It had been a good Saturday for him, the meeting had gone well in the afternoon.Towards the evening he saw the two movies he had been waiting for since a long time.He always loved "Al Pacino", a big fan of his,he could watch any of his movies any number of times.It was around 1 am when he came out of the theatre.Bidding adieu to his friend he walked towards his other "love",his Karizma.There was a very pleasant breeze blowing carrying the smell of the land whose thirst had been quenched by the rains.He loved that smell,and the fact that he would now go for a long drive gave him joy.The joy though was not fulfilling,something was growing within him, making his heart heavy.He was trying to shrug it off,but it clanged on making him worse and worse.
He reached home after having covered 35 Kms in 27 minutes on his bike.He parked his bike slowly inside his house ensuring he did not disturb his parents who were asleep and went upstairs to his room,his room.. a place he dreaded, the thought of him having to spend time in it itself made him feel like crying, but crying was something he had forgotten to do for many months now.No,it was not that he did not cry, he did ,but within his heart,struggling to force the tears out,but they refused.They had dried up or rather had seeped deep into the abyss of his heart.As he opened the door and walked in,he lay his eyes on his saviour, his laptop!
He had over the last two years managed to use it as an instrument to handle himself,his emotions,his crazy thoughts.He managed to suppress them all by finding something or the other on his laptop to do,to keep his mind distracted,to keep his lighter side active,switched on.The two sides of him,the two faces, each meant to handle different facets of his life.He had created the lighter one to be able to pursue his career interests,he modelled it to have no space for emotions,no sentimental memories,no desirable human attribute in it,he had modelled it to be like a program which worked based on a set of given principles,inputs and parameters.He had created it ,to enforce a very fragile balance in his life,to wane out the influence of is "Darker side".
To his dismay he found that the net connection had been disconnected and due to the Ganesh procession the service would be down for another 24 hrs. TWENTY FOUR HOURS !!! he said to himself, as fear started to grip his heart again, bringing to surface the darker side.He lay down on his bed,facing the window through which he could see the stars and the friend who had been with him,through all that he had faced in his life, from the first day .There was something about his friend that he liked since he was 13 years old,he never could find out what it was. He couldn't care less as long as they, his dark side and his friend, were friends. He and his friend... THE ORION.
As the night progressed, the dark side had completely emerged and was in unison with the Orion.His past flashed in front of his eyes as a sequence of various instances being displayed so fast,that they seemed to be in motion.He remembered the first time he had read the phrase "Business Tycoon" in class 3 and how it had fascinated him ever since, sowing the seeds of his desire to be one someday.He always had faith in God and maybe it was his faith, or his intuition, or maybe his sixth sense, or maybe the fact that every horoscope reader, palmist and family guru predicted the same,that he believed he would achieve it.His faith had not been compromised.After graduation he immediately got an offer from a firm where he entered the field of Investment banking,learning about various markets along with some coding, but that he did not mind.He soon was recognised for his aptitude in the Field,his work being appreciated and duly rewarded within 4 months, in the form of a hike.Life was good,and then got even better with an offer from an ex-manager for joining his firm as a business consultant and a share in the revenues..He was almost a partner,already on the path to be an entrepreneur..! Life had rewarded him generously by giving him opportunities,surrounding him with great people who approved of him,recognised some skill in him.He had not been the "hard working" guy .. never,not in his studies,nor in his job, in nothing..though in his job he managed to do well without working hard,things there naturally came to him.
As he kept staring at the Orion, his heart reached out for him and cried out.."I don't want it! none of it! I can give it all up! I don't want to pay the price you have been charging me with. Please let me have my serenity in the future at least....I want my sanity,my innocence,my purity back. Give it back, give it back,back....".It was at that moment that he closed his eyes and saw the flashes of his past, the past of his darker side....... He saw all the efforts he had put in trying to descry the shadows, the mystery behind why the exist only when there is light? In trying to find an answer to why he had loved them ... why he loved even the pain he suffered for them ...Why they found serenity in him?, why he could not don his contumacious, aggravating garb in front of them..? Why when he believed that people only made an opinion of someone based on what he/she show them to the world,did he show them his real side... Why when he truly loved them,did his fate not comply....???
All of a sudden amidst the flurry of questions, a picture of the center table whose broken corner stood as the momento of his anger flashed. He had punched it with his fists out of anger on his mom,.The redness on his knuckles was still there and a slight tinge of pain too.He saw what he was turning into.He saw how slowly he was distancing himself from the 8 people who were his close friends.How he was getting into more cursory friendships,with no personal strings attached.He saw how e was shying away from spending time with his own parents... He saw how he was loosing all he valued because of the rage that seethed within him,the anger that surfaced only in font of his loved ones,his parents.He saw the shame and the pain he felt after each outburst... and more so the pain he caused to them...He had always apologised afterwards...but that was never enough for his conscience.He saw how people at his work had liked him and often called him out,made him a member of their circle,even though he was 5 6 years younger to them... and he saw how he never got worked up with them...
That night he apologised to his friend and those whom he had hurt.. He apologised to his first love saying
"I know you never held me responsible for anything, neither did the world, instead you have often thanked me for the way I have been there for you and so has the world .. but at the end of the day, I know i could not fulfil my promise could not conquer your fate, could not make true the dreams you saw for us... Everything else are only reparations, but you know as much as I, even if i paid them my whole life,they don't undo the damage that has been done...For the 8 years we spent in love and the next 2 as friends, I could manage to see you only 4 times in the last 6 years, and talk a few more times... I could not be there for you even as an ear, when you went through the most painful times... and I am sorry i could not fight all odds for you ..."
His eyes opened for a while and he saw his friend shifting towards the horizon and before he would leave he closed his eyes again..and begged forgiveness from his second love..
" Peach, you always told me that you loved me and will continue to do so,you told me to leave you for my good, you told me that I was not responsible for what happened and it was you who made the mistake... but I know i was at fault too.. I failed to be strong,failed to overcome my weakness and do the right thing at the right time.. I can't give that as an excuse to you ... so what if you made a mistake, why did i let you ... if i loved you ... and there lies my fallacy .. there in my crime... i self arraign myself ... judge guilty as charged... I can't even apologise to you .... I could have averted it all, all i needed to be was strong and I failed to be that and for that reason.... i don't deserve it anymore... for i was not able to fulfil the meaning of love .... I know you will always love me .. so will she .. and probably that's why it hurts even more,it pains even more ...You made me a child again .. you gave me moments i had never lived as a teenager... you filled the void in my life .. and landed up having one created for you ... I loved to see you smile,see the mischief in your eyes .. and now i see pain and i am banished from helping you, due to my own faults.... maybe, The pain is the fee he charges me for the things he blesses me with ... believe me I would give it all back in one stride.. if only he gave me that choice ..If only.."
He turned towards his friends and told them that he valued them a lot and the fact lay that he knew that they would be there for him even many years down the line, probably that is why he kept them in the dark for sometime,dared to be away from them for some time...He told them that he would have no one without them left to fall upon to derive strength from, but he needed to salvage his pride,regain the strength he had lost somewhere in the line of fulfilling relationships... he asked them for some alone time ..... the horizon had been cleared and dawn was breaking in,he turned to the other side and closed his eyes to sleep, and there was one drop of tear in his right eye, maybe it was due to fatigue or maybe,finally that day he had cried.....
It takes a lot to write someones feelings down and reveal them to the world .... I did this on the behest of 2 3 people who asked me to vent out ... each suggested a different way ... I chose this one .... i would prefer if You treated this as just another short story based on an incident and leave it at that .... It's a request --- Descrying the shadows....