Leaves of the Last – A Short Story (My first)

“It was murky, I knew I had to make a decision. The moon wasn’t visible as the casing of dark clouds shawled it, when I had tried looking up to the heavens for my answers. There was no panic, no urgency, a sense of an uneasy calm. It was hushed, inside-out. This darkness, this silence, complemented my inner self. Everything seemed abstract, intangible, unreal. I wished it was, but I could feel the drizzle of rain, dancing on my bare arms, it disturbed me, reminding me of my woeful existence.’ Darkness’, ‘Silence’, ‘Peace’ were the only words I wanted around. It was impulsive, I knew I had the answer; it was just waiting to be acted upon.

I walked back to my 10X10 hostel room. It was the most relaxed walk of my life. I opened my door and went inside, the noise it made, was obviously annoying. But I ignored it, “There wouldn’t be any noise there”, I thought. My expression hadn’t changed for the last 2 days, I hadn’t talked to anyone in that period as far as I could remember. My laptop was still open, it’s screen was the only source of light in my solitary confinement. It showed saved web pages, they were titled “Home-made poison.html” , “Easiest way to suicide.html”, “Sure shot ways to suicide.html” and other similar ones. There were 7 of those kinds. I thanked Google, others weren’t up to the mark. I smiled, finally. How in this world I was searching for perfect ways to kill myself on the internet when everything had fallen apart. “I was never so methodical”, I thought. Then that smile went away. My last smile.

Dry leaves Oil Painting

I soon realized, my eyes welled up. A tear rolled down my left cheek. I was in a different world- Away from the real, far from it!, all the things were flashing in front of me, my past, my present, my future…. No, there was no future, I was imagining it. Just the way I had imagined that she loved me, “But she said that she loved me, and she is never wrong, my angel”, my inner voice was trying to reassure. I always thought it was so funny, those people who kill themselves when they get betrayed in love, they were lunatics. But when it happened with me, I realized it wasn’t just a chemical imbalance, it was different, all different. I cursed god for fashioning a feeling called love, where things don’t make sense, where you get attached to a soul, so much so that life doesn’t mean anything after that person refuses to reciprocate those emotions. People changed relationships like underwear, I wasn’t like that, maybe, I didn’t belong to this world. This reminded me of that date,13th November 2005, that was the last time I heard her divine voice, “Get over me, don’t act like a child” and the phone was silent, I had tried calling her again and again but she kept on dismissing my calls, she had finally discovered a way to block them, “Tech retard, you are doing well”, I had complimented her.

There lay the sheet under that cranky table fan, that certified my incompetence, to be a doctor. Clear and precise were those words, from that bloody archaic dot-matrix printer “Failed”. “Yes”, I felt it was all so true. I was a failure, a huge failure. I didn’t make anyone happy, my parents, my friends, her… nobody. Living didn’t seem any worthwhile. I had betrayed the faith of my parents, who had worked hard to pay my humongous fees they couldn’t normally afford. And then she did that terrible thing to me. “Tit for tat, that’s elementary”,I thought. “No one dies a virgin, life fucks them all” I remembered my favourite quote, my only good friend had forwarded, It was making sense, after all.

I picked up that chair, it was surely a couple of decades old, and kept it on that comparatively newer bed, with dirty linen that was asking to be washed. I wanted to die, but I didn’t want to go out shopping for a rope to hang myself. So I had made a makeshift rope from my favourite bed sheet, even while making myself sleep forever, I wanted my favourite bedsheet to sleep, so materialistic I was. After all that research, I was sure, hanging was the best method if I could just hang on for some time. ” 13 seconds for unconsciousness, 1 minute and 38 seconds to lose muscle tone, 4 minutes for losing muscle movement, to be precise” quoted the article. I had a recollection from my first year’s class- Professor Dr. Jeebon Das in his impressive tone clarified- ” About 5 kg of pressure is required to compress the carotid artery, 2 kg for the jugular veins and at least 15 kg for the airway”. I was fucking 70 kg. I was one of those bright and meritorious kind initially. Then life lost track, I wished I had a playback control for my life.

I was still confused, not about killing myself, but about the existence of god. If he was there, looking at my helpless condition, couldn’t he help me out? I was a devout brahmin before my life started picking on me. Then the belief started withering away. I wasn’t sure If I’ll go to heaven, hell or will just become a dead mass of flesh and bones much to the satisfaction of atheists. I had never drank, never smoked. I was wondering about my prospects of going to heaven. I was just imagining stuff, I was a cowardice son, a lost lover, a failed student, no one’s friend. “I’ll surely burn in hell”. I hoped it would be better than this material world. With this, I put my favourite bedsheet which was now a rope, around my neck, I was standing on that chair with my arms holding the slip knot I learned to make thanks to internet. There was no suicide letter, I didn’t like following norms, not even now. I didn’t want sympathy. I said sorry to myself, I said sorry to my parents, I said sorry to her, I was not sure if god will accept my apology, but I still made a formal one. Just one kick to the back side of that chair, and I will hang my way to freedom. Yes

I had picked up my leg in anticipation of the moment, I didn’t want make it look like a free kick, I wasn’t good at that. I knew when I will hang, my body will try to save itself from dying, a natural reflex, and if it partially succeeded in doing that, next part of my life will be lived in paralysis most probably and I couldn’t afford any more misery. I started the countdown, but there were no numbers in it, just silence of a particular magnitude after which I was going to kick…

The knock on the door brought me back to the material realities of the world. I wanted to ignore it, but it wasn’t just a knock, someone was banging on my door. I wanted to shun it and take that leap to the other world, but then the thought of being saved crossed my mind. It was better to die peacefully later, than dying paralyzed. I got down from my suicidal set-up, to see who was this one last person that god wanted me to see. The banging was annoying, really annoying. He cried my name out loudly. I knew who was that. I flipped open the door, which I had locked hard for that one last time.

Yes, it was Akshat, my only friend in true sense. It never mattered to him how I was, who I was, he was always good with me. There was nothing unusual finding him knocking on my door, but the sense of panic his voice had was scaringly unusual. His eyes spelled doom, his forehead and brows were drenched in sweat, his body language didn’t help either. For once I thought, he is here to foil my plan. He had other thoughts. “Kartik!, my…mmm”, he could not complete the sentence, I noticed those teary red eyes, droplets of sweat over his lips, “my m…. mom!!”, grief choked his words, he was inconsolable. I needed no more explanations. Akshat always had long stories about his mother, they had a special bond. He used to tell me those stories with intricate details, I never listened to them though, I acted as if I was. He was like my better copy, we were each other’s lifeline in college. He tried to make sense, “I need to reach h…. home, I need cash.” His family was settled in Hoshangabad, near Bhopal. It was going to be a long journey from Mumbai, especially when you are going to see your mother, whom you loved like crazy, for that one last visit.

Suddenly, I felt being pulled back by the material force of this world, the natural reflex to save my body had already started working. Things didn’t seem that gloomy as they were some minutes ago. I guess, my mind started comparing my beloved friend’s and my own situations, my situations weren’t as bad as his were, it had decided. He hadn’t noticed my set-up in the background, thanks to the dark ambience. Goosebumps. I realised what I was going to do, without realising the pain my mother will go through, when she’ll see his loser son who couldn’t face the world. When my dad, who worked selflessly to realise my dreams will realise what his son did. I had nothing left in me. Infront of me was my friend, who came as a god’s messenger, yes, the same god I was doubting some minutes back. It felt like a resurrection. My new birth.

I hugged my friend. I was crying, an avalanche of tears flowed down from my eyes, it was a relief, I wonder why but it was. After a minute I looked into his eyes, he looked no less than god. I assured him, “Don’t worry, I’m coming with you. She was like my mother too…” I couldn’t lessen the pain, but I could share it, and we left for Hoshangabad…”

He wrote the last words “….. we left for Hoshangabad” the printing on the top right was 3rd March and he closed his diary. The cover of that diary was engraved with the numbers ’2013′ in golden ink. It was the 7th anniversary of his resurrection. The name plate on his table said that the man sitting there was Dr. Kartik Shukla, MD in Clinical Psychology. He was sitting alone enjoying his break from the hordes of patients that flock the hospital. He was interrupted in between, the door was opened without a knock, he remembered he had no appointment in that period. The visitor needed no appointment, she was his wife. “Can you get an off early?”, she enquired “We need to be at a wedding if you remember”. He gestured an affirmation through his eyes, “Sure, anything for you” “Dr. Nidhi Shukla” he added mischievously. He wondered how lucky he was, to have met Nidhi and fallen in love with her. It was all because life gave him that second chance.

This is my first shot at writing a short story, it just came up. An idea inspired by my own and lives of people around me 🙂

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10 thoughts on “Leaves of the Last – A Short Story (My first)

  1. mohit

    Gurtej, you’ve written it beautifully!Just can’t believe the fact that it’s your first shot at short stories. Keep it up man!

  2. Reblogged this on manveen and commented:
    This was something giving a damn big smile. Wonderful it is. I loved the detailing beautifully done plus the twist. A simple lesson to LIVE but in an intriguing and connected manner. Thanks for the experience GPS :’)

  3. obstructedsoul

    This was awesome gipu 🙂 I was literally crying inside while reading.
    I am spell-bound,I don’t know how to describe you and my appreciation for your this story.
    You know I can’t even think of writing this much great as you.. :’)
    Please get published and yeah do share some tips 😀
    I am fan-girling inside.

    1. :’) Thanks a lot Ritu. This really means a lot to me. This story is very close to my heart, half reality, twisted fiction.

      Secret tip is – Dr. Nidhi was inspiring and helping me with editing this all the time ❤

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