That Spectacular Failure

That Spectacular Failure

A Story by Devashish Kumar

The clock struck ten ominously and out came your announcement- ‘I should head back.’

In the jubilation of being with you, I forgot that you would leave at some point. That inevitable moment had come. I offered to walk you.

It was a typical night on the campus. There was no traffic. There was a calm quietness in the air occasionally broken by stray dogs and students passing by. We passed the juice centre around the corner.

I looked up. The sky was clear. Thousands of tiny stars adorned the sky. This thought that we only witness the stars of millions of years ago made me a little uncomfortable for my ‘light’ may take a while to reach you.

My thoughts jumped to my literary hero Gatsby- the great Gatsby. I attempted to describe my favourite scene wherein little Gatz extends his arm through a peephole as if to pluck those shimmering stars from the sky. It did not go as well as I had hoped. I faltered multiple times.

You have that effect on me. The moment I become acutely aware that I am with you or I try to impress you, I invariably mess up. I struggle to find the right words. I mispronounce. Not only I fail, I often fail spak-tak-ular-ly. spek-TA-kular-ly. I don’t think I still said it right. Let me say that again. spek-tak-… See, this is happening again.

The gentle air, your soothing voice and your radiant smile calmed my nerves, though I was mighty embarrassed with the previous debacle. Gradually, my thoughts became less noisy and uncluttered. Breathing normalised. My uncertain heart beats settled into a familiar rhythm.

By this time, I had forgotten that I was only walking you off. Beautiful things floated around in my dreamy head.

A walk to remember, maybe.

The street lights were unusually bright. Perhaps they, too, were happy to have your company. The wind was slow, sweet and soft. The moon played hide ‘n seek behind the trees. Branches moved gracefully in perfect synchronisation to impress you with their dancing skills. Leaves rustled as if they wanted to sing. The wind finally decided to play tricks with your hair. Boy, did I envy it.

Conversations were, now, easy. Words flowed. We jumped from one topic to another smoothly. Movies, books, economics and politics- we talked about all. I did not really have to make any effort to make you laugh. I hate to admit I am bad at making people laugh. But, you wore a glorious smile all along. Everything went miraculously well. Somehow.

Meanwhile, my fortunes had finally caught up with me. We had reached Bharti Building. We shook hands and bade each other good night.

I turned back. Everything was exactly the same- stars, the moon, the wind, trees and street lights. But it did not feel the same. How could it? You weren’t with me. And that made all the difference.

I still sometimes take a stroll in that direction hoping to find traces of you in the air.


© 2017 Devashish Kumar



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Added on August 17, 2017
Last Updated on August 17, 2017