A BRIEF ENCOUNTER | By: sapna | | Category: Short Story - Love Bookmark and Share


Ted is a photographer with a fashion magazine. He lives alone in a downtown apartment; his office is few blocs away. Ted prefers to take bus ride to his office rather than walking or driving down. He likes to see familiar faces on the bus stop, familiar face of the bus driver & almost the same people on the bus, it all reassures him that everything is fine with the world, he is fine. Occasionally passengers smile at each other or greet each other but never more than that as if everyone wants to protect his own space, it suites him too, he is like everybody else.

This story began when one fine day he noticed a woman in the bus. She seemed engrossed in the book she was reading. Either her book was too interesting or everything around her was too uninteresting for her. Ted felt she intentionally was creating a barrier around her, he felt drawn towards her

He decided he wanted to know her, know what she was afraid of. . Whenever he could he would sit next to her & try to talk to her, it wasnít easy, and she initially would give him cold looks, not liking his intrusion. But somehow he managed to get past that and they started talking.

She had recently moved to this city and lived alone. She was an art & sketching teacher at an art school, not too far from his own office. Ted always noticed a kind of sadness in her eyes even when she smiled.

The only interaction they had till now was during their morning bus rides which he looked forward to every morning. Then he suggested if they can have lunch together, she turned him down few times but Ted persisted with his efforts, now they frequently meet for lunch.

It seemed they were destined to meet. He could share with her all his thoughts. He told her about his steady girlfriend for past two years Gloria, even about his intimate friendships with other women on the sidelines.

He had never thought that he could get into the kind of a relationship with a woman where physical intimacy would not be necessary.

Her name is Anna, she is married. Her husband accused her of cheating on him. They decided to get separated. She loved her husband; he loved her too till the time he became over possessive & finally decided that she was being unfaithful. She tried to defend herself but realized it was all futile. She moved to this city.

Tedís girlfriend Gloria is a senior manager at a big financial firm. She earns more than him, is aware of his flirtations but somehow still continues to be with him. He hasnít given much thought to his relationship with her, just taking each day as it comes. He is still clueless of what he wants. He loves Gloria in his own way but he knows thatís not enough for her.

While Anna is still committed to her relationship which is almost broken now, Ted is afraid of committing to the woman who has stood by him without any questions. They are both so different.

He is traveling for a photo shoot assignment. He is already missing her presence. He doesnít feel the need to flirt with his models. Everyoneís already noticing change in him.

Is he falling in love with Anna? Or is it just an infatuation, is it that because he knows he cannot have her thatís why he desires her more?

Ted is back in town, he is very happy this morning; heís going to meet Anna in the bus, heíll invite her for dinner tonight, he knows they have never done that before, but this is going to be a special meeting, he wants to share a very important thing with her. He wouldnít let her say no.

Anna is not in the bus. Ted is frantic, how can it be. Maybe sheís not well or may be she has taken the day off. He calls her once he reaches office. He asks her if they can meet for dinner tonight. She agrees, she wants to tell him something important.

Heís getting ready in the evening, what does Anna wants to tell her? Has she also missed him? Maybe she too has realized their special need for each other? They both are going to move on from their previous relationships to a new life together.

Ted is listening to Anna. How can she do this to him, to herself, how can she decide to go back to her husband, just because he came to her & apologized. He mistrusts her, for Godís Sake!! What is she thinking?

She saidĒ Our relationships are part of us Ted. We nurture them, we want them to grow & fulfill our lives. But if something goes wrong can we just terminate that relation and move on. If part of our body is diseased, we donít simply cut it off but try to heal it. Arenít our relationships too part of us, which need to be treated & healed when time comes. I want to give my marriage a second chance because somewhere in my heart I still have love for him, for the relationship that we had. I canít predict the future of this relationship but Iíll have the satisfaction of giving it all I could. Itís worth the effort.Ē

Ted doesnít understand her, he doesnít want to. ďWhat about us, the relationship we had in past few weeks. I am ready to give up everything for this, to be with you. How can you do this to me?Ē His heart cried but he couldnít say anything to her.

He is back at his apartment; she is leaving in few days. He doesnít want to see her again or even think about her. He is angry because she is more concerned about the man who hurt her than him who comforted her, brought smile to her lips, joy in her life. She still chose him. She wants to rebuild the relationship with him than build a new one with him.

And what is he doing? Did he even once think about Gloria whoís loved him for whatever he is? Isnít he hurting her, he took her for granted trying to find love somewhere else than in her.

Is Anna right ? rather than looking for new partners, new relationships, it\'s worth reviving and rebuilding our existing fragile relationships?

Gloria had told him earlier that she was taking posting in another city.

He has to stop her. He has to tell her how much he loves her.

As Anna said; We canít predict the future of our relationships but we can have the satisfaction of giving it all we can. Itís worth the effort.Ē

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