Stories Varied - A book of short stories (Part 4, page 1 of 4)


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Part 4

“?”

I observed him carefully as he walked to the door. I knew that time was running out but suppressed the urge to check my watch. I took a deep breath and started counting in reverse under my breath. “Ten, nine, eight, seven…” [*]

When he slammed the door, wasn’t it like I came out of trance, stuck at ‘four’? I might’ve paused, lost to his mesmeric gait; how else he could’ve slipped out in three secs. Don’t I love his gait more than his manner, captivating though it is; he knows that as well, and yet he walked out on me. Isn’t it like deserting a companion amidst a desert? Worse it is, ditching the mate in the heat of the act?

How I rushed out craving to catch a glimpse of him, maybe for the last time, and how distressed I was at not finding him? Maybe, his eagerness to exit from my life outstripped my urge to espy his gait. Standing at the gate, didn’t I feel like I was stranded in life? Oh, how things had come to this pass with him? Slowly, how the irony of my situation began to dawn upon me? That’s even in my state of dejection! Didn’t I feel amused that the effect of my fascination should’ve become the cause of my disappointment? If only I was not lost to myself admiring his gait, wouldn’t I have prevailed upon him not to desert me? Could I have? Maybe, but it was philosophy that had offered its hand to me. If not, how I would’ve been able to drag myself into the emptiness of my home for introspection. That I was drained out to sink into the sofa was another matter.

Whoever thought that our love match could become a mismatch? Is it really so? Am I not embracing hypocrisy to camouflage my idiocies? What am I to gain by a false sense of sympathy? It’s time I learnt a few lessons in psychology as well. Won’t that help me in understanding the realities of life? No denying but where am I to begin with? Am I to first climb the heady highs of romance or descend the marital slopes of discord? What if I swallow the sour before savoring the sweet? That’s fine if the show is on; now that its curtains down, better I alter the menu. Better still, why not I am a little ingenious to alternate; won’t that help me keep the focus even.

As Shruti was wont to sing paeans about Rahul, how I used to mock her that by showering praises on her cousin, she was bound to bankrupt her beau! Jokes apart, while his persona in her album enamored my heart, hadn’t her ballads on him became music to my ears? What about her dramatic announced of his impending migration to the U.S., didn’t I sense my heart skipping a beat as if to begin my life afresh? Unable to hold the burden of excitement, couldn’t it have spilled some of it onto my face for her to grasp. Was it not her turn to tease me by saying sorry for making me lose my heart to an exaggeration? What a heady feeling before an impending rendezvous.

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