Thursday, September 20, 2007

What went wrong?


Henry had lunch in the district court premises itself. As he was climbing down the steps of the old, Victorian building, having just been legally declared single again by a piece of paper and an old, tight lipped man who knew nothing about who he was, who "they" had been or what had gone wrong, he saw her wave to him from a tree shade near the parking lot.

Why now?, he thought. Why NOW? Isn't it over? Why now? It hasn't even been an hour! She still wants to talk? What is left to talk about after all this? He had avoided looking at her all through the proceedings, as she had avoided looking at him, they had let their lawyers take up their cases and strangle out whatever little life must have been left of their bond. He was still thinking all this, when instinctively his hand waved back at her. If this was not enough, his lips betrayed him into a smirk. She smiled back warmly.

As he stepped down the last step, she had crossed the lot and was there in front of him. She opened her arms and they hugged, and he could already feel an alienness in her, she was not his anymore. He felt awkward at touching her, hugging her, even looking at her. She is now a stranger to me, he reasoned and accepted his quirky behaviour thus.

She looked deep into his eyes and asked, "What went wrong Henry?" He just gazed at her, astounded that she could even ask him this question, amazed at her naivette and enraged at her neglect. Doesn't she know? Or maybe she genuinely didn't. Oh well, if she doesn't know, then maybe she doesn't deserve to know as well. He just gazed at her for as long as he could remember. She could gather that Henry would not be answering her question. They both wandered into each others eyes for what seemed like eternity, each hoping to get a glimpse of the other's soul. He, inquiring the nature of the query as a genuine one or a mockery of what they had just ended; She, trying to get an answer to her question and in the absence of it, a reason for the same.

Henry dropped his bag to break the silence. They were back into the world. He bent down, hoping to catch a glimpse of her pink sandals for one last time that he wanted to, collected his papers, stood up, looked at her curtly for one last time and said, "See you Melinda. Goodbye." And he walked up to his car and drove away. Melinda, looked at the cloud of dust of the departing car, sighed, and muttered to herself, "You should have answered that Henry, if not for me, then for yourself. You should have answered that."

That night Melinda got a note delivered to her house. It said not much, but she knew from the handwriting that it was from him. It went something like this ... "You know when I went away this afternoon, I thought, I should have answered that question. If not for you, then at least for myself I should have answered that question." Melinda smiled to herself, remembering what she had said that afternoon when Henry had gone away. Yes, little, unimportant, human, social differences will never ever change the fact that she and Henry were as close as it came to soul mates. Nothing could change how similar they would think or react to situations. It was reacting to one another, though. where they surprised themselves. Anyhow, she continued to read ... "Yes Melinda, something went wrong. I was seeing it all along, and maybe it was my mistake that I took it as another of your childish idiosyncracies and ignored it. I did have it in my mind for a long time and yes, I DID tell you on multiple occasions, but maybe you were not listening properly or I was not telling it right. You wanna know what went wrong, Melinda? I know what went wrong. It was honesty. Honesty went wrong. I was more honest than I should have been, and you were just not. Honesty went grossly wrong with us Melinda. I was bad for too much of it, and you were worse for too little. That is all.
-Love(?), Henry."


  1. my sympathies (as always)are with you dear...

  2. With me??? Was this piece so traumatic that you start feeling sympathetic towards the author (probably for losing his mind?) or do you mean Henry?

  3. of course Henry...
    how can i even doubt your so joyous and inspiring affair! :P

  4. The last line is a killer! My god, this and the last one were the most awesome pieces I read from any of my contemporaries.... Khare will be proud of you!