Anatomy of a Goodbye

Trees along the road brooded on their faint shadows as night drew nearer. Vish walked up to the door of Mr. and Mrs. Mehra’s house and knocked gently. A few seconds went by. His eyes wandered towards the doormat on which he had once spilled a cup of tea. Then the door opened.

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It was almost dark. As Megan parked her car in the driveway and got out, she saw the movers take out a green couch out of the house. A little pang of nostalgia rose in her, then swiftly dissolved into an overwhelming sense of liberty. In the past one year, she had spent many hours lying on this couch. Most of them had been miserable.

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The winter sun had been decaying all afternoon like a rotten fruit. Now it suddenly gave up its struggle and darkness fell on the little town like a heavy blanket. The four buildings of the boys’ hostel tried to be defiant against the slowly approaching fog, but only managed to stand awkwardly in the speckled light of the few working street lamps. Lights from some windows stared out in the darkness, as if surprised at the unexpected arrival of the night.

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All About Jon

He stands at the beach, looking at the ocean heaving in front of him like a giant cauldron, the waves crashing relentlessly on the rocks. In his right hand, he gently caresses an old watch that glints in the afternoon sun.

Are those opening lines enough to create a picture for you, dear reader? Perhaps you want more details. The clear horizon speckled by a single sailboat, the water shimmering in the sunlight, bunched-up seaweed forming little dark clouds in the water. And then perhaps, more about the beach itself: the young couple in the distance, and nearer, a tiny shop, the shopkeeper not surprisingly absent at this time when the beach is mostly empty. Next to us is a sand castle that’s beautiful but too close to the shore. As we watch, a large wave washes up over it, leaving a million formless sand particles in its wake.

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The boy just delivered the newspaper to my room, with a smile like always. He’s a sweet kid, but I don’t think he will make much of himself in life. He’s too nice! In the last one week that he has been here, I have made it a point to never smile at him. But he smiles at me every time he sees me. Every damn time! Now don’t get me wrong, I got nothing against the kid. But sooner or later he’ll have to find out that the world is not filled with sweet people who just want love!

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2007, Delhi

Kirti and Vasu are standing along the road that eventually curves and leads to the college canteen. A car is stands next to them in which their friend, Shubham, is putting in the last of Kirti’s luggage. Vasu’s hand is holds the Kirti’s tiny fingers in one hand,  left hand in his right one while using his left hand to hold one of her numerous bags, many of which are now in the car. Kirti is using her right hand to wipe out a tear, one of the many flowing down her cheeks in an endless stream. She hates goodbyes.

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