A thousand and one stories #11 Longing

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The night is young, unlike the old couple that sits on the edge dipping their feet into the water. If she wasn’t so lonely right now, she would smile at the image. But there was this pain and she didn’t know where it came from. One blurry face in her mind, that wide smile that kept fading day after day. How do people deal with heartbreak? How are they so strong? The old man placed a kiss on the woman’s cheek and she flinched. How are people strong enough to make it after all these years?
She wanted to jump into the water and not swim. Let the water sink into her lungs, making her choke and stop breathing and even that anguish would be less than this emptiness, this loneliness and this feeling of being unworthy that came from his walking out on her.
Why do people leave just at the moment when you finally decide to give them your all?
She didn’t know why she decided to leave home to walk on the streets now, it was almost midnight. And though she refused to stare at the moon, more out of stubbornness than any sadness she would feel looking at it, she knew it was a long and lonely night. Just like all others to come
The old couple still sat there, no worries in their mind. Just breathing in the essence of each other. So lucky, she thought.
‘It’s the perfect night, love.’ he said to her.
‘Won’t be tomorrow. Why do you have to go?’
She knew the answer quite well. Their son, he needed his father to be there as a guiding force or he would drop back into his old ways. And She just couldn’t leave her granddaughter here alone. She was the only piece of her daughter left after the accident.
So they spent that one week of bliss together waiting for the night when they’ll finally have to say their goodbyes.
He placed a kiss on her cheek and it gave her the strength to get her heart torn apart again. For even the broken pieces never stopped beating and loving, always loving.
They sat there with their feet dipped in water, holding on to each other. Her smile was much stronger than the tears that slipped down her face. And though he was losing his eyesight and had more or less lost the sensation in one of his feet, his grip was still strong as he held her hand.
It was this, her, that was holding him together even years later. The world could end right there and he wouldn’t have a single regret.
Please let it end now. For tomorrow was another story.
He was tired now. Tired of living. So many years he had already given to life, to everyone around him. Now he just wanted it to end, right there, holding on to the woman he loved.
The world was unjustly cruel to her. While everyone was finding their happiness and a separate person to let their heart collide with, she was alone. She couldn’t move on.
For one tiny moment, she just wanted to breathe the air of something new, untouched by the lingering remains of her past.
The old man turned around as she cursed out loud.
He smiled gently at her. But she was furious. She was furious at herself for the inability to forget. She was angry at the old couple for being so happy and perfect right now when she felt so flawed.
‘Don’t worry child. Just smile and everything will be alright,’ he said to her.

I hope they break apart. I hope they realise what heartbreak really is like.
Then we’ll see how he smiles.
I can’t take this.
She ran to the edge of the water with all the passion she had left. She was gonna leap and swim and swim and swim.
But her feet froze as she reached the edge, her heart got caught in her throat, her mind raced at an unimaginable speed, her eyes widened and she stopped.
She looked to her side. The old couple was still there.
The man was holding the woman’s hand. The woman was in tears and yet smiling.
Something broke in her when she saw that. Or perhaps it came together because she smiled too. She smiled and sat down to dip her feet into the water. She looked at the moon and felt the peace wash over her.
Perhaps everything WILL be alright.


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Meet the person who inspired these Vardhan Chronicles @SidharthVardhan

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