Thankfulness- A very short story.

The nervousness right before doing something new- it gripped him as he proceeded to hold her hand as she leaned toward him in that desolate street. It was a strange mix of emotions. It didn’t have the air of a love story’s beginning, neither did it have the grimness and pregnant moments of a drama. It was something usual and common, yet so difficult to comprehend.

It must happen to everyone, everyday and yet, why does it feel so new? She was a sad woman and he- a lonely man. A usual recipe for souls to come together and maybe unite, not in a transcendental, magical way but in the same way all the garbage, rejected the world, is swept together in one corner with no choice but to snuggle and feel fuzzy. Their time was borrowed and so was their happiness. They borrowed it from each other, scooped out from places they did not know existed. They reached inside the empty chocolate ice-cream cartons of their souls and ran a scoop across for the leftovers. They grabbed hold of whatever was left inside them and handed it to each other.

She was an ugly woman with a squint. She walked with a frailness that explained her extreme politeness. It was her mirror talking and it seemed like it lied. He never saw her the way she described herself. For him, she was a damsel in distress. Her squint was unnoticeable and her fragility rendered her a softness much like that of flower that needs to be protected. If anything, her eyes looked like those of a person who had just been slapped against the wishes of the universe. It seemed like it was his duty to make her happy to ensure that the universe was brought back in order.

He was a loser with no money plus, he was bad at conversations. He ended up saying the weirdest things making the whole situation turn comical, notwithstanding the gravity of it. It again was his analysis. To her, he was a stranger with a kind eye. His initial chatter assured her of gullibility and she could predict that he was quite incapable of tact and cunning. She felt safe around him.

She was crying inside the metro train when he saw her. They talked for a few minutes and it led to the eventual hand-holding. Of course, it didn’t feel right but it felt like a good mistake to make. For both of them, it was a step forward.

A few years later, they were happily divorced, with a kid. The kid could never tell that his parents were divorced. They both seemed happy. They talked, laughed and many times, it felt like they had just kissed.

Were they in love? Was this a mistake since the beginning? Whatever it was, after all those years, one emotion that they had for each other was ‘thankfulness’. 

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