A Rant of a Forty year old Me… probably

I don’t remember how many seasons have gone by since then, but I remember it was spring. Back then I was unaware of the consequences that day would bring. It started as a day like any other, and like always, I expected what lied ahead to be a bother. That day for me was a holiday, but I was not expecting anything awesome to come my way.

I was doing my own thing, when I got a call, and what I heard left me jumping around the hall. It was from my girlfriend, and she was back, and it had been many years since we sat down with a joke to crack. I got dressed and raced liks a jet, back to the place we first met.

Later I met her and she said she had something to say. I listened quietly and did as she asked, for she always got her way. I did as she asked and followed her home, where she told her father about us, and when I saw his glare, I knew then that I was trapped in a cage, unable to roam.

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The Cherry Blossom Tree

Kenshi Tora looked at the cherry blossom tree in his garden. The pink leaves falling from the tree looked beautiful. It was a view of serenity. However, he could not feel it. He was the head of his clan, The Tora, meaning the tiger, and the pouncing tiger in the clan’s flag had seen many battles. The leaves falling in serenity reminded him of those battles, with the crimson blood and the chaos.

Kenshi was the Daimyo of his region, a feudal Baron of Japan. He was considered to be the strongest and bravest among his peers, his might overshadowed only by the Emperor himself. A thousand men with swords made by the best blacksmiths in the region followed him. They were his samurai who followed his every command. They would die and kill on his word, but alas, in this time of countless wars and battles, many would fall, and they wouldn’t stand up again, even if the Baron commanded them to. A bitter truth that Kenshi had realized after seeing countless men fall before him, their blood dropping, like the leaves of a Cherry blossom tree.

Kenshi had gained a lot over the years with his strenght and might. Wealth and power, they all grew after every fight. Although Baron Tora had gained a lot from the countless wars of feudal Japan, Kenshi Tora had lost much more. He saw his father bleed out in the field of battle. He had seperated with his friends in the battleground, like leaves seperating from a branch, never to unite again. But his greatest loss came elsewhere, far away feom the bloody massacres of battle.

It was after his dominant victory of the Northern provinces. It was his greatest achievement to date, and he could not wait to return home to share the news with his family. He returned with his men, full of joy from the win. However, that joy did not last long, for as soon as he opened the door to his room, he felt weak and fell to his knees. His men rushed to him, but they too were dumb at the sight in front of them. His wife, in a beautiful Kimono with cherry blossom leaves printed on it, was lying motionless on the bed with their infant son, blood coming out of their slashed throats.

It had been three years, but the pink leaves falling from the tree reminded Kenshi of that ill fated night, of the helplessness he felt. No matter how hard he tried to forget, he was once again grief stricken by the reminder of his greatest loss. This was too much. He did not want to be reminded again. He picked up his axe and chopped down tge Cherry Blossom tree.

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Silwal, The Vampire Slayer

Ashish Silwal looked at the old house in the distance. That old rundown house contained a special object, an armour, a prototype that could probably save humanity from their impending demise. It was the last hope, and it was his job to get it. However, there was a slight problem. Between him and the house, there was a hoard of vampires, thirsty for his blood.

Ashish took a deep breath. He was one of the few people who had been blessed with special powers when the vampires arrived. Nobody knows where the vampires or the powers came from, but no one had the time to ask as they were busy fighting the vampires. However, those with power were few, and humanity was facing defeat after defeat. So, in order to reverse this tide of battle, the humans had created an armour, but the vampires had taken hold of it. So, Ashish, as a member of the Special Corps., was assigned this mission of retrieving it, and he knew he could not fail.

The young vampire slayer took out his customized pistol with silver bullets. With a kick to the ground, he jumped in the air and started shooting at the vampires, guided by the moonlight. One by one the blood suckers fell. The vampires tried to bite him, but he was too fast for them. He kept shooting until he ran out of bullets. However there were still a dozen vampires left, and they quickly surrounded him. They thought he was doomed, but with a smile, he threw away the gun and took off his glasses. But this pair of glasses were peculiar, for the frame was made of silver.

Ashish winked at a vampire and moulded the glass frame into a dart. This was his blessing, his power. He could manipulate silver, one of the few weakness of the vampires. With a swing of his hand, the dart flew into the air, and in a flash, the remaining vampires were dead.

He walked into the house to claim his prize. He opened the chest in the centre of the hall. Here it was, the armour, humanity’s last hope. However, what he saw left Ashish speechless. There was no awesome way of describing the armour, for it looked like a raincoat.

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The Old Lady

The old lady sat on the footpath smoking a cigarette. In front of her was a piece of tarpaulin, and on top of it wad a big pile of gooseberries. She was sitting there to sell them, and this was her source of incomeher daily routine. She did not remember how long had it been since she started selling them on that footpath, but she knew it had been long. For she had been there when the giant building behind her was called the Royal Nepal Airlines Corporation, and it had been about ten years since the Royals were removed.

She used to sell gooseberries in Ason, the busiest place in Kathmandu, Nepal, for retail shopping. However she had to move because the local shopkeepers didn’t like her setting shop outside their doorsteps. She was walking away from that place, when she had discovered the giant building, and the bus park in front of it. The mass of people flowing in and out had motivated her to set up her makeshift  shop there. For some time her business bloomed. She didn’t have land to grow gooseberries, so she had to buy them in order to sale, but the profit was big enough for her to not care.

Many years had passed since those days. For some reason, the number of people in the bus park went up, but her customers went down. Forget the profit, she could barely make money needed to survive the day. On bad days, there were no customers at all, and she had to go to bed with an empty stomach. Today was one of those bad days.

She had been sitting in that bus park since nine in the morning, but her income was dead, so she should be mourning. She looked at the pile of gooseberries in front of her. It was not the best she had ever sold, but she did not have the money to buy better ones. It was getting late, and no matter how many people passed by, no one seemed to notice her. Dejected, she started packing her berries. Looks like her family would go to bed hungry today too. No, she thought. She had to manage some money, some loan, for she could not let her family down.

Her train of thought was interrupted by a young boy in a college dress. He seemed to be interested in the gooseberries. He asked if they were for sale. She apologised and said they were not that good. He said he didn’t mind, and bought some and walked away.

The old lady didn’t know where he came from, or where he would go, but she knew one thing, and that was, she had some money to take home.

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The Red Landline Phone

“But why?”, she asked, holding back her tears, barely holding the phone, but there was no reply. Her love had cut the call without replying. She stood there, her silence interrupted only by the distinct beep of the landline phone.

She was devastated. Her Romeo had broken up with her, saying that she was not her Juliet anymore. He didn’t give any other reason for leaving her, and on top of that, he had done it over the phone. This was just too much. She spinned the dial of the telephone to get a reply, because he was leaving her without saying why. However, he didn’t pick up, no matter how many times she tried. She sat down, unable to comprehend the situation. What had she done wrong? She didn’t know. She had loved him unconditionally, and he did too, at least she believed so. They had been together for years, and now he had left her in tears.

The worst part was that he didn’t give a reason. Was she really that worthless, that he didn’t think it was necessary to tell her why? She didn’t know. She only knew she loved him, but he didn’t love her, and this made her cry. Maybe it was her fault, she started blaming herself. Maybe she was no good, she thought, as she remembered all the quarrels and the fights they fought. Whose fault had it been then? It was probably hers, she thought. No, it was definitely her fault, thats why he left him, she concluded, her heart getting weaker with the growing pain.

This was too much. She couldn’t take it anymore. There was no end to this and she didn’t know where to go, or at whom to shout. So, she found a solution to get all the pain out. She took a knife and cut her wrist open with a slight moan, her blood coloring the floor red, just like the landline phone.

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The Vendor

The old man looked at the young customer standing in front of him. He was standing there, with the payment in his outstretched hand. This was a familiar moment for the vendor, a scene that had repeated itself thousands of time in his life, but for some reason, he felt the script was a little different today.

He had faced many customers over the years. Some were talkative,and some were quiet. Some were rich, and others were richer. No matter how they were, they all had one thing in common. They all had an aura around them, a vibe that they were better than him, and be was a lowly vendor who was beneath them. He never understood why they had to be so rude, but it happened so often that he grew accustomed to it.

However, right now, it was different. The young man gave off no such aura, and the old vendor felt something he hadn’t felt in a long, long time coming from the man in front of him- politeness. He didn’t speak much, but the old man was happy to encounter such a person.

“The world needs more people like you.”, the vendor said with a smile, while receiving the payment. “God looks after good people like you. May he bless you with success.”

“Thank you. I hope he hears you.”, the young atheist replied with a smile, and walked away.

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Facing her Father

He looked at her house from afar. He was going to ask her father for her hand, but he was too nervous to get out of his car. What if he said no? What to do then? Where to go? What if her father thought he was a prick? Just thinking about it made him feel sick. He felt his sweat turning cold, but he knew it was now or never, and he had to be bold. He took a deep breathe and got out of his car, ready to face this battle, no more afraid to get a scar. He knocked on the door, her father answered. He invited him inside, but he got to the point. “Will you let me marry your daughter?”, he said, expecting a slaughter. Surprisingly her father said yes. It went unexpectedly easy, and he wondered why earlier he felt like a mess.

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Your Mom Called

“Hey, its your mother.”, the personal assistant said, while holding on to the call that had just come through.

“Oh.”, replied Richard. “Just tell her I am busy right now. I will call her later.”, he said.

“Yes sir.”, his assistant replied.

“Don’t get me wrong,”, Richie said to himself, “its not that I hate her or anything. I absolutely adore her. Its just that I find her interest in my life, a little too suffocating.”

Richard loved his mother. He just didn’t find it necessary to answer all of her questions and calls. He was a believer of personal space and a very busy man. His mother would call every now and then to check on him, as if he was little boy who was going to school for the first time, and he found this a little annoying. He liked that she cared, but he didn’t like how much she cared. He saw it as unnecessary.

Richie used to answer his mother’s calls at the end of the day, every now and then, but it soon felt too bothersome. That plan was failing. He soon started letting his assistant answer the calls. His assistant had become his perfect backup for this job. The assistant would answer the call, and inform him, and would give a reply according to his instructions. Most of the time it would be an excuse that Richie was busy. Very soon, the assistant stopped bothering him about what to reply. He already knew the drill.

Richard would go around doing his work. His assistant would handle all of his mother’s calls, and at the end of the day, tell him about it. This system felt perfect for Richie, and he got really used to it. Soon, the calls from his mom were less frequent, and he felt the system worked pretty well.

But right now, as he stood outside of the ICU, he regretted this system. His mother was inside, fighting for her life, and as he realised the probability of losing her, he realised all the calls he had ignored and skipped. He was angry at himself for not talking to her directly when he had the chance, but instead relying on his stupid assistant. His mother had probably called recently, and he didn’t even know what she had said. He felt a deep pain in his heart.

“Please God, help me…”, Richard prayed, his thoughts scattered all over the place.

His chain of thought was interrupted by the sudden vibration of his smartphone. He answered the call. It was his assistant.

“Sir”, it was his assistant, ” Today, your mom called. She wanted to ask if you would like to have dinner with her tonight. She also asked me to tell you that She loves you.”

Richard dropped his smartphone, accompanied by tears from his eyes, the pain in his heart too strong for him to keep it inside anymore.

This is the continuation of the story that started with “No backup”. Please do read that story too.
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No Backup

“Its always good to have a backup.” Richard said, tossing a coin. “Everything has a backup. It will help you actually succeed, unlike prayers. “, he preached, as the coin landed on the table.

His friends nodded in agreement. No, they were not really his friends. Richard just viewed them as an accessory, a bunch of people he liked to hang out with. He wasn’t attached to them, nor was he addicted to them. If they left him, he had another bunch like them ready. After all, he was a man who felt the need to have backup for everything.

“Sir, here is the bill.”, the waiter put the bill on the table.

“Richie, I guess its your turn to pay.”, one of his ‘friends’ asked.

“Sure.”, Richie replied as he opened his wallet. There was not enough cash in it. It barely covered half the payment. 

Richard sighed.

Richard Symphony Palmer, better known as Richie among his peers, was a man who had a backup for everything. He was ready for any situation, and if they fell apart, he was ready for that too, as if he was expecting it. You could call him a pessimist for this, but he was simply obsessed with backup.

This obsession started back when he was in primary school, where he was a great and hardworking student, but one day had been punished severely for failing to submit an assignment because his notebook got torn. Ever since then he started having a backup. It made him feel safe. There was a running joke among his peers that even his backup had a backup. Nobody knows if this is true, but no one dared to say it to his face because Richie had always managed to overcome his obstacle and succeed due to his obsession with backup.

“Not enough cash, Richie?,” one of the ‘friends’ asked. 

“Yeah.”, Richie said in a small voice. “Good thing I always have a backup plan.” he said, as he handed the waiter his credit card.

“Its always good to have a plan B.”, he said with a grin. The whole table burst into laughter.

Their laughter was brought to an abrupt halt by the ringing of his phone. He answered the call, still smiling, tossing a coin into the air. However, before the coin could touch the ground, Richie was out of the restaurant dashing towards the nearest bus stop.

That call came an hour ago. He was standing in front of the reception in the hospital ten minutes ago. Right now, he was standing outside the ICU.

“Please God, let her live.”, he prayed for the first time in his mature life, as Richard the man who wholeheartedly believed in backups and plan Bs, realised he had no backup ready to replace his mother.

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A Love Story in the Bus

“Excuse me, is this seat taken?”, a smooth voice asked.

Matilda looked up to see a young man, probably in his mid twenties, leaning towards the empty seat beside her. He was standing on the aisle, and was wearing light brown pants and a bright red sweater, that reminded her of a ripe apple. His blonde hair and shortly trimmed beard seemed to compliment the outfit he was wearing.

“May I seat here?”, he asked again. Matilda shook her head. No words came out of her mouth. She was dumbfounded by the sudden appearance of this young attractive man.

“Sure.”, she finally said.

He took the seat beside her. Soon after the bus started moving, with beautiful scenaries that could be viewed from the window. But Matilda found herself looking somewhere else. She could not take her eyes of this beautiful stranger seating beside her. Realizing this awkward situation, Matilda quickly looked away, diving into her smartphone. No matter how hard she tried, she couldn’t get her mind to think about anything other than the stranger sitting beside her.

“Umm, excuse me. This bus is headed to Kathmandu, right?” he asked. Matilda could not believe it. He was headed to the same place as she was.

“Yes. Actually I am going to the same place.”, she replied.

“Really? Wow. Good to know.”, he nodded. “By the way, my name is Ryan.”

“Matilda.”, she replied, while shaking his outstretched hand.

They talked all the way in the bus. The more they talked, the more Matilda liked Ryan. They had a lot in common. They were both from England. Their food taste, their taste of music, their perception of things, everthing was alike. By the time they had got off the bus, they had become close friends.

“Ok, see you next time.”, Ryan said, before leaving for his hotel. Soon, that next time came. They had both returned back to London, and found out that they lived in the same neighborhood. When Matilda found this out, she was so glad she had added him on facebook and he had kept in touch with her.

They decided to meet at a small cafe in their neighborhood. It was their first date. Soon after, many dates followed. Matilda and Ryan naturally grew close to each other. It was perfect for Matilda. Ryan was the perfect guy for her. She was really happy with him. They always seemed to be on the same page about everything. Ofcourse, they quarreled sometimes, but they managed to stick together through thick and thin. Soon a year had passed.

Matilda had fallen madly in love with him. Finally, Ryan confessed that he felt the same way about her. One day, he took her to her favourite restaurant in all of London, and after they finished their dinner, he got down on his knees, produced a shiny ring from his pocket and proposed to her. It was the best moment of her life for Matilda. She could not believe this was actually happening. She looked deep into his light green eyes, and said Yes.

Alot of things happened, and after countless days of planning and congratulations from friends and other people she hardly knew, the big day finally arrived. It was Matilda’s wedding day. She walked down the aisle in her white dress, a veil covering her face. Ryan was standing there on the aisle, just like when he was standing at that aisle of the bus when they first met. Matilda stood there in front of the altar, facing her groom. It was the best day of her life. Ryan opened his mouth to say his vows.

“Last stop. Kathmandu. Last stop.”

The conductor’s announcement woke Matilda up from her sleep. She had dozed off in the bus, holding her smartphone. The stranger that sat beside her had already gotten off the bus at one of the countless bus stops they had passed. He had probably forgotten about her by now, and Matilda had dreamt about an entire relationship with him, while still in the bus. A love story in the bus, a love story that never began.