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This post, my first-ever fiction piece, won the best short story prize
at Writer’s Ezine in April 2015!

***

So, this is farewell. I can’t do this anymore. It’s not working.

Believe me, I’ve tried.

I met her at the supermarket the other day. She was standing in the middle of the aisle, as the cans of soup tumbled all around her, pushed from the shelf by a couple of rambunctious toddlers. Sensing an opportunity, I moved in, but she ignored me. She swiftly turned her back on me and bent to pick up the cans. There was a smile on her face, as though she was enjoying a secret. In vain, I tried to catch her eye, but she looked through me.

Then, it was at the park that we almost crossed paths. I watched from afar as she sat amidst piles of leaves, picking at the fibres of her overcoat.  A few hairs escaped from the brown beret that partially covered her red locks. Her hands trembled lightly as they clutched the divorce notice from the lawyers. That’s my cue, I realised. I leapt out of hiding and hurried towards her, but as I moved closer, she rose abruptly, determination writ large on her face, crushed the paper and threw it at me. Brushing the stinging tears aside, she walked away, head held high.

It was two for two, but I couldn’t let it go without one last try. She stood by the kitchen sink, shedding silent tears. Next to her, on the counter, the laptop glowed an azure blue, displaying that dreaded, apologetic mail. ‘We’re sorry to inform you that the company is downsizing ‘, it began. She didn’t need to read further. Her hands came up to cup her face. This was it, I thought. I raised my hand to knock at the window, but suddenly she threw her head back and laughed – a loud one filled with freedom and rippling joy.

She then ran into the parlour , lifted her infant and swung him around, while her toddler danced at her feet. They all hugged Grandpa in his creaky armchair and settled around him,huddling near the warm fireplace, as the snow fell in soft flakes around me, creating a veritable winter wonderland. Grandpa told the best stories. Joy echoed through the house and I watched once again. I was unwanted, unwelcome and ignored.

It was the end. I had failed. She didn’t give in to me, no matter what the situation.

Hope and Joy saw me leave and didn’t fare me well.

Do I stand a chance elsewhere? I don’t know.

Signed ,

Despair

———

Have you heard of the Speakeasy over at YeahWrite? They conduct fascinating challenges.
This week we had  to write a  post in 750 words or less, and: 
 1) Use this sentence anywhere in the post:  Grandpa told the best stories
 2) Make some reference to the media prompt below: 
Do you want to try your hand at it too? Click the link below to view the guidelines, then come back on Sunday to view the prompt, write a post and link it to the challenge grid!

This is my contribution to the Yeahwrite Speakeasy Challenge grid #139

Featured image via: Shutterstock

Comments

comments

Categories: FictionYeah Write

Aparna · December 8, 2013 at 6:38 am

Loved it Shailaja :)… a nice beginning to your fiction journey 😉 All the best!

Shailaja V · December 8, 2013 at 6:45 am

Thank you! Although I'm not sure if it's a journey yet, just the tentative first steps 😉

Chiya · December 8, 2013 at 9:36 am

nice 🙂

Shailaja V · December 8, 2013 at 9:38 am

Thank you! Are you popping over from Facebook or twitter? Just curious 🙂

Priya Prakash · December 8, 2013 at 9:58 am

Very nice 🙂

Shailaja V · December 8, 2013 at 10:00 am

Thank you Priya 🙂 Hope it was entertaining 🙂

Vidya Lohith · December 8, 2013 at 10:04 am

A good start to a long journey I guess :). Keep them coming. Beautifully written.

Obsessivemom · December 8, 2013 at 1:07 pm

Loved it. The planets seem to be aligned in a manner conducive to writing and writers. Everyone seems to be trying new things, coming up with new ideas. Makes me want to write more and try new stuff too. Inspiring. Great going Shailaja.

Shailaja V · December 8, 2013 at 2:09 pm

Thank you so much for the kind words! It means a lot!

Shailaja V · December 8, 2013 at 2:55 pm

Yay!! Your words made my day! You're one of my biggest inspirations to try my hand at fiction 🙂 I'm looking forward to reading more of your posts!

cynk · December 8, 2013 at 7:01 pm

Is this your first time writing for the Speakeasy? I'm asking based on the comments, not the content. Great little story.

Shailaja V · December 9, 2013 at 2:51 am

Yes it is! I'm keen on trying my hand at it. Do you think I can submit it?

Marcy · December 10, 2013 at 12:58 am

I liked what you did with that! Some people are so resilient–they're amazing.

Shailaja V · December 10, 2013 at 3:01 am

It's people like that whom I genuinely admire; the ones who pick themselves up and go on, despite everything Life throws at them. Thank you for reading, Marcy.

Anonymous · December 10, 2013 at 10:01 am

Hey Shailaja,
I think it is beautiful……! 🙂
Keep writing!
Nimmy

Shailaja V · December 10, 2013 at 10:03 am

Thank you Nimmy :):)

jeremymilburn · December 10, 2013 at 2:11 pm

Great work and welcome to Speakeasy! I love how you had me thinking it was some forlorn love looking for his chance, but it was actually Despair. A good story about not giving up (unless, you know, you're a negative emotion that drags people down. then I guess its okay 😉 )

Shailaja V · December 10, 2013 at 3:38 pm

Thanks a ton, Jeremy, for the compliment and the welcome! And, I am honoured that the praise comes from the one who set the prompt! Much appreciated. Glad I had you hooked till the end. I suppose I may try my hand at more fiction at this rate 🙂

Stacie · December 10, 2013 at 4:02 pm

Welcome to the speakeasy Shailaja! For a minute there, I thought you forgot about the prompts. Nice touch, having them at the end. I'm glad she didn't give into despair!

Shailaja V · December 10, 2013 at 4:14 pm

Stacie, your words mean so much to me! Thank you for the welcome! Am glad she didn't give in either 🙂

Ranu 802 · December 11, 2013 at 1:56 am

This was a sad story. I know she didn't give in.

Jen and Tonic · December 11, 2013 at 6:29 am

Great piece of fiction! I've never been able to write it so I admire those who can.

Shailaja V · December 11, 2013 at 7:07 am

No, she didn't. Thanks for reading!

Shailaja V · December 11, 2013 at 7:08 am

Thanks Jen! I never thought I would try fiction either, but I wanted to give it a shot. And I am sure you would do wonderfully if you tried as well. You're a great writer!

Amreen Shaikh · December 11, 2013 at 7:37 am

This is wonderful! I really is a good write:)

Shailaja V · December 11, 2013 at 9:36 am

Thanks for stopping by, Amreen 🙂

Yeshasvi Mahadev · December 11, 2013 at 7:10 pm

This is a really really wonderful story. At first I thought it was the ghost of someone trying to woo her in a way. Looks like I was wrong, but amazingly so. Loved it!

eof777 · December 11, 2013 at 8:21 pm

What a touching story…. Despair won out again. Hope she lives to tell a better tale someday. Enjoyed this contribution. 🙂
Eliz

Shailaja V · December 12, 2013 at 3:11 am

Thank you Yeshasvi ! Coming from you, that's a huge compliment! So glad I could prove your guess wrong 🙂

Shailaja V · December 12, 2013 at 3:18 am

Glad you liked it. Although, Despair lost out, if you noticed.

EagleAye · December 12, 2013 at 6:02 am

Great piece! I love it when Despair loses.

Shailaja V · December 12, 2013 at 6:12 am

Thanks for the kind words, Eagle Aye 🙂

eof777 · December 12, 2013 at 1:08 pm

Yes, despair got worn out again… I noticed and my play on words got botched by that missing r in worn. lol! A terrific story still. Anyway, I'd really appreciate some feedback on my contribution to the Speakeasy. 🙂
Cheers,
Elizabeth

Suzanne Purkis · December 12, 2013 at 3:16 pm

This is great! Such a clever take on the prompts. Thank you so much for linking up with us at the Speakeasy this week! 🙂

Shailaja V · December 12, 2013 at 4:30 pm

Suzanne, You've just made my day 🙂 My first attempt at fiction and I am so happy that I could link up with the Speakeasy, which I discovered during NaBloPoMo. Thank you for the opportunity.

Shailaja V · December 12, 2013 at 4:37 pm

Ah, I was wondering what you meant by the 'won out' 🙂 Thanks again. I have just left a comment on your post.

insideoflove · December 12, 2013 at 5:29 pm

I gasped at the end.

Shailaja V · December 14, 2013 at 8:43 am

Did I hit you hard? 🙂 Glad you stopped by.

Vidya Sury · March 16, 2014 at 5:57 pm

I love, love love the sign-off! 😀 Great job,. Now start working on your book!

Shailaja V · March 16, 2014 at 6:00 pm

Pshaw, Vidya 😀 You make me blush! Thanks for that 🙂 Yes, I think book may have to happen now 😉

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