The award function was going smoothly as I sat on my seat nervously. It was my first time attending a grand event like this one. I wish Vani could have been here to hold my hand and tell me that I would be great. The crowd around me was enjoying the marvelous performance and the comic acts in between; I wish I could do the same. I took a deep breath to calm myself as the night proceeded. Every minute felt like an hour, I was shit scared, that’s how I can explain my situation. To summon my courage I finally had few drinks. It’s funny how some people just need an excuse to have a couple of drinks but to be fair I actually needed those few glasses. I looked at the way to reach the stage as I mentally started planning my route.
“Two steps to the right, then ten steps straight till I would reach the 3 stairs to be at the stage”,
I made a mental note of the apparent route that I would take in case my name is announced. I took a deep breath, again.
I was getting restless as I was sweating even in the cold weather. There is something about such big events that always makes me feel anxious. I couldn’t do much so I just sat there waiting for the moment they would call my name. I looked around to see a few familiar faces as I passed some awkward smiles. I was never really good with public events but then I chose a passion where I would need to be in public eyes. The worst thing about being in such event is that I still cannot shut the writer mind in me as I began making my observation and creating stories as if I was watching this event on my television. Then it was finally the time when they would announce my name and suddenly the cameras turned to me.
I don’t know why but that’s what came into my mind as I saw myself on the big screen.
The guest presenting the award came on the stage and spoke some really generous words about me as I just smiled awkwardly throughout my introduction. It was towards the end of my introduction that I heard the line, “….the overnight success story of Aar Kay”.
I don’t know what happened to me but I was lost in my thoughts as I began my journey to the stage. I reached the stairs when I started having flashbacks of my past. The world around me froze. I looked around and everybody just stood there motionless as I was dragged to the past.
I was taken back to the time when I first picked up a pen and paper to write down my first story. It was 10 years ago when I wrote those amateur yet special stories out of sheer desperation, as I wanted to vent out my feelings. I was fighting depression back then and writing helped me give my feelings a name that helped me understand who I am as I started growing as a person. I was alone and yet to be called a writer.
It was 5 years ago, I was typing the first draft of my novel because my mind couldn’t let me sleep as I finally had a good idea which I can turn into something great. Few months later, I finished it and now I wanted someone to tell me how good or bad my work is? It was then that I met Vani so I asked her to give me her honest review. She was surprised by it. A good surprise if not a bad one. She asked me to make some changes before I send it to a publishing house. That day I kissed her for the first time as we both were together for a happily ever after.
My novel had been rejected by 15 editors so far and my frustration was at it’s all time high. Vani tried to calm me down but I kept bursting out on her. What an asshole? I said to myself as I knew she didn’t deserve to be treated like this. I kept lashing out at her whenever she tried to tell me that everything would be fine. For past 3 years all I have seen was rejection so how can I feel good? It was then that I received an email stating that my novel would be getting published. I ran to Vani as I embraced her in my arms, giving her the good news. She looked at me with tears in her eyes as she said, “I always knew”.
I was out of my trance as I reached the stage and received my award for emerging Author of the Year. It was time for me to make my speech. I reached to my pocket as I grabbed my speech with my shaky hand. I tried to read from the paper but I just couldn’t so I just grabbed the mic and decided to say whatever was coming in my mind.
“Thank you for recognizing my work. It took me 10 years to become an overnight success. It took me 15 rejections to reach this stage. It took me countless sleepless nights to be the emerging author of the year. It took my soul to bring out the work that you all are loving so much. But it took someone else to make sure I didn’t give up. It took someone special to love a person like me even with all my flaws. I dedicate this award to the one person who stood by me through thick and thin. I dedicate this to that person who made me believe in myself even when I had a thousand reasons not too. I dedicate this to
I didn’t realize but this time my tears made their way out.
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Categories: Short stories