A story in progress...

June 29, 2011

Here is a tiny part of a story I am currently working on. In the days to come I may modify it beyond recognition or even scrap it completely. But at this point, here is what it is.

He woke up to the sound of rain. Glancing out of the window, the whole sky was filled with parallel lines of water, all flowing in unison. Some people felt greatly at peace watching rain, and others complained of the inconvenience it caused to their daily routine. He felt nothing but indifference.

The two bedroom, one bathroom, hall and kitchen unit was his realm of existence. To step out of it was a desperate attempt for survival. Whenever he did so, it was to stock up on items he needed. For him, it was like travelling to outer space; putting on an unnatural suit, planning the mission, following it diligently, and under no circumstances straying from the predefined path. The thought of it made him nervous, and he regretted the days that led up to it, trying his best to delay it as much as he could.

His days were all the same. Breakfast was a quick bowl of cereal and coffee, sitting at the dining table and staring at the painting hung across it. Every time he looked at the painting it seemed different. Breakfast was then followed by bathing, grooming and dressing as if he was going to office. But he didn’t go. Anywhere.

The rest of the day was spent out on the tiny balcony attached to the hall of the house. Sitting there and watching people pass his building. Watching children rush to school, get back and then soon run to play. Watching stray dogs roaming around the roads, wagging their tails at the security guards, who proceeded to pet them and give them bits of bread. He listened to the domestic habits of the people around him. He could hear the afternoon soaps being played in the apartment next to him. Little arguments couples had over futile matters such as a person’s tone. Elderly people coughing and spitting out phlegm. The people around him saw him observing them. They earlier tried to smile and be neighbourly, but when they got an uncomfortable response they wrote him off as a case of mental imbalance and proceeded to ignore him. In all these years, not one of them had seen him smile.

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