He was on his way back from work, and had taken a different route that day. That’s when he passed it, the International School, where he used to have music classes. Every Sunday afternoon, for two hours-that’s where he gave wings to his passion. He came alive in those two hours, transforming all his emotions into notes. His keyboard was his friend, lover, companion, everything.
“What’re you smiling at?” His wife’s words broke into his thoughts.
“Nothing.” He continued smiling.
“What?? Tell me...” She gently prodded.
He’d never told it to anyone, not even to his wife, who was his best friend and confidante. He felt that it was somehow too special to be shared, as though the beauty of it would get spoilt by just a narration. But, looking at his wife, he knew that no one else would understand it as well either. As he started talking, his mind flashed back to all those years.
Hunk, daredevil, hero, singer, rockstar- he had had a lot of tags attached to him during his youth. The star of his college, the heartthrob of girls, he was used to reducing girls to a simpering pile of mush with just a look. Passionate about music, he used to go for keyboard classes at the International School, certified by the Trinity College of Music, London.
It was the day of his final recital, and he had overslept. He woke up to his friend’s call, and rushed to the school, not bothering about the prescribed dress code. As he entered the recital hall, a shiver of excitement went through him. “This is it”, he thought to himself. “This is where years of my learning will be tested, and I will finally be certified.”
The hall was filled with nervous, hopeful musicians, waiting for their turn up on the stage. Some of them were familiar, some new. That’s when his eyes fell on her. He’d never seen her there before, so he assumed that she was probably among those NRI’s who’d come from the U.S to give their recital. She looked up at him, just a glance, and looked back down at the notes in her hand.
Now this was new. He was not used to this. Girls always gave him a second glance, and then a third, fourth, fifth glance.
But then, this girl, there was something different about her. She was totally unlike the usual bimbos he had met till now. Everything about her was delicate, feminine, beautiful. Her flawless complexion, pink lips, warm brown eyes, light brown silky hair pulled back from her angelic face in a ponytail- and no trace of make-up. She looked like Cindrella, he thought, and for the first time in his sixteen years, he had fallen for a girl.
The performances got over one by one, and then it was his turn. For the next fifteen minutes, he was lost- lost in the world of music. As the crescendo descended, he became aware of the sound of thunderous applause. He got down from the stage and wound his way through the rows of chairs to the only empty chair he could find. As he sat down and glanced at his neighbour, a jolt of excitement shot through him. It was her! His mind went blank. And then he heard a soft voice calling out to him.
“Hi, I’m Anamika. What you did up there, that was awesome.”
“Oh, thank you.” His senses seemed to have taken leave of him.
“Big fan...” She kept her hand over her heart as she said it.
“Thanks..” He gave a dimpled smile.
“Next performance is by Anamika”, came the announcement.
As she left her seat to go up on stage, Nikhil thought he heard her murmur something; something that sounded like “This one’s for you.”
“Did you hear something?” he asked his friend seated next to him, who said that he hadn’t. “I guess I must’ve imagined it”, he said to himself. There she was up on the stage, on the piano, and she was singing. He couldn’t recognize the song, but the lyrics went “I think of you...” And all throughout the performance, she didn’t take her eyes off him, and he didn’t attempt to look away either. It was as though someone had pressed the ‘Pause’ button on the rest of the world. There was magic in the air.
As she came down the stage, cheeks flushed a lovely red with excitement and joy, and resumed her seat next to him, he kept his hand over his heart and said, “You know what? Big fan..” The most innocent smile he’d ever seen lit up her face.
“Did you say something just before you went up on stage?”
The show was over. Everyone had had their fifteen seconds of fame. As she got up to leave, she glanced back at him, and with the slightest hint of a smile, said “You heard right, you dumbo.” And then she was gone, just like that. He felt as though he was flying.
He eagerly waited for her the next Sunday, and yes, there she was. He experienced the same buoyant feeling in his heart that he’d felt when he first saw her. It was like his heart was a red balloon, floating up, up and away, sky the limit. Her smile seemed to light up the room.
“Hi, how’re you?” Her accented English blew him away more.
“I’m doing good.” He’d managed to untie his tongue.
“Ok...Umm..I’m just here for a few days actually. I live in the U.S, came down here just for my performance...”
“Oh...ok...” Somewhere up there, God was laughing at him.
They chatted for a while, two shy teenagers, blushing each time their eyes met. It was time for her to leave, she said. As she went down the stairs, she kept looking back at him, and he couldn’t move from where he stood.
“Nikhil, would you mind walking me till the gate?”
“Sure.” He had to be careful not to run too fast.
As they went down the driveway, neither of them spoke a word. And yet, there was something comfortable about that silence, as though neither wanted to spoil the beauty of that moment with meaningless chatter. The silence spoke volumes. They reached her car, and they looked at each other, warm brown eyes softening the intense black ones.
“So, bye then..I guess...” Maybe the soft voice lessened the blow the words had.
“Ya...bye. I’ll see you again soon, I hope.”
“Ya, hopefully.” She smiled.
And then she was gone.
“I never saw her again, you know. I searched for her the next Sunday, but she wasn’t there. And then my course got over, so I didn’t go back there.” He could sense that he had turned nostalgic. The boy who had yearned to see his angel for just one more time so that he could just sit with her, looking at her- the boy he’d hidden away somewhere, had resurfaced.
“You didn’t take her number, email id, anything?”
“Nope. Nothing. I tried searching for her on some sites, chat rooms, even Google-searched her name”. He laughed at the memory. “But I never found her. Maybe that’s why I still remember her. She came into my life like an angel, like a gentle breeze on a hot summer’s day, gave a little joy, made me aware of a side of me that I never knew existed, and then she vanished. I won’t call it love. No. It wasn’t even a crush. But whatever it was, it was beautiful. She touched my life like no one ever has.”
“Hey!!” His wife swatted him playfully on his head.
They were back home. He felt lighter, happier, that he’d shared it with his wife. Maybe the reason he’d never shared it was that it was inexplicable. He had gently packed it away in his heart, like he’d seen his mother pack away her silver, so that it remained pure, untarnished, without so much as a blemish. He went to his keyboard, and as he started playing his favourite composition, he said to himself, and to his Cinderella, “This one’s for you...”
I wanted to write something special for my 100th post, but couldn't figure out what. So I decided to post the first ever short story I ever wrote, over a year back. So this is an amateur's attempt. Pardon me if it's not good enough. :)
Dedicated to the person whose true-life experience inspired this story...
All you need to do is look around you, and you'll find a story in every person, in every smile, behind every drop of tear, in every song, around every corner...
Thats your first short story... and thats the first ever one of yours I got to read too...ReplyDelete
And im so glad you put the red balloons in there.. cos thats my fav line! :)
Ive told you that before as well.!
this is indeed innocently beautiful Spiff..ReplyDelete
i sure had a tear drop glistening in my eye at the end..
and there was a smile on my lips..:)
some love stories though incomplete..
are complete in their own way..
congratulations on a 100..!!!
Wahi toh sochoon kyun suna suna sa lag raha tha story:)ReplyDelete
I liked it then only, so sweet, so subtle it is:)
Now tell me if it's fiction or 'inspired' phicsan? ;P
That was just sooooooo cute!ReplyDelete
Unfinished stories haunt forever. But a certain someone makes it tolerable and something takes it off the memory lane by replacing it all.
Loved it! U shud do more f this.
Aww its beautiful! :)ReplyDelete
Congrats on the Century mark. Irrespective of where you are, you now deserve to raise your hand and wave it like a champ.ReplyDelete
Liked the narration shift from present to past to present. The ending line deserves a post in itself .
I loved reading each line.. such an adorable yet incomplete love dtory.ReplyDelete
Very subtly written. It brought out the feelings completely. And I loved the last line of the post. "All you need..." Very true.. :)ReplyDelete
I like the simplicity of this story the best! I like how you kept it realistic and believable. As I went on reading, I couldn't wait to read the next line. :)ReplyDelete
a very good write-up.. hope you enjoyed writing it coz I enjoyed reading it.. :) :)ReplyDelete
This was your first ever short story? Crap I don't believe that :O . It was sooo amazing..ReplyDelete
All you need to do is look around you, and you'll find a story in every person, in every smile, behind every drop of tear, in every song, around every corner...These lines are sooo sooo true... Loved it...congrats on your 100th post :)
Me thinks I should give up story writing altogether.Trying to write a story is an insult to writing stories with phenomenal writers like you around.This is your first short story????:-O Maaan!!!!I wonder when I will be able to write something like that.....ReplyDelete
*Lies prostrate on the ground and begs Spaceman Spiff to accept his homage*
miss spiff..this story of yours set my mind on the day dreaming mode instantly man. i so crave for someone to enter my life like this. i jus hope dat in d future i too have a story worth tellin people, on how i met the love of my life. this was beautiful. loved it. :)ReplyDelete
Loved it.. Short and Sweet. and esp loved the All you need to do is look around you lines.ReplyDelete
That's a sweet story!!! :) Wish to read more of your short stories...ReplyDelete
A story in every person; all you need to do is look. Truer words have never been spoken.ReplyDelete
You said this was your first short story. Sure didn't seem like it :)
@The meditating lion: Yup, I remember you telling me that. :)ReplyDelete
@meoww: Yup, very true. Maybe the incompleteness is what makes it memorable. :)
@PeeVee: This is inspired fiction, my dear. :) But I'm not one of the characters. This was narrated to me by someone, and it was just too beautiful to remain just a memory in his heart. So I built a story around it. :)
@Red Handed: I wish I could do more of this, but fiction doesn't come easily to me at all. This was only 20% fiction, maybe that's why I could write it. :)
@DawnZhang: Thanks sweetie. :)
@AS: *waves hand at the screen* There, waved. :) Thanks!
@Defiant Princess: Thank you! :)
@The life-a-holic: Thank you. :)
@Loony: It is a true story, so maybe that's why it was believable. :)
@Arpitha: I sure did enjoy writing it. :) And you know what, I had actually written this down in a notebook. Some ten pages in all! :)ReplyDelete
@confused soul: I swear upon my grammar gods that this was my first short story ever. :) I wrote it and then just left it, unpublished...
@Rahul: Ayyayyo!! Nothing like that! Like I said, you just need to look around and keep your ears open, you'll find stories. I was lucky that I found this. :)
@kalpak: Hehe. I'm sure you'l find someone. :) Thanks! :)
By the way,I need some info from you urgently. Ping me soon. I lost your yahoo id. Pls!!
@Sunitha: Thanks. :)
@lin: Thans. :) I wish I could write more stories too. Am a little backwards in that area. :/
@Kirklops: :D It really was was first one. Wrote it long back, but ever did anything about it. Just let it lie there unpublished...
@kiranflys: Thank you! :)
First off, congrats on your Century!!ReplyDelete
Subtle, touching and innocent. And your closing line just like the story will stay in mind for a loooong time.
Congrats on the 100th post! The story had me awwwing nonstop.. Nice one .ReplyDelete
And OH OH!! CONGRATS ON THE 100!!ReplyDelete
Whoa, congrats on your 100th post! :) and the story was an example of great writing, as usual! Totally loved it!ReplyDelete
Bollywood will be impressed with you. Nice writingReplyDelete
There is some magic about this subject.Anybody can relate it to their life.so Could I.This was definitely for me.Thanks for the post.ReplyDelete
Its good. :) Congrats on 100th!ReplyDelete
I really enjoyed reading it Divya :) And specially loved this line, "warm brown eyes softening the intense black ones". Good work!ReplyDelete
And congrats on hitting century! Mera number kab ayega? I am not even into the nervous nineties yet :p
Very well written inspired fiction. :) I love it. :)ReplyDelete
Congratulations on the 100 posts. :) :) :) Keep writing. :D
Reminds me of the beginning of August Rush. Beautiful.ReplyDelete
Awesome Post. Untold love stories are more painful than the told one. But the feeling lingers for the whole lifetime.. The Post was too good .. full of emotions and lovely.. I have a same story like this..
Congrats on your 100th post.. Keep writing :) :)
@Shadia: Thanks! :)ReplyDelete
@Bhargavi: Hey, thanks for dropping by! :)
@PeeVee: Hehe. :) It is the okays.
@Krishna: Danx! :)
@Jacob: Awww.. thanks so much. :)
@Avirat: hey! Long time no see! :)
@Destiny's Child: Tumhara number aayega when you get off that lazy ass and write more. :P
@Srinidhi: SO long as people like you keep reading and commenting, I shall keep writing. :) Thanks.
@Ravishankar: Thank you so much. :)
Excellent to say the least..:-)ReplyDelete
You started with this?!?! *With a dropped jaw, still not able to close it*ReplyDelete
If you call this amatuerish, then your mature stories will surely rock the world! Awesome girl. The narration was sooooooo moving.
@Kanthu: Thank you. :)ReplyDelete
@Keirthana: :) Aww.. that's really very sweet of you. Thanks.. :)
P.S:- Haven't forgotten about your guest post. Just waiting to writing something good.
@Anuranjini: Thank you. :) And might I add, I love your name..pretty. :)
Not a problem :)ReplyDelete
Now, wasn't that sweet! Almost made me wish I had some such sweet moment/memory with a stranger that I could store away and cherish... awww.... now I feel like mush! :DReplyDelete
Beauutiful and completely adorable story :)ReplyDelete
sweet and subtle...like it babe!ReplyDelete
@Vinitha: Thanks. :)ReplyDelete
@Blahblaholic and Hijibijbij: Thank you! :)