Random Tales

.

Jennifer smiled and then kissed Keith. As their lips touched, Jennifer felt her heartbeat rising. After the kiss, their lips lingered as Jennifer felt his warm breath on her face. She wanted to melt in his arms but she resisted.

“We uhh…” Jennifer started but was shut by Keith’s lips again kissing hers. Jennifer pulled away from him with all her willpower, and whispered, “We need to stop.”

“Why?” Keith asked.

She looked at him, into his eyes. She bit her lip and held his shirt, crushing its crease. Her resolve wavered and Keith took the opportunity to kiss her again. She kissed him back with fervor and Keith’s hand slipped under her skirt.

“Stop!” Jennifer said suddenly coming to her senses. She pushed him away and he looked at her confused.

Jennifer blushed, her face flushed and she whispered.

“Period.”

Random Tales

Enchanté

The two had a lot in common and that was the problem. They fought over each thing tremendously as each had a strong opinion on each thing they had in common.

“I sometimes wish that we were different from each other. At least, we wouldn’t be fighting over everything,” Ishika said holding her head in frustration. They had been fighting for hours now and she was close to tears.

Karan’s eyes were also shining with the water in them. ‘Not again,’ his mind seemed to scream.

“Why do we fight so much? We are supposed to be perfect for each other!” He whispered, more to himself than her.

“Ha! Perfect,” Ishika said bitterly.

“Should we just break up?” Karan asked for what would be their tenth break up.

Ishika looked at her wide-eyed. She was already at the edge and this statement from Karan elicited a laughter and tears from her.

Karan looked at Ishika laughing and crying at the same time confused for a bit before it dawned on him. He swore.

He sat down on the bed, hands holding his head, and swore some more.

Ishika sat down on the floor, completely broken, tears flowing without pause and a grin on her face.

Karan dropped from the bed and sat beside her wiping her tears.

“We are screwed,” Karan said.

“Yes,” Ishika replied.

“Did we get married too quickly?”

“After five years of dating, forced by our parents. Yeah!”

“You look beautiful in this wedding dress. Red suits you.”

Ishika looked at Karan and smiled at him. They are gonna be fighting each other for life now.

“I love you,” Karan said.

“I love you too,” Ishika replied.

“Welcome to the first night of marriage.”

“Enchanté”

Random Tales

The Smile

Refika smiled. It was the same mischievous smile that her brother had – lopsided on one side, with a twinkle in the eyes telling that more was hidden behind that smile than visible, and genuine, from the heart. Jenna’s heart swelled with wistfulness. She was missing Kabir. Her face couldn’t hide her longing.

“What happened?” Refika whispered, holding Jenna’s hands. Janne shook her head and wiped the tears from her eyes. No! This wasn’t a moment to reminiscence about the past. This was about looking at the future. She swallowed and returned a smile back at Refika.

“You’re thinking about Kabir?” Refika asked, her voice a little higher than a whisper, audible to everyone around. Jenna nodded. She had never learned to lie to Refika, or Kabir for that matter.

Refika’s father, who was standing beside her put his hand on Jenna’s shoulder.

“We all miss him, Jenna. You don’t have to be ashamed of that.”

“Yes, dear. He’s not here but he’s still with us, all of us.” Kabir and Refika’s mother chimed in as well. She held Jenna’s arm and squeezed it gently.

“I’m sorry. I didn’t want the moment to go in this direction. It’s our special moment,” Jenna said looking at Refika.

Refika giggled nervously. “Our special moment can wait.”

“Everyone! We are taking a five-minute break. One of the brides is having a panic attack.”

The jovialness of her voice made everyone in the audience laugh. Even Jenna couldn’t help herself and smile. Refika helped Jenna on a chair and someone got her water. Jenna couldn’t believe that at this moment, she was being comforted by Kabir’s family when they might be in as much pain as her.

Jenna and Kabir met three years ago at a party. Kabir was the guest of honor, primarily because he had the knack to hijack any party within minutes of entering it. Jenna was immediately drawn to him, probably like all the other girls at that party. At that party, that was all Jenna knew about Kabir. It was the second time she met him that she found out the kind and free-spirited soul called Kabir in full flow. She had needed some legal help and Kabir was a lawyer. By the end of that meeting, she asked him out.

Kabir had looked at her with a lopsided grin.

“Okay! Let’s go,” Kabir said.

“What? Right now?”

“What are you waiting for?”

Kabir said and started walking. Jenna looked at him dumbfounded and then ran after him. Within 3 months, Jenna had moved in with Kabir and soon after, met his family. In Kabir’s world, everything happened instantaneously.

In their one year long relationship, Jenna experienced everything – the highs and the lows, the love and the pain, the beginning and the end. Her perfect relationship was ended by a freak accident two years ago.

For the next six months, Jenna had nightmares almost every night. She would call for Kabir and wake up in sweat and tears, alone in their house.

Kabir’s parents urged her to move in with them, even if for a brief period. She complied. Living with Kabir’s parents calmed her down considerably. They lived only a few blocks away from Kabir’s apartment but the difference was light-years in Jenna’s recovery. She even started calling them mom and dad. Refika’s presence helped too.

A lawyer as well, Refika was a much calmer version for Kabir. Where Kabir was a river at its origin – blazing, cutting through the mountains, eager to reach the ocean, Refika was the same river at the plains, meandering sometimes, caring, nurturing. Jenna and Refika came closer than ever. One day, without any hesitation, Refika asked Jenna.

“Hey! Do you want to have dinner tonight?”

Considering it a daily question, Jenna answered.

“Of course. I was planning on making some pasta.”

“I meant, do you want to go out and have dinner.”

“Even better. I’ll ask mom and dad as well.”

Refika rolled her eyes.

“What?”

“When was the last time someone asked you out?”

Jenna looked at Refika confused.

“I don’t know. I haven’t really dated anyone since Kabir.”

“I can see that. You clearly don’t recognize when someone asks you out.”

“Huh!”

“Yeah.”

“Oh!”

Jenna and Refika looked at each other, the tension and the awkwardness in the room increasing by the second. Jenna hoped Refika would say something and change the situation but Refika had clearly been prepping herself for this moment. She was waiting patiently for Jenna to respond. ‘Damn Refika’s lawyer patience,’ thought Jenna.

The two kept sitting in front of each other without saying anything for a century.

Jenna’s mind went from confusion to revolt to even more confusion to acceptance to horror at the acceptance to even further confusion. In front of her, Refika was sitting still, a somber look at her face, ready to accept any decision.

“I don’t want to say no but I don’t know how to say yes,” Jenna finally said.

“Okay. Then let this one be a friendly dinner. Nothing more,” Refika said, accepting the reply.

Jenna nodded.

“But no parents.”

Jenna laughed, tension releasing from her body.

That dinner was just dinner. But the next one turned into a date. And today, less than a year later, she was about to marry Refika. Her parents, Kabir’s parents have been so accepting of her that she couldn’t believe she could get so lucky. She was amazed at the stride in which they took Refika and Jenna’s relationship.

“Love is love,” dad had said. Mom had been even happier.

“Now, you stay in the family forever,” she had said joyously.

And now, in the midst of all this happiness, she was crying, remembering Kabir. Kabir, who made all this happen. Meeting whom changed her life forever. Jenna looked at Refika who was holding her hand.

“You good now,” she asked.

Jenna smiled.

“I love Kabir.”

Refika nodded.

“And I love you.”

Refika smiled.

“I love Kabir too. And I love you too.”

“Let’s get married,” Jenna said with a smile on her face.

Refika smiled. The same smile Kabir had given Jenna when she had asked him out.

Random Tales

The Letter

Samantha picked the letter once more. Maybe the words had changed, her mind said to her heart. The letter contained just three words but their weight was slumping her shoulders and making her tired with each passing second.

‘I am done.’

Ashfaq had left in the morning before she woke up and all she got was this letter. No explanation, no reasoning, nothing. Just a letter with three words. Even a hollow statement of care would have been comforting to her but Ashfaq wasn’t like that. He spoke little and to the point.

‘Anything more is just flub,’ he often said.

Samantha looked at their fight yesterday. Was it that big of a deal? Was he overreacting? Had she crossed some invisible line?

“No, our love can’t be this weak that it can’t stand a single fight,” Samantha said to herself trying to make sense of the situation. Tears start to pour from her eyes.

Urooj came in the room and picked up Samantha. “What happened?” She asked Samantha. She looked at Urooj with glassy eyes.

“Ashfaq left me. How could he leave me, all alone?” Samantha said showing Urooj the letter with three words written on them.

Urooj sighed. She picked up Samantha and helped her sit on a chair.

“Can you believe it? Ashfaq left me because of one small fight.”

“What was the fight about?” Urooj asked Samantha.

“Silly thing. I got drunk last night and acted a bit crazy. He had told me to not drink too much but I still did it. He was mad last night. He took care of me the whole night and then left in the morning. He was so kind. How can he be so cruel? I know it’s my fault but he didn’t give me a chance.”

Urooj cradled Samantha who was crying uncontrollably now.

“Mom. Please calm down.”

“But the letter.”

“Forget about the letter.”

“You’re right. Ashfaq hasn’t taken his clothes and everything except for his phone and wallet were still in the house. In fact, it is technically his house. How can he go from his own house?” Samantha said with some comfort.

Urooj nodded, now, tears glistening her eyes as well.

“He will be back,” Samantha said confidently. Her wrinkled fingers clutching the letter in her hands.

Urooj helped her mom lie down in the bed. She couldn’t get the letter out of Samantha’s hand, as much she tried. Once Samantha dozed off, Urooj came out of the room.

“It’s her third attack in two days,” Urooj said to her brother James who had been in the other room, talking to the lawyer.

“The doctor said that these attacks would go away with time. We have to be patient,” James said hugging his sister.

“She’s not ready to leave the letter.”

“Frankly, I’m surprised that she still had that letter.”

“Yeah. When dad used to say that they kept everything, he wasn’t joking.”

“Yeah. I still wish she had not kept the letter. It takes her back to 35 years ago. And I tried telling her that dad came back after a couple of hours but she doesn’t hear or understand it at all.”

Urooj nodded. Their mom and dad had a fairytale love story. Except for that one day, early in their relationship, when their dad got too frustrated with their mom, the two never left each other’s side. For more than 35 years, they were together, until two days back when their dad passed away.

Urooj and James were sad but their mom was shattered. She was holding on to a meaningless letter, waiting for her boyfriend to come back. A boyfriend who came back and became a husband and a father. James and Urooj looked at their family picture from a few years ago. The four of them were smiling with a small caption –

Samantha, Ashfaq, James, Urooj – the perfect family.

“Miss you, Dad,” Urooj said.

“Miss you, Dad,” James said.

Random Tales

An uphill battle on the downhill road

“Cough Cough..”

“Here, have some water.” Riddhima said and gave Sahitya some water filled in the bottle cup. Sahitya drank the water slowly as Riddhima paced up the car a bit.

“You know you shouldn’t be driving. You are still not eligible.” Sahitya said in a soft tone.

“So, you want to drive.” Riddhima said grinning at him. Sahitya looked at her and grimaced. He hated driving on the hills. He felt too scared to drive down the mountains. Riddhima, of course, knew that.

“I don’t understand why I have to go with you. If you are old enough to drive, you are old enough to take care of yourself and roam around alone.” Sahitya said.

“Oh come on! You know why you are coming. I want my friends to meet you. Shreya has been asking about you and I want to give a face to the persona I am talking about before they start thinking I am imagining things.” Riddhima said in a single breath.

Sahitya flinched.

“What have you been telling your friends?” He asked angrily.

“The truth!” Riddhima said unabashedly.

“That I am a sixty-four year old man who is chaperoning you because you are a sixteen year old girl.” Sahitya said hopefully.

“Yeah. And that the hens in our house have laid golden eggs and we are soon going to be the richest couple in the world.”

“We are not a couple.”

“It has been months, Sahi. I think it is time you accept that we are in a relationship.”

“You are an idiot. Just because you stay with me doesn’t mean anything. I… We… Nothing has happened between us.” Sahitya said while looking away.

“Nothing is a strong word Sahi. And nothing has happened because I don’t want you to go to jail just because I could not control myself for 2 years.” Riddhima said and stuck her tongue at Sahitya.

“You think I am that kind of a person. I have no control. You live with me because I am an old man who is kind to you. Nothing more.”

“Of course Sahi. Now, be more kind and close the cap of the bottle. And wipe of the water baby.” Riddhima said and wiped a few drops from Sahitya’s lips. Then she went ahead and licked her finger.

“Yummy.” Riddhima said much to the disdain of Sahitya. He did not understand how he was stuck in this situation.

It was a few months ago when he met Riddhima for the first time. A sixteen year old girl, she was peppy and full of dreams, ideas and plans. Her biggest plan was to meet Sahitya, a writer she adored and wanted to take autograph and a photograph with. Sahitya met with her in a party organised by her friend’s father. The party continued till 2 am in the morning. Sahitya and Riddhima talked till 6 am in the morning. It was almost 15 years since Sahitya had seen the sun in the morning without a wink of sleep and he could not believe that he had the time of his life. Riddhima was the girl he would have fallen for as a 16 year old boy. Riddhima was the girl, he would have fallen for as a 25 year old man. Riddhima was the girl, he would have fallen for as a 45 year old middle-aged elderly. Riddhima was the girl, he fell for at the age of 64.

That day, he came back to his house in Shimla. He had to get away from the girl who stole his heart. Next day, Riddhima was at the front of his door, with her bags. Sahitya called her parents immediately and for some reason, they let her make her own decision. Sahitya tried to explain them the gravity of the situation but all he heard from Riddhima’s mother was –

“You will find out why we accept her decision.”

It has been months and Sahitya knows why — because Riddhima doesn’t take no for an answer. In that 16 year old body is a soul that is older and wiser than what Sahitya will ever be. He has never been happier than in the past one year but each day, he fears that Riddhima would realise the absurdity of the situation and leave him.

Everyday, he tries to push her away before he gets too attached. Everyday, he looses the battle a little bit. He did love Riddhima!

And he was scared shitless about what is going to happen after two years.

Note: I wrote this story a few years ago. Since then, I come back to this story to see if I can make it better. One day, I hope to write this story perfectly – to expand on how Sahitya and Riddhima met, why they gravitate towards each other, and where do they go from here – in the hope of understanding love a bit better, understanding relationships a bit better. Till then, I will keep trying, writing and rewriting this story.