Black and White – A short fiction

Alarm goes off. It’s 7.00 AM.  It’s a big day for Abhishek.  It’s Valentine’s day and It’s been three months since Abhishek and Deepthi have started talking to each other.

They worked in a software company.  Although they belonged to the same project, they never saw each other for nearly 3 months after she joined the company.  they saw each other at the office cafeteria at a colleague’s birthday celebration and they instantly hit off.  It felt like they already shared a bond and it was just a matter of time, before they meet and hit off.  Such was their initial interactions, they felt so close to each other.  They felt like they have known each other for years.

Being an orphan, he managed to find his soulmate in her.  And she too didn’t seem to mind that he was an orphan, even though she was from a very conservative family.  But she was a modern woman with modern thoughts. He loved her truly and he felt she did the same to him.

“Finally, I am going to propose my love to Deepthi” he thought.

“But wait.  You said you are going to say the truth today.” his alter ego said.

His face drooped.  He had this sad face all of a sudden.

“Oh, why did you have to remind me of that?” he thought.

“It’s my duty.  I am your best friend.  Ain’t I?” the alter ego said.

“Yeah.  But this scares me a lot.  How will I say the truth to her?  Remember, what she told me in the beginning.  That she hates dishonest people.  But I hid things for so long.”

“I understand your position.  But you need to.  In fact, you promised me. Didn’t you?”

“Ok.  Yeah.  I did.  But I am scared for sure.  Please give me some hope.  She wouldn’t ditch me after hearing the truth right?” he said clutching his hands.

“I seriously hope she does not.  I guess she would appreciate the honesty.” the alter ego said.

“Hope you are with me on this.  See, I am going to tell the truth just because you said so.”

“Come on man.  I will be with you, no matter what.  And don’t worry.  Everything will be alright.”

“Thanks buddy.  Ok.  I gotta get ready.  She will be there, waiting at Guindy bus stop, waiting for me to pick her up.” he thought.

“Yup, go ahead man.  Carry on.” said the alter ego.

He quickly got up, did his daily morning routine and opened his cupboard to pick his dress for the day.

He saw a striped shirt hanging at the hanger.  He then unbuttoned the top button in the shirt and saw the number written on the shirt hanger.  34C, it read.

He then opened a small pocket sized notebook and went through it.

It was written White with blue stripes against 34C

“Yes, this is it.”  he said and took that shirt out and kept it aside.

Then he reached out for the trousers, where it was written black.

He took them with pride, wore them and saw himself in the mirror.

“Hope she likes me today.” he murmured to himself.

He was eager to see her, talk to her.  It’s not as if they haven’t talked that day.  They had already wished each other at 12 in the midnight, as is the fashion is nowadays.  It’s almost as if, if you forget to wish someone at 12, you don’t love them.  That’s modern love for you.  But anyway this couple was different.  They did genuinely loved each other and they wished each other because they wanted to, not because they were forced to.

Even in this modern generation, there is still value in seeing a person whom you love, in person.  That’s still special.  Some aspects of love never change.  For example, the famous butterfly effect in the stomach.  He had those in full effect that day.

After getting ready, he called up the hotel to see if they had arranged their Valentine’s day surprises.  Yes, he had booked a table at one of the most expensive star hotel and planned some surprises.

Then, he took his bike and left.  On the way, he stopped at a nearby flower shop.

He went inside and searched for sometime.  Then he pretended as if he didn’t see the flowers and then asked “Where is the single red rose?” to the saleswoman over there.

“Here Sir.” she showed the way.

Then he went and stood near the place.  He could see many flowers there.

Then he told, “Can you please pick one red rose for me? I don’t want my hands to get wet.” he said to the saleswoman.

“Ok Sir.  No problem.” she picked one and wrapped it in a cover and gave him.

“Thank you very much mam.” he said and left the shop after paying the bill.

Then he zipped through with his bike.  As he approached the bus stop, he saw his angel, in a lovely embroidered anarkali type chudidar.  She wore a ponytail that day and she was looking awesomely cute that day.  As he approached near her, he saw her beautifully sharp eyes with her eye lashes beautifully done.  She looked almost like a painting to her.  A lovely painting with brilliant attention to detail.  She started smiling at him when she noticed him.  He felt like his day was brightened.

He stopped his bike, removed his helmet and smiled back.

“Hi da.  Happy Valentine’s day.” she said with a very bright smile and extended her hand.

“Happy Valentine’s day kutti.  You look really really beautiful today dear.” he said to her and shook her hand.  That touch was magical.

“You too Mr. handsome.” she said, smiling and nodding her head in a teasing way, that was unique of her.

He too blushed and smiled and said “Ok, come on, we will go.” and they broke their handshake.

Then she covered her full face and hair except the eyes with the dupatta.  Many girls have this habit of not wearing the helmet, but compulsorily wearing the dupatta to cover their hair.  Apparently, their hairstyle is more important to them than their head.

As they headed towards the temple, he asked “Hey, you look so lovely in this dress.  Remember, a month ago, you wore a chudidhar for Mahesh’s reception, this dress is similar to that.”

“What? Idiot. How come?  This is pink, that was green.”

“Oh. She is wearing pink.” he thought.

“Dei, how come they are similar, stupid?  Are you blind?”

A sad monologue started inside his head

“Whether you say it or not, I am blind.  But color blind.  I can see only black and white.  My life was black and white at the orphanage, but you are the only colourful thing happened in my life.” he lost himself in thoughts.

“Hey, what happened stupid?”

He returned to his senses and managed to get away with that “Hey, I meant the anarkali type. Ok? I am not that stupid. I also know something.”

She was quick to forget that discussion “Oh.  Is it?  What is it that you know?”

“Haha.  I know to kiss baby.  You wanna try that?”

“Chi. Bad boy. We are just friends. Ok?” she said.

By now, their flirting had reached level 180.  They knew they loved each other and they just had to tell each other.  But who will tell first was their game.

“Haha. Ok.  Don’t worry, you can sit closer. I won’t rape you.”

“Shut up. You idiot. I can book you for making a sexist remark.” she said.

“Haha.  Aiyoh.  No no dear. I was just kidding.” he said.

They continued their sweet and small talks throughout the journey, they reached the temple, they sat at a quiet place after offering their prayers.

He looked at her eyes and said “Hey, there is a thing I need to tell you.  No. No.  Two things.”.

“Yeah, tell me. I am free only now.” she said.

He thought for a while.  He wanted to tell the truth that he was not a normal individual. He wanted to tell her that he has been like all his life..  And then, depending on her mood, propose her.  But somehow something stopped him.

“Nothing. I will tell you later.” he said.

Disappointed, she thought to herself “Come on, darling.  I know what are you trying to tell.  Please tell it.  I am longing for it. Please say those three words.”

“Ok.” she said disappointed a bit, but she hided her momentary sadness with her smile.

Then, after sometime, they had their lunch, went for a movie and then went to the beach.

They had a nice romantic walk together, holding their hands.

Then they sat at a place.  It was time for them to leave in sometime.

Still, he didn’t get the courage.  So he kept on delaying till about 7pm.

They had to start.  At home, she hadn’t mentioned anything about her meeting and  she would return home like she usually does.  So she had to start by 7pm.

“Come on man.  Tell it.  Don’t delay further.  You aren’t going to hide it, are you?” his alter ego popped up all of a sudden.

“No.  I am going to tell her.” he replied to his alter ego.

“Deepthi, I have told a big lie to you.  I don’t want to hide that anymore.  And I don’t want to cheat you.”

Deepthi’s face became more serious.  Her mood changed from happiness to nervousness.

First, she thought he was kidding.  Then seeing his serious face, she realized that it was real.

“What are you saying? What happened?”.She became even more tensed.

“I.. I… I am color blind.  I can see things only in black and white.”

“What? I don’t understand.” she said.

“Yes.  I can’t make out colours.  I lied to you all this time.  Because I didn’t want to lose you.  Just like my eyesight, my life was also black and white.  You made it colourful.  And I don’t want to make your life black and white by saying a lie.  But I love you.  I really really love you a lot.” he gave his rose to her, with tears in his eyes.

She didn’t accept his rose.  Instead, her eyes started to become moist and she started crying.  There were onlookers.  Despite that, she cried loudly.  He tried convincing her, but couldn’t.  She would shoo away his hand every time he tried to touch her.

After some crying, she managed to get some breathe.  “How come you managed to lie to me for so long?  And look at me.  I was so stupid to believe you.” tears started flowing again.

“No.  Please Deepthi.  I had this fear that you would leave me.  That’s the reason.  I didn’t have any intention of cheating you.  It’s a promise on my dead parents.”

“Please. Stop it. Stop it.”

“What do you think?  If you tell it now, I will accept your love? You’ve already made enough fool of me.  I do not want to hear anything from you, anymore.  And don’t ever try to see me again, liar.”

She got up and started walking.  He was left there stranded, like he has always been, in his entire life before meeting her

That night, he cried a lot.  He kept on sending a lot of messages, tried calling.  But everything in vain.  A few messages and calls later, she switched off her mobile.

He couldn’t sleep the entire night.  He again tried reaching her in the morning.  But he was shocked to know that she had blocked his number.

He felt so heavy in his heart.  He wanted to hurt himself and didn’t want to live.  The thought of suicide crossed his mind, but the words from the head of the orphanage stopped him.

“Remember, my son.  Things aren’t black or white in this world.  People are not inherently good or bad.  There can be a mix of both.  One time, they might show their black side or the evil side or the sad side.  Another time, they might show their white side.  But overall, they are grey.  They are always a mixture.  Never take a decision after seeing just one colour of theirs.”

He secretly hoped that she would show her white side.  The happy side.  The side which loved him.  The side which would accept him despite his medical condition.  But he knew it won’t happen.  But still he hoped.

He slogged off, getting ready for his office.  He had to, it paid his bills.  Luckily, they worked out of different floors, so he wouldn’t have to see her as that would put him in tears again and might land her nostalgic.  He wanted to get away from her and didn’t want to be a burden for her.

He was putting on his dress.  It was as if a skeleton was putting a dress on itself.

He then heard his doorbell ring.

He went to attend it and he was pleasantly surprised to see it was Deepthi.

“Dee… Dee… Deepthi.” he said.

She still seemed tensed.  He invited her in.

He felt very sad that he had betrayed her trust in him, he felt so guilty that on seeing her, he was almost about to cry.

She gave a box to him and asked him to open it.

He was confused.

“This is a black and white shirt.  Now, wear this and come.  I want to see you in this dress for one last time.”

He silently understood her desire.  She always had this habit of having this one last try.  Once, she had a one last ride in her old scooty just before she sold it off.  Another time, she tried on her pair of jeans before she gave it to the maid at her house, since it had gone old.  For her, it felt less guilty that something that belonged to her, wasn’t hers anymore.

He didn’t speak a word.  But on entering his room, he just broke down.  But he controlled his tears, finally.  He then, came out wearing the dress she gave him.

“Actually, that wasn’t a black and white dress.”

“What?” he asked.

“It’s colored.  And you look good in them.”  It was a light blue shirt and a grey trouser.

Still not understanding anything, he said “Thanks”

She looked at him in his eyes and said “I came here to tell you that I will add color to your life.  I will be the color in your life.” saying which, she hugged him.

“Hereby, I accept your proposal, you stupid liar.  I love you baby.”

He broke down and started crying like a little child.

She consoled him, but he didn’t listen. Then, after a while, when he relaxed a bit, she said

“I was upset that you told a lie to me.  I was thinking if I can lead a life without you.  The very thought of it was horrible, I couldn’t digest it.  I love you so much da. I love you.”

She said and kissed him on his lips and they drifted into a lovely liplock, with him still crying.

————THE END——–

Feel free to comment/critique/suggest improvements to this story. It’s of paramount importance to me.


 

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18 thoughts on “Black and White – A short fiction

    • Thanks Ramya 🙂 Glad you liked it. Actually, I did edit the story (But it was a quick edit, maybe around 10-15 mins). If you have time, can you please point out 1 or 2 instances where things are wrong. I will try to correct them.

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      • IMHO your story needs to be edited quite ruthlessly if I may say so. From whatever little I have gathered from reading about short stories it is important to cut cut and then cut some more. The idea should be to make each word count. After writing the first draft, sach line each word needs to be critically evaluated for correctness and necessity. If it doesn’t add to the story or make the story move forward, the universal advice seems to be – delete it. Participating in the flash fiction challenges where a story has to be penned in 100 words or 200 words is a good exercise. For these also it is advised that the first draft may be twice as long and then later trimmed to the required limit. For more detailed and expert advice please google for tips on writing short stories – there is a lot of free advice which I am sure will be of help. I am also a newbie in this field so feel free to take my advice with a pinch (if not a bagful) of salt. Appreciate your taking our comment in a positive way – have a good day.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Alright. Thanks for your advice. I have not taken editing so seriously till at least now :). Just a quick edit for 15 mins. 🙂 I somehow feel it’s coming in my way of publishing more frequently.

        But yeah, I get the point and I will work towards that. Thanks for your valuable inputs. I will work on them.

        Liked by 1 person

      • I am glad you found it helpful. Here are some thoughts of famous writers on editing – “When asked about rewriting, Ernest Hemingway said that he rewrote the ending to A Farewell to Arms thirty-nine times before he was satisfied. Vladimir Nabokov wrote that spontaneous eloquence seemed like a miracle and that he rewrote every word he ever published, and often several times. And Mark Strand, former poet laureate, says that each of his poems sometimes goes through forty to fifty drafts before it is finished.” Happy editing 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

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