What Winter Brings

Reads: 952  | Likes: 14  | Shelves: 6  | Comments: 17

More Details
Status: Finished  |  Genre: Romance  |  House: Booksie Classic

Submitted: May 20, 2018

A A A | A A A

Submitted: May 20, 2018

A A A

A A A


In a closely packed locality under a small rocky mountain, surrounded by huts of labourers, stood a two storey brick house. Shakti, a ninth grader lived there with his family. He woke up to see grey clouds in the sky, invading half the mountain. It was a cold and drizzling Friday. This was a special day to Shakti and he didn't want that week to get over soon as the others did. He was excited as this day had plenty to give him and it made him feel as if he were a protagonist of a blockbuster movie.

He was ready to school in half hour and went to a nearby street vendor to get some fruits for his mom before he left. People in the street wore sweaters and scarves and were blowing cold air from their mouths, rubbing their palms on their arms to keep themselves warm. The streets with puddles that rippled with drops of rain looked so serene to gaze at. Everything he got to witness that morning had something so special about, even the simplest of gestures that people returned to him. Maybe, it was all normal but his perception was otherwise. When it was sharp 7:00, the backpack and lunch boxes were packed and were ready for departure. He and his sister stopped by the small temple at the corner of their street for their daily prayers. His prayer was something more precise that day. He requested god for a magic to happen and soon after, he and his sister boarded the school bus.

 

CHAPTER 1: WHERE IT ALL BEGAN

=============================

Shakti was an average ninth grader in a decent private school with ten or so classmates. He owned an 8- bit video game and was allowed to play that only during weekends. For him life was comics, dreams and desires to possess more video game cassettes, outing with friends and more TV time. But, few weeks ago, something had made Shakti’s life to topple. At some instances in life, without any anticipation or apprehension, teens reach the peak of their adolescence. Neither fearing it’s heights nor seeing what they have climbed up. Movies, romances, songs suddenly start to make sense at these peaks, considering those as wisdom they have jumped into the depths of. And that’s when the words "CRUSH”, "LOVE" and "MAGIC" will start to delude one.

As you may all have guessed from so far, yes, Shakti had jumped off from the same cliff without any second thought when he first saw her. A newbie to eight grade in his school. She was fair, short and wore glasses and she had a classy look. That’s how he felt about her appearance - “Classy”, as she was his first encounter from the upper crust of the society. So the word Classy fits the frame in this story, since films and songs portray girls who look like upper crust as protagonist.

 “Some women are real treasure, but most of the men are pirates". Not in the terms of money or the materialistic treasures that women possess. Phrase just flashed in his soul when he first saw her was “MY KIND OF GIRL”.

So, this "My Kind of Girl” was the one who put an end to Shakti's adolescence and opened doors to his fantasies of adulthood desires. At this time of life, teens creates themselves a parallel universe in which he/his desires & dreams only dwell in total sync with trance. Shakti now could clearly distinguish his two realities as high-tech sci-fi film. He was normal to his friends, parents and to others. But in his alter-reality he was a different one who kept growing every second. The one who had encountered the girl. In his alter reality he was no more the Shakti, the one who lived in this existence we all live in. There couldn't be any private conversation between Shakti and her till a time. Those were times of real longing since his alter-reality needed texture and atmosphere. After days, he got chances to have few words with her accompanied by his classmates in the small conversations. Now that he knew enough of her voice, her hair’s texture, her skin and place where her glass frame that rests behind her ears perfectly it helped him build his alter-reality with much more precision. Will Songs and romantic music disturb only youth? What about teens on cliffs? Ones who want to jump off the cliff? And the ones who had already did?? Yes, it does, even Shakti was disturbed by picturesque words beyond his age and disturbing his climate.

 

Yes,it was like a disturbing weather. The changes in him caused inconvenience when it rained, when soft breeze touched him, a melody intruded his ear and mostly the fraction of a second when he saw her.

Now what was in his dream reality? It was only two of them with things created around by his fictitious cinematic elements. It included beautiful landscapes, bikes, cars, serene gardens with sunsets and importantly the clothes as in films. It’s since the late 18th or 19th century humans started to define romanticism is must act of life. But in real life when is the romantic seed sown? We could say it starts right from Shakti's age. This upside down world can be experienced only from the eyes of Shakti and through his body to feel the thrill of this castle in the air. Now let’s dive into the SHAKTI’s parable, his “MY KIND OF GIRL".

 

CHAPTER 2: MY KIND OF GIRL

=============================

 

The School van passed through the boulevards as the rain showered on the beautiful trees. Sitting inside the bus, watching the rain drops pattering on the windows he was gloomy for no reason. All he knew was that he is sick of this new feeling, with changing temperature and a kind of addiction towards to this “My Kind of girl" stuff. On reaching the school he had his breakfast with his usual gang and as you all already know, he started to have poor appetite.

And then the long awaited magic happened. His girl stood behind when he raised from his desk along with others to go wash their hands. He was flabbergasted on seeing her and in a hushed voice she said "Hi". On hearing it, his universe stood still and his heart beat went bazooka. Her eyes were like the entire Cosmos, like a glimpse of viewing galaxy and beyond for a moment that he couldn't bear. He just left the place and fled to the washroom without any response. How could one come up with words when he had experienced something beyond the apprehension of his senses. He was puzzled that why he couldn't answer her and was also ashamed of his cowardice that he missed a chance. On returning to his classroom she was there, sitting on his chair that enthralled him as if it were from his dream reality. He neared her and said, “Hi…. am …am sorry".

 

“Why do you always behave weirdly when I’m around? Anyways, I came to make sure you know that we are the two who have enrolled for the upcoming speech contest and we need to meet the staff around 9 before the classes start.”

 

Sure, will meet.

 

So you mean, just you? You will not accompany me?  You really don't want me to join you?

 

No. No…. I mean, We’ll. Sorry I missed the ‘we’. WE WILL.

 

 (In his mind: OMG!!!!  I NEED YOU. NO WORDS TO SAY THIS. BUT ALL I WANT TO SEE YOU, TOUCH YOU AND SPEAK TO YOU. ANYTHING. EVEN SOMETHING STUPID)

 

Too many sorry. Save some for later. And, you can call me by my name.

 

Shakti knew it all a day before that they are the only two who have registered and he will have a chance to meet her alone today. Now you readers know why the day was special to him. But what just happened was more than special, it was something unexpected. His prayers were answered within an hour. He felt as if it’s just two of them alive on earth and all the others vanished in a second. He longed for the same scene to repeat in endless loops. They reached the staff room to meet the one who was in charge of this contest. The teacher had requested them to meet her under a tree in the school play area to discuss the topics in detail.

Shakti murmured " What a day!! Full of magic as in a fairy tale!! " It was a pure state of bliss what he was experiencing. Both of them reached the spot ahead of time and had five minutes alone. He was excited now that he could have a vivid image of her without any interruptions and he captured every inch of her face as a million mega pixel camera.

 "Shakti, please talk something. Do I look like ghost? Why do you look disturbed? "

“Am not very social and I blabber. I’m not disturbed and ... I don't know”

" You act weird and but I feel not to leave you quiet", She said laughingly.

Soon, the teacher joined them and spoke on rules of the contest. They were given time to prepare their speech content on chosen topics with help of their parents.

Both departed and he just stared at her eyes for one last time for the day and she noticed it. On returning home, he couldn't get out of the trance. Her eyes, her lips, her smile and gestures were everywhere. The trance made him pitch to his dream reality and there they both spoke for indefinite time. That day on, she became his inspired truth and he turned into one big cosmic lie. The special day had finally ended with blessings than he wished for, but deep down he was still a pauper for his girl's shadow.

Two days passed and the speech papers were ready from both sides. They both went to meet the teacher again under the same tree, after lunch. It was just them. This time he was ready to initiate conversation. He started with usual queries to know her details. Sometimes words got stuck in his throat and she laughed. But he never stopped seeing her eyes. When her turn came she started with “What do you like?". As he started his heroic explanation, the teacher came with another pleasant surprise. She informed them that from the next day on, every morning, they would be spending one hour for practice in an old class room in the first floor. She also said that they would be constantly monitored by her, and left the place.

 Hey, let's be a friends. And don’t act weird. I have to spend one month with you practicing for the speech contest.

Sure. Let’s be friends. I’ll try my best no to be weird around you.

 

Memories make our life, don’t they? It encapsulates the present, broods over the past and invigorates the future. And to escape the bitter truths of this reality, it’s the precious gift we all are damned with!! Every word she uttered that day became a spine chilling memory for Shakti. With that memory he sought immortality in his dream reality with her beside him.

 

Chapter 3: Light from "MY KIND OF GIRL"

================================

 

Along with the commencement of adolescence, desires to possess  other gender sprouts with LOVE, REVERIE & FEAR.

Days passed, interactions with her is not a big deal to him now. But the real seeking inside him wanted light from her. Is there any light for me, from her? How to grab that light from her if any? Will it be shone on me?  were the questions which ran through his heart. Beyond mind, teens tend to believe in their intuition than intelligence, less mind, so they take a quantum leap in LOVE. Beyond mind, he too felt her vibes and believed there is light for him from inside her.

It was yet another hazy morning inside the empty class room where they both were rehearsing their speeches and the teacher failed to join them. Sharp lines of sunshine made strokes on her waterfall tuck-hair, flower-petals lips and palm leaf eye-lashes. In love people trust nature and they accept it as signs, I’d say omens. He acknowledged this as nature's testimony that for sure he is going to get light from her that day. She turned towards him and came floated like dewdrops in leaves towards his direction. With a sarcastic smile on her face, she handed her speech paper to him and asked to read it. It was as usual as any other practice day and so he started reading it. Half way through he sensed that she was different that day. Her eyebrows were up, lips hided uncontrollable smiles and eyes kept lying from the beginning. He noticed that she sparkled in sun rays, melody flooded his blood vessels, he heard his heart beat invaded and being stirred with chaos. He stopped reading and both went mute for a minute. They just saw each other and that's the moment. That's it; he could feel the glimpse of light from her which he yearned for all these days.

Incidents like accidents, shocks and tremors activate our higher level of consciousness says science. We must admit that scenarios like this should also be added to that list.

Shakti couldn’t express what he felt that moment, his feelings were beyond his consciousness and turned void. All he was able to utter was “Stop looking at me like that". She replied “I’m not going eat you”. After a minute it seemed that she too had realized what just happened there. She then took few steps back and sat down on her chair. Waves of shyness slithered on her face like infants hide their faces in their mom's breasts. She took a deep breath and raised her slender bamboo hand towards him and asked for her papers back. She rose from her chair and yanked the papers from his hand and left the classroom by saying "I adore you…and… what just happened". The commute back to his home from school that day, was an eternity to him. Aroma of his "My Kind of Girl" was there in every breath of air he inhaled. Those eyes of her were all he could see around. Words she spoke were the only audible sound his ear could hear. He had his dinner soon that night and he rushed to bed. Closing his eyes, he stepped to his alter reality.

As Shakti always loved crepuscular rays and that she was his queen bee so we could name his alter reality as "crepuscular hive". It was a spectacular festival in "crepuscular hive" when he closed his eyes. Golden sun ray’s illumination and melodious wind's orchestra, Lilies’ fragrance and fallen red daffodils carpet welcomed them there. They both walked through flower gardens, streams and ended in midst of a rye field. Both were dressed in black and blue.

She rested her head on his shoulder, held his hand and in a velvety voice sang:

 "I adore you and .... What just happened"

Chapter 4: From entropy to coherence

===========================

A breezy morning woke Shakti the next day and he had high temperature. Shakti's mom wrote leave note for him to his teacher and made sure his sister would deliver it. But he couldn't swallow this news; it stuck in his throat like a fish bone.

He didn’t want to miss even a single second of being with her at any cost. After many failed arguments with his mom, biting the bullet he stayed back at home. His grandma came to look after him and he turned on the TV once his parents left to work. As clock struck 9:00 Sharp, his mind teleported him to classroom in the school where they rehearsed every day. He saw his "My Kind of Girl" sitting lonely and got dazzled by her beauty in the counterpart. His mind made a sudden fall-back to the reality where the TV played a sad song, which also made his tears of void roll down smoothly down his cheeks. At noon he felt like he was stranded in a desert, tired and thirsty which let his weary eyes rest for a while. It’s 4:00 P.M when telephone in his house cried. He answered the call knowing that it would be his mom to check on his health. Lazily he hummed "hello" but there was no response from the other line. Again he said "hello" with alertness. His heart trembled and he knew who was at the other end now. In a soft tone he said again "hello" with gentleness.

 "Hi, it’s me" a voice echoed in the telephone.

Anyone would run out of words to describe this, he just evaporated into nothingness.

He shrilled "Hey….Hi…. How are you?”

"I missed you so badly today. Hope you recover soon. We have a movie outing from school tomorrow and I want to watch that with you". Suddenly some adult voice groaned in the background and the call got hung. He gazed at the dead telephone for a while and front door of his house just slammed and his sister was back from school. She opened the refrigerator and started hunting for snacks. Crunching the cookies, she fell onto the sofa. He started the conversation with the question “How was school today?”

 She replied hesitantly with her attention grabbed by the cartoon on the TV," Nothing much…and hey your classmate, your partner in speech contest…She asked for our telephone number”.

His ticker flinched on hearing it but replied casually “Oh.”

“Shakthi, you know? we have a movie outing from school tomorrow".

“That’s nice. Let’s go then.”

That evening descended with stupor of telephone call and he never disclosed about the call to anyone. His temperature seemed good or maybe his immune wanted to so that he could go to school the next day and watch the movie with her. That night his crepuscular hive was filled with sojourn moon and her telephonic words from the evening played as tunes of harp. One more gifted morning knocked his eyes early and he rushed to get ready. On his arrival at school that day, he felt that he had missed the place for light years. Time for the speech practice neared and he raced holding his breath towards the classroom where they practice. Disappointment was all that waited for him there. There was a staff that held there for the movie out. The practice was cancelled for the day.

 

Around third hour of the day all the students were requested to assemble in the school playground and were asked to march to the nearby movie theatre. The students were asked to be seated in ascending order of grades. When the eighth graders started filling one of the last few rows of the theatre Shakthi’s eyes scouted around for her face. Shakti went blank for a moment in despair and in wink of an eye a hand poked his shoulder. Turning back, he saw his stunning "My Kind of Girl" with one of her best friends. He then came to know that she had swapped her grade rows to sit right next to him.

The student’s chatter filled theatre hall and dropped to silence when the theatre’s screen got illuminated. As the lights in the hall dimmed he brought his lips closer to her left ear and murmured "Missed you badly and our morning practice session".

She smoothly grabbed his hands as sea waves assert its shore. Looking at his eyes she questioned, "How much you missed me?”

 “How about you? Did you miss me and if so, how much?".

"To be true, I felt stranded in an island and that my only hope was you” answering, she smiled.

"And I felt like a sailor searching his stranded partner in an unmapped island in an endless ocean." He quoted, heroically.

"So, did you find your stranded partner Mr.Sailor? ", laughingly she poked his hand.

“yeah, I found her in a movie theatre at last” and he held her hand tight. Both went silent for a while. Her face was shimmering in the dark with colours of lights from the movie screen. He came to realize that his crepuscular hive became true and real world became dream. He felt it, literally. Life's one of the greatest gifts is, moments when our consciousness couldn't differentiate reality from a dream. People who make their life intense with love won't try to differentiate those moments.

They just feel and experience it.

 

She rested her cheek on his shoulder which made her hair sail towards his face blushed with puberty. Spine tingling scene from the movie made the girl to bury her face in his biceps. Shakti could feel her elated heartbeat. He sifted his seat against her playfully and she pulled him back towards her that made him laugh. Those two hours were time which made his life’s entropic wild jungle to a coherent paradise.

 

Chapter 5: Last days of the grey birds

===========================

 

 Two days after the theatre romance, the news of contest's final date hit the "grey bird's" ears. “Grey birds” is a nick name that was given to our duo at school. There were rumour talks about the duo after the theatre romance which few noticed. The duo soon came to know this and validated this by declaring themselves as "lovely grey birds" in their hearts.

 

The contest was just five days ahead and it was a big intra school meet in one of the renowned schools with plenty of other interesting contests as well. Those last four days of practice session went strenuous and teachers always occupied the grey bird's session. They barely had five to ten minutes every day in private. Every word they uttered from their lips were like money spent by penniless parent to their kids. Words rich in love and emotion.

It was Friday and next morning would be their day of contest, before they left he wished her good luck from his heart. She called for a firm hand shake so that she can touch him and melted her words “I know you will win for sure and my prayers are always for you. Want you to see fresh and to be seated next to me in the school bus tomorrow”. She left saying this and he felt his grey bird just flew from their nest.

 

‘That night was his first sleepless night in his life, he didn’t close his eye for a minute. He climbed the sofa and looked at the wall clock to make sure those needles were moving. Finally, rooms got illumined by dawn; he got refreshed and packed his stuff by rehearsing the speech. He felt the strange energy up surging him the whole time. Shakti's mom packed his box with bread and jam and his father gave him pocket money for the day. By getting wishes and kisses of his mom he left his house. As it was not a usual working day he had to take private bus to school but was excited that he would sit next to his bird in the bus that was arranged to take students to the contest’s venue. His grey bird was missing as he reached school. He inquired anxiously to his teacher about  her whereabouts. He was told that his grey bird's parent  informed the school that she’ll reach the venue on her own transportation. He was shattered on hearing it and walked lifeless with his other fellow students to board the assigned bus. Suddenly a voice of a lady shrilled and he found that it was his girl’s mom, along with her little brother, all three approached the bus. He realised that his girl might have planned this to happen. Quickly she introduced him to her mom and he and his bird boarded the bus sitting next to each other as promised.

When the bus pierced through breeze of empty morning road, her hair waved aimlessly. She caught it with her fingers and tucked behind ears, that moment he realized she is always “present” neither past nor future. Like stars, she mesmerized him with her luminosity; you shouldn’t compare stars with its yesterday's beauty and expect more from it on tomorrow's sky. Emerging his soul into her eyes he said to her for first time “You are beautiful ", she laughingly replied “You made me like this." All these started from glimpse of light which rose from deep corner of her heart in empty class room weeks before. Now that glimpse of light became light of the day. And Shakthi received the whole of it now. Art of sublime was those holding hands of them that drew, in their fragile hearts, silently. Romantic rhythm faded as they reached the venue. Registration and other procedures were done and they were left among other competitors in the back stage. Girl’s mom and the school staff cheered, left them both there and got seated among the audience.

Both were thinking about the art of sublime they drew while travelling. Suddenly the voice from the speakers announced his "My kind of girl’s” name to be on stage. She left without seeing him and he saw her dissipating from his sight into stage escorted by a teacher. When she started her speech, he was all ears and started narrating her lines mutely along with her since he knew every word of her speech and so did she know his. He felt her pain inside him when she got stuck twice but she took next sentences with good tone. Shakti entered the stage after few participants’ performance and saw hundreds of audience in front of him and he came to know how she might have felt.

His eyes hunted for his girl amongst the vast auditorium hall and he located her presence in seconds. She sat next to her mom in the far right corner of the hall closing eyes and bowing down. She was praying for his success. Those are prayers of love in which people always believe and also in turn expect to get an answer as magic, miracle and grace of god. Prayer of love, that's the only hope of living beings on earth. Shakti orated his content in fluently with dauntless perfection and got roaring applause from the audience when he finished. He wanted to hug her on his success but he knew that’s not possible. He sprinted towards her from stage, but her mom and his staff crowded him and congratulated him.“My Kind of girl’s” mom laughed at her seeing that she was still bowing down and praying. Girl’s mom asked him to bring her out to have some breakfast and they left. He sat next to her on a chair and cooed in her ears. She raised her head and jabbered “I know those claps are for my HERO”. “Oh! Really?? Am I your HERO?” exclaimed the Shakti. She didn’t reply, she made gestures which answered the question. They left the auditorium and joined their group in a cafeteria. When Shakti opened his box of bread and jam, while others opened their home made stuff, his “My Kind of Girl” advanced to him and announced that she would share hers with him, before someone did. Romantic repertoire was resumed after their breakfast, glances and murmurs went on which could only be decoded by them but none. At 12:00 noon results of the speech contest were announced. It was just five minutes of announcement as many other contests were also held, announcement descended from prize third to one which made them panic for every names roared in the speakers, the FIRST PLACE. Sadly, the prayers of love didn’t work. Both of their names were missing in winner’s list.

 

Chapter 6 The strange theory

====================

 

 Shakti’s school bus left the venue around 6:00 P.M evening that day along with some winners of other contests. As usual they both sat together holding their hands. Her eyes went dried up and he had brooded over the failure. Girl’s mom and staff consoled them as much as they could. Words like  “Shakti’s applause were roaring in hall, judges knew it”, “Our girl’s voice was poise and elegant” were adhesive to their pain. She had wept as hell. The diminishing lights of dusk’s orange light lit her face and their holding hands . Her hair blew in the air aimlessly wanting her attention she refused to give and kept hiding her beautiful face. Shakti hadn’t uttered a single word to her since the announcement. She tightened her hold and he could feel the pressure. At last Shakti broke the seal of their silence. He murmured “Yes, we lost it. I don’t want this silence. I begin to fear the worst.”

 “I am unlucky Shakthi“

 “What? I am not getting this clear. What this has to do with “you” and “luck” on this event?”

“Please don’t probe me. Something went wrong for sure and it’s because of me. All I want you to do is to hold my hands till you get down from this bus. Could you do that? I don’t want to talk about the contest anymore”. No more words were exchanged after that. When he was about to get down, he tried sneaking her soul one more time but it was clouded dark. His lips played harmoniously “Bye. See you at school on Monday. Hope you will shine as usual.” All he got was a poise smile. He waved her out from the bus and she waved back and he saw tears seeping down her cheeks. On reaching home he found himself lost in a wild jungle of bad thoughts.

As said earlier the intuition is what teens believe in and not the intelligence, he found something that was not coherent anymore. On Monday, some of his classmates made fun of him for losing the contest and at the same time some consoled him to get over it. His “My kind of girl” didn’t turn up that day. Soothingly, his teacher that day made a statement in her class that his performance was outstanding in the contest. Applause from his classmates made his lips smile after two days. Weeks passed he didn’t see his girl. Those days the crepuscular hive had nothing exciting neither new but just kept reminiscing old records. One fine Friday during Physical training hour Shakti didn’t want to play and sat on a stone bench watching his classmates play happily. He then realised that she was sitting right next to him.

“I’m sorry Shakthi, I might have ….”

“No problem. Do you know the phrase that struck my mind when I first saw you, it was “My Kind of girl” he interrupted.

“That’s a good phrase” She replied.

“So is this how things are going to be from now on?”

 “Bye, catch you later” was her reply that kept resonating in his his ears when she left.

He felt the dawn of diplomacy between them. Life taught him its first philosophy that day “When an egg of intimacy breaks much sooner than its time to hatch the purest love, yolk of diplomacy oozes out”. Exams were nearing and days went stale and winters were no more but cold sensations to both of them. Renewing things back to old days was not an idea to him. He also got his girl’s apologies in the form of a letter. But the words in her letter weren’t lyrical they were just words. Plain, blunt ones. Back to video games and comic world made him feel like life sentenced prisoner back to his town on parole after 40 years.

It was the last day of exam and winter holidays were about start from the next day. He knew there would be something on last day as always intuition helped in this. He finished his exams and strolled towards the school bus. His breathe got her fragrance and as he turned back there she was. She had same poise smile with more energy and raising her hand to him to hold her. He was back to old Shakti on one split second and this time he couldn’t express and he was about to weep. He turned his face in anger and rushed towards the bus. She ran behind him shrilling “Sorry. Am Sorry “.He got into the bus and sat near the window and his girl reached the window.

“Shakti, I’m here to say sorry and we could be back, normal. Don’t be mad at me.”

“AHH!  Finally!!!  This is what I was saying since that day. I don’t know when you got enlightened”

(The engine groaned and was about to start.)

“Okay brother then let me wait for you to get back to normal” she smiled sarcastically.

“Me? Brother?? No!!! Don’t you get on my nerves”

“If you don’t like me calling you so, hold my hands and say “Happy Holidays”.

Shakti did as she said and they both laughed. She left the place by shrieking “I’m not going to leave you ever. Let’s see after the winter holidays.”

 

The school bus passed through the streets with trees both sides, the one which Shakti adored when winter began. Years have spun; the episode happened that winter left sediments of philosophy in Shakti’s soul, which is

 

"Adults are the one's who overcame  adolescence successfully. Then comes the successful adult who accepts adolescence itself as a true failure."

 

By,

Mad Scribbler K.G

(Karthik Ganesan)

 


© Copyright 2018 Karthik Ganesan. All rights reserved.

Add Your Comments:

Comments

More Romance Short Stories