Flash fiction- it had happened again

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It had happened again! How could I have been so stupid?  I had sworn never to do it again. Worse, I had been caught doing it. They say there are low moments of your life- when you are so humiliated that you wish that the ground opens up and swallows you whole. I had been caught, and even more embarrassing was the fact that I was topless and my companion was standing in the corner of the room sobbing.

I guess I am getting ahead of myself. Let me start at the beginning.

I walked into the medical store and slyly slid over a piece of paper to the person at the counter. The shopkeeper was an old acquaintance who gave me a questioning look as if to ask “what the hell?”. I just urged him on with a nod to comply with my request and said” put it in a brown paper bag, don’t want anybody to see it” The shopkeeper gave me a conspirational nod and put the package in a plain brown paper bag and slid it towards me. I hastily shoved the package in my jacket and made my way briskly to my motorbike. I drove back to my house stopping to pick up my companion on the way.

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I snuck back into my house and checked to see if the coast was clear. Package in hand, I beckoned my companion as I sprinted up the stairs to my room and locked it after she was inside. I drew the curtains to shield the activity in the room from the outside world.

“Hurry!” she said as I opened the package

“Take off your shirt or it will stain!” I nodded and took my shirt off.

“Hurry someone might come soon. Open it! Open it!” she demanded

“Ok ok!” I replied as I took the package out of the brown paper bag.

As I was opening the package someone started banging on the bedroom door.

“Crap! Someone’s here! what do we do?” she asked panicking

“Stay quiet!” I hissed at her

“Open the door! Why is it locked?”

I signalled my companion to stay quiet

“I know you’re in there, I saw your bike outside.” I heard the jingling of keys and the sound of a key being put into the lock. I looked on as my companion scurried to the corner of the room, quietly sobbing, looking for an exit where there wasn’t one.

I grasped the package tightly looking for a place to stash it. Unfortunately, in times of panic rarely do you get a moment of clarity, and I ended up stuffing the package in the shirt that I had taken off.

There was a moment of silence before the voice outside the door said “Fine, if you are not opening the door, I will”

There was click of the lock and the door swung open letting in a rush of daylight which temporarily stung my eyes. My companion stood silently in the corner of the room sobbing.

My brother walked in the room and looked around briefly before he grabbed my shirt which was now stained as the contents of the package had melted. He extracted the package from the shirt, a few drops dropped on the floor.

“how could you let him do this?” he asked my companion

She gave a sheepish smile as she showed him the chocolate I bribed my sister with.

“You are diabetic, you can’t run around doing this anymore!” he yelled at me as he left the room, throwing the ice cream into the dustbin. I stared longingly as the package contents melted into a small puddle at the bottom of the bin.

“Next time don’t take off the shirt!” my sister remarked as she left the room munching away on the chocolate.

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The lying lady- Flash fiction

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This is a translation of a short story that was written in Urdu.

The sun was at its hottest when he reached home from school. Upon entering the house, he felt his mother’s face light up at his sight. She smiled and said wash up and change your clothes, I will bring your lunch.
He changed his clothes, he wasn’t looking forward to lunch. Instead of the usual vegetables and lentils, a plate of his favorite dish was steaming on the table along with a bowl of dessert and juice.
He asked his mother if everything was alright? She said guests had come over today which is why she cooked so much. He asked his mother to eat with him. She said she already ate with the guests and was completely full.
“Eat up the food is getting cold.” His mother told him lovingly as she left for the kitchen to tidy up. He used to detest lunch everyday, but today his favorites were on the table and he quickly gobbled up his food.
He picked up his plates and went to the kitchen. Upon entering the kitchen he saw the lying lady sitting on the floor eating stale bread with water like a starving person.

That’s her- Flash Fiction

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I did it- I took a leap of faith and followed my heart, a few seconds of courage is all it took. I was feeling elated, the sensation of adrenaline rushing through your veins is indescribable. You feel your heart throbbing right behind your ear, a rush of euphoria fills you.  You can feel the separate drops of sweat forming on your neck; slowly trickling down your nape forming tiny rivulets.

“I take it that she said yes?” Adnan asked

“How did you know?”

Adnan smiled- “It’s practically written on your face. Well that and she told me to cover for her tomorrow afternoon.”

I smiled still basking in the triumphant feeling of a gamble coming off.

“So, where are you taking her?”

I paused- “I don’t know, I didn’t think that she would say yes.”

“How about a movie?” Adnan suggested

“No spending three hours with barely an opportunity to talk?” I countered twirling my moustache.

“How about lunch by the beach and a short walk afterwards?” I asked Adnan.

“Well that’s not a bad idea, but does she know that your interest in her is romantic?” Adnan asked.

“I think so, she did agree to come alone. Plus she also laughed at my jokes”

Adnan stared at me in mock surprise “Never let her go dude.”

“What? I can be funny, can’t I?”

Adnan rolled his eyes and shook his head.

I made my way back to my desk, I had admired for her for the last six months. Granted she was good looking but that wasn’t why I was attracted to her. No it was her kindness that caught my eye. The first time she caught my eye was when she gave half her sandwich to the little errand boy in our office. Though usually a sharp talking individual, the tenderness she showed when giving her food to the little kid was heart warming.

Over the six month period she regularly shared her lunch with the little boy- Talal was his name. He was around 11 and did the work of a full grown person- serving  tea to the people in the office and making countless runs to the stores for various things.

Our lunch hour started from 1 and ended at 2. Every day at precisely 1.50 when Talal would place the pot of water for the afternoon tea, she would make her way to the little makeshift kitchen counter we had in our office. She would look over her shoulder to check whether anybody was watching, this was my cue to pretend to be engrossed in my desktop, usually it involved counting the number of folders on my desktop.

I used to peek from behind my monitor as she always slid her lunch box to Talal and whisper in a conspirational tone “Talal please clean this” with the emphasis on clean.

The kid always smiled and used to say “Thanks baji!” Then he proceeded to eat whatever tasty morsel was in the box, usually a sandwich.

We made small talk after the first time I saw her doing the lunch thing. There is something about falling for someone, that you start to notice all their small quirks and you like all of them.

Anyways the big day arrived and we both agreed to get our orders to go. We each had a burger in hand as we sat down on some rocks watching the tides break against the rocks further out on shore. The conversation was light and interesting. By around 1.30  she started glancing at her watch and wrapped half her burger and placed it in the paper bag that we had originally gotten our order in. I knew what was coming so I told her ” Don’t worry about Talal today,” she looked a little surprised that I knew about that. ” Today I’ve taken care of it.”

She looked relieved and then I confessed to her that it was the reason I had noticed her.

“Taroo!” was her response to my confession implying that I was a gawker.

She had scrunched her nose squinting at me with her grey eyes.

I tensed up for a bit fearing I had said too much.

“So you don’t think that I am good looking?” She asked with mischief in her eyes

“Lets go, we’ve got to be on time.” I said getting up dusting off the seat of my pants.

“I’m in no hurry” she said

“Well I am- Adnan was supposed to be covering for me, but you asked him first.” I grumpily said.

“Alright, but you didn’t answer my question, you don’t think that I am good looking?”

“You’re just fishing for compliments” I smirked. “Besides, I don’t think it makes a lot of difference whether I think you are good looking or not”

“Well,” she hesitated and then said “It makes a lot of difference to me,” her expression was serious now.

“You look like the most beautiful girl in the world,” I said hoping she would catch on to the joke

“Who?” She demanded

“You!” I replied laughing at the ridiculousness of my joke.

She also laughed as we made our journey back to the office. As we were making our way to the kitchen, Adnan came up to us and asked “how was it?” as he fished out his mobile from his pocket, not wanting to sound too enthusiastic in front of her; I just gave him a thumbs up and a nod. She also nodded and said “Best conversation I’ve had in a long time. Thanks for everything” She paused-I didn’t notice Adnan focusing his phone towards me as I focused on her. “Bhai!” (by calling me a brother, she effectively was friend zoning me). My expression turned from attentive to shock to anger.

She and Adnan burst out laughing and she hurriedly added in between peals of laughter “Just kidding!, I wish you could have seen the look on your face!”

Adnan amidst his laughter also managed to get out the words “Actually, you can!” He showed me his phone “I caught it on video!”

There I stood between two laughing people finally able to grasp the concept of bittersweet.

Happily Ever After? Think again!

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And they lived happily ever after.
There is no happily ever after. The story or the movie ends with the hero riding/driving off into the sunset to their happily ever after. Really? We’re supposed to believe that? I think not.
They never tell you the number of times the hero has to listen to his true love whine on the way to the castle about what she doesn’t have. They never tell you the number of times the heroine sulks in the corner because her cooking isn’t as good as her true love’s mother’s. They never tell you about all the stupid purchases that the princess makes and that she doesn’t know how to run a household, because all her life she’s been locked in a tower where she hasn’t handled any money.
Happily ever after my foot. True love’s first kiss may break a spell or whatever but it also gives way to a whole other set of problems. How do you explain to your parents and family that the girl you’re bringing home spent quite sometime living alone in a house with 7 other males? How do you explain to your family that your wife has a tendency to take long naps, which may stretch into days or weeks. When you are a prince, you can’t just present a girl to society who has worked as a maid most of her life, what will you do about the lack of social skills or the inferiority complex that she can’t assume a dominating/commanding role expected from her as a member of the royal family. How do you tell your father that you’re marrying a delusional but wealthy man who spends all day in self pity and talking to his crockery?
These are just some of the problems faced by people in their “happily ever after” So the next time you hear about someone finding true love and their “happily ever after” , don’t beat yourself up, their ever after may not be so happy after all