Welcome to the many worlds I created in my mind, even before we shared a decent conversation. I saw you a few months back at the track event. As fast as you may run, you haven’t left my mind since. Not the creepy constant kind, but of the infatuated more often than not kind. Not in an overly obsessive but passing through my thoughts uninvited way. Never had someone caught my full attention by just standing in the periphery of my vision. The race started with a gunshot and an explosion of my heart.
Maybe it was how serious you looked, a look of pure dedication. You did not win, though; just a second shy. But you already knew it the second it was clear that you wouldn’t, and then you surprised me. You broke into a smile, the most wonderful I have seen in a while by the way, as you saw the person before you cross the finish line. As if losing didn’t matter. It was just a race. I could never take things so easy. Losing always ends in tears for me. I was stretching on the sides, preparing for my event to begin. Close, but not close enough to be so certain about this dedicated look and the wonderful smile I speak of. I knew my imagination was at work, and no way you could be so perfect. You weren’t. I saw you drink half the bottle empty and throw the rest mindlessly in the long jump sandpit. C’mon, be a sport, will you? What kind of loser waters the sandpit? But you are perfect! Right after that, you ran to help an injured friend struggling with their stuff.
And that’s it. You were done for the day. No more events. No one left to cheer for. I ran my race distracted, lost by a second, just like you, cried, and went home. If only I had taken a note of the team you belonged to, I could have navigated my way to you in the internet-verse. If we ever meet and reach that level of comfort, I’d tell you about the dream I had that night. Minus that comfort, it’ll just creep you out. All I’ll say is when I saw you at this party, and we sat down for 7 minutes in heaven, it felt like that dream may come true.
Would you believe I almost didn’t show up? That’s something I’d say to you if this goes somewhere good out of the many ways this night can go. Maybe months later, if we are what my friends would call an ‘item’, on a lazy afternoon, I’d tell you the story of why I almost skipped this party that is making my heart skip a beat now.
I walked into Borns’ Electric Love blaring infectiously in all its glory. Have you noticed that guy sings a lot about drugs? Anyway, if there is anything that can top Electric Love’s chorus at the forefront of a party: it is you in the background, looking around awkwardly and breaking into a smile as you spot your friend. I followed your gaze. Hey! I know that person. We have a mutual friend! It was like finding forgotten money in one’s pocket.
I thought our friend would introduce us, but the interaction ended with shy smiles and a nod. I tried hard to think of something interesting, anything to get us talking. But all I knew, everything I liked, everything I thought of seemed too dull to ever be spoken of. Thank god the music was too loud! Our friend leaned in and asked me if I’d be staying till late. I told him I was in no hurry to leave. ‘Good’, he said, ‘7 minutes of heaven is on the cards.’
I couldn’t ask directly if you’d stay too, but since then, I have been occasionally glancing at the door, hoping that I don’t catch you leaving. The crowd has thinned fairly; those who remain are seated in a circle. You are right in front of me, and they are about to spin the bottle. This should be interesting.
Hello, everyone! If you liked this Short Story, do check out the related posts. Comment and like if you would like to read more similar works from the author. And don’t forget to share this on your social media channels.
Prakhar Patidar is a 22-year-old post-grad from Christ University trying to make it into the professional world of stories and wrap her head around that with each passing day, the world seems more like something right out of the dystopian novels she loves to read.
Her tantrums as a kid were more often than not met with stories her mom cooked up to deal with them. That’s where she feels it all began. When she asked for a candy every night before bed, she got jaggery instead with a story of this mouse that bought it every night. One could only have a small piece, or else the mouse would run away. When she demanded to be told five stories every night before bed, her mom complied and made up stories, at least, till she hit writer’s-block. Then a tantrum for five new stories meant widened eyes and “You listen to one story and go to bed, or you sleep outside the house.”
This fascination with and love for stories has shaped all her major academic and professional choices. She is currently exploring different genres and forms with her creative writing by using “call for submissions” on various platforms as a prompt. Her most recent publications include: Rubatosis, a short story selected for WriteFluence’s anthology; Out Of My Box (2021) and Shahar (2021); an anthology she compiled for Verses Kindler Publications. You can find more of her work at I Did This With Words. [https://lookwhatididwithwords.wordpress.com/]