Akash Rumade's picture
Akash Rumade from Mumbai. India is reading Assasins Creed Renaissance February 12, 2014 - 12:11pm

Stand By Me
-A Tale.
By Akash Vikas Rumade
Edited by
Pratish Sachin Parab

   Somewhere in 2024,
     Aditya took a sip from his tea and slurped in dismay. It might have been his tenth cup for that day. He rolled his tongue a bit inside as it could no longer bear the heat. He kept the cup aside on table in his gallery. It was two in morning and he was still awake. His eyes had reddened a bit, hair messed up due to last hasty fortnight. He entwined his fingers with an enormous grip and kept praying to the Almighty. He kept praying for a passage out of all the pain he had gone through, and for the burden which was going to lie further. But all his prayers, thoughts converged at well-being of a single person Aparna. Thinking of her made it hard for him to open his eyes. But he had to, for he had to make her tonight wonderful. Stretching his neck a bit on either side, he straightened his grey sweater a bit and came inside his room.
     He closed doors of gallery and went besides Aparna’s bed. At just age of 33 she almost looked half-a-decade older than now. She couldn’t help staring at her personal heart rate monitor. As the numbers descended a bit so did she frowned a little. She wished she could buy much time for herself.  He sat near her and touched her cheek softly. Holding her other hand, he spoke with a heavy breath, “I knew about YOLO, but never thought about YOLS?”
    She giggled a bit and asked him, “What’s ‘S’ for, sexy?” She woke up and gulped water from the bottle beside her bed.
    Aditya couldn’t believe at her sense of humor and gave her a perplexed look. What he meant for ‘S’ was ‘Short’, but caved into her silly thought. Moving his hands through her medium straight brown hairs that attributed her oval shaped face, he rose and kissed on her forehead.  He freed her wrist from HRM machine and kept it aside.
    He stood up and walked pass the room. There lied a disc player on wooden table across her bed. He opened a disc cover, inside it was a CD on which was written ‘Mix tape for Aparna-14/02/2014.’ A decade has passed since then but the disc and world had still remained the same- ‘Vintage’. He inserted the disc and pressed the play button on the disc player. As the soothing music of RnB began to absorb in the purple lit room, he surfed through the printed-out manuscripts of the novel lying on table. ‘Aparna Rane’- Seeing her name in bold on papers made him feel proud.  He thought things were much simpler, sweeter and honest before.
    He gave a twist and facing her sang along with the song, “When the night has come”
    Standing up and moving near him she continued, “And the land is dark”
    And as both of them sang, “And the moon is the only light we'll see” they had almost reached gallery.
They kept slow-dancing there on tuneful song ‘Stand by me’ under the moonlight. Although the moon shone brightly in the sky, crickets kept chirping, the beautiful yellow evening primrose flower bloomed and enamored their moments, nothing could steal his gaze from the smile that lingered on her content face.  She tiptoed and whispered in his ears, “Let my short, sexy secret wither away with me.”
    As he cupped her face they both could feel heat surging through their chest. It became hard to breathe for him and so he sealed his lips over hers. Time had ceased to exist. At last she realized how eternal their love was like the space-time continuum she always wrote about. He didn’t want to cry for he had now realized that their last kiss had become as terrifying as their first. And then he whispered in her ears, “Goodbye, my lover.” He then just stood there hugging her tightly as turbulent stream of tears started flowing down his eyes.
Way Back in 2013,
        ‘Someday, someone walks into your life and makes you realize why it never worked out with anyone else.’ Well Aditya couldn’t remember where he had read those lines but the lady who had walked into the lounge and sat across his table brought sense to those words. This young lady who had just sat ordered a Hoegaarden beer and threw a glance at Aditya sitting in front of him. Aditya who took a sip of his Wine, spit out a little on seeing her smile. She couldn’t help giving a wider smile. As her order arrived she started drinking slowly. As she kept immersing in her drink and pop songs that were being played around she took out her diary and started scribbling something on it. It was twelve in noon and so not much people were there in noon. No there isn’t a particular time-table for drinking but most of the sane people usually like to drink as the sun starts to set behind the hills. And here were two insane sitting in the lounge drinking and absorbing themselves in their works. Aditya while writing down in his small notebook couldn’t help thinking what the lady in front of him might be jotting down. As she saw him staring at her, “It’s not good manners for a gentleman to keep staring that way.”
         She calling him a gentleman was like a score for him. He immediately replied, “No it isn’t like that. I just couldn’t help seeing you engrossed in composing something with your tender hand on that piece of parchment.”
        She smirked as she took one more sip of her beer. “Well you seem to put that in a very beautiful way. Are you a Writer?”
       Ushering a good conversation was what he wanted for now. And so as he folds his hand he began, “Aditya Jog, Architect by job and writer by soul. And you looked exquisite as you were penning down, whatever that were drifting in your mind”
       She replied, “That’s flattering. Why don’t you join in here with me Aditya? I would be glad to have a company with you. By the way my name’s Aparna Rane, well I am kind of a, well it’s undefined. I keep doing things I like.”
      He couldn’t help steal a glance at her scribbling on the diary as they began chatting with each other. The page was filled with some kind of concentric elliptical circles and below them were some equations and numbers. As it came to her notice she carefully closed her diary while keeping the conversation still on.  Those kinds of equations had been seen by him but it seems ages ago when, Physics was his subject in college. Aditya ignoring those thoughts started hitting off the new friendship which he wishes could blossom into something new. As they kept talking they came to know that how both of them used to live in same area during their college days. They kept thinking how silly it was that they hadn’t bump into each other even once in four years. For now at present she had shifted herself back to her home at Alibaug and often worked as a freelancer for a magazine. Just few miles away from coast of Alibaug Aditya ran his father’s architect firm.
   Fate had brought both of them to meet that day and had raised hopes by bringing them together at such a proximate distance from each other. Square law of attraction was working its magic for lesser the distance more will be the attraction. After that cordial exchange of words and drinks came the moment of departure. They didn’t need to promise each other about meeting again for both of them were eager to meet again soon in Alibaug.
   Weeks went by, so passed the months of casual dating between Aparna and Aditya. A mutual trust had cemented their relationship and in a year they were in a live-in relationship. Once while working on his first novel Aditya accidentally found few papers lying on Aparna’s desk. Assuming them to be her magazine’s papers he tidied the table. But the writing on the papers was done by pencil. The paper was faintly titled in italics, ‘White Holes-A Dark Mystery.’ The paper was filled with some hand drawn graphs and derived mathematical equations. As Aparna stepped in the house, she realized that she had left those papers just lying and now he had seen them. The discovery of such papers weren’t ready to imbibe, for curiosity made him wonder how a lady who writes a travel column for magazine could write stuff like that. Aparna came near him and began to explain him. It wasn’t easy to digest initially but the beautiful girl who sat beside him had been homeschooled most of her childhood days. And then she had realized quite long ago what her actual interests were. But she kept it hidden; this prodigious talent was carefully kept away from outer world by her.
   After hearing everything Aditya looked at her in amazement. He teased her, “Hey you turned out be more scholar than you pretend to be. I am happy that you never stuck yourself into those three F’s”
  She gave a sigh on his mature understanding of her explanation. She replied instantly, “What three F’s?”
  He said, “Those after which every girl nowadays fancies about. Fame, Fashion and Fortune”
  She giggled a little biting her lower lip, “Oh I thought you were going to use the ‘F’ word too?”
  He couldn’t reject her amorous advances. “Ohh about that, I shall see that you get the fun.”
Few months later,
      Aparna was unwilling to accept the stupid suggestion made by Aditya.  History had witnessed how world wasn’t still ready to accept a woman as physicist in ranks of the earlier famous ones. What she had until now scribed down were just theoretical papers with just a backbone of mathematics. They were never confirmed by any kind of experiments. They were still like papers of science-fiction.  If those papers never get accepted they wouldn’t even be much worth of fortune. What Aditya was willing to do was swapping their treatise. Aparna knew that he wrote beautiful but her work was just paper with potholes of doubt.
   She said to him, “It would be suicidal for your writing career Adi. Your novels have the possibilities of becoming a best-seller; mine won’t even become headlines in newspaper. ”
   Making her calm he replied, “Mine’s just a work of fiction, Aparna. It won’t matter for betterment of world. But your work has to reach out to the world. It might make people ponder over the assumptions they had been making about this world. At the most what I will lose is just fame which you would eventually get. And I will be happy with it. After all, ‘What’s yours is mine and what’s mine is yours.’
   Aparna didn’t want to do it but finally she caved in to Aditya’s persistent talk. In few months Aditya’s first novel stormed the markets under pen name of Aparna Rane. Aparna’s papers under pen-name of Aditya Jog got rejected as mere work of science-fiction. On night of celebration of book’s success Aparna felt bad over taking Aditya’s credits in her pockets. As they both kept slow dancing alone in their house she said to him, “I never wanted this to happen for you.” She pinched him, “I had warned you about this Adi.”
  Aditya replied moving hand over her back, “It doesn’t matter to me Aparna. I am glad that we tried. They were stupid enough not to realize your intelligent work. But only one work has been rejected, other two are still in the basket. We have to just keep faith. But here I am with you and that’s what all matters to me”
   A cute blush occurred on her face. She said,” Just be with me Adi.”
   He gave a smile as he said the word he had always wanted to say,”Always.”

Sometime in 2024,
     After few weeks of Aparna’s demise Aditya received call from his agent that Aparna’s other paper under his pen-name had been able to impress the people and have qualified for the patent. He requested for few changes to be made. The changes on released patent were that paper was declared as patented by –Aparna Jog. Further few months later a new book came into market as the last in series of his wife’s trilogy. The book was authored under the name –Aditya Rane.
     Aditya sat by seaside throwing stone in the sea in front of his house. He was drinking Hoegaarden beer. As he finished his bottle, he took out his mobile and smiled at the wallpaper. The picture was the last they had clicked together. He uttered, “Your short sexy secret is out, but you aren’t here to celebrate it. I will always miss you.” And then he kissed her pic with tear-filled eyes. He gave a smile as he rested his back to the tall casuarinas watching the sun set at the horizon. Finally everything was at peace now.

big_old_dave's picture
big_old_dave from Watford, about 20 miles outside London, Uk February 12, 2014 - 12:18pm

Bang it in the workshop

Dwayne's picture
Dwayne from Cincinnati, Ohio (suburbs) is reading books that rotate to often to keep this updated February 12, 2014 - 5:09pm

Yeah, workshop it.