Waiting For The Sun - Prologue and Chapter 1

This is a new story and the work is entirely fictional. Hope you all like it.

The following are the last lines of a chat transcript.

Vinnie: So, how was Spain?
Pumpkin: I don't know how to say this.
Vinnie: What?
Pumpkin: Fuk it... he proposed.
Vinnie: Uh... marriage?
Pumpkin: Yes, in the castle grounds in Alhambra. In the courtyard in front of a hundred people.
Vinnie: You said yes?
Pumpkin: Yes.
Vinnie: I am happy for you. Honest.
Pumpkin: Tell me what's on your mind?
Vinnie: Goodbye princess.


Chapter 1 - Punishment

So he logs off Facebook, turns off his mobile net. He realizes he has disconnected just more than the Internet connection. His body and mind cannot register the affirmative answer she gave. He stands checking his balance, it's perfect. Good. No physiological effect yet. Yet it felt like food he could not digest. His body was rejecting it. He felt numb, stunned, like a good hard slap out of a sudden, on his cheek. He could hear something wailing in his head, screaming for his attention. He put on a steel barrier.

He needed to be exhausted, too exhausted to think. So he goes out of the door. It's raining hard. It doesn't matter. He would go out for a run. Barefoot? The rain would take away the silt on the roads in the season, making the roads a bit hard on the feet. Maybe cut him too. The pain would be good. Next thing he realizes is he is wearing his shoes. He laughs at his cowardice.

He starts off, his mother screaming in the background, asking him where he's going out in this rain. His brain doesn't register it too. His running style is all about breathing and rhythm, synchronized, and then going a good distance. Now, it's in a frenzy, disorder. There is no breathing cycle, no holding back of pace. He is running like a madman, or a man running away from a mad dog. The rain has already drenched him and he can't see clearly because the rain is hard. But he keeps on running fast. The muscle burn starts, his body switching to anaerobic sources of energy. He likes the burn and his breaths ragged and forced. He's breathing through his mouth now.

He crosses the highway, not caring if there's a car coming too near, that might kill him. Let it, he thinks. He's already covered a kilometer with this pace. The body is revolting, lungs burning, legs fatigued... No quarter. He is gasping now, but still goes on.

At 1.5 kilometer, there is a temple in which a goddess resides. Normally, he would go in for a quick prayer during the run. But now he momentarily pauses at the gate, breathing heavily. He looks angrily at the goddess. She is there at the gate, dressed in a lovely green sari, adorned with beautiful gold, looking back concerned at him. She calls him in, and wants to comfort him. He feels rage, turns away and starts to run again on the road alongside the temple. He looks sideways where he can see the temple above the compound wall. The goddess is there too, she looks sad, maybe for him. He feels disgusted with himself and pushes himself to run harder, like a carriage driver whipping horses to run herder.

He runs for almost 4 kilometers now, and his legs wobble on every contact with the ground, not able to take the full weight of the body. He is not running in straight line anymore and is running alongside the highway once again, completing a circle running towards his house now. Some of the drivers shout at him, as they drive by, asking him if he's drunk. He laughs them off.

He gets off the highway to his place then into the road to his society. Suddenly, his legs give up and he falls on the ground. He doesn't know what happened. Maybe he pushed himself too far. He can't really think, his body is only keen on breathing as much as possible. He gets up into a sitting position, his t-shirt and shorts are muddy due to running. His legs are shivering from the torture they were subjected to. He lowers the barrier just a little bit. The wailing is still there. He wonders whether his legs would support him now. He tries to get up, trying to put his weight on the stronger leg as he gets up. He couldn't balance and he falls again. So he tries with both the legs. He gets in the standing position, but the balance is all screwed up. His legs won't support him. The muscles have had enough. He walks unsteadily, his knees could give away any second. Despite all this he loves it, the pain, the muscle fatigue, and disorientation. It was necessary, he thought. His throat is sore from the ragged breathing. The body is losing the heat in the pouring rain. He starts to get cold, but somehow he makes it home. He changes into dry clothes, doesn't eat dinner and just collapses on the bed.


3 am
The eyes don't want to open, but have to. His stomach is growling badly. He is drenched in sweat. Cold sweat. His lower body seems paralyzed with pain. He props himself on the elbow and then tries to get up, just like on the road, putting the weight on both the legs. He fails on the first attempt. He feels weak. The window in his room is open, and he can feel the cool air but he needs something else, other than oxygen. He ignores the longing. He gets into a sitting position, crossing his legs, his back resting on the headboard of the bed. He shuts his eyes and looks inward. There is no barrier, no wailing, but only blackness. He searches for despair, but he can't find it. He searches for agony, he can't find it. He searches for sadness, he can't find it. Where the hell have they gone? He wonders. Maybe asleep at this time. There is an impulse to grab his phone and turn the net on, but he pushes the impulse away. The stomach growls again. He needs to eat, but he can't stand up. He reaches for his bedside drawer and pulls out the crepe bandages he uses when his injured ankle acts up. He bandages his thighs, which bore the brunt of his anger. He ties them tightly so that they won't cave in when he stands.

After bandaging, he swings his legs over the bed and tries to stand. He leans on the wall with his hand for extra support. But the bandages did the job. He walks gingerly to the kitchen. He opens the fridge and finds the dinner he didn't eat. He eats the veggies, the flatbread without any order. He's just stuffing himself up. He isn't conscious of the chewing, or gulping. The sense of taste seems to have left him. Like she did. He gets an apple and eats it too, without washing it. Before he realizes, he has eaten the whole apple, with seeds and all. The stomach seems relaxed now that it is full. He sits back on the chair in the kitchen and looks through the window. Outside it's dark, same as inside him. It was as if the night reflected his inside through the window. He found that comforting.

He shuts his eyes again and looks inward. No one's home. Still sleeping I guess. The running paid off. He's body and mind is exhausted. He gets up and limps to his bed. On his way he sees his family, all sleeping serenely and as he gets into the bed, he wonders if he will be able to sleep calmly again, without killing himself by running again.


11.30 am
He feels a very cold hand on his forehead. It's his mom. He hears her saying something about burning up. His throat feels sore, nose blocked, and body aching like shit. When he isn't fully awake. He laughs inwardly, as he knows the hell awaits him when he is fully awake. So he goes to sleep again.


1.00 pm
He woke up again. His mum props him up into a sitting position and gives him a paracetamol tablet and a glass of water. He refuses. No pills. He won't have the pills fight his war. Mum insists. He gives in and takes the tablet. She gives him his lunch after this. He eats it without being aware. The pain is almost overwhelming. He had heard of cases where athletes over trained and overexerted and then lost partial control of their legs. He hoped that wasn't the case. That would make him look like a fool to himself that is. He reaches out for a morsel and finds that he finished the lunch. The plate is empty. He wants to check his phone but he doesn't. He just puts the plate on the table and goes back to sleep.


7.30 pm
He finds himself coughing when he wakes up. He has to take a dump. He gets out of the bed to find that he is drenched in sweat. The pill worked after all. He still has to take support of the walls when he walks. His mother asks why he had to go off to run in the rain. He doesn't reply. After relieving himself, he picks up his phone. He sees the icon on the home screen, indicating the missed calls. Missed calls, he snorts... Like someone genuinely misses him or because he missed the call. Foolish question. He flips the phone, opens the back cover, takes out the Sim card and snaps it into two. No more missed calls. Someone in his head wants to log into the Internet but he ignores it. That someone starts clamoring for the Internet. It says, maybe she has changed her mind about the engagement, or maybe she wants to be with him. He finds that someone in his head. He finds a knife in his hand and stabs that someone in his head to death. No more false hopes, motherfucker. Die now. He goes to his bed and sleeps till dinner.
Should I continue?
Published: 1/3/2014
Bouquets and Brickbats