The Strawberry 

She was smiling through the shattered glass…


The papers flew away from the force. The glass broke into a hundred pieces. The inkpot tumbled and drenched my song with a deep blue. Specks of ink stippled my bruised hand. Yet another lonesome night, and yet another epoch of silence, broken by my impulsive response to all my tragedies. 

She was smiling through the shattered glass. Her long wavy black hair smelled of strawberries. The peach top reminded me of all her madness. She was irresistible, both in life and in picture. I tried to pick her up, but a splinter pierced through my finger and my hands dropped the frame. 

Stupid me. Stupid Stupid Stupid me. 

You don’t go picking up broken frames. 

It had been years since we broke up, but I was still writing the first scene of our story.  Ridiculous, right?

We were good, like two stupid lovebirds are supposed to be. We’d hold hands and talk through the evening, watching the dusk as it melted away. The terrace was always so full of love that we didn’t even mind mosquitoes. We’d watch the stars, our bodies so close that our cells would start to fuse together. We’d laugh and talk and savor the silence between the words. I’d pretend to be a palmist and tell her that she was going to marry me. 

“It’s written. So clearly written. You see this line here? This is it. We are getting married. ”

She’d pout her lips and say,

“Umm…actually, you’re holding the wrong hand. ”

My love story was amazing. It had everything – humour, suspense, lust, thrill, love. The only thing it lacked was tragedy. 

Her dad worked in a shitty department which kept transferring people for fun. The day the transfer letter arrived, we watched the dusk through tears. But we were confident we would survive. I mean wasn’t this the best love story of all time! It was supposed to remain despite all tragedies. 

She gave me a number the next morning. 

“Call me. Everyday. ”

I looked at her and realized this thing in that instant – if ever was I going to marry somebody, it would be this sixteen year old girl. And I’d write our love story and it’d be a record breaking bestseller. 

We were inseparable after that. I called her everyday and told her how much I missed her. She told me that she missed me more and then we had a fight over who missed whom more. She always won, because why shouldn’t she. I was sure we’d make history some day. 

Then, one day, her number went busy. And half a month later, she was dating someone else. 

I don’t know what happened. But that was just the prologue to my story. Real shit started happening after the breakup. I could not forget her. You can’t ever erase the existence of someone you loved from your memory. 

I tried writing about us, but I could never finish the prologue. I always thought it was incomplete. So I sat at my table, at the dusk of every weekend, and tried to scribble my tragic melody on paper. It’s a sad life, trust me.

The frame lay there, covered in shards. Her cheeks were covered with blood, and yet she was smiling, unaffected. That’s the moment I got to know – she’ll never understand my pain. No matter how much I cry, whine or write, she’s always going to be smiling. She’s just a picture. That’s all that remained. 

The maid swept the room the next day. She asked if she should keep the photo on my table. 

“Nah. Drop it in the trash. “I said. 

The strawberry in my room gradually whittled away. 

2 thoughts on “The Strawberry 

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