|Creative Writing Competition 2012 India|
|THEME||True Love Triumphs|
Editor’s Choice: Short Story Love – The Blue Book
There I was all alone standing beside a cold lifeless stone tomb which is supposed to be a mark for the world to remember her. For most people a graveyard is a place where one feels scared and they don’t want to remember their experience here, but for me it is more like a place where I always wanted to come to. For me this graveyard is a reminder of a lot of memories. Memories are the reason why she still lives on inside me.
I still remember the first time we met in 6th grade, back then I used to be jealous of her. We had similar hobbies, tastes and lots of ‘mutual friends’, we were each other’s rivals in every field be it studies, sports and there is one thing that we both had an intense rivalry on the total number of short stories each one of us has written.
As the time went by we both slowly moved from bitter rivals to best friends.
It was around 9th grade when I first saw her writing something secretly on thick little blue book, I wondered what it was, I thought that she was attempting to write one of her weird Fantasy novels about a knight riding a dragon or something like that. Initially I was really curious about what she was writing, I had attempted to snatch the book several times from her but she always had the tighter grip. The funny thing was she was not even telling me what it was nor was she telling it anyone else about it either.
Eventually we had a fight over that book she was hiding from me, her ‘Best Friend’.
Our fight did not last for long. As I went and apologized for attempting to take something she wanted to keep private and we never talked about that cursed Blue Book.
As the time went by we eventually fell for each other!! We had a secret place where always used to meet up, a place where people rarely visit. Most normal people would think that we are crazy to go for a date on a Graveyard! But trust me it is a place where people least expect a young couple to be dating, we used to date on the garden area right next to the graveyard. There was an old man the caretaker who used to tell us ghost stories and all, and it was both funny and scary at the same time.
The first time I had asked her out for a date, she had agreed but we did not know any safe place to hang out, you see she had two very protective younger brothers who used to hang around the only mall in our small town. That mall was a prime date spot for most of the young couples but it was way too risky. Then there were the parks, but they were always crowded and it was very risky too, as our relatives or family friends may be spending family time out there. Thus we started walking from our school aimlessly thinking of where to go for about 20 minutes or so, when we stumbled across a place both of us thought was creepy! But then it struck both of us simultaneously I guess , that there was a pretty decent garden quite a bit far away from all the graves , and did not look that creepy.
For the first few minutes, on our very first date we spent a couple of anxious moments of silence. We did not feel like talking with this air of spookiness all around you, I thought to myself “come on who in their right mind would, come to a place like this to spend some time with their love”.
Then she broke the silence and said “Well I don’t f- f-find th-this place sca-scary… “ ,
And we both burst out laughing we were both kind of scared but I guess this type of scare was less scarier to us than our parents finding out about us in some other scary place such as a mall or a park! We even got friendly with the kind old caretaker that day and from that day onwards we used to spend most of our weekends at this place the old caretaker used to tell us one story everyday! So more or less this old man had become a part of our date routine, and we liked him because he was good company.
I remember it very clearly it was only a week ago that our 12th grade exams got over and we were going for a post exam date! And it was also my birthday that was an added bonus to make this date all the more special I guess. This time we decided not to go to our usual date in the grave and thought of going to the mall instead for a movie! She said she wanted to go home first to give her parents an excuse for the movie! Little did I know that day that our little movie date was not meant to be. . .
Ironically the next time I saw her face was next morning at just besides our regular old date spot.
Even though she looked pale and lifeless, I was half expecting her to wake up from this eternal sleep and say it was all a surprise I planned to scare you for your Birthday… but sadly that never happened. All this happened so fast that I was in shock. I was weeping. I felt like the world had come to an end. I have lost everything in life, even though I had life in my body I was just like the dead corpses that have been buried around me, lifeless. I also saw the caretaker weeping in the corner too.
While I was standing alone in the garden where we once used to date, remembering all the time we spent together on this very spot, her brother comes to me and hands over a gift wrapped in a blue paper with yellow dots, at once I realized it was the Birthday Gift she wanted to gift to me… then he said “I think, this was for you” and he burst out crying and hugged me and I cried along.
I went back home very late that day, I had lost track of time ever since I got the phone call from her mother saying “She is died!” in a tearful tone. I later get to know from one of her brother’s friends that she had fallen from the stairs while she was in a hurry to go for a friend’s Birthday Party.
I felt guilty and responsible for her death, I wished that we had never met or we stayed rivals forever maybe this would never have happened. I could not sleep that night.
Next day, morning I went out straight to the graveyard, I met the old caretaker and told him how I felt about the whole situation, his reply was,
“What would she want you to feel about this, will she be happy to see you in this condition, what would you want her to do if you were the one who is lying here and she was the one who is alive?”
Then he took a present out of his pocket … the very same present her brother had given me yesterday I had forgotten about it and left it at the spot where we used to date. The caretaker said
“And sonny you should take care of such things! This got all wet from the dew today morning”
I had taken the gift and opened it carefully and was surprised to find the Blue Book, wet yet unharmed… I was expecting it to be a video game or something like that but it was the very same book she used to hide and keep it as a secret from, everyone.
Along with the book there was a note “Remember this book!? The reason I never showed it to you is simple it is because “ and the remaining part got blurred away because the ink the wet gift wrap had leaked and spread all over the note. . .
From that day onwards till this very day, I have visited her grave every week, and each time I tell her the same thing,
“Don’t worry I have not read your secret. It shall be safe with me forever!”
|Creative Writing Competition 2012 India|
|The Blue Book|
|Relevancy of chosen setting||20||16|
|Relevancy of chosen object||20||16|
|Significance of chosen theme||20||15|
|Selection and development of characters||10||9|
|Selection of time frame, description of place and environment||10||8|
|Plot of short story||10||8|
|Conflicts in short story||10||8|