Untitled: Short Story

“This is a full stop to my career. I can feel it. It’s over!”

“Relax! You can’t be sure about it. Let’s wait for the phone call, I’m positive you’ll get the job. I really am.”

But Mark wasn’t listening to his wife anymore. He walked back and forth in their empty living room thinking of career alternatives and secure future plans. Random series of impulses hit his brain disabling him to think logically. He had dreamt about filling up the empty spaces of their home with cosy furniture and lavish interiors one day. That would make Riana happy, yes. He felt desperate.

“We’re going to make it through all this mess. You’ll receive the call anytime now and get that job. Calm down.”

“It’s impossible to calm down now! We’ve tried everything, haven’t we? This is our only hope. This call is going to decide my life! Our life……. I need a beer.”

Ria sat on the chair beside the table and observed the love of her life reach out for beer bottles in the refrigerator. He found 2 old bottles, both empty. They’d run out of money for food supplements this week.

What had happened to their life? The cheer from the office days didn’t last long. They were now only hopeful of a better future. They’d met 2 years ago via mutual colleagues at workplace and were hitched within eight months. It was perfect back then. Ria was a receptionist at their company and Mark, a business analyst. He was sacked six months ago and struggled to survive in this unruly economy. After pulling some strings, he was now hopeful of getting his old position back at the same company. They optimistically discussed their future every night. They realized that they could face any hurdle as long as they had each other. All the cliched movies and music had started to make sense these days.

The phone rang. Mark anxiously turned towards the table.

After three minutes of “yeses”, “okays” and “nos”, he placed the phone down in disbelief. He’d got the job! He bent down and hugged Ria so hard that her rib cage almost cracked. His tears wet her dress. She curled her arms around him and they stayed still for some time. Everything was going to be alright now. They were going to have a beautiful home and a beautiful life. The boss had offered an increase in salary too. In his mind, Mark started to make special plans for the night to celebrate their new beginning when Ria’s phone beeped.

She picked up the phone and opened the message over her husband’s shoulders.

‘From: The Boss. 

Job confirmation only after 9pm tonight at Hotel Le Grande, Room 301. Wear Red.’

We learn by teaching.

“Akka, what do you want to do next?” she asked me.

The gleamy eyes of a eleven year old waited for a reply while I was setting the video playlist in the science exhibition organized by our department for the government school children of classes 6, 7 and 8.

“I want to go out and eat something; I’m hungry.” I told her.

“No no, not now. What do you want to do after studying?”

Whoa! A eleven year young girl wanting to know my life plans! Even my folks haven’t asked me this question yet. I wanted to tell her something that she could comprehend easily.

“Oh! Erm, I’ll be an engineer in one year…” I thought out loudly, still thinking of something appropriate to tell her.

“So you will work at a company?” she stopped my thought process.

“No no, I will study more…”

“Why?”

“So that I become a good teacher and come back to teach…”

The reply was spontaneous and almost came instantaneously. Maybe sometime in the future, given the opportunity and right circumstances, I wouldn’t hesitate a bit to be a teacher. I understand that there is still a long way to go for me, but it is one of the noble ways to give back and gain a lot more in return.

Our college has adopted many government schools across the state. Students help them out during the weekends by teaching english, computers, science and mathematics. I learnt a lot of things yesterday while teaching the children some basic physics experiments involving temperature measurement and thermometers. These kids had never seen any practical experiments before. I felt that the teachers in these schools need more help than the students. They are unaware of many concepts and in turn, misguide the students. Many kids were really smart and interested, and asked many questions too.

The kids viewed microorganisms through microscope for the very first time (Oh, The Joy!) , saw different metals flame up in different colors and awed while white light dispersed into rainbow colors from a prism, to name a few.