Posts Tagged ‘Short story’

The plan.

Posted: October 28, 2014 in Author's choice, Fiction
Tags: , , ,

Mumbai. Marine drive, 1 A.M.

They say it’s a city that never sleeps,  and they aren’t wrong apparently. Yet there was something unusual about  what George just saw.

“Is that man trying to commit suicide?” He asked himself and went towards him, thinking he could do something about it.

“Hey” George shouted… “Yes, you… what are you doing?”

“Nothing”  that’s what the man said… but he was visibly scared like someone  caught him in the act. He was pretty sure George was a policeman.

George went closer to the guy… “Well your nothing looks like suicide to me sir.”

“No. I swear. I was just trying to look into the sea.” His voice started shaking.

A smile came to George’s face, his voice softened, “You can tell me what’s wrong. Trust me, I can help you”.

There  was something about George that opened up that man… The  expressionless face now started showing some emotions… “You are right.  I was trying to kill myself. I came to this city 3 months back to  become something and now I am a nobody. I have lost everything I had and  I don’t see any way out.”

For a moment George didn’t know how to  react. “I don’t know about you, young man, but I have seen similar  situations back in the day. One thing I know about life is that you  aren’t solving any problems by ending it, you are just choosing to  ignore them for eternity, thereby proving yourself a loser for a  lifetime. What can I call you by the way?”

The guy just looked at George like he wanted him to go on. “Sameer” he said.

“Look  Sameer, if I begin telling how many flaws are there in this self –  destructing plan of yours, we’ll probably need all night. I mean, who  thinks of killing himself on the freaking Marine Drive! But that’s not  what I’ll do… I’ll just say that no matter what your problem is, you  can always solve it with a peaceful mind. Killing yourself won’t take  you anywhere”

“I guess you’re right. What was I thinking! What would my parents do without me! I am so sorry” Sameer looked scared.

“So I believe you’ll be going back home and start a new life where you don’t kill yourself later?” George still had a smile.

“I believe so too. Thanks. You were of a great help to me.” Sameer smiled back.


George  looked at him as he walked… towards his home maybe… George’s mind  imbibed a feeling of satisfaction. After all he had saved two lives  today. Sameer wasn’t the only one who wanted to kill himself tonight.

It  was only after looking at Sameer that George realised how naive his own  plan was.

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Are you ready?” Steve shouted… “You take more time than girls!” He taunted waiting for Victor inside his messy flat as usual.

C’mon Stevie! We’re late by 5 minutes. It’s not the end of the world! Relax…” Victor said in his casual carefree tone. Almost laughing at Steve’s concern.

Do you really think Jessica will mind me getting late after doing it herself every freaking time?” Victor continued… “I am just a little worried of how things will go!

Really? The super confident, Mr. I-don’t-care-about-the-world Victor Ericson… You’re saying you’re worried about something?

Easy smart ass… I am just worried about her… how she will react to my surprise. I don’t want to ruin her birthday!

So you’re worried if she’ll say a yes or no… right?” Steve asked again.

Maybe… can we talk about this later?” Victor almost nettled.

Let’s just leave and we can decide what to do in the way. And believe me, everything will be fine.” Steve smiled and moved out of the house, pulling Victor with him.

—-

“So… What is the plan?” Steve asked.

It was Jessica’s birthday. Jessica, the love of Victor’s life. She was Steve’s friend from High School, she met Victor in Steve’s birthday party. And Mr. Magnificent Victor didn’t take a second in asking her out. There was something about him that made her say a yes. Since that day they never had a problem. With a friend like Steve, things were just too good to be true. They were together for almost nine years and with every passing year Victor was falling deeper in love with her.

“Well… the plan is simple!” a grin covered Victor’s face.

“What?”

“We kill the batman!” he laughed.

“Dude! Be serious! And FYI, that was the worst joker mimicry of all times!” Steve shouted.

“Then stop asking lame questions!! What has to be the plan? We wish her, we party, we dance and then you stop becoming a third wheel and leave the two of us alone in a romantic dinner which you have arranged so I can give her the birthday present and propose her to marry me!”  Victor said in a breath.

“Wow! So now I can ask, are you sure she’s going to say a yes?”

“I hope she does. That’s where the girls win over the freaking world, don’t they?” Victor said…

“For all I know, you two are a perfect match. She will say a yes for sure… Just think about it, what would have happened had I not thrown that party!?” Steve reassured Victor.

“I wouldn’t have met her in the first place. So yeah, all in all a good life.” Victor laughed again. He loved teasing people. Specially the two most important people in his life, Jessica and Steve.

—-

It was all arranged. A romantic dinner, a mix tape of her favorite songs in the place she loved the most. Her favorite lilies, both in red and white as she liked.

The place was just right for the occasion, with a romantic ambience, dim lights and a slow music in the background. Her best friend and love… A strong bond of so many years… How could she possibly say a no tonight!

“Well… we’ve waited for two hours! She is nowhere to be seen! Even her phone is off!” Victor said… a little worried.

“It just proves that she is as lazy as you. Congrats, you found your match.” It was Steve’s turn to laugh.

“C’mon man, I am worried. Did you try calling her? Try again please.”

“Alright! Relax…” Steve said as he dialed her number again.

He returned after a few minutes. “Bad news bro! She can’t make it. Her aunt is real sick and she had to go to her place. Sorry!” Steve said as his smile turned into a frown.

“Oh crap!”

“I know you’re worried about her aunt. We can’t even go see her, she lives too far from here.”

“Dude! I am sad that all these arrangements went in vain. I was going to propose to her today!” Victor said, looking at Steve, perplexed.

“Yeah… and a lot of money wasted too…” Steve added.

“No that’s on you. I didn’t spend a penny.” Victor laughed. “Anyway, let’s go. No network here in my phone anyway, I’ll call her when we get home.”

As they were on their way back, Steve stopped the car.

“You stay, I’ll come back in a minute.”

“Sure.” Victor said as Steve went out to soon be out of his sight.

“Hey. I hope you know how much he loves you and needs you. I wish I could change things, but I can’t. I miss you.” Steve said in a very low voice. His face was doleful… he tried to control but that one tear still managed to escape his eye. He stepped ahead and put the lilies near the stone… the stone which said. Jessica Clark (1988 – 2011).

Two years back, on this very day, Victor had planned to propose Jessica as her birthday gift. Steve had made all the arrangements when he got the news that Jessica met with an accident on her way to the restaurant and died on the spot. Composed as ever, Steve managed to bear the news but it was too much for Victor. For him it was a trauma that has held him since that day. His life continued to almost be the same, except for the fact that he could never bring himself to face the truth that Jessica was no more. For him, every year was the same as that year. Life for him, was just a repetitive event.

“Man you took time! Got a secret girlfriend there?” Victor mocked as Steve made his way back in the car.

“No. But I wish what you say becomes true soon.” Steve laughed, hiding everything else beneath that smile… as they rode back towards home.

friendship

Friendship is a single soul dwelling in two bodies.

Aristotle.

Thanks for reading. This story has been published in the January issue of the Storizen Magazine. You can read the awesome mag here: http://issuu.com/storizen/docs/jan2014

The loner. (This is a post I’ve written for the Indian Bloggers League. Do check the link in the end 🙂 )

“A pack of bread, 4 eggs and ketchup, would you need anything else sir?” The girl on the billing counter asked Jim.

“No, that would be enough. Thanks” Jim replied, with a refreshing and warm smile just like always. His face had something about it that made sure anyone would want to keep looking at him. An innocent smile and expressive eyes, just added to that. He was about 30, taller than an average human being, a muscular well-toned body and a fairly handsome look. There was nothing visible about him at the first look that would not make any girl fall for him.

He drove back 20 miles, reached home, went inside and sat on his chair. Lost in his thoughts, thinking about his life… Just like any other day. Sitting on that comfortable chair and listening to the radio, this was his daily schedule. He lived a monotonous and simple yet lovable life. All he did from morning till evening was to wake up, make his breakfast, have a walk, sit on the chair and listen to the radio. It was only in the night when he worked for an hour, the time when his own little program was broadcasted on the radio. He used to give people advice, those who had lost something or someone important and those who found life too tough to be lived. People knew him as ‘Elvis’. He never revealed his real identity on the show to anyone, and used the name of the person whom he used to listen to the whole day. “The Elvis show” only on channel one… people used to wait for it. No one knew who Elvis is. He didn’t like to share. But he did have a great insight in life which he used to solve others’ problems.

He had been living in the outskirts of Manhattan for more than a decade now. Alan was the only friend he had out in the city. He used to work for Channel one. He was the guy responsible for getting him the Elvis show there. Alan was probably the only person who knew who Elvis was.
“Why don’t you come back to the city? You would have such a great fan following here! People want to know who you are.” Alan always told Jim. “I’m fine.” was all he could ever get from him.

He liked living alone… no people around, not any disturbances and no one asking him what he does… just a calm and natural environment with the occasional chirps of the birds breaking the silence.
No one really visited him there. Even the caretaker of the old building near his house had stopped visiting. It was a great place though. Nature at its best with the fresh dew starting your morning and the beautiful flora covering the lands almost as far as the eyes could see. Jim had quite carefully chosen the place after completing his college from New York and coming up to a decision that living in the city wasn’t his cup of tea.

 forest-house

“Excuse me, is anybody there?” A female voice on the door said.
“Yes, how can I help you?” Asked Jim, reaching to the door. A little surprised as it was quite unlikely for this doorstep to see anyone else but Jim.
“Hi, I am Monica. My car broke down almost one kilometer from here. I was looking for some help but there is no one around. Fortunately I found this place. I hope you don’t mind me disturbing you.” She said with a smiling face. She did look in the need of some help.

Jim inspected her top to bottom. She must have been in her late twenties. She looked charming, dressed well enough to be in some executive meeting.  “Yeah, why not. Come in.”

“So… tell me what happened” Jim asked her.

“Well I was going to the city, and as usual I chose to go against my father’s opinion of letting him drive me. And my car broke down while I was going through this area. I wonder why I even chose this route!”

“Maybe because you wanted to meet me” Jim laughed.

“Haha! I wish. So what are you doing here? This place is like… Remote! How do you manage?”

“Well I like aloneness. I think that people around you are just distractions.”

“Oh. I hope I am not distracting you too much.”

“Well I could say your beautiful attire is a little distracting.”

“Oh, so Mr. I like to live alone flirts too?”  Monica laughed, trying to ease into the company.

“We’ll see how that goes. Anyway, where is your car? Let’s get you to a mechanic, there is one around 5 kilometers, I will drive you” Jim asked.

“Actually I really want to be in the city by tonight. But the mechanic you mention was closed. I remember seeing the board on my way here.” Monica said, worried.

“Oh… Then we can’t do anything but wait till tomorrow! Do you see any other option?”

“I am afraid not. Would you mind if I stay here till then?” She asked.

“No. It’s fine.” Jim said. Although his usual smile dimmed a little. His sub conscious was clearly looking for other options.

“Are you sure?”

“Yeah, why not. Come on in. Make yourself comfortable.”

“So what do you do for a living?” Monica asked. Sipping the coffee Jim made for her. For a lone guy who found company uncomfortable, Jim was being a pretty good host. In an hour long of conversation with her, not even once did he make her feel bored.

“Nothing. I have a decent bank balance to let me live like this for a long time”

“Wow! So you just, stay here all day?”

“Yeah. I find nature very pleasing. Plus I am kind of a spiritual person and these trees seem to have an answer to all the life’s problems!”

“That’s just great.” Monica said… “As much as I don’t like sitting idle, I’d not mind taking a break and having a life like you. Isn’t it great how you can just forget all the tension and feel at ease?”

“I sense some personal issues there. Mind if I ask?” Jim never liked beating around the bush.

“Well… I live a corporate life. Everyone chasing each other trying to have a beautiful life and wasting what they have! It’s a rat race.”

“Have you ever seen a eucalyptus tree?” Jim asked.

“No, why?”

“Well my rule of being in a corporate is that be like a eucalyptus tree. Have decent characteristic to cure people, but your growth must be a threat to those who don’t like you. Not to mention have a complicated name which makes you sound important.”

“Do you have a solution for everything? In the last few minutes you’ve told me so many things!” She exclaimed.

“I don’t like to brag but there exists a solution for every question. And I seem to know it all” Jim winked.

“I think I’ve heard that before!” Monica’s face lit up. While Jim realized what he did right then.

“That’s a line from the Elvis show!” She exclaimed. “Are you a regular listener?

“Actually, I am Elvis. I like to solve people’s problems.” He smiled. It was the first time he ever told someone his secret.

“Great! It feels great meeting a guy who has no problems in his own life. He solves others’ instead.”

“That’s not true. I also have problems. It’s just that I can’t solve mine. So I concentrate on solving others’.”

“Really? What kind of problems?”

“Do you think I enjoy staying alone? My parents died when I was 13. I was an exceptional reader and learner. But I couldn’t make it to one good university for post grad because I couldn’t mix up with people. I felt abandoned every moment of my life and now I’m here, listening to over 10 people every day how much ruined their life is!”

“I’m really sorry, I had no idea about that. That must be hard on you.”

Monica had started showing real concern for Jim, now that she knew he was Elvis, the guy who had been an emotional support for so many. And she was getting to see the real him.

“So what do you do when all this becomes too much for you?” She asked, as they started walking inside the house.

“I take a walk, like we’re doing now. Think about the things, just vent the frustration out.”

“Must be tough since you don’t talk to people!” She said, as she looked towards the stairway going towards a small room.

Jim guided her in. The room had a shelf, with many small boxes containing human eyes in them.

Her feet froze right where they were… she counted the boxes. “Is that…? Are you a…. You… kill people…! 15 murders!!!” She stammered.

Jim came near her and whispered, “16”.

 

If you liked the story, do comment and like it here to make me win 🙂 ( http://www.writeupcafe.com/articles/942/77/the-loner/tab/2019)