Monday, 25 June 2012

The Revenge (A very short story)

Looking around the busy crowded restaurant filled Uma with a sense of gratitude. Everyone was busy eating and no one was looking at her. Which means that no one had overheard her whispered conversation on the mobile. So, effectively no one knew that she had been dumped unceremoniously and electronically through a cellphone right at the start of her romantic birthday lunch for two.

There was no reason not to continue through the meal that she had already ordered for them pretending as if she always meant to eat alone. She was proud of the fact that she had not raised her voice nor argued. But then, how could one argue with a man whose excuse for breaking up a five-year-old relation was another woman?

She looked out of the huge window on her right as she sat chewing 'their' favorite Crispy Honey Chicken with Sesame Seeds entree`. It tasted like sawdust though she nodded with a smile at the waiter when she asked how it was and asked for a glass of house red wine.

The window seat was usually reserved for them whenever they visited the restaurant which was almost once every week since they lived in the area. They were well-known as a couple here. The staff also knew that it was her birthday. The manager had already wished her when she had arrived. Soon they'd bring in the customary cake with a candle to the table - it was a normal practice.

Outside the window she saw the waves crashing against the now almost-deserted beach. Fat droplets of  rain had started  splashing some time back from an overcast sky making the tourists scramble for shelter. The locals in their nylon windcheaters were not bothered at first as they stood in the open enjoying the downpour till it turned into a torrent within a few minutes. Many people rushed under the awning of the restaurant near the entrance to avoid the downpour.
Her main course arrived and so did a feeling of slight anger at the sight of the chicken dish. They  always ordered chicken since Aneesh was allergic to sea food and did not eat red meat. She hated chicken! A huge wave crashed on the road and the splash reached across to her window smattering it with sand and salt water. The rain, now falling in an opaque sheet, cleaned up the glass almost as soon as it was splattered.

She squinted at the sea through the thick rain. It was raging and boiling, a huge cauldron of foaming gray water, throwing gigantic waves and spewing back debris that people had thrown into it throughout the year. There were, empty soda cans, broken furniture, a bedraggled and one-armed doll, heaps of dead marigold garlands and shattered bear bottles that had been pushed back on the sand and were now dotting the forlorn beach.


A slow anger started burning at the pit of her stomach as she thought of the mess in her life. The anger was like acid burning inside her belly, a 
turgid mossy green. Soon it had spread like tentacles, pushing its fingers into her intestine, liver and kidney, gripping her lungs with its bony talons, piercing at her heart and choking her breath - strangling her. Her eyes burnt, ears popped, nose smelled of blood and mouth tasted of bile that had risen from somewhere inside her wanting to escape her tortured body.

She closed her eyes for a second and gulped in a deep breath, holding it inside her for a while and then, released it slowly only after her lungs had started burning. The fierce pain that had suddenly started to tear her insides was overcome for a few moments as her mind cleared. But, she knew that her anger needed feeding fast or she may not be able to stop the scream thrashing inside her chest to escape her throat. No, she had to take care of it.

She turned her head in the direction of the awning outside the door and saw a few young mothers clutching their toddlers to their chests trying their best to protect the babies from the lashing water of the sea and the sky - the kids slept on their shoulders, unworried. A young couple probably in college were trying to hide with one windcheater two bulging backpacks that probably carried their books, notebooks and maybe even laptops while they were huddled together under another to keep their backs dry - they looked like they were enjoying it. A couple, either American or Australian judging from their huge size and pale coloring, were hugging and kissing without sparing a thought for the crowd that was gawking at them - they'd emerge from the clutch from time to time to grin at each other before getting on again - like whales coming up for air and then diving back into the ocean. Mostly, the crowd looked bedraggled, soggy and disappointed because their picnic was not going as planned.

Looking at them made Uma forget her own disappointment for a while. With her raw anger under control, her mind took over, scheming and planning. Calm and focused, Uma turned back to the restaurant and signaled to the manager who floated to her side with a smile and a query in his eyes.


"You know it is my birthday today but Aneesh, my fiance, is not able to make it because of water-logging outside his office. He's feeling very bad about it. I told him about the scene here and how the rains and high tide has spoiled other peoples' picnic too and now, he wants me to celebrate my birthday with them so that nobody feels disappointed and I get to have my party." Her smile was beatific and her reference to her fiance was made with just the correct amount of love and dewy-eyed pride. "Please call all the people outside to join me for lunch and please put the tab on Aneesh's account. He insisted."


Later that afternoon after a scrumptious lunch with a room full of happy strangers, the smile on Uma's lips was genuine. She felt smart, cool, wicked, cunning and great! Her anger had evaporated as she blew the candle on the small cake with the entire restaurant singing "happy birthday..."

It was a mixed crowd that afternoon. Some were smartly dressed while the others were slightly wet but everyone was grinning like her, with her. 
Everyone had a great time.



10 comments:

  1. Wow, it's an amazing piece...keep them coming..

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  2. Wow. Amazing piece. Keep them coming..

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  3. This piece is beautiful, love your storytelling style...great going! :)

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  4. lol!! that was still a small price for a big heartache! good story!

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    1. Thanks Indira. It was a spontaneous revenge and it made her feel good. :-)

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  5. Great ! Interesting take into a woman's emotions.

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    1. Thanks sir. I'll keep the points yo had mailed in mind. But, this is a very short story and hence has its limitations. :)

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