A Beautiful Night | By: Aditya Gupta | | Category: Short Story - Love Bookmark and Share

A Beautiful Night

He sat there motionless, with a small lump of pebbles by his side. He glanced at the moon shining through the dense clouds, mocking him, laughing at him. He picked one pebble up from the top of the heap and hurled it towards the sky. It went straight up, like a predator on wings and, then, at one point of its parabolic path, stopped it's ascend. Like a dead bird it came crashing down. Alok sighed as he heard the fall; another one of his efforts had gone in vain. He hung his head down.


Burdened with enormous guilt and a sense of defeat, Alok closed his eyes. A women's thunderous shriek made him open them up in a flash. He gasped for breath, finding all the air around him insufficient. Haunted, he swallowed some saliva, hoping the dreadfull thought would get washed down alongside it. It didn't,  but only came back strongly. Hoping for a miracle, he looked up. 


Moon, as if aware of Alok's rage had hid quietly behind a puff of cloud, outlining it silver.  Rays filtered out through the belly of the cloud, like vicious arrows dipped in blood. A few lonely stars sparkled apprehensively nearby, for they knew they stood no chance against the most beautiful thing in the sky that night. The moon, in all it's glory, looked down at Alok. "Magical!" He couldnt stop himself from uttering. Nature's canvas was painted with a stunning visage, and it hung in the open sky for everybody to see. Alok threw a stone at it.


After a few anxious moments, Alok heard the familiar footsteps he had been waiting for all along. Without looking up at the approaching figure, he shifted to his side, making room for her. With a gentle movement of his right hand, he dishelved the pile of stone he had so meticulously prepared a few moments ago.


The slender figure approached with a strange carelessness, tinged with caution. Without saying anything, she sat right next to Alok. They looked at each other and smiled sadly. Alok realised how quickly everything had changed around him ever since she had came. The air suddenly felt saturated with her scent, the hardly audible noise of her short breaths seemed to have quitened everything else. Soon, a mild breeze stated blowing, and began playing with her hair. She smiled some more as she tried to control her rebellious strands of hair. They fought back harshly, and ultimately she had to capitulate. I liked that, for I loved watching her long hair wreck havoc.


A little more brighter the night had became, all due to her presence.


"Beautiful night, isn't It?" she said. "Yes, it is." Alok replied, staring into her pelagic eyes.


"He still let's you meet me?" he asked next, hoping she would skip the question and pretend like it was never asked. "Yes, he is very kind." She said meekly.


"Yes, he must be." Alok muttered under his breath, unable to digest the good natured behaviour of his adversary. He raised his hand to ask something, but then decided against it. So, as a result, he was left with an awkward pose - a hand hanging in air, lips slightly parted, and eyes fathoming nothingness. "What?" she asked, gauging his inability to express himself. 


Alok cleared his throat, then coughed. He was merely buying time, for he knew to say what he wanted to, carefull scrutiny was required. 


"We can be together."

"I know. And we will be, one day."

"I mean we can be together now." He said, his eyes and right hand diving into one of his coat's inner pockets. She quickly sensed his intentions, lunged at him and grabbed his right arm with all the might left in her body. As Alok tried to wriggle out of her control, he quickly realised that she had a very firm grip. The area of his arm over which she had curled her petite fingers round had turned primrose. It seemed as if the blood vessels had been ruptured, tissues had been torn apart. All that was left was the bone, and against her firmness, it couldnt have lasted for much long. Defeated, he looked up at her with apology in his eyes. She had tears in hers. They both collapsed into each others arms.


For the next few minutes, no words were exchanged, no communication took place. They just sat there, side by side, almost melting into each other. If one sobbed, the other only tightened the grip. He played with her hair, felt the cerise silk dress he had gifted her some years back. She wept all over his shirt, kissed him on his neck, pressed her body against his. The embarrassed moon decided to hide himself once again.


It was hard for one to let the other go.

The night became darker. The clouds changed colours and shed tears up above, that came down as a slight drizzle.


"Thats enough grief for a week." Alok said, wiping tears off her cheek. "Let's rejoice the time we have together. Let me tell you a strange incident."


She nodded in acceptance, sobbed for the last time. Moving closer, she rested her head on his broad shoulders, and began to listen.


"So, I was in office one day." He began. " And there came a guy, well over 70, with a strinkingly beautiful blonde by her side." She made a disapproving face, Alok giggled. " Okay, an ugly blonde! Anyway, he was an old accomplice of my boss and had came to change his will. He wanted that ugly blonde, and not his son, to inherit his everything!"


"So, what happened?" She inquired impatiently, as nothing extraordinary had popped up until then. She knew Alok wouldn't have started telling the tale if it didn't have what he called - An element of surprise!


"He had a cardiac arrest in my office, died within seconds. We couldn't change the will on time. The son got everything. And the blonde, she didn't even accompany the dead body in the ambulance. They say she drove straight back home." He paused, taking a tired breath, as if an extremely critical and demanding task had been entrusted to him. "I accompied my boss to his funeral, and guess what I saw?"


"What?" She almost screamed. 


"That same ugly blonde, holding hands with the son." He smiled slyly. "They married a week later, divorced a month later, and the blonde got half of what was in the original will!"


"Neat bargain, wouldn't you say!" she said, cupping his face with her hands. And they both began laughing. 


Time always seemed to slow down when she laughed. It gave Alok those few, all precious moments more to look at her and admire her beauty. The white teeth shining like stars in the sky, that sculptured nose, marking the work of a skilled craftsman, the low, soft noise of her giggling, those drenched hair sticking on the back of her neck before parting down her slender shoulders. At last, Alok rejoiced, something more beautiful than the moon tonight. He decided to look back up at the moon to confirm his assessment. He knew he was right, but just wanted to give the heavenly body a fair chance. The moon had changed it's throne, now resting in a nest of clouds a little to the right. Alok had to twist to get a better view.


When he turned around, she was gone! Her departure being stealthier, more insidious than her arrival. He sighed, and got up.  Dropping the gun he was holding in his jacket on the ground before kicking it away into the nearby bushes, he left slightly disappointed. He would be back here next week, like a clockwork.


The stalker had forced himself through the door on 30th January, seven years ago. He had kicked, pushed, punched and clubbed her, ripped her clothes apart, raped her and slit her throat. Before Alok had found her naked, lying in a pool of her own blood, she had been dead for over five hours.


Click Here for more stories by Aditya Gupta