My friends are always asking, "Why do you mostly write crime/horror stories?"
You know it's really strange, cause I'm such a different guy in real life. I like to crack jokes and generally pun any word that comes my way (I know it's an awful habit; I'm trying, I'm trying).
Well, I HAVE written a couple of other stories, but...yeah well, I like the crime genre. But I also like romantic comedies. As in movies. So I thought, 'why don't I write a romantic shortie for a change?' You know, when it comes to shorties, (I'll tell you why I call a short story that sometime later), I've always been rrreal economical with words. I don't like beating about the mulberry bush a lot. I like to eat the mulberries straight off, without further ado. And it's easy to do that in crime fiction. But romantic shorties are tough to write. But no harm trying. Let's see where this whole thing goes. And oh, if you feel I should go back to crime, just say so, huh?
I Got The Wrong Mail
"Hmm, that's funny." He picked the flat parcel up and turned it in his hand, the frown on his forehead making a 'w'.
The address was indeed misleading and obviously, Mr. postman didn't know there wasn't any 'Shilpa' in his house. But the parcel looked important and he didn't want somebody waiting eternally for it. He bent over the gate to see if the postman was still rummaging in his bag somewhere on the street, but there was no sign of him.
An middle-aged person stood in front of him, with 'what-the-heck-do-you-want' written large on his pudgy face.
"Uh, sir, I believe this parcel is for you. The postman dropped it at my house by mistake. I...I live four houses from here."
The man almost snatched it from his hand and looked at it. Then at him. And then back at the parcel. He raised his eyebrow slightly, as if acknowledging the act and stepped in, closing the door.
So much for playing the samaritan. If Shilpa's father was like this, he wondered how she would be. Hands in the hip pockets, he walked out.
He'd been watching her ever since she walked into the library. "She's cute." And oh, she was headed this way now. She was browsing the english section, her slender fingers flicking the dvds gently. She was humming a tune. He slowly walked toward her and stood beside her, muttering some titles and flicking dvds himself. He could tell she was looking at him, but he didn't turn and continued searching. And then it happened. They reached out for the same title. The usual, 'you first, you first' later, he gave in. She smiled thankfully.
"I'll be returning it tomorrow."
He shrugged, "Oh, that's ok."
She looked at him for a fleeting second and left. Did he notice a naughty knowing smile curling at the corner or was he imagining? But no time for that...Oh no! She was leaving, she was leaving. And he was letting her go. "She gave you a chance to talk and you blew it, you idiot. You should've asked, 'when tomorrow?'"
She was climbing her two wheeler now. "Do something! Run out. Raise your hand. Something." But he stood glued.
She didn't turn up the next day. He rented a dumb flick and walked out of the library.
Nope. Not even the 2nd day. Forget it.
He stood at his window, watching the rain. The steam from the coffee did wonders to his nostrils. He drew in the cool air and sighed loudly. He looked on in silence. Then, the gate opened. He craned his head to see. He couldn't believe his eyes. He gulped his coffee and rushed to the door.
She folded her umbrella and stood there looking at him, smiling nervously. The water vapour gushed in from behind her.
"Oh..uh, sorry. Come in. Please."
She stepped in, smiling nervously, the video title in her clenched hands. He led her to the living room. They sat down.
"Here," She held out her hand. He took the video title.
"You shouldn't have...I..I'd have picked it up from the store anyways."
"You wanted it bad, I know. You waited two days for it."
Now, wait a minute! How did she know THAT? Was she...? He opened his mouth to ask, but remained silent. "Who the hell wanted the title ?", He wanted to say. He smiled instead.
"Uh..how did you know I lived here?"
"The same way you figured out which house the parcel should go to."
It took him a moment to realize. And they both burst out laughing.
"I watched you from my window. And the parcel which came was a dvd I'd ordered online."
There was a moment of comfortable silence.
"So how come I've never seen you before?" Not that he was an old timer here, having moved into the locality only a year back.
"I was on an assignment abroad." She smiled. Ah, the dimples.
He settled back in the couch. This was going to be a long afternoon.