|Creative Writing Competition 2012 India|
|SETTING||College Canteen OR Restaurant|
|THEME||True Love Triumphs|
Love Short Story – Love TypeWritten
She knew she can never see him again. She only wished she had the courage to talk with him when she had the chance. But now it was too late. While all her friends were celebrating the convocation, she slipped out of the hall silently. She looked across the room to take one last look at him. He, too, was enjoying with his friends and posing for pictures. She couldn’t take his eyes off him. He turned around and their eyes met for a brief second. Her heart skipped a beat and she rushed out immediately towards the parking.
‘He hardly likes me, let alone me staring at him’, she said to herself, as she started the car and drove out of the campus. Her heart ached to think that she was going away from him forever.
Swetha looked at the old typewriter in awe. She had never seen a typewriter before. And it was supposed to be her grandfather’s. She had found it on her trip to her home town and bought it along with her out of curiosity. Though it wasn’t dusty, it was broken and out of shape. She carefully placed it in a huge bag and took it to a nearby computer hardware shop.
‘You want me to repair a typewriter?’ the shop owner asked, shocked. He had only come across customers who wanted to get their computers repaired. He hadn’t seen a single typewriter since the reign of computers had started. ‘Or you want to exchange it for a computer? You might just add couple of rupees to it.’
‘Hey! I’m not asking you to repair it ‘coz I don’t have money! I want to have it. That’s all’, Swetha exclaimed. She was indeed surprised that the owner thought she couldn’t afford a computer.
‘All right, you can collect it tomorrow’, the owner said. She took the receipt from him and returned home.
‘It looks as good as new! Thanks a lot!’ Swetha appreciated. The owner flashed a wide smile at her.
‘it’s Rs.750’, he said. She paid him the amount, collected the change and the typewriter and started home. On the way she bought a bundle of papers for the typewriter.
Her friend, Neha was waiting for her at the doorstep by the time she reached home. She was carrying a letter with her and her face clearly told that there was something exciting going on.
‘Guess what? My café is ready and I’m opening it day after tomorrow!’ she squealed. Swetha exclaimed in surprise and they shared a brief hug. ‘I want you to be there with me. Managing’, her friend added, smiling at Swetha. She knew that Swetha enjoyed management.
‘Managing?’ Swetha pursed her lips. ‘I was planning on contacting Strings and Keys if they can take me as their song writer’, she added, looking at her friend apologetically. Strings and Keys was a local music band that had released two albums before and was reportedly working on another. Swetha had penned down lyrics for two of their songs as a freelancer and wished to take it up officially.
‘Come on, you can work at the café in parallel. You don’t write songs all the day, right?’ Neha pleaded. Swetha smiled and agreed.
‘Thanks a bunch, darling!’ her friend cried in relief and hugged her once again. ‘Call you later, then. I’ve got to distribute the invitations.’ Saying so, her friend left.
Swetha pulled a table for herself to one corner of the café and started writing a song. She had to write a couple of songs for the band to decide if she could be their official songwriter. All of their songs were on love and it didn’t take Swetha much time to get the ideas. She leaned back in the chair and thought about Susheel for a moment.
Her last meeting with him flashed in front of her eyes. His laugh. His eyes. His face. His hair. And the way he looked at her.
After writing a couple of sentences, Swetha stretched her hands and legs, got up and walked to the washroom. She washed her face and took dreary steps towards her table. She looked up and found someone bent over the typewriter, seriously reading the typo. What the! She thought and took hurried steps. She almost reached the table when the guy stood up and looked around. Swetha stopped dead in her tracks and immediately rushed beneath a nearby wall.
What the hell he is doing here, she wondered. Her mind was in a state of shock. She carefully peeped from behind the wall.
She never thought she would ever see him again. And he was reading her song, which she had written thinking of him. In spite of the shock, Swetha was glad somehow the words she always wished to tell reached him. She waited to see him reaction. He disappeared only for a moment and returned. She watched as he sat and started writing something on what looked like a tissue paper. She stared at him, wondering what was going on. Five minutes later, he left leaving the tissue paper behind. Making sure, he was completely out of the premises, Swetha rushed to take a look at the paper.
Awesome lyrics. It’s just I got few other lines on reading them. So I am writing them for you. Hope they match your idea. Forget them if they don’t.
She read every line he wrote as an extension to her song. The words reflected every feeling of hers, every fear, and every thought. She was sure even she couldn’t have penned them down better. For a second, the entire world moved out of focus. She stared blankly at his tiny piece of writing. If only they had been for her…
Swetha soon got used to Susheel’s regular visits. He always maintained his timings and she disappeared exactly at the time he was supposed to arrive. Many times Susheel dropped a question asking why he could never see the writer, but she carefully avoided the question. He reviewed her songs and occasionally added some bits to it. She always left the song to her typewriter so that he wouldn’t miss it.
That day, however, Susheel decided to find out about the author somehow. He understood that the writer doesn’t want to be found. He walked out of the café, after replying Swetha and finishing her song and hung back at the end of the street to make a sudden return and confront her.
Back in the cafeteria, Neha rushed out of the kitchen to Swetha for help.
‘Hey, Swetha, mom has just arrived and is waiting at the doorstep. Can you go and give her key?’ she asked.
‘Yeah, sure’, said Swetha and walked out. She left her typewriter at the table and started walking towards her friend’s house.
Swetha took just a few steps away from the café when she came face to face with Susheel. She gaped at him, her mouth hanging open and stood rooted to the spot. And then it struck her that he might have been waiting to get a glimpse of the write. Thanking her friend, she took a deep breath and without looking back, rushed out of the street, leaving behind a puzzled Susheel.
It had been three days since Susheel visited the café. Swetha was so worried that she couldn’t think of anything else.
‘Do you think he figured out it was me and stopped coming?’ Swetha expressed her fear to her friend.
‘He must have been busy. Or not well. It’s just a coincidence. He never returned that day. And how do you think he could figure it out? Forget it, Swetha, like you did till now. I’m planning to open another branch at the tech park. You can handle that completely. You don’t need to come here. He’s just distracting you’, Neha suggested. Swetha nodded reluctantly.
‘And what’s up with the band? Did you apply?’ Neha asked.
‘They accepted’, Swetha replied, with no hint of excitement in her voice. Neha looked aghast. She slapped her friend back to senses.
‘Why the hell didn’t you tell me?’ she squealed.
She pulled her friend into a warm embrace.
‘Come on, smile!’ Swetha gave her friend a huge smile. But deep down, she still wished he would come back.
That was the last letter. And for the second time, she felt the pain of leaving him. Her fingers moved on the typewriter reluctantly.
How sensible would it be if I say I am in love with you? You never got to see me for real, know me nor talk to me. But I have been watching you every time and your words that completely reflected mine, your calm thoughts and you – I love every bit of them.
This would be the last you will be hearing of me. I am moving out of this cafeteria. I wish and hope we can meet one day for real. This is all I could write for now. Surprising how words deserted me when I wanted them the most.
Can I expect a reply?
Swetha took one last look at the letter and left. She wasn’t even sure if he would come that day.
Few minutes later, Susheel walked into the café. His eyes automatically drifted to the corner where the typewriter sat. The paper fluttered gently under the air conditioner. He ordered himself a coffee and rushed to the table. He pulled the paper out of the typewriter and started reading. His heart dropped low on reading the first sentence, but he continued. He sighed. It would be sad that he wouldn’t come across her writings anymore but he couldn’t possibly love a stranger whom he never even met. He replaced the letter in the typewriter and left.
Susheel logged into his Facebook account. Add requests. Messages. Notifications. He ignored them all and scrolled down blankly. He couldn’t get Swetha out of his mind. From the moment he had seen her at the café, he couldn’t think about anything else. He had come so close to her. He could have asked her out for a coffee. The café was just few steps away. But he didn’t.
He clicked on the search bar.
He hadn’t even added her on Facebook. All he did in the college was look at her, give occasional smiles, and listen to her conversations with his friends. They had a lot of mutual friends. They even hung out together in groups, but never spoke to each other.
‘Worst love story ever!’ he cursed. ‘We even sat at lunch together. She spoke to everyone except me. She has all my friends in her friends list, except me. Hell of a story!’
He gazed inanely at her profile picture. For one moment his eyes drifted to her profile information.
Songwriter at Strings and Keys.
Susheel sat up in his chair. She is a song writer! He was shocked. He had heard a lot about her back in college, but never that she was a writer. He scrolled down the wall, hoping to find anything interesting. He knew he was hoping against hope, but the word songwriter roused his curiosity. What if! Blood rushed profusely in his veins. He could hear his heart pounding. His mind swung out of his control. His fingers slipped carelessly over the touchpad as he scrolled down.
-tagged in an article with Neha Kaur.
Awesome job, Swatzzz! – Neha Kaur.
It wasn’t the comment or the tag that struck his heart. It was the face of Neha Kaur. The owner of the café! Hopes started rising in his heart. No way! Without another thought, he opened the article. He read each and every word of it with utmost concentration. He could feel his pulse vibrating. His entire body was shaking with excitement.
‘Your favorite lines in the song?’ – The reporter asked. The reply drew a sharp sigh of relief and shock together from Susheel.
But the reality
Is not what I want it be
And you are, still so far
And I am crying out loud, waiting for myself to be heard
He could never forget the words he had written. It was her all the time! He could hardly control his joy. He recollected her last letter to him. She loved him too! He stared at the computer screen, his mouth hanging open. He was still in a state of shock. All this time he had been talking with the girl he loved and he never knew it. He could hear his heart beating in rhythm to his thoughts. It was like background music was playing in him. He smiled and laughed and cried to himself. Relief, happiness, excitement washed over him.
He jumped out of the chair and rushed out of the house. He knew he couldn’t waste another second. He started his car and drove at top speed towards the café. He had no idea what he would say to her. All he could think of was that she loves him back. He laughed at all the incidents that had happened over the past few weeks.
He would have never noticed her song if it wasn’t for the typewriter. He was curious to find out who was using a typewriter in the age of computers. And that typewriter had taken him directly to his love.
He screeched to a halt in front of the café and dashed to the door. Neha looked up in surprise. Something wasn’t right. That wasn’t how customers rush into a café. And he wasn’t just any other customer. He threw himself at the counter and smiled at her.
‘Swetha?’ was the only word he managed to say. Neha smiled at him. It was like a fairytale and she was happy for her friend. She had no idea how he found out and she was least bothered. She scribbled the address on a paper and handed it over to Susheel.
‘Thanks’, he sighed and returned to his car. He got the directions perfectly and half an hour later he was in front of the café near the tech park. He parked his car and rushed in.
Swetha was sitting at the counter, lost in thought. She was so engrossed in her world that she hadn’t even noticed Susheel staring right into her face. It took her a moment to realize who the person in front of her was. She stared at him as if he was a museum piece. Her eyes widened in shock but she regained her posture.
‘He’s here just to have coffee or something’, she told herself and asked, ‘What can I get you?’
‘Few words with you’, Susheel replied. Swetha stared at him in disbelief. He was here for her! She could hardly believe what was happening. She nodded, still dazed and followed him out of the café. Susheel unlocked the car and held the door open for her. He closed the door behind her and got in. Swetha was still too shocked to even question his actions. He started the car and drove out of the city. Neither of them spoke throughout the drive.
He braked the car to a side and looked at her. Swetha looked at him, motionless. He fixed his eyes on hers. He gulped mouthful of air. Tension filled the air. He edged towards her, not breaking the eye-contact. He raised his hand and held her face. Instinctively, Swetha moved towards him. Her blood was drumming in her ears. Her eyes closed as his lips locked with hers. The world around lost its focus.
Their lips broke into wide smiles as they drew apart.
‘Awesome lyrics, typewriter girl’, Susheel whispered in Swetha’s ear. She let out a low laugh, blushing red. He rested his head on her and rubbed his hand gently on her cheek.
‘I’m sorry it took me so long to realize that you were looking at me with love and not irritation.’
Swetha drew back, surprised.
‘You thought I was irritated with you?’ she exhaled. Susheel looked at her in confusion.
‘I thought you were irritated with me for looking at you’, she told him.
‘Irritated at you?’ Susheel laughed. ‘I always hoped you would look at me longer.’ Swetha laughed.
‘Wow! At least I am glad I found this typewriter. You know I thought you stopped coming to the cafe because you found out out was me and I was so tensed…’ Susheel looked at her amused, and closed his lips on her.