Sunday, March 1, 2009

The Apartment

He hated this place. He had been in the same apartment for longer than he could remember. The living room, the bedroom and the loo. This was his world.

And he was sick of it.

If there was one thing that he was tired of more, it was the people here, who thought they were his closest friends. They came often to the apartment. And these days they hung around longer than they usually did.

From his usual place in the middle of the sofa, he watched as one of them - an aged geezer in evening wear – talk about the pesky kid in his neighborhood to the butcher. The butcher was as usual, wearing his apron around his ample waist, and the apron, as usual looked as it had just been washed off of a lot of blood. The butcher grunted a response. The story felt stale, as if the man had heard it before. Probably he actually had.

He looked around the apartment.

The young man in the suit sat reading the newspaper in the armchair, at the corner of the room. The young man seldom spoke to the group, and if he did, it was usually just pleasantries.

The door opened from outside. The young girl came in. This was his best part of the day. The girl looked beautiful. But then, she always did. The man liked her. She was nice to him. She smiled sweetly at him and said hello. She went into the bedroom, changed the sheets and collected the laundry for tomorrow. She put new groceries into the makeshift refrigerator in the living room. She checked that there was enough water in the apartment, and the room temperature was right. Then she sat next to him on the sofa, and chatted for a couple of minutes. Little nothings. But they felt good all the same. She got up then, smiled again, wished him a good night and left.

Her perfume seemed to linger around the apartment for a long time after she left. He sat there with a small smile on his face.

He got up after sometime and walked to the window. The Sun was already below the horizon. Night seemed to fall quickly these days. He suddenly felt tired. He turned around.

The young man turned over another page in the newspaper. The butcher was animatedly describing something to the old geezer. None of them seemed to be in any hurry to go anywhere.

He sighed. He yawned and stretched his arms. He called aloud that he was going to call it a day. The young man nodded without looking up from the paper. The butcher turned and grunted his assent. The geezer mumbled something that sounded like good night.

The man walked to the bed room and lay down on the freshly laid sheets. There still were faint reminders of the girl here.

He hated this place. The girl was the only one who made this place livable.

The young girl walked out of the building. She went up to the guard in front and turned in her keys to the place. The guard thanked her, wished her all the best and buzzed the gate open. She nodded and stepped out.

The huge gray sign – The Schizophrenic Institute for Terminal Cases - bleared dully back at her. She shivered involuntarily. She fleetingly felt sad for the lonely man who stayed in the apartment in the second floor. He was the only one in the whole building she could talk two words to. The other patients in the institute were too far gone. She shivered again.

She was glad that today was her last day of work here. She hugged the coat tighter to her body. She walked away without a backward glance.

She’d hated that place.

12 comments:

Logik said...

Completely guessable, but I liked the composition of the individual characters. Seems like a nice choice set.
Abhishek disagrees by the way :)

Dha said...

@logik..
Thanks :)
and is Abhishek meant to be you?
:o

skhajone said...

Nice one man :)

Dha said...

@logik:
Your comment went right over Dha's head.
Aniruddha gets it now, though.
It reminds us of this poem:

Roses are read,
Violets are blue,
I am schizophrenic
And so am I.

:P

Dha said...

@kaku..
Thanks for the comment, man
:)

arbitblogs said...

AH finally Dha gets his ass down to write another of his commendable short stories....Not that I have been churning out a lot of stuff lately...but what do u know...i might take a cue from u...

Dha said...

@arbitblogs..
Thank you, i guess..
:)

trekker said...

nice one man, haunting towards the end!

trekker said...

b4 u ask it, its me arkesh!

Dha said...

@arkesh..
thanks, man
glad you liked it
:)

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