Story 59

She had told him once:

If you are going to tell your story to the world make sure you include even the bad about yourself if you do not want it to seem as if you are telling just another fiction.


Hence, when he finally decided to write his story he decided to include all the details: things that might lead people to hate him.
He did not want to write his story. He was happy writing fictions. His novels were best-sellers and he was at the top of the list of the rich and famous. But - she deserved it. She was an important part of his life and by telling his story he was actually telling hers, because who was he before he had met her? Nothing!
Deep within he felt that even now he was nothing - after she was gone.
All this fame was worthless; it did not make him happy. She did. She made him happy and what had he done? He had destroyed his own happiness. 


--- 



He felt her breath on the back of his neck. Uniform and relaxed. She was asleep. Her arm resting over his arm, her right foot over his foot and her chest inches away from his back. Being the teenager that he was, he was looking forward to the moment when she would move closer in her sleep, coming in full contact of his body. He smiled to himself. He liked this. Liked being with her, being carefree. 

They were on a picnic and were on someone’s farm; sleeping under a tree. They had just finished eating their sandwiches and she insisted they rest for a while before continuing walking further. 


She shifted in her sleep; breaking contact at arm and foot instead of getting closer and he turned around to face her. A smile on her beautiful face, she seemed to be dreaming. He ran his finger over her cheek and tucked a loose strand of hair behind her ear. The smile widened. She was awake. She opened her eyes and he lost himself; it happened each time he looked into her eyes. He placed a hand on her waist and she moved in closer into his arms; their hearts beating together. That’s all he wanted; to feel her close to him. He wanted to touch her to believe that she was really there with him. Even though he wanted to kiss her on the lips he settled for a peck on the cheek. She hesitated for a moment and then surprised him with a kiss on his lips. With sudden spike in his desire, he opened his mouth to welcome her tongue in and then there was no doubt left in his mind. He always feared that he did not deserve her and she might not really be with him the way he wanted but at that moment, with her mouth over his, with her initiative to kiss him – he was finally at peace. Whatever he had done to deserve her, he was glad he had done it.


---


The entire house was thrown into darkness. The only light entering the house was from the streetlights. As the wind swayed the trees gently; patterns were formed on the walls and the patterns disturbed him for in these patterns too he saw her face. He got up from the couch and walked to the bar to refill his glass. There had been mixed response from people regarding the autobiography that he had been writing for quite some time. He had announced it in one of his interviews that it might be the last book he would ever write. Obviously, the interview had increased the expectations of the publishers and had disappointed his fans. His publicist had told him that she would make sure he got high royalties for his book and would see to it that it was included in the list of bestsellers or even get it nominated for some prize. He had laughed out loud. It was not the kind of exit he was expecting from the industry. He almost always visualised the books being thrown into a bonfire, pages being ripped apart, his posters being torn and put on fire. He visualised stones being thrown at his house. He was projecting his hatred for himself as what people might do after reading his book, the part that mentioned how he had ended her life.


---


The first time he had fallen in love with her was when he had seen her for the first time outside the principal’s office. Her head bowed down, eyes glued to the floor, she stood silently as the teacher scolded her. Then, as the teacher walked into principal’s office, she had looked up and he had seen her eyes – beautiful deep brown eyes stared into his ugly dark black eyes and his sad and dark soul had been lit and introduced to happiness. He was a new admission in the school, humiliated and hated by all. He had assumed she would not be any different than others because her status revealed that she was a prankster. He was sitting on the bench opposite to where she stood. The only reason he was here was because other students did not bother him here. The principal allowed him to sit there when he did not have classes and had gotten used to his presence. 


The second time he fell in love with her when she had smiled at him and asked him his name. The third time he fell in love with her when she winked before going inside the principal’s office. Even though it was time for him to leave for his class, he hovered around, waiting for her to step outside. When she stepped out he had seen a hint of sadness in her eyes, which was soon replaced with mischief. His heart skipped a beat, he realized he was about to be ragged by her. Come with me, she had said and he had obeyed the instructions. To his surprise, she had not ragged him, instead she had talked to him like no one else ever had. It was the fourth time he had fallen in love with her within an hour. When she talked about herself, he fell in love with her for the fifth time and he knew then and there; every moment he spent with her henceforth, he would be falling in love with her over and over again. 


---


He had memories to last for a lifetime. He was just not sure how long he wanted to live. There had been times when he had decided to end his life but had continued living because he owed her that much. Her memories caused him pain, they hurt so much that he wanted to drown himself in liquor and get rid of consciousness, every moment of which reminded him of her and what he had done. Unfortunately, the more he drank more vivid the memories became. He began to hallucinate her, hear her voice calling out to him. He thought he might become crazy soon. Thankfully, he had finished writing his last book and he did not care what happened of him afterwards. 


The book was going to be officially released in a couple of days. He had purposefully not shared the manuscript with anyone else other than his publicist who had been given instructions not to release the details to anyone. The world had to know his story on the specific day; the day when she had left him alone with the guilt so huge that it broke him. The only reason he had been going on pretending that everything was okay, was because he wanted to write his last book – his autobiography.


---


Their love survived through the school and college days; it survived against the objection of her parents and it passed the test of time and patience. They married and settled into an easy lifestyle. He was happy being what he was, he took up a 9 to 6 job that paid well, provided food and shelter to his beloved and him. She encouraged him to study further and she continued to encourage him all through his journey leading to the release of his first novel. She was overjoyed when she heard the news that it became no.1 bestseller. 

He wrote and she watched him write. She adjusted to the change in pace, she supported him in all the ways she could. He told her that she was his inspiration – so she inspired him even when it broke her. She missed him, she needed him but she did not allow her needs to reflect on his writing career. 

He wrote book after book, people started sending him fan-mails. Girls wrote letters to him with their blood. It irked her but she did not let it show. Some mails she replied to, on his behalf – thanking everyone for the support and love. These blood love letters she could not deal with; she left it on his desk for him to read and reply if he wanted to. She found the letters in the wastepaper basket the next morning. She felt relieved. 


One night, as she got ready to go to bed she saw him replying to one of the letters. That broke her heart but she said no word. Minutes later he came to bed and made love to her. 
Weeks later another fan-mail written in blood was delivered by special delivery; along with it came a rose bouquet. She placed the letter and the bouquet on his desk and walked back to her room. In the evening, she found the red roses in a vase on his desk. It hurt her but she hid it behind her smile. 

A few nights later, she watched him as he worked at his desk. He picked up the papers and kept it in the drawer as she walked closer; she ignored it. She held his hand and asked him to follow her to the bedroom. After making love she told him she wanted a baby. He grew silent and told her he was tired; they should talk about it later. He slept, she stayed awake. She never broached the topic again until that fateful night. 


---


He picked up the refilled glass and started to walk towards the couch, changing his mind he walked back towards the bar and picked up the bottle of vodka. He sat on the couch and gulped down the vodka from the glass and poured the remaining vodka from the bottle into the glass. He kept the glass on the centre-table and picked up the book he had been reading. His smiling face stared back at him; he could see the sadness and the guilt in his eyes. He wondered who else would be able to see it. 
He opened the specific page of the book and started reading – his vision blurring as tears gathered in his eyes.


They were returning from a party thrown to celebrate the success of his latest novel. Everyone congratulated him and clicked selfies with him while she stood in a corner, watching the show. He glanced in her direction in between the selfies and blew her a kiss. She smiled even though she disliked public display of emotions. 
It was their wedding anniversary; they were supposed to be alone with each other. Instead, here they were, surrounded by people who meant nothing to her. She was here for him because all of this made him happy. They fought sometimes, he said he did all this for her. He never understood what she really wanted; or maybe he did but he was not ready for it. 


There was something she needed to tell him. She needed him to be alone with her. She wanted to get out of the party. The music and chattering of people had started to become unbearable. She spotted him with a young girl; chatting, laughing and taking selfies – the girl kissing him on the cheek and looking into the camera. She decided to step out for a while. She did not see a man following her, hence she jumped out of her skin when she felt cold lips on her neck. Before she could react she saw him watching her through half-opened door. The drunkard who had kissed her stumbled out towards the lawn on seeing him at the door. 

He walked back in and she followed suit. He said they were leaving the party; she was grateful. Whatever had happened was a blessing in disguise, or so she thought. 
He did not speak to her on their way to the parking lot, he did not speak to her as he started the ignition, he did not speak to her as he started to drive. He did not speak to her until she started to talk, and even then he did not speak to her – he accused her. He asked her who the man was and how long had she been having an affair with him. He told her that everyone at the party had seen her walking out with the man and seen him bend over to kiss her neck. 


She tried telling him that the man meant nothing. She did not know who he was and why he had followed her out of the party. She told him that she loved him and no one else. She told him that all she ever wanted in her life was to have a family with him. The topic of starting a family had fuelled his anger and they had fought. He told her she did not deserve the kind of lifestyle he had given her, he told her she did not deserve the expensive gifts he had given her. She told him she did not care about the lifestyle or the expensive gifts, all she ever wanted was to be with him, to be loved by him. And, then she had started crying.


“You had to ruin the night for me” he had said. The way she looked at him after he said this; the hurt and the loneliness in her eyes haunted him till date. These were the last words he had said to her before being hit by a truck. 

After he had gained consciousness he had searched for her and found her on the side of the road. She had been thrown out of the car, her fair skin, now covered with blood, pierced by shards of glass, he ran towards her and the nausea hit him hard. He vomited on the road before reaching her. She was barely conscious. He held her in his arms, calling out her name. He looked around, the road was deserted. The truck that had hit their car was gone. He kissed her on the mouth, she coughed up blood into his mouth. He swallowed. ‘Help’ he yelled. He tried to drag her towards the centre of the road but realized moving her was not a good idea. He wanted to run and get help; he did not want to leave her alone. It was she who left him alone. Stranded on the road, shouting for help, without giving him a chance to apologize for the accusations he had made or asking for forgiveness for the way he treated her.


It was revealed in autopsy that she was pregnant. A part of him died with the family he could never have. 


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