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.’

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21 thoughts on “Untitled: Short Story

  1. To see what happens next , open a new tab and type in www dot l-i-t-e-r-o-t-i-c-a … aaah … I’m kidding (maybe not) , well worded and has the K.O.punch factor that every short story ought to be concluded with .

    • Haha very funny! Also, your comment is based on the assumption that Riana is going to go to Hotel Le Grande. I haven’t mentioned in the story if the message from The Boss was an invitation or acceptance of a proposal from the wife. What if she declines or changes her mind? :P
      Anyhoo, thank you!

  2. Western names never ring the right bells in my mind. I couldn’t believe the wife was so calm and composed bearing her husband’s nervousness. Something seemed amiss in the middle and ur story bridged it with a ugly, yet an apt ending. Feels great to read a short story rooted to the real world.

    • Yes, in the end, you will realize that the reason for the wife to have been calm and composed was because she knew what was coming along. Will come up with better names next time (I’m trying!), thanks a lot.

  3. This made me laugh! Which is mean of me, but the ending was such a surprise! Not pleasant surprise but funny surprise nonetheless. Ok. Also, I can see traces of the last movie you saw in this story. :p

      • @ Nidhi – Haha! I was skeptical about posting this (it sounded kinda dumb initially), but what the heck!

        @ Vasudha – You both are absolutely right :P I wrote this the next day after watching the movie and so the job loss and the name ‘Riana’ was influenced by it.

        Thanks!

  4. Ria had not offered the proposal, for the happiness of her husband, but merely because income in the house never hurt anyone. Also, the boss was not bad to look at.

    #JustFeltLikeAdding

    • I have never mentioned that it was a proposal offered by the wife. What if it was the proposal offered by the boss to the wife? (Remember, they worked in the same company, and knew about each other). But I like your assertions nonetheless.

      • I know that in your story, it is most probably the boss who made the offer, since it was him that was giving out all the instructions. I was just giving an alternative to the motivation or the inner logic she might have had in accepting it. .Even rejection of his offer, could have a range of alternative motivations than just loyalty towards husband. Maybe, the wife knew that her presence was very important for the boss, and that if she played it smart she could extract even bigger favors from him in exchange.

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