in my face. You can’t help but in to a spell of chirpy laughter as I lay down on the grass with my head on your thighs. It’s by default that I stretch out my hand to caress your naked legs while you ruffle my hair with one hand while continuing to smoke with the other. I observe the patterns your lips make as you remove the cigarette to blow some smoke away. “I can’t understand about the poison symbol, smoking doesn’t kill you but it sure does screw you up and increase the probability of death by a hundred folds. Yet people go on to leave the full stretch of their lives while some fight a lost battle with their cancer stricken half dead bodies” is what I speak as continue to gaze at your lips. You stop playing with my hair while I still continue caressing your legs, I observe that your bite your lower lip for some time and while you release that red lip from the between your teeth you smack me affectionately on the head and say “Idiot!”

The last 12 hours

When you’re in love you want to spend all your possible time with that someone special. You want to wake up the first thing in the morning to the wonderful sight of that person close to you. It was the same with him, except that now he was regretting the fact that he would have to wake up. How he wished that this sleep would last forever and the morning wouldn’t follow. They were deeply in love with each other and yet today she was leaving. It was hard on both of them and both of them were dealing with it differently, both of them had different and yet same thoughts to deal with. They had slept together for the last time, simply cherishing each other’s comforting presence. He wanted to stay with her the entire day but the office required him for an important meeting for a new project.

As always she was the one to get up first and by the time he woke up and got ready she had breakfast ready. They had had a long discussion on to how they would stay in touch with each other once today found an end.

“I want to you to at least send me two mails per week, nothing much. You surely can do that.”

She didn’t say anything. She never did speak when she knew he would know the answer.

“I am serious. If you don’t I’ll come over and kill you. I mean it.”

Who was he kidding; he couldn’t lay a finger on her if his life depended on it. He did need to impress his need to stay in touch with her. Why did she have to leave in the first place?

“Don’t worry I’ll send you your two mails. We’ll try and stay in touch.”

Here he was uttering non sense and yet she understood how much he loved her, how desperate he was to have her

“Well get up now, you have to be in time for your meeting. Don’t worry I’ll be here when you come back”

He hoped she would, God only knew what’d happen to him if he came home and found it empty. They got up and she walked him to his car. She gave him a good luck kiss and some how it felt like a good bye kiss already. He started his car and his eyes on the rear view mirror and watched her till he had to take the turn that soon came. He had almost an entire day to go through. The meeting went fine; he got promoted to the head of the new project. Slowly but surely it was evening and he left his office. Half way through he pulled his car over and called her.

“Are you there at home?” She could be unpredictable and he couldn’t take not seeing her for the last time.

“Yes”

“Give me ten minutes; I am half way over already.”

She greeted him with a tight hug when he entered.

“How are you doing?” He asked her once she let go of him. She never said things for the sake of it.

She had made his favorite Rajma Chawal as he had thought.

“How was your day today? Would you like to take a bath first?” She then proceeded to the dining table. She knew his answer already. They sat down to eat.

“Went nice, Got promoted to the head of the new project.”

She looked away. Maybe it was the tears in her eyes that could come out any time, maybe it was the pain in his. Maybe it was both. He looked at the neat pile of his clothes she had done for him. Doing his clothes was like therapy for her. He woke a night before at two to find her arranging his clothes in the cupboard. She always said that she liked his smell. Who would do it for him now? Who would she do it for now? Who would she cook their favorite dishes now?

“Let’s leave. It’s raining and getting late. Please there is no need to come along.” However he insisted on coming along. They got in to her car and she began to soon maneuver her car through the almost blinding rain. Luckily her place was a few hours away. He sat there stiff like a child with a puffed face, and was careful not touch her. She noticed that and took his hand and smelled it before gently kissing it like she always did. They had reached the bus stop and it was time for him to get off and let her go.

“You promised that you’d write to me at least two times a week.” She nodded.

“Give me this bit of solace I need to live.”It was getting late and he would have to leave now.

“Remember to take care of yourself and don’t smoke again.”

“I will if you keep reminding me. If you ever need me, shout and I’ll be there.” He hadn’t smoked since she was with him and he wasn’t going to now that she was almost away. It would remind him of her not being there. Everything else would too. He got out of the car. They saw each other for some time before she nodded and began to leave. He had begun to cry, his tears masked by the rain. He had held it back ever since he had got in to the car. He couldn’t let her see him cry. May be she knew that too and couldn’t see him. That’s why he saw a drop of tear roll down her cheek too before she drove off.

He began his walk back instead of taking the bus, hoping that someone may hit him on the way home. He didn’t know if he could live without her.

Story : THe Coffee is getting cold

The coffee is getting cold

‘Jingle bells, jingle bells jingle all the way’ her phone rang. She smiled and saw that it was Ariel who was calling her. Ariel and Rina were friends for some time now. Although they were introduced to each other just more than two years ago by some common friends, their friendship had steadily grown ever since and not only were they fond of each other’s company but also trusted each other immensely.

“Hello there, long time no see. When did you come back from your trip, and did you bring anything for me?”

“What is it with girls and gifts? I got back last night only. Can you make it for some coffee?”

“Sure, I still haven’t had my morning cuppa yet, why don’t you come over to my place now? I’ll have some hot coffee ready by the time you come”

“Excellent idea, be over there in fifteen minutes.” He disconnected the phone. He better have brought me a gift she thought.

After more than fifteen minutes later the door bell rang. Obviously it would have to be Ariel.

“You’re late mister” she said as she opened the door.

“Will I be able to bribe thee with some chocolates and a wonderful new bottle opener?”

“The chocolates will make me fatter you know”

“I guess that means I am forgiven for being late” and he stepped in to the wonderful smell of freshly brewed coffee. Apart from their taste in wine, and food they shared a common love for coffee.

“Ah, that smells wonderful, freshly brewed and with hazel nuts too.”

“You’re welcome. Sit; tell me about your trip”

“Switzerland was amazing, although the client was less amazing. He nagged about a whole lot of things until he realized that the delivery was what his team had wanted and not what he had thought which cost him a bunch of euros more.”

“So all in all a profitable trip for you then”

“Yes you can say that. Listening to an old man hag is hardly a price one has to pay for a good profit.”

They sipped their coffee for quite some time. Rina took time to look at the bottle opener she had just received.

“You’re taking an awful long time to examine it you know”

“Speak for your self; you are taking an awfully long time to finish your coffee.”

“I’ve been thinking some thing for some time now”

“What?”

“Since when do you think we’ve been having coffee?”

“What? What have you been drinking?”

“The coffee you made, seriously tell me how long do you think we’ve been having coffee together?”
“For over a year I guess”

“And how many times more are we going to have it?”

“Seriously, what have you been drinking?”

“I’ll come to the point then, I find it hard to be just a friend with you R. I know this may seem out of the blue to you but like I said I’ve been thinking about it for some time now. Every time you’re around you make me feel special. I’ve never felt like this so long for any one you know. I am asking you out. I love you Rina”

This did come out of the blue for Rina. She did consider Ariel as a very close friend but nothing more. So obviously she was taken aback by this. She found it hard to think in any different way about him. Sure he was there for her all the time but it some how didn’t feel like love. His company was more than enjoyable but she never felt that spark she thought she’d feel for some one she thought she’d be in love with. She remained quiet for some time.

“You know my coffee is getting cold waiting for your reply.”

“You’ve already finished your coffee. Honestly speaking I’ve never thought like this about you A, I always thought of you like a good friend. In fact I don’t even fit your so called profile of your ideal match. You for one wanted some one who is older than you, some one with spectacles.”

“Life isn’t always about what we want. So what if you don’t have spectacles or that we’re of the same age. I love you.”

Some more silence followed.

“Has this got some thing to do with my smoking? I know you don’t like my smoking, but you know I don’t smoke that often anyways. It’s only when I am stressed out flat.”

“Whom are you favoring Ariel? I didn’t even think about this. But you make a good point you know.”

“I am favoring us Rina. Think over it”

“Smoking and come of your other quirks apart I just don’t feel like love with you. You’re about the closest a friend one can have but…”

“Like you said your self Rina, you don’t fit the profile of some one I thought I’d fall for. Perceptions change” He cut in.

“Give me some time; I need to think it over. But I still don’t think your way on this.”

“Don’t worry, I’ll be waiting for it R.”

One year later

She was sitting in the gallery of the room sipping some coffee thinking how things would have been different had she made a different choice. She felt a hand run through her hair, and smiled. He came closer and kissed her. He was right; her perception about love had changed too. Ariel sat down. She smiled and said

“Your coffee is getting cold honey”