Friday, 15 September 2017

Short Story 2017 Longlist Robin Dubey

The Her Story

'You shouldn't be looking at her', warned the mate.
'Why not', thought I while gawking her. 'She is clipping her hair up off her neck, isn't that cute?' I asked.
'No!' replied the mate.
'You are sick, man', snapped I.
'Indeed, I am,' mocked the mate.
'Whatever. She' is pretty, how could I resist', said I while compacting my sight to her.
'You are getting yourself all webbed up my dear fella, come out of your--- '
'Don't you dare!' snarled I.

The mate kept quiet about this for the time being, until the mate could lug that loneliness.

'Are you done', interrupted the mate.
'Hush, man', said I.
'Uh-huh', replied the mate.

After a while --
'Let's go home', said I and we wrapped up things and strolled back to our home.
The mate kept the quiet the whole time.
'I've to study, help me out with that', demanded I.
'Uh-huh', mumbled the mate reluctantly.
We helped ourselves for at least an hour.
'Look, she texted me', I teased the mate.
The mate didn't respond to it.
'You should study, no?' urged the mate.
'Can't you see? just wait for a while man' ranted I.
The mate didn't say a word all this while.
'So, where were we?'Are you there my friend', clucked I with fun.
'Uh-huh', muttered the mate.
'What's with that ''uh-huh''? You alright', chortled I.
' Yeah, nothing to your concern', whined the mate.
'Really?, But you don't seem fine, i mean what's going on man', asked I.
' Do you know, what are you up to these days?', questioned the mate.
'Wait! What are you trying to say', blurted I.
'I'm saying that you're getting yourself in a trouble all by yourself, that you are no more studying, that you are rambling thoughts on useless things. I am just trying to warn you because i don't want to see you in pain anymore', bellowed the mate.

'I see!' jested I.
'You are going insane', said the mate choking at some words.
'Stop it! I'm not studying and I am doing what? Rambling thoughts or whatever.. You know because of whom, say 'uh-huh' come on you theatrical mate of mine'. 'No "uh-huh", this time', bellowed I.

The mate babbled things the entire time.
'Stop you kid', chided I.
'Look, I don't want to blame anyone for anything, so better not to talk about it'. 'Is that cool?' gurgled I.
'Uh?'
'For god sake no "uh-huh" anymore, please!' interjected I.
'Okay', replied the mate.

'You listen to me more than a wife does of her husband', chuckled I. The mate put forth a grin. We shared the day cheerfully, all by ourselves.

***

The time went on and 'she' started messaging me as often as 'she' could. 'She' talked to me about 'her' daily routine, 'her' family, 'her' yearn for getting a golden future out here in this so called "world of competition". I advised 'her' not to compete with anyone else, after all it's you who is going to win or lose at the end, so why involve others in it.

'Complete yourself and win, explore your horizon and fly limitless', said I. 'But how', 'she' said worriedly. 'Just don't worry', asserted I. That certainly made no impact on 'her'.

I loved listening to 'her' frustrations in life, 'her' short-tempered attitude for things that shouldn't count. I became a motivational and helping door for 'her', where 'she' used to knock at, almost every single day and night.

The mate helped me in getting those good and inspiring thoughts, although reluctantly.

'She' was certainly enjoying my presence. I was falling for 'her', primarily 'her' voice and 'her' unblemished soul. I was happy. I was buoyant.

On a day, soon---------

'It's raining out here, let's have fun', said I exuberantly.
'The fever', cautioned the mate.
'Let the doctor die for a while, it's beautiful out here', demanded I.
'Oh, beautiful ..you never used that term before for the rain. Is 'she' huh.. huh', teased the mate.
'Yeah so what?', said I.
'Nothing, just curious to know what 'she' said?', replied the mate.
'Actually, 'she' just woke up and is excited to see the rain.' , reasoned I.
'Is that the only reason', doubted the mate.
'Yes, you've got any problem with that', scolded I.
'No.. Absolutely no, why would i have a problem with that.. who am I ...' babbled the mate and preferred to kept the quiet.

***

Today we met 'her' again. I looked at 'her' but the mate was in a mood of avoiding 'her'. 'She' looked flawlessly adorable today. Although the smile wasn't at its place, but 'her' heart seemed beautiful as always.

That was the day, i was hoping 'her' to text me, call me or at least a hi, would have done but, 'she' was certainly busy with 'her' closed ones. I waited for her text insanely. The mate teased me for my ignorance and advised me to learn a lesson from that. I listened to the mate and pondered upon my next words thoroughly and replied," It's not 'her', it's me who is in need of 'her', you know why mate?, because i am all alone... i only have you to talk to which i don't feel enough..."

'But you're .....', the mate tried to interrupt.

'Hush hush! you won't say a word today, just listen to me', coaxed I.

'Mate, you know me more than i do, but why don't you understand that I have got a heart too. I want a life in which I can feel my dreams with these miserable empty hands of mine…Dreams aren't intangible if you have a hope lit brighter than your fear. Actually.....'

'I too believe so', interrupted the mate.

'No! you don't. You may be designed to think analytically but I am not. I am not you. Actually, you want to listen why I feel wretched without 'her' and why am I trying to get trapped in an irreparable desolation which I am aware will just cause me pain.. a hell lot of pain.... a hell...'

'Leave it for now, you need to take some rest', said the mate.

'You need it, I don't' , asserted I.

'Yeah, but i need you to come along', requested the mate.

'No! i won't , i want you to listen to me.. right now', ordered I.

'Okay, i am all yours', answered the mate.

'I liked her because of 'her' innocent and straightforward persona. But probably, 'she' had all and everyone 'she' wanted and allowed them in 'her' life. I never desired 'her' attention for the reason i already had your worries mate. I'm not blaming you for anything, it's just....a vicious truth' confided I.

'I understand', assured the mate.

I continued, 'So, the day arrived as it was meant to and our eyes met for the first time ('she' looked at me), unluckily following the day on which we decided to get a cure for you. I felt the fear inside. I wanted to say things to 'her'. I assimilated all my courage and texted 'her'. As i feared, we ended up in a hell lot of mess. 'She' was gone'.

'I, then decided to help you getting rid of your enervation. You're being reinvigorated with the efficacy and the vitality. Days turned months, still no clue of 'her'. After you recovered a bit, I adjudged to left 'her' a text stating my apology and insanity. I did that, just to feel the calmness of soul. All that while, I wanted to be with you mate for the reason you're alone and despaired. You have to give up writing, your phone and a lot more things. Gradually, although arduously you were getting back on the pathway to life. Life was getting a hope, then in a firm blow of text 'she' came back, as if she discerned my perturbation. I couldn't steer my feelings away from her recrudescence and I texted her back. We started sharing things again. I desired her attention. We fought. We chatted again. We discussed things. We fought again. I felt that fear afresh. We couldn't resist and came back to each other after every squabble. 'She' told me all about 'her' life. I shared my yearning for 'her'. But I received no thought, no contemplation.'

I took a deep breath and continued -------

'I want 'her'. I need 'her'. I don't want to lose 'her' like everything', sniffed I.

'Take a sip of water', recommended the mate.

'No!, it's not over yet mate..... 'She' is not just a girl to.....'.

'Stop it!, I said, it's no good time to talk' , whispered the mate.

I didn't heard the mate this instant and continued with "the 'her' story" .

'I don't want to remember this as a poignant memory of mine, only you can help me getting rid of that....Please don't get it clubbed to the hippo-campus, Please...Ple....', sobbed I.

A nearby creaking noise broke-in on our conversation.

'Whom are you enunciating that speech to?', asked my brother, who certainly had returned from his work a while ago.

'No-one, it's just me in here', replied I, as firmly as I could.

'Okay, come with me let's have dinner', demanded he.

'Coming', replied I.

***

The same day night---

'Look it's raining', said the mate enthusiastically.
'Yeah I can see', replied I.
'Don't be a bottle-head, come on let's enjoy', urged the mate.
'No! You go', replied I. 'I mean, I am not in the mood'.
'I would already have, if I could', snickered the mate.

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