Once upon a time

I really don’t understand who a soul-mate is. I always believed a soul-mate to be a quest rather than a person. But I have a story to share…

We met on the first day of college. Me – big chatter-box, pampered princess, fresh out of an all-girls school. He – complete introvert from a modest family, fresh out of an all-boys school. Conversation was awkward until we realised that we read the same kind of books. That triggered a great friendship.

We never really dated. I was brought up with the constant warning  – girls from good families do not go out with boys alone. We hung out as a gang; within that gang we bonded.

At some point he professed, ‘I think I love you’.

Ever the pragmatist, I had a dozen reasons why that was not a good idea. Sensible reasons like we are too young to conservative reasons like our families will never agree.

For the next 15 years we did not speak.

We met again at our batch’s 20th reunion party. A smile was all it took and we were friends again. We would meet up for coffee about once a month. The comfort was there. Conversation flowed easily. We shared our life stories. Whenever life hit a bump and we needed a friend it was time for coffee.

Ten years later he professed, ‘I think I still love you’.

And I replied, ‘I think I love you too.’


Written in response to Mindlovemisery’s Menagerie’s Tale Weaver prompt – Soul Mates

I would have liked to end this story with a ‘…and they lived happily ever after.’ but the pragmatist in me reserves comment.

Opening Night

Photo: Jonny Joo, One Big Photo

The curtains opened and there was no one there.

Not one soul.

Just rows and rows of empty chairs. The only sound that she could hear in the eerie silence was the thumping of her own heart. Was it supposed to beat that fast? Hurt that much? And why did it feel like the entire place was low on oxygen. Like she was at the top of a mountain looking down at an abyss. All those hours spent memorizing lines, dress rehearsal, it was all for nothing. No one had come and she was a total failure. There would be no audience, no reviews, the theatre would shut her down and her career was ruined. They had warned her. A solo act on opening night was risky. She had taken a chance. She had steeled herself for poor reviews. But an empty auditorium was every performer’s worst nightmare and there was no way to prepare for that. She was a total and complete failure.

A shuffling sound in a far corner drew her attention. Slowly her eyes adjusted to the darkness. She started making out forms. Slight movement. Low sounds. And then she realized… all the rows beyond the VIP rows were occupied.

Her spirit soared. Her confidence roared. She broke out into a huge smile. And the audience broke out in applause. The show was on.   


Written in response to Mindlovemisery’s Menagerie’s Photo Challenge #381

My Stalker

There are those few minutes between when your body wakes and when your mind kicks in – those are the moments of peace. After that you start feeling that dull thumping fog in your head, that hollow almost pain at the pit of your stomach. Shit. He’s there.

I would go to pick out my clothes and the apprehension would start… Is this dress ok? Neck too low? Colour too bright? Does my bra line show? Will it provoke him? Would he confront me? Would there be words? Will I be humiliated again?

Slowly but surely the apprehension would escalate to full blown panic.

He didn’t have to be around. It was just the thought that he could be around. His eyes never stopped following me. He loomed over me like a dark shadow; a shadow that grew as my panic grew, until it completely overshadowed and boxed me in.

I should have asked for help earlier. I should have taken a stand earlier. But it wasn’t that easy.

My stalker had a license. He called himself husband.

*


This was written in response to MLMM’s Music Challenge #190 where we were asked to be inspired by Sarah McLachlan’s song Possession which she wrote about a stalker.

I am certainly not a celebrity but you don’t have to be famous for someone to want to treat you as a possession that needs to be kept, controlled and ‘loved’ on their own terms.

The Daily Paper

News Paper Pictures | Download Free Images on Unsplash
Image via Unsplash

Twas a time

the newspaper was essential to the day;

Until it was devoured everything else could stay.

Every character printed treated as official proclamation

The editorials were matters of great contemplation.

What comes in now is just ‘the daily paper’

Even its relevance, is starting to taper!

Sports and sales are usually the only perused subject

The rest sadly is viewed under the lens of fact check!!!


Written in response to Sammi’s Weekend Writing Prompt #225

wk 225 newspaper

The sound of loss

You think that time heals all wounds. You think that the dark chasm of grief that you had once imagined might consume you has closed. You think that the pain of loss has receded.

The jokes on you.

Along comes a seemingly innocuous prompt – The sound of silence. A few of your fellow wordsmiths talk of their own struggles with hearing loss. And suddenly you are hit with a tsunami of emotions.

I cried for this prompt. I cried for the sound of silence in my father’s room. For all the times that I chided him for his hearing loss. For speaking too loud, for speaking too low, for speaking words and walking away without checking if he had heard. The sound of silence that he must have heard is now my burden to carry.

It’s been five years, yet it only took one innocuous prompt to open that chasm again.

MLMM’s Tale Weaver prompt invites us to write from the perspective of someone who has lost their hearing. I still have my hearing. Yet I cannot hear the voice of the man who was my first love, my hero, my counselor, my strength. I long for him. But all I hear is the sound of silence.

Kingpin

Pincers – that’s what they should be called. Cause when they stick ’em into you it feels like a damn pin prick. Proboscis sounds like something that just probes. They aren’t just probing. They are sticking it in and sucking me out.

Ya, its mosquito season and thus the rant.

I tell you, they bring out the inner Dexter Morgan in me. That splatter of blood left behind after a kill – what a high. My… that was a good memory. That opening sequence is phenomenal.

Dexter: Putting it together | Scanners | Roger Ebert
Image: dexter.fandom.com

We’ve had a few showers. The weather has cooled down. Woohoo. The plants are lush green. There’s enough jasmine blooming in the garden for me to wear flowers in my hair.

Everything about the rains is wonderful. Except those indestructible blood suckers that it breeds.

Time to grab the mosquito bat and go into terminator mode. My electric bat versus the pincers. Who will emerge as the Kingpin?

Written in response to the Stream of Consciousness Saturday prompt, where the prompt word is “pin”

The dance of the water and shore

His love is like the waters that lap against the shore. Gentle, mellifluous, capricious. His every touch leaving me damp and supple, his breath upon me the caress of tender breeze, as he plays with me, lapping and receding, yet never relinquishing contact. His ebb and flow consume me.

Then suddenly he surges. A tidal wave of passion sweeping over me. Drowning me into complete surrender. Until he and I are one. And when he recedes, I rest, satiated and vitalized by his love. I dance in harmony with his melody, all the while waiting to be consumed again.

PHOTO PROMPT © Penny Gadd

Written in response to Rochelle’ Friday Fictioneers challenge of 3 Sep 2021

The carousel of desire

Photo courtesy of Sergei Kalinin. http://www.onebigphoto.com

The carousel keeps turning

never stopping for anyone

People jostle to board

Faces eager

Sweatshirts flying

Whimsical longings

like butterflies or feathers

Inflicted

by the vulgarity of desire

Organic

Veiled as necessity

A terrible predicament

Yet

Ply them with truth

Call their bluff

Watch them cling

when the masks fall off

As the carousel keeps turning

never stopping for anyone.


Written in response to Mindlovemisery’s Menagerie’s Photo Challenge #380 and Wordle #255: Inflict, Face, Vulgarity, Longing, Feathers, Butterflies, Bluff, Organic, Sweatshirt, Jostle, Ply, Terrible