Chapter 8

Written by: Lrennes

            “I see being a successful businessman has changed you, Saumya. The Saumya I used to know would never have lied like you just did. And he definitely wouldn't have gone behind a friend's back like that either.” Mahak scolded the man who sat across the table from her.

            “What do you mean? I don't know what you're talking about,” he replied defensively, his eyes widening in shock at the accusation.

            “I think you do,” she replied.          

            Saumya sat uncomfortably as Mahak explained that, earlier that day, after meeting him and receiving the note from Gaurav after the game, she had decided to try and avoid facing the awkward double date that lay ahead. Instead, she had contacted Gaurav's parents again. Again, they had told her that they had not heard from their son, but this time she hadn't believed them. She had made the trip  to their house and shown up unannounced to see for herself. At first they had tried to repel her, to persuade her to leave without further investigation, but eventually a voice from inside stayed their hand and they had let her inside. The voice was Gaurav's.          

            As soon as she mentioned that she had met Gaurav, Saumya's demeanour changed from feigned offence at the insinuation that he was being anything other than honest and sincere to that of a man who realized he had been caught out in an unscrupulous lie. Acceptance that there was no explaining his way out of this one seemed to overtake his taut features.

            “You know what I found, don't you?” Mahak asked. Her accusatory tone was met with a reluctant, yet confessional nod.

            When Mahak had made her way into the house, following the familiar voice which she had not heard in so long, what she found was not the man she remembered and loved. Instead, she found a shadow of the man she had missed so much. His gaunt features smiled up at her from atop his withered frame. His clothes hung loosely over his thin, depleted body. His limbs appeared so atrophied they appeared unable to perform even the simplest of functions they once were able to. Indeed, he sat perched upon a wheelchair, indicating that he was no longer able to walk. His thin arms lay limply on his lap. He seemed to be struggling to find the strength to hold his head up, such was the extent to which the strength of the muscles in his neck had diminished. The sight had brought her instantly to tears.          

            “So you see, Saumya, Gaurav didn't disappear because he didn't love me. He disappeared because he loved me too much to put me through the pain that he knew was coming. I would've stayed though, had he told me. But he knew that. And he told me about the conversation you had the other day, about how it really went. It wasn't quite as you said it was, was it? Would you care to explain yourself, Saumya?”

 

Comments

What a surprise ending. Disability is an area that no writers have touched on so I think it is worth exploring. I was able to see every inflection and imagine Mahak's emotions. I wonder what it was he suffered and I wonder how Mahak will react. Just a point you might like to consider: avoid using the same word twice in the same sentence. Two 'strengths' in the following sentence.

He seemed to be struggling to find the strength to hold his head up, such was the extent to which the strength of the muscles in his neck had diminished.

Your writing flows and is enjoyable to read. Well done.
Very interesting twist. Holds the attention and as Suraya said, disability is an area that's not explored very often. Nice!