A riot of laughter was enough to break the monotony of pin drop silence that marched long corridors of girl’s hostel, that chilly winter night. The walls otherwise chained to the discipline, took notice. The dim light in the aisle sought to borrow  brightness from the chirpy girly talk seeping through the slits of door and windows of room number 7.Those were the days, sighed the walls and the hush of it was carried by the late-night cold winter breeze, only to be lost in the aloof darkness of the night.

The girls were inconspicuous of all the hustle that they were making. For they were lost in picking up the pieces of nostalgia from the gone by carefree era of the college. The august occasion of their silver jubilee reunion after graduation had handed them the visa to be transported to the land of youthful days. After many pleas to the college authority, they were allowed to spend a night in one of the hostel rooms, which in earlier days they had called their world. A handful of them could make it to the occasion, though.

“Girls, remember ‘who’s your best friend’ game?”, prodded Vaiju winking at Teju.

Picking up the thread, smiling naughtily Teju announced, “Let’s have a round of who’s your best friend. Everyone be prepared. Have honest answers, mind you!”

Malini, Jessica, Kamakshi and Saumya had a hearty laugh at that.

“Mind your greys girls”, warned Amrita.

“Ms Moral Police, you haven’t changed a bit”, tittered Anu.

“Or should we have ‘who was your best friend?’ instead”, said Pranita with self-satisfying smirk.

“Good idea to scratch those pink memories”, responded Saumya

Bhavika, sitting at the end of the bed, little away from the group, with her legs curled up to her chest, slowly uncoiled herself dropping her feet to the floor. The numbing coldness of the floor reflected her mood, she felt. With that she sighed.

“Oh…Ms Lost In Other World, let’s begin with you”, said Anu reaching for Bhavika’s hand pulling her into the warmth of the rendezvous.

“My best friend,hmm,was and is…”, Bhavika paused, lost in thoughts, unaware of the curious yet uncomfortable question marks on faces of her then hostel mates, for she was searching, scratching for the honest answer from every inch of her heart.

Unintentionally, she glanced at the black screen of her mobile that came alive with touch of her thumb in flash of second, another involuntary action that slipped through her fingers without seeking her permission. Smile, a beatific one, painted her face, relieving her tormented mind of the scrutiny.

“My breath. It’s the one that accompanied me to this world as I entered the sphere of living and would be the last to leave the confines of my bonding as I proceed to the world of unknow”, she said hypnotised by the image.

“Wrong choice to start with, Ms Philosophical”, condemned Vaiju shattering the enormity of silence into the splashes of giggles. And the girls turned back to their circle to continue.

“Why?”, an unanswered question echoed in Bhavika’s mind again, the count of which she has lost. In a trance, she re-read the status on her mobile, “Memories flash and go. But you are my breath, always with me…” which she had recorded that morning to commemorate the death anniversary of her better half, her best friend who had committed suicide, a decade ago.

‘Why?’ a question to which no one had answers, a question…an answer to which was lost to eternity along with him. Like the breath that is present, with you but yet not in your grasp ever…


Photo by Kévin JINER on Unsplash
Explore previous stories at Stack of Stories

24 Comments

Ira Mishra · April 23, 2020 at 5:59 am

Beautiful narration Anagha as always 🙂 I really wonder how people can bring themselves to take such a step like suicide and not think of for a blink of a second of people who would be devastated for them taking such a step!! I wish they could seek help in time but not take such drastic measures!

Meena · April 23, 2020 at 7:57 am

Ayyo! It is indeed difficult for the near and dear of suicide victims to come to terms with it even after ages. I don’t know why they do it inflicting so much pain.

Matheikal · April 23, 2020 at 9:44 am

The characters are interesting with Moral Police and the Philosopher.

Namratha Varadharajan · April 23, 2020 at 9:49 am

A touching story beautifully told! Breath is the one thing that stays with us, so true.

Tiru · April 23, 2020 at 9:59 am

Mindblowing. So true , its always the breath whch stays with you forever Commiited , Also Suicide being a impulse pyshological decision which has factors affecting you mentally, creating insecurity . Superb One Anagha .too good. Very touching

soniadogra · April 23, 2020 at 10:55 am

This why haunts for life…As anyone who has lost a near one to suicide would know.

Dashy · April 23, 2020 at 12:01 pm

A touching tale. Love how you connected breath as our constant companion in life. It is extremely difficult to get over the death of a loved one.

Swarnali Nath · April 23, 2020 at 12:50 pm

How beautifully you end the story Anagha. And I always realize, the story never ends. Another yet from your stack of gems, and left me in deep thoughts. Perhaps, I want to five deep in silence again. A heart touching one.

Durga Prasad Dash · April 23, 2020 at 2:02 pm

I see her best friend elusive but living with her like her breath. It is a wonderful layered story.

Vaishali Khot · April 23, 2020 at 2:39 pm

A Touching tale . Although suicide is an act of cowardice ,I reallly wonder how come these souls gather the courage to end ones own life and breath inflicting such pain on oneself and their loved ones .

nooranandchawla · April 23, 2020 at 3:37 pm

Your crisp yet moving storytelling really brought this sad tale to life. Beautiful piece.

Suchita · April 23, 2020 at 4:15 pm

I love how your stories start with such a mundane happy scene and then just blow out into this huge scene where suddenly everything clicks into place. Loved the interpretation of breath and the anguished ‘why’

Madhu Bindra · April 23, 2020 at 4:53 pm

Very touching. People who are left behind after a suicide are always tormented by the Why.

alpanadeo · April 23, 2020 at 5:35 pm

wow…breath. I never realized that my breath is my best friend. It made me think wha would have been my answer ti that question.

Srivalli · April 23, 2020 at 5:45 pm

This is sad! No one seemed to bother or understand her? And people wonder why depression and suicide are becoming so common.

Shweta Suresh · April 23, 2020 at 8:04 pm

This was heart-breakingly beautiful, Anagha! The one’s who have been left behind always suffer from survivor’s guilt. Beautifully written.

purbajune · April 23, 2020 at 8:48 pm

Poignant and moving. Loved the narration.

Keith's Ramblings · April 23, 2020 at 10:15 pm

Such a touching tale. I read it twice,

T is for …

TheDreamGirlWrites · April 24, 2020 at 1:32 am

This is beautiful.. sad but beautiful..

T is for Test Results
https://thedreamgirlwrites.wordpress.com/2020/04/23/test-results/

msjadeli · April 24, 2020 at 6:21 am

Poignant story. I love this passage: “Those were the days, sighed the walls and the hush of it was carried by the late-night cold winter breeze, only to be lost in the aloof darkness of the night.”

Shilpa Garg · April 24, 2020 at 6:31 am

Oh, that’s poignant! And heart-breaking! The anguish and pain of the unanswered Why can torment you forever! Beautifully done, Anagha!

Poorvi · April 24, 2020 at 8:27 am

Wow.. the way you weaved the story…beautiful and heart breaking at the same time. What a great read!

Unishta · April 25, 2020 at 11:37 am

I love your yarns Anagha. They always have the most unexpected turn of events. I also enjoy your illustrations that somehow fit into the story so well. I had a friend who committed suicide and we all felt that we had some part to play in it. And if the suicide is of your life partner, t would be even more tormenting to deal with.

bloggeray · April 25, 2020 at 5:32 pm

That status line, wow!
I liked how the story turned, almost on an axis, from one mood to another. Bravo!

The lingering memory of the lost loved ones, you’ve captured that beautifully.

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