Short Story: Long Year


I let him do what he likes. Today, I let him weep. The flight was delayed by four hours. But having been used to waiting, I sat at the visitor’s lounge, moving not until I saw him come down the escalator. After we greeted with our silence, I took him – as he followed me not knowing where I was taking him – to the new take-away coffee outlet that had a bunch of circular two-seater tables.

It was in our sophomore years, when he was my best bud and the class clown, who always found ways to make people laugh. On a day, he wore a circus clown cap, painted his cheeks with large red lipstick dots and imitated all our professors. He also invited some awkward comments that I would never tell him, lest it would make him sad. I let him do what he likes. I always did.

So I never told him many things. For example, I never told him how much I loved him. Even after we had to part and go our ways. I had condemned myself to the curse of the ordinary. There was an element of ordinariness to my life, a seeping wish for those little gifts of laughter and merriment that are always confined to the better people of this world. Dreams are not meant for the ordinary ones who are left to the mercies of an eternal hope for the simplest joys.

When I heard he was married, a searing pain pierced my stomach. I dreamt of him embracing the woman in his life, running his fingers through her forehead and telling her his life would be nothing without her, and I woke up feeling terrible. May be I was jealous, but then I had already resigned to the curse of my ordinariness. Ordinary ones like me don’t deserve to get what they want. We are those sundry entities, who were sent into this world because God wanted to cover some holes in His creation, just to make the creation look complete. We are an accident.

We reach the take-away coffee outlet and sit with a hot cup facing each other, but not actually facing. We kept staring into our coffee with an awkward silence that seemed to provide a strange sense of long awaited comfort for both. That’s when he began weeping.

“It was a long year”, he finally muttered a low whisper. He was choking to talk anything about the mishap or the loss of his family. Sometimes ordinary things happen to extraordinary people. They are used to happiness, unlike us, that anything slightly bad tears them apart. And something this bad throws them out of the system.

“I know”, I returned his whisper, still staring into my coffee. And we suddenly realize our coffee was becoming cold. How much stranger could this life be – amid the pains and tears and memories, our immediate worry seems to be to finish the freaking coffee before it’s cold. If you look at it that away, all tragedies are funny. When you cry, you are actually laughing at yourself. We drink the coffee and he walks beside me as I head to the parking lot.

We had some steamed rice and cookies for dinner. He helped me with the plates, rearranging them along the shelf that had a decoration of tiny red dots distantly resembling his cheeks from the sophomore days. And when we had to call it a day, he came and sat near me. I took his hand in mine. His eyes glared at mine with a mix of pain and comfort, as if resting after a long journey. He placed one hand around my shoulders, softly ran a finger tracing the perimeter of my forehead and rested it in the middle of my cheek. I sit without a stir. I let him do what he likes.


9 Responses to “Short Story: Long Year

  1. So touching na. Its like that song- if you love something, set it free…if it comes to you…

  2. The narrator is a male or a female?

  3. ooh that got me feeling all fluttery in my stomach

    i could feel this story as though it was my own

  4. The course life takes…

  5. Why don’t you make the “I” do what s/he likes?

  6. NICE! :) v nice!

  7. Kishore,
    is it sophomore year or sophomore years? I believe “sophomore year” should be the right thing? :)

  8. 8 Akhila

    Tooo good Man!!! :) You should be a writer, what are you looking for in IT???

    But it seems like a narration of a girl, rather than a guy.

  9. 9 Kishore

    Hmm.. Life finds a way… :)

    As you like it.

    Hmmmm.. want a Ben and Jerry’s?

    Pradeep, Shub,

    You tell her.

    Point taken.

    Thanks. It is a girl who’s narrating the story.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: