Puppy Love

Well, I’m writing this post because a couple of days ago I was talking to an old school friend of mine. As always, we were reminiscing about the good old days when this topic came up. So here’s what 13-year-old me felt like, when she liked this particular boy. I apologize in advance for any typos, it is 1 AM in the morning and I am quite sleepy.


I was a happy – go lucky 13-year-old. Children are lucky – for they are spared the worries of adulthood. If you are an adult, you’ll understand.

My father was serving in the army and we had moved with him to a new army cantonment after Kargil got over (the Kargil war which took place in 1999 against Pakistan).

I was a bit weary of changing schools, but that was the norm if you were an Army brat. Because of the blasted war, this was my third school within a span of 9 months. But I didn’t care too much. I was happy to have my father back, safe and sound and in one piece.

I joined the 7th standard in Army School rather late in the school year and made friends fast. I wasn’t really into boys…I was too worried about maintaining a good grade average.

Eventually I became good friends with the prettiest girl in school (we used to sit together) and almost every boy had a crush on her. Let’s call her Shelly.

Now that I come to think of it, I always wonder why I made friends with the flirty girls. Or why they made friends with me. Opposites attract maybe? Anyway, apart from studies and listening to Shelly gossip about some random guys, 7th standard went by quite peacefully.


 

It was in class 8th that I came across HIM. Let’s call him Dhruv. Dhruv joined our class along with a lot of other new students. I made friends with the new girls. And like any normal school girl in India back in the day, I stayed away from the guys because they were too ‘rowdy’.

Dhruv sat on a bench to my left. Initially, when he had joined us; I’d barely given him a glance. But as the days went by he came into his own. I really don’t know what it was about him that I liked.

Dhruv was one of the brightest boys that I had ever come across. For some reason, he took a dislike to a lot of people in our class and whenever someone said something that in his opinion was plain stupid, he would mutter something sarcastic very softly, so softly that only a few people in his vicinity could hear it.

To my horror, I found myself giggling around him all the time. And you know how boys are, it only encourages them.

We became very good friends. We’d talk all the time during class and during recess. I used to look out for his head with his jet – black spiky hair every morning during the morning assembly and whenever I used to see it, I used to feel just a bit happier. We were also extremely competitive. I wanted to top and so did he. After each test and each exam, we would compare scores and I think he got a big kick out of scoring more than me. But then he was the only one I didn’t mind losing to. This went on for a couple of months.

Then the rumor mill started. People started gossiping about us, about how we liked each other. Perhaps it was evident to everyone apart from us. Well, I don’t know what he felt for me. And at that time, I didn’t know what I felt for him either apart from the fact that I used to get jealous every time Shelly spoke to him. Blah, sue me. I was immature.

Anyway, we decided to stop talking to each other much during school (what a dumb decision that was) but we would be on the phone every single day in the evening. In fact, it was the highlight of my day – hearing his voice and giggling away to all of his sarcastic jokes. We GOT each other and that’s what mattered. Our parents were quite sick of the constant phone – calls but hey – that never fazed us.

But as always, all good things come to an end. Just when the 9th standard had started, my father informed me that we would be leaving in two months for a new place. I was devastated and one of the main reasons was that I would no longer get to see Dhruv.


I broke the news to him and I don’t think he was too happy about it. I don’t remember much. He used to live very far away from where I did.

He visited me once with his mom and my mom took me to his place once before we left. I met his younger sister as well, who watched us with an annoying smirk on her face (that’s what he said)…till Dhruv shooed her away. I don’t really remember what we spoke about. All I remember is that I was really happy to see him and spend time with him.

He was the last person that I spoke to when I left that place. I felt myself tearing up and that’s when I realized that hey…this boy held a special place in my heart. He always would.


After I moved to the new cantt, we wrote to each other a couple of times but after his second letter, I never heard back from him. I was very sad. I preserved his letters for a few years and eventually, I chucked them away.

I regret throwing them away. They were memories of a time when I was innocent.

I’m not in touch with Dhruv anymore. Though I know he is a handsome man and has become a successful entrepreneur. I also hope he has turned into a good human being.


Over and out.

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Revenge – Part 3

This is a work of fiction. I swear.

For part 1 click here.

For part 2 click here.


I waited till it was 2 in the morning. I parked a few blocks away from his house and took a deep breath…I was in a dingy lane with no street lights. I reached out under my seat and took out the steering lock. It was old,heavy and rusting –  a hand-me-down from my father who thought I could use it when I was driving home late from work.

What a joke. My father did not know that I had a gun. And that I was a pretty good shot. Nope, the less he knew the better. See, I had inherited his foul temper and a gun in a hot- head’s hands is never a good idea.

Why was I talking about guns? Was I going to shoot this chump? Nope. Like I said, I didn’t intend to go to jail for a person like him. It wasn’t worth it.

I put a scarf around my face, covering it completely apart from my eyes and my hoodie on top. I was quite sure no would recognize me. I walked up to his apartment complex. Complex…it was more like a stand alone building which should have gone for redevelopment a few years ago. It was a miracle that it hadn’t collapsed so far.

The watchman was snoring at his post…like always. I carefully went over to the side and chuckled. There it was, the same hole in the wall…through which he used to smuggle me in. But I wasn’t going to crawl. Nope. Like a boss, I climbed over the wall (it was barely like 4 feet) and made my way to the back, where his apartment was.

I wasn’t sure if the building had any security cameras…looking at the shape it was in I doubted it. I stood outside his bathroom and sure enough, I could hear the shower running. He was always one for taking long baths. I held on to the iron tightly, a wave of anticipation rushed over my entire body.

I walked a couple of steps towards his kitchen window and gave it a little push.

He never bothered locking up. His logic was, there was nothing worth stealing. I climbed into his kitchen, quite pleased with myself.

I turned around and then gasped.


His place looked terrible. He’d always been a bit untidy but this was something else…dishes were piled in the sink and by the look of it, no one had washed them for a few days. There were old pizza and burger boxes stacked untidily in a corner. I steered clear of them, the odor from them would have knocked out anyone with a strong sense of smell.

I walked into his bedroom, which was in a similar state. His guitar was lying in a corner, gathering dust. A dozen odd whiskey bottles were strewn on a table and …’ What the…’

I picked up a packet with what I knew very well was heroin. Don’t ask me how. I heard his bathroom door open and I scrambled and hid behind an old wooden cupboard.


I could see him, from where I was hiding. See him all too well.

He’d lost weight. A lot of it and not in a good way.

He sat down on his bed and poured himself a drink. And then another. And a third. And then he reached out for the heroin packet. I closed my eyes, not wanting to see the state that he had reduced himself to. I waited for twenty more minutes to the point where was sprawled on the bed, snoring gently.

Loosening my grip on the iron, I walked over to where he was sleeping. His arms had marks all over them, he evidently had been using for quite a while.

Suddenly I felt pity and oh I don’t know…sad? This was after all someone who I had loved and to see like this…I left the same way I had crept in to his house.

When I finally sat inside my car, I started crying. What an idiot I was. I cried and cried and cried. I felt angry at myself, for trespassing and invading his privacy. I felt sad at seeing what he had become. And also, I felt guilty that karma had finally caught up with him. In a terrible way.

Revenge…what revenge…he needed help. I would call up a mutual friend and tell him to get him checked into rehab. That’s all that I could do. That’s all I would do.

I started my car and drove back home. Something inside had changed. Maybe all the hurt and anger had subsided. Hopefully for good. I’d been holding on to this for too long and it had almost turned me into a what…an intruder? Someone violent? Maybe more? I didn’t want to think about the monster inside me.

Not good. I shook my head. Things had to change. But for now, I could do with a good night’s sleep.


 

Revenge – Part 2

For part 1 click here.


I followed him for 15 – 20 minutes and as I did I realized two things. One, this was a familiar route. I’d walked down this path, many times with him…many years ago which meant he was still staying in his dinky excuse of an apartment.

Back when we were kids it wasn’t so bad, but now…I smirked to myself. At least I’d moved up in life, even if he hadn’t.

The second thing I realized was that since I knew he still stayed at the same place, there was no need for me to follow him…I needed to go home and think.

I stopped abruptly in my tracks and turned around. I walked all the way to my car and put the AC on full blast. This hot head needed to cool down first.

After a few minutes, I allowed my mind to wander back to him. I winced. Again, that stupid pain in my chest. I swear, I could give my self a heart attack just by thinking about shit like this.

I still hated him. Oh how I hated him.

But what did I want to do about it? What could I do about it?

There were a lot of erratic thoughts running through my head. Some of them involved taking a cricket bat and breaking into his home and wrecking everything to breaking a few of his bones.

Physical violence. I took a deep breath. That was a new low. To despise someone to the point where you wanted to see them bleed. And not literally.

I dismissed that thought from my head. I wasn’t going to do something like that, even though I really, really wanted to.

An old memory flashed through my mind, the sight of him on top of his colleague from work, in that very apartment… one day after we had celebrated our first year anniversary. Surprise!

I’d flown into  rage then, but he hadn’t faced it…no. I had a mini meltdown in a shady alley behind his house and then I’d walked home in a daze – never to hear from him again.

A part of me wondered…why didn’t I ever go back to his house? Why didn’t I accost him? Why didn’t I do anything? Why didn’t I slap the shit out of that whore?

I guess I was in shock. Believe me, I was. I’d spent like a week crying in bed and then I switched off….and started working my ass off so that I didn’t have time to think about him. Your cliched heart – broken girl. What a joke. He never tried to contact me. And I never asked why.

What could I do? What should I do?

I knew what I would do. I knew what I needed. I slowly turned my car around, in the direction of his house. He wasn’t going to like this one bit.


To be continued….

Revenge – Part 1

This is a work of fiction.

—————

They say you should be careful about who you rub the wrong way. The world is small, and you can bump into someone you hurt or wronged and then, karma won’t be the only one that sorts you out.

Look at me for instance. I was walking on Sunshine Boulevard, minding my business. It was a hot day, sweat was actually pouring down my face and in a long, long time I was feeling good. Maybe it was because of the extra pounds that I had shed. I looked and felt good.

So here I was, having a great day. I happened to look across the street and I saw him. Oh don’t even ask me for his name. I’d met him many, many years ago and he’d broken my heart to the point of no repair. I’d blamed him for my cynicism and overall negative outlook for many years later on in life till I forgot about him…time does that. It helps you to forget. So then why the efff was time shoving him into my face again?

I felt my blood boil. Hate. That’s what I felt. I was surprised at myself. I thought I had dealt with all the anger but nope, it was still stuck somewhere deep inside.

He was sitting alone on a bench, fiddling with his mobile. One of the qualities which I absolutely hated in him.

There were a thousand questions I wanted to ask him. Why did you leave? Why did you lie and cheat? Why did you vanish over night without a goodbye or an explanation? Why did you abandon me?

But I didn’t want to hear the answers. No, I wanted to hurt him.

He got up and started walking. In two minutes I would lose sight of him.

‘Not happening’, I muttered to myself. I zipped up my jacket, put my hoodie on and followed him. A strange thrill swept through my body, the thrill of doing something I shouldn’t be doing. I smiled. This was going to be good.


To be continued…

 

Mercy

In response to today’s Daily Prompt – Mercy, I will be writing a small story.


Rosanne looked at her watch. He was late again.

She went to the ladies room and locked herself in one of the stalls, trying to brush back angry tears. Oh, she couldn’t afford to cry, for her mascara would run and ruin at least half an hour of hard work.

She’d been looking forward to seeing him for many weeks now.

‘I’m an emotional fool who will never learn’, she muttered to herself.

She’d grown tired of the cat and mouse game that she was playing with Todd. Todd was a handsome, intelligent man…he was a man’s man and not one of those lovesick puppies she encountered on a frequent basis. But he knew he was a catch and he probably was dating a few women on the side.

After a few minutes, she walked out. There was no sight of him in the restaurant. She called for the bill and left.

Her heart felt sad, because she knew they would have been good for each other. But when the time isn’t right…even your soul mate will not be able to recognize you.

<A month later…>

 

Todd was standing at the altar, sweat trickling down his neck. The tuxedo suffocated him. He could feel at least five sets of eyes staring at him with hostility.

Blasted bridesmaids. Rosanne had probably warned them about him.

He looked at his best friend, the groom, who looked like he was going to burst with happiness. Todd sighed, surprised at the twinge of envy he felt

The bride walked in with the maid of honor, and he swallowed nervously. Rosanne.

Swallowed? He probably looked like a fish, gulping down air.

Throughout the wedding ceremony he tried to keep his eyes averted from Rosanne’s. She looked beautiful. He cursed himself for not showing up that day. Women like that didn’t come along more than once or twice in a life time. But he liked being a free bird…didn’t he? He looked at the shining faces of the bride and groom. Maybe being tied down wasn’t too bad…

The bride and groom exchanged their vows and kissed, hand in hand they walked towards the reception area…oblivious of the world around them.

Inadvertently, he looked at Rosanne’s face. She gave him a cool glance and looked away.

He walked towards her, only to see her being pulled away by another man. She turned around to give him a sad smile and walked away.

‘God have mercy on me’, he muttered to himself ,‘ I need to make this right’. 


 

 

Perspective

I can’t live like this…’

Melanie’s voice cracked as she spoke to her friend, Nisha. It was 1 AM Indian standard time, daytime in the US, where Mel lived. Nisha was half asleep, struggling to keep her eyes open.

‘There there…what’s the problem?’ Nisha suppressed one of her many sighs as she anticipated half an hour of wailing to continue. She was right.

‘I had to leave my bungalow and shift into an apartment complex! AN APARTMENT COMPLEX. I feel so suffocated, I open a window and there are no green spaces…just buildings all around me. I live in a concrete jungle!’

Noreen rolled her eyes. Concrete jungle, AKA the most expensive apartment complex in that city.

Noreen felt a drop of water land on her forehead. She squinted, searching for her glasses in the dim, flickering yellow light. The only light that worked in her bedroom.

‘Damn!’ she muttered, ignoring Melanie’s rants but supporting them with occasional hmms and mmms…the roof was leaking again. The sad part of living on the top floor in Mumbai during the monsoon. But it was the only flat that she got. Single people, especially single women didn’t have much of a choice, if you were lucky enough to get a house in a decent locality, you’d better take it, leaky roof or not.

‘And my maid didn’t come yesterday! I had to wash all the dishes myself and ANDREW wanted me to cook! Can you believe it? He thinks we don’t need a maid, we should cook ourselves? I’ve never had to enter the kitchen in my entire life.’ 

‘Can’t you hire a part time maid for the days she doesn’t come?’ Nisha muttered absent mindedly.

Melanie pretended not to have heard her ,’AND so I cooked, I almost cut my finger and chipped my nails washing the dishes, now i’ll have to go for a pedicure all over again, its such a drag!!’

Nisha looked at her own hands. Nails? What nails? She had given up the idea of growing them out. She had soft, tiny hands, almost like a child’s. By some miracle all the cooking, washing and cleaning hadn’t wrecked any damage on them yet. But there wasn’t anything attractive about them. Her nails were as short as short could be. She filed them at home. Dishing out a grand for a pedicure which wouldn’t even last a day didn’t make sense to her.

‘I also have to walk six blocks before i reach the parking! I mean, can you imagine walking for six blocks on stilettos? My feet had so many blisters. I’m soaking them in hot water as we speak!’

Nisha smothered a chuckle. Stilettos were out of the question for her as well. Barring a few special occasions, she wore flat shoes, sensible shoes like her mother called it, to work. Comfort over style. Plus one really couldn’t walk on the street in stilettos. The potholes would kill them. Did she mention she walked to her office? It was a ten minute walk and she enjoyed it.

‘Why don’t you wear flats till you reach the parking?’

There was a pause then Melanie laughed loudly, ‘ Hey girl that’s a great idea I don’t own any flat shoes but it will be a good chance for me to go shopping and relieve myself of all of this stress!’

Nisha suppressed another snort and muttered some non – commital words of encouragement, as she endured another couple of minutes of wailing about the traffic, lack of space in Mel’s five bedroom apartment, the fact that they had only three bathrooms instead of five, that they had bay windows in only four rooms…that….

She was relieved when the conversation ended. She never had been able to understand Melanie. She had it all. A great house, a good, rich husband, a great job…she was living the American dream but she was always unhappy.

She looked around her one bedroom house a bit sheepishly. She had one cupboard, which housed all of her clothes, shoes and jewelry. A smaller closet had some linen. The kitchen was well stocked for one person.

There was a sofa, a desk with a chair, a lamp and a bean bag if anyone came to visit. She had a bunk bed, of which the spare bunk was seldom used unless a friend came over.

The house wasn’t great. She’d had to get all the electric points fixed when she’d moved in, along with fixing the plumbing. She had a maid who cleaned for her three times a week. But she was content. Material things didn’t really matter to her. They never had.

It really was a matter of perspective. You could have it all…and still feel unlucky. Or you could have nothing and be grateful for the little you had.

She chose the latter. Her eyes closed and she immediately fell into a deep sleep, her tired body giving in to sleep’s sweet call. She didn’t notice that Melanie was calling again, this time to complain about something else no doubt.

Melody – Part 3

For Part one – click here

For Part two – click here


He rubbed his eyes, he was so sleepy.

Farming wasn’t easy.

Oh yes, the hottest jock on the block was now your average run-of-the-mill farmer. But he liked this life. The smell of the mud on his hands, good physical hard work, sweat pouring down his back as he walked up and down his fields, talking to his crops…

Yes, he talked to his crops. People would think he was plain loco if they knew what he was doing but it was something which Jane had taught him. He smiled at a particular memory.


‘Your house is so green.’ He looked around admiringly. ‘How did you manage to grow such a fine garden in this heat?’

Jane smiled,’I have a little secret, I talk to my plants’.

He snorted,’Yeah right.’

Jane’s eyes went wide,’No, I do. I reallly do!! Last year, they were wilting and not doing well despite me trying everything so I started talking to them and look! Healthy as can be’

He gave her a suspicious look. Soon, both of them cracked up at how ridiculous she sounded.


He looked at his watch. It was 6 PM.

Wearily, he drove back to his house and sat in front of the computer. There was a mail from her. He’d received it a few weeks ago but he hadn’t opened it. Maybe it was time. It was a link to a video.

‘ Hey you…..I’m sorry I couldn’t attend your mother’s funeral…I’m so sorry.’ 

He paused the video to look at Jane, with little Jean propped up on her knee. Andy was no where in the picture. Maybe he never had been. He clicked on play again.

‘ But Jean and I..’

‘BABY JANE’, protested the little girl as Jane smiled, ‘I stand corrected, Baby Jane and I have prepared something for you. Hope this will cheer you up.’

Jane took a guitar in her hands and played the same song for him which he had sent to her a few years ago, while her daughter danced in front of her.

The Jane he knew was tone deaf so he knew the amount of effort she would have put into it. He replayed the video again…and then once more. He sniffed, trying to suppress the lump in his throat.

Her love was in that melody. It had always been there. It was still there. Despite everything. Despite him not being able to give her what she had wanted so many years ago, despite her being married for years, despite her raising a beautiful child, she still had enough love left in her for him. He walked outside to the porch and looked at the sky, softly humming to himself…coming to terms with the fact that life wasn’t always perfect, life wasn’t always fair and how lucky he was to have one person who loved him no matter what.  She was a fool, but it was ok. The world could do with some more fools like her.

Tears welled up in his eyes again but he didn’t care. It was worth it.


The End.

Melody – Part 2

For Part 1 click here:


‘I’m baby Jane!’

My five-year old daughter looked at me defiantly. For some reason, she hated her name. I’d named her Jean…yes, I’d played around with the alphabets in my name but I liked it. She didn’t. Apparently some poor kid in the kindergarten class got whacked on the head for calling her Jean instead of baby Jane and that infuriated her.

I smirked. My daughter was a lot like me…she spoke what was on her mind and didn’t feel bad about letting people know when she was happy, sad or just plain angry.

Baby Jane idolised me. And as far as I was concerned…she was the only good thing in my life. Andy and I…we were still together, don’t get me wrong. To the world – we were the perfect couple. But he knew…like I did…that we weren’t.

The front doorbell rang.

Baby Jane ran across the room to open the door knob. It was Michael. My music teacher. Oh yes, I’d started taking lessons. Music…was the other thing that brought me joy. Maybe to my little girl as well as she used to sit on the couch and watch us practise with rapt attention.

‘Mrs A! How’s it goin’??’

Michael was a college school student and an expert at the guitar. He was also my neighbour’s son. One day I’d heard him play and I’d walked across to his house. I still remember his surprise.


‘You are good at playing the guitar’ I had announced this statement very loudly when he’d opened the door. Perhaps I’d scared the poor kid.

He was startled but recovered quickly, ‘Uh yes?’

‘Can you teach me?’ I bit my lip.

‘Uhhh…’ he looked a little lost. Bloody teenager.

‘Can you teach me how to play this….’ I fumbled around in my purse and took out my phone to play the melody that I’d been sent three years ago.

‘Wow.’ Michael stroked his goatee and grinned,’Sure Mrs. A…that is beautiful but it will take some time for..’

‘ You start at 4 PM tomorrow my house.’ I interrupted him and walked away. Hell, I liked to make an impression.


To be continued…..

 

 

Melody – Part 1

This is a work of fiction.


She was pregnant.

Three years into her marriage and expecting baby number one, she should have been happy. She was happy. Kind of. She had married Andy, an amazing man who loved her a lot…she had a good job…something she liked doing and the baby was doing well as per the last visit to the doctor.

But behind that smile she hid a sadness that no one knew of apart from her. You know, there are some secrets that you just take to your grave. This was one of them.

‘Congrats. Mary told me.I’m so happy for you.’

She read the text again, a tear rolling down her cheek. A text that wasn’t from Andy.

‘Thanks. How are you?’

She bit her lip. He wouldn’t reply back. He never did.

A day later, she got a mail from him while she was at work. It had a link to a simple guitar solo by an unknown artist. She walked into an empty conference room and clicked on play…wondering what it was all about.

Musical notes flowed into the room, rendering her speechless…the guitarist seemed to be in deep turmoil…for she could feel the pain behind the music. She closed her eyes, living each moment as if it was being played live for her. In a way…it was.

Tears rolled down her cheeks and she wept quietly.

He didn’t need to reply to her…she already knew how he felt…for he was the guitarist, the love that was lost was in the melody and she was his muse.

She wiped her cheeks and walked out of the the room, wondering how long she could pretend to be happy.


Invitation

‘You know how I know man?’ Andy smirked to his friends over his third glass of beer.

‘Know what?’Asked Ron, rolling his eyes. He’d heard this story before.

‘Its in the eyes man – the eyes…I swear, I’m searching for that girl with that look in her eyes!’

Jeff snorted, a little beer came out of his nose. The entire gang burst into laughter.

‘You been searching for over a year dude – give up! These girls don’t take us seriously ‘cos they know we won’t stick around.’Ron sighed deeply.

Andy scowled. He looked around and sighed in despair. The whole bar was a sausage fest. He’d been in Bombay for a long time but hadn’t dated anyone. He was waiting for that so-called spark. His friends thought it was funny, but it wasn’t.

That’s when he saw her walk into the bar with her friend. She was a tiny little thing, with wavy long hair and dressed in white…she looked like an angel. Their eyes met briefly for a second and then she looked away. Andy felt his heart thud unnaturally in his chest.

‘Whoa man…check out what Andy likes!’ Jeff snickered as all of his friends turned around to look at her.

Andy smiled broadly at them…’Finally!  She likes me man – I’m telling you – that’s the girl I am gonna date!’

‘And what makes you think she’d wanna date you?’ Jeff look genuinely confused.

‘Cos she’s gonna look at me and smile.’ Andy stood up straight and looked across the bar to where she was standing.

After a few minutes Ron broke the silence,’Too bad…eh mate?’

Andy shook his head and continued looking at her.

She was standing alone now, her friend had gone to the washroom. Annnnddd score…their eyes met again. She blushed and looked away quickly.

Andy waited. Any minute now. And sure enough she looked at him again, a shy smile on her lips, her eyes brimming with warmth and anticipation.

‘And that’s my cue, I don’t need no invitation.Here…’ Andy handed over his glass to his friends and walked up to her.


In response to today’s daily promt – invitation.