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A quick tale 124

A message

Dear S~~,
Happy Birthday.

Six words. Which she read again and again. Searching for hidden meanings. Look, she noted, it’s not Happy Birthday with an exclamation mark but a full stop. As if he wanted her to know the predictability of its recurrence. Don’t be surprised if your birthday falls on the same day next year, he may have wanted to imply. He was always so world-weary, she sighed to herself. And when her eyes drifted to the line above his name, she paused to wonder why it wasn’t ‘With love from’. May be because he didn’t feel it right to use such an intimate term of endearment. At least he had chosen a ‘Dear’ before her name. And the way he had abbreviated her name was a clear indication that she was in his close circle.

Still, it would’ve been nicer if he had sent her a card instead of scribbling a note. But was it really a scribble? It’s just the way he wrote, she told herself. He had, after all, remembered her birthday and sent her a greeting. Which must mean, beyond doubt, that she mattered to him. That settled it for her. She folded the A4 sheet in four and then in four again. As if guarding the words from escape. She slipped it under her pillow and laid her head on it. And played the words over in her mind one more time. Just in case she had missed something.


IdeaSmith said…
Arrrggghh! I love the story and hate how familiar it sounds...
RT said…
I concur with Ideasmith. Its so goddamn real.
aarthi said…
Awesome...loved it..
post said…
i know this feeling.
Madura said…
It was inside a shoe box. He first thought it had a surprise gift. But no, it was just his old letters and cards. She gave it back. They had a new flavor. This one showed creases of being folded in 8. He wondered if it was under her pillow. Gave him a mushy feel, which he cherished inspite of the confused guilt. Then negated his wish. May be not. He read it again. Did she ever knew she asked me the hardest question ever? It has been 8 years. Why am I so afraid of the purity of love? Why I cant accept I can? Should I call her? ... why shrink it all to single letters and dot dot dots... And my damn cycle needs oil and it is creaking ... But I love this park in spring.
dogmatix said…
Precisely put ideasmith!!
Tangent said…
Beegees - Lyrics of their Song

Talk in everlasting words, and dedicate them all to
And I will give you all my life, I’m here if you
Should call to me.
You think that I don’t even mean a single word i Say.
It’s only words, and words are all I have, to take
Your heart away
Mahadevan said…
If you don't expect, there is no thrill in life. And when it happens, it always falls short. That is the irony of life.
hari said…
Wow. That was a typical woman's psyche, so articulately read out.
Anonymous said…
Nice. Not the usual stuff this time around.

Deepti said…
Seriously.. I think I have spent ages myself agonising over things.. wondering whether i was missing something.. I really loved the way you brought in the . instead of the ! ..that was aweeeesome!!!!!!!!
Aparna Menon said…
Honeslty....soooo familiar :(
LAK said…
I guess only women get so desperate as to read meanings into every little thing. But then that's women!Agonising and reading between the lines, while the guy was probably wondering if the mechanic fied the car all right!
Balaji said…
perfect! and this says it perfectly too :) Courtesy Dave Barry.
Prasanna said…
that was a gud one...loved the story
S said…
Ammani...that QT brings back memories.....*sigh*
btw: did you write the 'S' and 'P' intentionally...

Shuba said…
jus lovely...i loved the story...Talks the heart of a girl...lovely
Anonymous said…
I dont know about the others , but it was good, sincere , an yearning perhaps, subtly written , clear running style.. you were good.
Caffeinism said…
I love all your quick tales but this is the best one and it is so real.What if there were only three words say something like "Have a Blast" instead of six? I think,she would have still felt the same way.On one one hand it betrays no emotion, on the other he remembered didn't he?

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Three meals a day,
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Lived 52 years and some
Died exhausted

Overheard, “At least she had the satisfaction of having lived for her family”

The Saturday Poem

Found this in yesterday's paper. Again, I wish I'd written it.


Now and Then

"Now that I'm fifty-seven",
My mother used to say,
"Why should I waste a minute?
Why should I waste a day

Doing the things I ought to
Simply because I should?
Now that I'm fifty-seven
I'm done with that for good."

But now and then I'd catch her
Trapped in some thankless chore
Just as she might have been at
Fifty-three or fifty-four

And I would say to her
(And I have to bite my tongue)
That if you mean to learn a skill
It's well worth starting young

And so, to make sure I'm in time
For fifty, I've begun
To do exactly as I please
Now that I'm thirty-one.

-Sophie Hannah

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