Crossroad of life
By Dee Kay
The cold winter breezes were sending chills down Rudra’s spine as he rode his bike on the freezing night. The roads were silent and mostly lifeless until his bike brought them to life with its noise. His face was going numb as the constant wind crashed against him. He clinched a bit tighter on his leather jacket as he started shivering.
“Nothing in life should be so important”, he thought to himself as he tried to focus more on the road than the cold.
Couple of miles away, Vani lied on her comfy warm bed. She tried to sleep but her mind just couldn’t stop thinking about the fight she had with her boyfriend. She wanted to talk to him but he just didn’t want to speak to her. His phone was switched off and from what he last said, it looked as if his love was off too. She just lay there with tears in her eyes and a heart full of pain.
“Nothing is permanent in life.”, she thought to herself as she kept replaying the last conversation again and again.
Rudra was struggling with the cold as he stopped at a small shop. He was shivering uncontrollably as he sat down near the bonfire. He ordered a cup of hot tea and a cigarette as he tried to get his body temperature up. He was rubbing his already numb and frozen hands. The shopkeeper handed him tea and cigarette. He immediately took a big puff from the cigarette and even bigger sip of the warm tea.
“Nothing is as good a combination as these two. “, he said to himself.
Vani had been crying for quite some time now. Her face was all red and her eyes were sore. She was still calling her boyfriend again and again but his phone was still off. She wanted to distract herself from thinking too much so she went in the kitchen to prepare a strong coffee for herself. While she was preparing her coffee her mind kept wandering back to the same topic age wanted to avoid. She pour her coffee in her favorite mug and went to her room. She fire up her laptop and started watching her favorite TV show, FRIENDS.
“This is the perfect combination ever. “, she said to herself as she finally had a reason to distract herself.
Rudra paid the shopkeeper as he jumped on his bike again. He checked his phone but unfortunately the battery gave away long time ago. He cursed himself for not charging his phone but there was nothing he could do now so he just started his bike and got back on the road. The cold winds splashed on his face once again and soon the coldness grabbed him completely. The shivering which had stopped few minutes ago came running back.
“God dammit!!”, he cursed as he was freezing.
Vani tried harder to focus on her show but was failing miserably. She was not able to distract herself from the thoughts about the fight. She was now getting really frustrated with herself as she just couldn’t stop thinking about it. Even watching her favorite show wasn’t helping her as she started crying again.
“God dammit!!”, she cursed herself for being so weak.
Rudra finally reached his destination. He parked his bike and started walking towards his apartment building. He was still shivering as he crossed his arms around his chest. He took the elevator to his floor while his shivering finally started to go away. He got out of the elevator and opened the door of his home. As soon he entered the apartment his dog came running towards him. He was in no mood to cuddle but his dog was in no mood to let him go. His dog started jumping around him and then scratched the door. He knew that he has to take his dog out or else he won’t let him sleep.
Vani had enough of crying so she decided to go and take a walk. She washed her face and wore some warm clothes. She left her phone as she no longer wanted to wait for her boyfriend’s call as she has finally decided to end it for good. She moved towards the door when she heard her neighbor’s dog barking. She was unsure as to why the noise was so close.
“Maybe the dog somehow came outside. “, she thought. Although she wanted it to be true as she love dogs.
She opened the door and immediately her neighbor’s dog, Pebble came running towards her. The owner was locking his door without realizing that his dog was cuddling with her. She finally had a smile on her face and for a moment she forgot about the fight.
Rudra locked his door and turned around to see his dog cuddling with the cute girl next door. He just stood there frozen as his pebble was being loved by the cute girl,unlike him. He was being unsurprisingly nervous as he just kept looking at them. He wanted to call his dog back but he didn’t want her to think that he is an ass, after all she is that one girl on whom he has a huge crush ever since she moved next to his apartment. They never really spoke rather than those awkward moments of acknowledgement when getting in or out of their respective homes.
Vani was smiling with her heart as this sweet little beast kept on playing with her. It must have been some time since she was playing with him that she finally saw her neighbor looking at them with a smile. She immediately stopped and stood up but the dog kept jumping on her. Rudra saw his dog jumping on her after she stood up so out of nervousness he shouted his dog’s name. This scared Vani a little and the dog came running back to him.
“I’m sorry”, Vani immediately said as she thought he didn’t like her playing with the dog.
“It’s okay. “, he said as he cursed himself for shouting so loudly.
There was an awkward silence between them as they both stood there. Pebble just looked more confused than both the humans there. Vani then went towards the elevator and pressed the button while Rudra stood there in absolute silence. The elevator opened and Vani went in. Pebble followed her without his owner. Rudra cursed his dog for being more courageous than him so he followed his dog. The three of them stood there as the elevator doors closed. Pebble licked her hand. She smiled at him and then saw his owner who stood there without a smile making her smile fade away.
“Hello”, she said breaking the awkward silence.
“Hey”, he said in his deep voice.
“What’s his name? “, she asked pointing towards pebble.
“Rudra”, he said without even thinking. He saw her shocking face and realized she was asking his dog’s name.
“Pebble”, he blurred out immediately trying to rectify his mistake. This made her burst into laughter and soon even Rudra joined in. Pebble sat there looking at both of them and then continued licking her hand.
The ice was broken at last as this small mistake made Rudra feel a bit less nervous. They both started talking about pebble as they walked out of the elevator. Within few minutes of walking together they realized that they have a lot more in common than just the love for dogs. They asked each other questions about their careers and other aspects of life while pebble ran from one tree to another. They both sat down on the bench in the society park talking and discussing on various topics.
“Can I ask you something?”, Rudra said.
“Why were you crying?”
Vani was a bit surprised to see how much he has observed. She smiled and told him the whole story. As she approached the end of the story pebble came back and sat between them. He placed his head on her lap as if he knew this would help her cope with the inner pain. She ended the story and then kissed pebble in his head. Rudra just sat there looking at her.
“Can I ask you something? “, she said.
“Yes, Ofcource ”
“Where do you go so late every night in this cold? ”
“To buy cigarettes and have tea. “,he said and she laughed out loud. He smiled too. Then they started going back to their apartments. They were unlocking their doors when Rudra turned and said,
“Your smile is much more beautiful than your tears.”
Pebble just sat there looking at both of them then continued licking Rudra’s hand.
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Categories: Short stories