A Short Story

Author - Hiranmayi Rajeev

The honking of the trains passing by wakes Joe up from his deep sleep. He rolls

over to see the window covered with sticky notes and schedules all over, letting

the sunlight enters only through a gap of a fallen piece of paper.

It is mid-noon and the sunlight is falling directly on the blanket brightening the

dark blue colour of the spilt ink dripping its way on the bundle of crumpled

pages. His head feels heavy and he is not sure about how long he has been asleep.

He gets on his feet and walked across the hall. Nothing in the house has changed.

Every item kept exactly at the same position when it was last used, left

unbothered, and messed.

There is no food left in the house and he has no other choice but to step out of the

house now. The Monday Express was on top of the letters and newspapers that

lay piled up in front of his main door. ‘Monday huh? My weekends never used to

be this way’, Joe thinks to himself.

Weekends were something Joe always looked forward to as a child because every

weekend his dad used to take him to a farmhouse on the outskirts of the city where

he would spend all day with Mr Gregory, who did not just teach him how to write

but also every core principles of life.

He grew up in a busy city where no one had the time to find themselves, rather,

only work and work to make some money so that they could survive in this

expensive place. Here, everyone thought money could buy them everything, but

the truth was that they were selling themselves to the cycle of work and money.

His parents were among them too.

Throughout his childhood, Joe tried to answers these questions and whether living

a life like this was more valuable than living for what you want from life. The writing

was the only way for him to pour his feelings out and hear himself out because

pen and paper were his only best friends and he always owed to Mr Gregory for

introducing him to them. And that is when, as an 8-year-old, Joe decided that he

would only follow his dreams, no matter what occurs.

Like any other writer, Joe also struggled through his early career life. But he

started growing in his career through the years and his books were making their

way through the markets. He was really happy because he was truly doing what

he loves and nothing else mattered to him, or at least that is what he believed.

But over the course of time, like any other person, even Joe got carried away in

the spotlight of fame and money. He was, however, oblivious to this because, for him, all of these were a by-product of what he did as a writer, as a person who

follows his passion.

All that lasted only till the day when his last publication did not work well. His

work was being criticized and this came unexpectedly to him. He was not ready

for it. In fact, no one prepares you to face failures and Joe did not know how to

handle it because now he started doubting himself as a writer, doubting his belief

about following his passion, he was not sure about whom he was dealing as

though he had lost himself and he does not know who he truly is anymore.

Now he sits in the same old farmhouse from where everything started and from

where he thought he had found the answers to all the questions as a child, the

a place where he found himself. In the chaos of growing up, he did not realize what

he was becoming into and now he had to find out what he truly wants and no

another place would be better than the farmhouse to figure it out away from

the noise of the busy city and away from the schedules, just him trying to find little

Joe that he had lost growing up.

Even after having 12 cups of coffee, Joe is not able to bring his head together and

sit patiently to write. Sitting in the middle of a junkyard of papers and coffee cups,

Joe went through the piled-up letters. One of them was an offer-letter by a famous

publisher asking him to send them his best work. This got him on his feet and he

cleaned up the crumbled papers, dusted the typewriter, and sat down to put his

soul into writing a story, and somewhere deep inside, he knew he could do it now,

he felt like he was getting back.

But he was finding it hard to find an idea to write about, he was lacking a story

to describe. He sat there staring at the empty armchair where Mr Robert would

sit and narrate stories of people in the town like characters to him that inspired

him to observe and bring out the stories in people. That’s when he realized that

running away from everything will not give him any answers, rather, accepting

and adapting to changes would. No one can live by sticking on to that one tree of

thought that you planted in the garden of your mind because it is important to

accept that even that tree grows with time and have branches of its own showing

you the different sides of life and it's only when you adapt with all those changes,

all those branches, will you be able to help the tree bloom.

Joe knew exactly what to write now. In the rush of finding stories in others he

had forgotten that there was a story within him as well and it was time to bring

that story out, a short story.

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