Does love know age?

The eerie silence of the dark night was broken by a dog’s

howling. He halted and took a look around. No one!

 

His next footstep was like a determined thief. After a

few minutes, he realised that the danger zone was over,

and he walked as briskly as he could.

 

The street was desolate and empty. It was a nippy,

doleful winter night. Years of unhappiness reflected in

the old man’s pensive eyes. But, that night he bore a

confident look on his craggy face although his aged skin

had only a blanket to fight the chill.

 

Light glared from some lamp post at a distance. He

didn’t know how far it was. He had lost his excellent

powers of sight and calculation. But he always believed

his instincts and turned left from the junction. That

must be South.

Yes, South! That’s what she had told him.

 

At that moment, he shared a hate-love relationship

with that winter night. The biting cold numbed his

body giving him uncontrollable shivers and clattering

teeth. But then, he thought, he would encounter her

soon. It would compromise everything he had faced so

far, and anything he would face within a short time.

 

She had made him lonely for a decade, by leaving

him for a better thing, which everyone called ‘Death.’

She had been his very life. A part of him died along with

her that day. His earthly life has been more miserable

since that day. She haunted him.

 

He was aged, but does love know age? Life without

love was certainly no life at all!

 

In hours of trance, he visualised her. Many a time,

she told him how to contact her. He obeyed, but nothing

worked.

 

Last night, she had asked him to get out of the care

home and walk to the South. She said she would be

waiting under a cherry tree. Though reasonable thinking

was alien for his age, he asked her how to know which

way was South and how to locate the cherry tree in the

dark night.

 

All that she said was this, “You will see, however

dark be the night, a big cherry tree full of pink blossoms;

I will be waiting there for you, in a white gown,” she

then paused.

 

“Take whatever direction you like, but ultimately,

you move to the South! Be calm, this time it will work!

See you there…”

 

That was too much for a senile man. The question,

‘Why South?’ skipped his mind.

 

Running away from the care home was not as tough

as he had imagined. The cold night and the drinks had

made the guards forget the world. They might not have

thought too much about the ‘problem man!’

 

He walked, then he ran…but, he didn’t find any

cherry tree. He doubted that he took the wrong path.

He became mad. He walked to all sides. Which was

South? Which was North? Which was East? Which was

West?

 

He experienced the world around him spinning.

“Dear…”

A call from behind frightened him.

He turned and looked.

 

He recognised her in the white gown standing under

the pink cherry tree with both arms stretched towards

him. He sighed in enormous relief, for he had reached

his ultimate destination.

 

He looked at her. She looked attractive as always.

But how did I miss the pink cherry tree? He thought.

But, it was no time to think. He advanced and

embraced her; then he cried like a baby.

All his agonies were gone. He was once again

delighted, and at peace.

 

The night patrol team noted an old man lying dead

under the cherry tree.

 

His hands were tightly clasping a stone, and his body

was covered with pink blooms.

© Mridula

________________________

For short and touching stories like this, please buy short story collection "STILL LOVED STILL MISSED" paperback HERE-https://www.amazon.com/Still-Loved-Missed-Myriad-Souls-ebook/dp/B07PPWBZPN/ref=sr_1_1?crid=13FG7ZMK8H3T8&keywords=still+loved+still+missed&qid=1555312645&s=gateway&sprefix=STILL+LOVED+STLL+M%2Caps%2C504&sr=8-1

 

E-book is available for FREE DOWNLOAD, please read and review on Amazon.

Looking forward to the valubale feedback from TSM members all over the world.

Love & regards, Dr.Mridula from

Comments

This is a nice incisive short story. There were two sentences that I think could be replaced or omitted. In para 5, the sentence starting "It would compromise everything . . .   I found that to be a little out of place, because I immediately thoought, "what" and "how" and thus temporarily lost the emotional impact, which is strong.  

The second was "He became mad."  Again, I don't see that adds anything. Maybe the word "mad" is wrong because I immediately thought "insane" but it is when writing this I think maybe not. But with a story like this that is laden with motion, you don't want the reader to stop and wonder. At least I wouldn't. 

However, as I said, a good short story. Well done.