Adarsh Raj, 18, is a happy-go-lucky guy, usually silently judging people around him. He loves reading, writing dance rap, football and collects venomous centipedes (and preserve them too). He is working hard to elucidate the meaning of life, existence and the Universe.
Oh and he’s a part-time Pokemon Trainer. *I’m rolling my eyes here*
The following is his winning piece of the Octopus With A Quill (O.W.A.Q.) creative writing contest in the Flash Fiction category.
My name is Raj.
I’ve loved my girlfriend Meera since the time she didn’t even know I existed. Watching her sway up the school stairs, chirping with her friends and the other boys in the college canteen.
I’ve done my time being the patient, silent observer. I’ve spent long enough hoping to be the guy she goes out on a coffee date with. Not anymore.
Today, we are celebrating our fourth anniversary together.
After you’ve been with someone for so long, you get to know everything about each other. I know she hates tomatoes in her burgers, she does a special, quite unnoticeable smirk when she gets some major work done, and she’s the only one who knows that Pearl Jam songs make me cry. I know her morning routines and she knows where all my birthmarks are.
Yet, everyone has their secrets. And there are things about me that Meera doesn’t know. I like to wear make-up, the heavy kind. And I’ve perfected it. Every morning, waking up before the world does, I prepare my visage, polish my facial contours and wear a deception so no one can see my ugly, lumpy face.
We never shower together, never been on a beach date or a pool party either. I’m the spoilsport, always making an excuse. Because water would ruin my efforts, wash away my deception.
But today, I’m nervous beyond compare. For I intend to reveal my secret to her, to show her my true face. After all this while together, I want to know if she’ll still love me for who I really am, deep beneath.
I took Meera out for a movie. Watched her frown and laugh as she sipped Coke and had pop-corn, while absentmindedly stuffing some in my mouth too. Then we went to the carnival. I bought her another plushy tiger to add to her collection. She made me ride those long loopy rides I’m so afraid of. I rode because I wanted her to be the happiest she can be today. That beam on her face, that expressions of awe, that radiating smile, these little things were what I lived, loved and would’ve killed for. Since always.
We finished up at a fancy Japanese restaurant. Aromatic candles scattered asymmetrically on the floor, golden petals dangling from the ceiling, her hands in mine.
“This was it, tell her now, or never”, I kept mumbling to myself.
Before I could say anything, she whispered to me softly, in the most loving voice ever,
“Oh Harman, I love you so much. Happy Anniversary.”
Ah, I changed my mind. I don’t think I want to tell her what happened to Harman, what I did to him four years ago.
“Happy Anniversary, my love…!”
Read Adarsh’s another award-winning entry, A Love No Different.