Short Stories

Looking outside the Window #23

“So tell us something about yourself dear.” she regressed as the Old lady’s word hit her ears.

She drifted her attention towards the old lady and lost balance. Next thing she knew, the old man was holding her hand. No matter how unpleasant he looked, he had concern in his eyes, for a second, as he held her.

“Are you alright honey? Where were you lost?”

“These mountains, They so steady and  firm. As if they live and watch the world change, like old military men, standing straight, aligned, strong, no matter how old they get, they don’t lose their grip on the discipline of life. The clouds come, settle and go, and the snow. They seem to be part-time lovers and when they leave, the mountains are still right there, scared, yet unbroken and unmoved, dry and hard.” She spoke, regardless of the fact that she was talking to old unknown people.

When she looked back at them, they both were looking at her, with a surprising and yet content smile on their face. “You have beautiful thoughts, my child.” the old lady. “Your imagination is inspiring and pleasant. You seem like a lovely girl.”

She smiled. She instantly felt affectionate towards the old couple, not because they complimented her, but because it was the first time, in a very long time, someone appreciated her thoughts.

They went on with their footsteps and stopped at the outline of a lake. She was confused.”How far is your place?” She worried.
“We need to cross the lake with the boat.” the old man finally said something. He answered so quick as he sensed the troubled tone. To calm her down further he said ” I was a sailor in my youth days, we have a boat waiting for us right there.” He said while pointing on a wooden rowing boat on their right “Don’t worry.”

His words soothed her. The land was visibly nearer, but it was a plane land again. She wondered how far their “shelter” was! The water acted as a mirror and the oars was tearing the image with the ripples and with time, fixed the image which was created in the past. The action repeated and soon became a patter. The was so clear that the world reflected in it. World was divided right in the middle into two. One was reality and the other was upside down. The sky, the clouds, the tress, floating on ripples and the surface. Nobody knew the depth of reflected world. This thought bothered her, the unknown facts. Yet it was so quiet that she felt at peace.

“Were you looking for something which made you come so far?” She asked the old couple.

“We were just exploring” She snickered

“In this age!” he was irritated with the response of the old lady

“Age is just a number, uncle” She said it in a very notorious manner. And they started laughing.

“Where we are staying, is a sacred place, we can’t make love there.” The old man looked surprisingly at the old lady, as if she said something so evil.

“Don’t look at me like that darling! She is an adult.” She continued looking at her “Anyway, in my opinion, making love is the most sacred and pure thing amongst humans. Only he was so hesitant”

The old man and the lost girl got a little awkward and the old man said “Ok honey!” , with emphasis and did not want to discuss it further.

“It’s alright, consider my existence nil, I won’t bother you much anyway”

The old lady was surprised listening to her words “Honey!” she exclaimed “Your existence is not just physical”

“What do you mean?”

“Even after death, what keeps a person alive is the memories, thoughts, deeds and their identity. These things develop a person’s existence. Physically non-existence is called invisibility!”

She couldn’t stop thinking about all that the old lady said. “My identity, and my existence” as things sorted out in her head, her being started making a little more sense to her. She believed that she was present in the world that she existed!

The jolt from the boat hitting the land and she made sense of her physical presence. She realized that the climate was getting colder and she hugged herself and got down from the boat. All she could see was more mountains and not such shelter.

The fog started gathering around the ground and settling on the surface of the lake.

There was long hazy way to go…

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