Short Story: Candlelit Night


They had not spoken to each other since afternoon, after reaching home rather late. Reshma walked into the kitchen, as Rehan switched on the TV. Little clatters of glasses he heard soon, that rose like sine-waves between troughs of an almost-mute volume.

Minutes later, she emerged from the kitchen, cupping her palms around a steaming cup of hot coffee, its vapor forming a melancholic mist over her face. “She’s beautiful”, Rehan thought raising a brow, and as quickly skipped the thought as the brow fell into its resting place. A teapot, three feet distance and an ironical silence is what separated them.

She was staring – aimlessly, Rehan thought – into some void, between her every sip. There was that occasional blink of the eye that seemed to sway the vapor away. “No, it must be her breath”, he pondered, and abruptly stopped his thoughts as she walked suddenly brisk, back into the kitchen. More of those little clatters of glasses, this time jumbled with gushes of water, until it all went silent again.

She walked out soon enough, wiping her wet hands and walked straight into the bedroom. When he seemed to hear her soft breathing, Rehan peeped in and noticed those mild movements of her legs, only that, they were not resting on his. And that seared a strange pain through him. No. It was not pain. Something else. Helplessness, may be. He continued watching TV, muted.

She woke up into a dark evening wiping the sweat under her neck. The electricity was out and the heat woke her from a four hour sleep. She stumbled from her bed, as strange voices replayed morose notes in her mind. Notes from the morning. She carefully walked across the living room escorted by her swaying shadows, splashed some water over her face and some into her throat, followed the candle light to where Rehan was sitting legs stretched and arms folded hoping some breeze would magically transform those morose notes from the morning that kept replaying like a skipping record, on his mind as well.

Her shadow crept up to him, oh so slowly, so as not to disturb any breeze that may come by, laid her head gently over his thigh and closed her eyes. Seconds later, he felt something trickling over. A drop of water. A tear. There were a few more of them. A silence echoed between them and her tears.

“Why?” she mumbled softly into the silence. The candle swayed slightly in that docile burst of her breath. That was the first word she had spoken to him, since the doctor informed her about her miscarriage earlier in the morning, during her routine medical check-up. Not a routine anymore though. He tried gathering some words for an answer, but they all seemed to dissolve into an empty darkness. Gradually stretching his fingers, he held her resting on his palms – tears now squeezed itself out of her half-closed eyes – gently pushed aside the strand of hair over her face and rested himself on her delicate forehead. Reshma burst into a flood of tears, buried her face in him even as he softly pulled her closer to him.

There were no morose notes, or that ironical silence. There was the candlelit night, and the swaying shadows. And a mild breeze warming them.


10 Responses to “Short Story: Candlelit Night

  1. 1 prat

    Kishore, you move the very ground beneath my feet. The narration is absolutely marvellous, making it all the more difficult to read. Ironic, just like your piece.

  2. 2 chaitra

    Hey It was too good :)

  3. :) :(

  4. 4 sangeeta


    you are very talented mister .. i’m glad these posts are rare as it makes one appreciate them more

  5. 5 Bewitching

    Story Line—Heartbreaking. Although, you described to a tee, the depth and intensity for the details of the events that would take place in a situation, such as this. I still get a sense that you don’t fully grasp the ENTIRE scope of things. Does that make sense? lol

  6. Really enjoyed reading it. Good one!

  7. 7 Kishore

    Prat, Chaitra, Phoenix, San, Pradeep,
    Thanks. :)

    >>I still get a sense that you don’t fully grasp the ENTIRE scope of things
    You are right. I’ve never had a miscarriage.

  8. 8 Bewitching

    Look, I never said your story was horrible. It’s just…well…I read a few stories from your archives and in those you described the passion and depth of your subjects. You understood what you were writing about and your ideas became very well thought out. I know you can write well…I’ve seen/read it. I was merely suggesting an outside view…on how you could really intrigue or captivate—me. But what do I know? Right.

  9. 9 Kishore


  10. blog-hopped to your blog recently. was reading thru your posts, esp the fiction posts. mate, you write fantastic. and from the ‘candle-lit’ story feel that theres a whole series about reshma & rehan.

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