Category Archives: Shadows of Solitude

The Shadow- short story

I wrote this some years back, thinking I’d elaborate it later. Today,  found the slip of paper I had written it on, and decided to post it out here. Would love to know your opinion.  Feel free to comment! 

 

Shadow of Solitude

The Shadow 

She looks around at the sound of laughter and sees her husband tickling a child. Was that really him? The uncaring, unfeeling husband; who had decided long back that they would never have children of their own. Was it him in actuality? She saw him looking at her, smiling as he played with the child, and she smiled back. Her smile though, was a ghost of the smile. She had been of recent accused of being uncaring herself. She had been told, she was insensitive, had lost the art of smile and laughter. She was now a ghost, a mere shadow of her former self. Who was it then, that smiled through her lips just now?

She looked away from her husband of six years and looked around herself. They had come to a society function, on the insistence of her family. It had been long since she had attended any such event. It had been long since she had been together with her family. And yet today, when she was surrounded by familiar faces, she felt like a stranger.

Annoyed with her thoughts, she moved to the canopy where coffee was being served. While she sipped the coffee, her gaze slipped past a horde of faces to get stuck on her husband. He looked happy today. He looked perfectly content to sit there under the sun, playing with the child. Whose child was it? She couldn’t see the mother anywhere, or the child’s father.

As she took the last sip from her cup, the dregs of coffee reached her lips and she grimaced in distaste.

“A bit like your life at this moment, isn’t it?” Said a voice, mocking her. She looked around and saw a man- just a shadow really, with a hat on his head, sitting on a bench in the corner.

“Excuse me?” Said she, outraged that someone dared speak to her that way.

“The last bitter dregs of your coffee are a bit like your life at this moment. Bitterness laces your mouth and brain, with no thoughts of the delight that it gave you before. You’re a bit like that in your life at the moment, aren’t you? Unhappy and unsatisfied with it all, having forgotten what it was like to have fun, to have a good time. You’ve forgotten how good life has  been to you.” Said the shadow.

“And what would you know about my life? Who are you?” asked she.

“I know all about it.” Said the shadow. “I have always been your companion, more so since you left my sisters; happiness and contentment behind. I am solitude.”