Her Story

The fountain pen dropped. With it spread all of its black ink on the floor that she had filled only minutes before. Perhaps its nib had broken too. It had been a gift from an old friend, a mentor, on her twelfth birthday who told her that she would do wonders with this pen.

Only this would have been a dream unfulfilled. Someone else’s.

Only she had been trapped—tricked into believing that she could write.

Though there were times that she had actually written—letters to people, to God, had been published in children magazines and won contests, but it had never mattered to her. For her, only one story mattered. The one she was born with. The one that she carried wherever she went.

She did not even look down at the white floor which had now been stained. Another friend lost, she thought. Another dream shattered.

Her gaze drifted from the notebook to the sky outside the window which showed a streak of white light.

The sun would be out soon. It was 5 am.

Another night of insomnia gone. Another day looking forward to be lived. It had been two years precisely, she recalled. Two years since the nights veiled her, the days depressed her. Two years since her first rejection. ‘No ma’am, we’re looking for something more solid, something more interesting to grab attention.’ She couldn’t tell him but that’s what my life has offered me all those years.

She had remained silent.

She had waited.

No shortcuts. No references. She had walked the long way. Actually she had preferred the pain. The fruit you eat after a hard labor is always sweeter. She remembered his mentor’s words. But the fruit didn’t seem to be coming.

5: 10 am. The sky was almost blue. Clear. Crystal. The two-day continuous rain had washed away all the dirt, drained all the filth with it. But she was not impressed. It had brought back all the colors too. The greens of leaves, the browns of trunks, the gray of the winding road below. The rains had stopped making sense for her.

Why did the heavens cry? She knew it was never meant for her. But she had yet to find out.  

The first time she had entered the office with her blue notebook, the man hadn’t even looked up at her. He didn’t have time for amateurs.

Then came another rejection and then another.

A woman asked her if she had been published before. She gave her the references. But the woman with the parrot nose and hawk eyes said, You don’t understand dear. Not these little articles in tabloids and magazines. A Solid hardcopy. Yes dear, that’s what I’m talking about. It had been a voice firmly practiced. Gentle but firm. Gentle but lacking the kindness of a humane tone.

 She began detesting the word ‘solid’. Solid plots, solid copies, solid writings, solid publications—but her life had never been considered solid for once.

5: 23 am. The ink had dried by now. There were no signs of rain today. But it had left its signs nevertheless; the cool air hitting her face, the umbrellas still hanging in people’s balconies, the muddy trails in park’s neighborhood and the bugs that had come out of nowhere—the weather had surely changed.

Her story was still unfinished. All her interviewers had wanted a drama, a twist and a climax. But her story had been even and unwavering. Not exactly happy or happening—it had been woeful—but unflattering. Maybe, she thought, maybe it was time to add a climax.  

She picked up the fountain pen with the broken nib from the floor seeped with ink.

Maybe this time, they will have a story with a climax and an ending.     

The clock read 5:29 am in the morning.

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11 comments

  1. I have to say and admit that I usually wouldn’t bother to comment but what I just read was endearing and had my full anticipation, I’d like to know what she writes after all that drama ? the twist ? and the climax ?

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    1. Thank you for your kind words. Actually, she writes the fate of her life. The climax refers to the story of her life that would be written afterwards (as she thinks). She picks up the ‘broken pen’: she commits suicide.

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      1. no need for thanks as such, I hoped she’d spill some ink on the walls or the floor and write more than just let death be the climax. This might come off as dark but death is not much of story, it’s the boring end.

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      2. It might be for you. For her, the story of her life mattered. Not the story that she might have imagined to be. And for her written story to catch the climax, her real story needed to have a climax. And her climax was her departure.

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      3. No it might not be, but perhaps that was what she was trying to find out all those years. If her life did not give her a climax, may be her death should.
        I am not defending her in any way. It’s just that for some people, decisions work that way: either it is a yes or a no. Black or white. 🙂

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      4. life isn’t that black and white. one tends to block out a lot of scenarios and try to pretend that every decision can be made into simple yes or nos but sadly what happens is nothing. if that was what she thought best of her situation and scenario, I believe she deserved the end.

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  2. if decisions were like straight lines, life would be fair with no oblique ends. less philosophy and more in the context of your story now – dying is a climax for those who are alive to see who dies and sometimes that’s not much either.

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