Secrets Best Kept

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It was Maggie’s birthday and she has been a road runner all day, flashing her new car keys with style, a birthday gift from her single mother, Saayra. Maggie waited for this day for ages; the day she would get her hands on the wheels of her own ride. Her mother had promised earlier in the year that she would surprise her baby on the birthday she turns 19. Maggie lived in a wonderland; she had stuff since childhood kids couldn't dream of. Her mother raised her with too much love and pamper. She wouldn’t wish for things rather simply demand them and they would be there in her room the following day.

Saayra worked as the Head of Corporate Communications and Public Relations at People Opinions Media Publications, a big daddy company in journalism. She had all the resources and finances to lure anyone to keep the smile on her only daughter’s face.  She has been a doting mother and was often criticized for the same reason, but the nature she possessed was induced in her genes since birth, she herself was a fairy for her dad who was a strict Army General had mellowed for her... She had ruled hearts in her days when she never took no for any reason. So she just continued the family trait and went miles to cover girl's the wish drops.

Although Maggie loved her mother Saayra, couldn’t stand her mother’s everlasting ally, Rehan. He had been around even for no reason. He was a dark shady guy touching forties, just like her mom.

 

He always ambled casually, dangling a leather bag on the left shoulder and a deep cut glistened on his forehead. He was definitely a lip smacking guy who carried a mix of a little attitude and little character. Maggie couldn’t stand the un-heady mix and would not even share a coffee on the table while he was around. Her mother’s fondness and bend towards Rehan often created thoughts in her mind about the relationship they shared.

She wasn’t an orthodox school kid, so would have interfered or disapproved of a status her mother would like to give to that relationship. Yet she unwilling to share her mom with Rehan.  Everyone knew the bond shared by Saayra and Rehan but no one ever inquired or challenged them. They sustained it for long and whatever doubts or presumptions people made were all gone during their years of being together. Rehan was a full blown supporter of Saayra and had been a pillar of support throughout her life. People doubted his intentions including Maggie but could never found a blind spot to attack Rehan.

 

It was evening and they were all prepped to leave for the celebration dinner. Maggie heard some murmuring while crossing the study to find her mother and Rehan discussing something. She peeped in through the side curtain and saw Saayra leaning with teary eyes on Rehan’s shoulder while he tried to sooth her, running his hand on her head and downwards. Maggie had never seen her mother so weak. She knew that her mother hid her pain and troubles from her but she had never seen her broken down like this.

 

She often thought if she was a fruit of Saayra’s and Rehan’s party play days. These feelings often killed her extrovert nature and turned her into an impulsive and irritating maniac. Though she lived the best of life with all the pleasures and pleasantries, the thought of her identity and creation made them artificial supports. She tried to be sly but would often forego any discussion regarding her conception by looking into her doting Mother’s eyes, full of love and care.

 

She couldn’t take it anymore, it was hard to crush the feeling in her heart, she felt it was her right to know the truth. It wasn't fair that her entire existence was a mystery. She banged into the library and spoke her heart out to the shocked faces of Saayra and Rehan. Saayra had never expected such words and tone from Maggie and she herself couldn’t believe she possessed them. Her angry words were to know her father and revelation of the relationship that Saayra and Rehan maintained.

Maggie demanded to know all -- the dark secrets and stories she was kept aloof from, the reason she was fatherless child and name she carried. Her mother broke down and fell on the wooden seat as Rehan tried to give her support. Rehan looked into Maggie’s eyes, turned to get hold of his bag and grabbed what looked like a newspaper and handed over to Maggie. She turned to the first page of a twenty-year-old newspaper cutting with a side corner headline --

 

‘Girl gang raped in an SUV, friend beaten to bloodshed’.

Author: Muflis Musafir

 

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Love Story

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It's a Love Story...

Sunaina just got off the call with Arpit, discussing last minute stuff of her engagement with Sameer that was still midway. Time does not define the intensity of friendship between two people, at least among them. She met him at Saira’s wedding, her childhood friend, last year which wasn’t a Kodak moment of capture; the first hold off for her with Arpit. She thought him as the groom and the chaos and pools of laughter it created henceforth were the highlights of that wedding. He went with the flow to add some drama but eventually came to her rescue when she drowned twice her hair length in embarrassment.  Since then they have developed an amicable relationship which included 10-hour telephonic conversation a week, a couple of hundred messages and a few video chats.

Sunaina worked as a Junior Associate at Mehra and Sons Advocates, a midsize law firm in Bangalore suburbs. Sunaina was a quiet and introvert in a group as long as she wasn’t a couple of wine glasses heavy. She was also badass enough to scatter a few here and there with her words and raised eyebrows in the courtroom.  She scared a Judge once with her trademark eye-raising style; all he did was responded to a mobile call during the court trial.

She was altogether a different person in her formal attire, one who is not a  mirror reflection by any angle. This characteristic of Sunaina made Sameer swipe the floor with his knees and ask her to marry him. Sameer didn’t only love her for her juvenile nature but a lot more for the personality she grew into once in the courtroom.

She banged her right fist on the table, looking into the eye of the police officer and would say "Spill out the truth about fake FIR lodged”, (against the client) or “I’ll not only prove it but also open the book of your entire life deeds.” Looking at the convict and gave him the feeling that if he'd lie his soul would come out and reveal the truth out of fear. The magical moment when the officer gave up efforts to stand against her, was when Sameer knew she is the one he would like to grow capsicum in his backyard and eat lettuce every morning, from whatever was left. He held high regards for the profession and the way Sunaina embraced it and grew in it, made him respect her.

Sunaina, on the other hand, was never into a relationship, apart from once when she was in Graduation College. She fell for a guy who was eight years older to her, (at least that what she believed then). The guy worked at a local newspaper as a political editor. They even met her parents to get their blessings for marriage. That was some day! Her mother almost lost her senses; her father's blood pressure rose beyond approved levels and her elder sister fell off the floor in laughter holding her stomach in laughter pain. She used that topic for two straight years for amusement and even rumored it with spice among all their cousins. But this time when Sameer asked she and was blown away. He held high standards and repute among the line of co-goers. She couldn’t have found a better one and felt

Arpit also supported her in the decision and reviewing the case in his court of judgment favored for her corner. Though he was shocked on initially, he eventually couldn’t find anything against Sameer who led her to the ocean of lovers and blossoms. The jury (friends and family) also got hit at first, the way Arpti and Sunaina spent time in conversations. They always believed that it had gone beyond the cooking stage and they were actually piping. Her boss would tease her at social gatherings and off-site meets, but she could never make them believe that there was nothing beyond calls, messages, holidays and overloaded discussions.

Sunaina and Sameer got engaged at city’s most lavish fine-to-dine. It was a magical night with flowers, wine, music, and dance. Happy faces, roars of laughter, neon light flashings, and fathers drinking for the first time in life - the day couldn’t have gone better.

Arpit came to her room and she was already up. She hugged him with a smile turned towards the mirror, admiring her looks and recalling the last night. She had weird thoughts and feelings, into a space of uncertainty. She could feel her heart go heavy but rebutted with a thought that maybe it's normal. Arpit looked into her eyes and felt the reason of her pale chin; he held her hand and told her not to worry. But she couldn’t get it off her head; she could feel something in her spine going down and all of a sudden her feet went cold.

She hugged him again and could find peace transmitted into her body through his arms around her waist. She felt like sleeping and transferred her body weight onto him. She tightened her armband around his neck, bowed on his right shoulder and leaned towards his ear and with closed eyes and dry lips she whispered:

If it’s not you who wakes me up, let me sleep.”

 

Author: Muflis Musafir

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Warm

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The night was young, glittering with the twinkle of young loves! They walked excitedly to the prom, controlling that childish jump their feet would dance to when they were in school! But today was different. This was their first step into an adult world- a world where life would treat them as grown-ups- a childhood they would never be able to retreat to.

 

As the young pairs waltzed through the songs, Cherry decided to gift a chance to smile for someone special. She abruptly left the arms of her dance partner and walked up to Mr. Pepper, her Drama teacher. Unsuspected he looked at the young ones in love with his salt n pepper locks of hair falling over those round rimmed glasses! His eyes held that loneliness that he tried to hide after losing his wife of 50 years.

 

She curtseyed and then bent on her knees to propose the next dance to Mr. Pepper. The crowd cheered and clapped in encouragement!

 

Mr. Pepper reluctantly took her hand, kissed it old fashionably and led Cherry to the dance floor. As they danced, the other students danced around them in a circle- holding hands. The Prom was now a celebration of not only the young's adulthood but also the homage to the educators who meant so much to the students!

 

Mr. Pepper gracefully waltzed away with Cherry. When she complimented him, he laughed in embarrassment that soon transformed into that of grateful happiness. Mr. Pepper's resounding laugh was something the students and the school fraternity had missed for over a year. His gleeful baritone made the day priceless for everyone. .

 

 Author: Kleio B'wti
 
 

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