The Last Page | – Short Story
By: Deepanshu Chhabda | Guest Writer |

Mumbling in the auditorium was piercing my eardrums, jolting them just like it has done for the past five years. The announcer, in front of me, was busy throwing fake praises about someone he doesn’t know that well. Suffocation in these places had kept me in my room from the time I started my work. The world was much better around those white pages, my coffee cup and that typewriter. I was already regretting coming down to this place. My train of thoughts got derailed when people around me started an applause, signaling that it’s time. I approached for the stage and faced the boring audience. Mechanically moving my head left to right, I absorbed the environment. These strangers didn’t know much about me, my words were the only track to reach my meadow.
The people in this hall were expecting a story from me; How did I get here? Of course, my hard work with a garnish of luck. But we can’t show our real face on stage, just like you can’t troll in streets without clothes. I had prepared the monotonous speech for the event last night. It was enough to let me leave this premises soon. The details of that eve after that moment are imprinted in my head. It was time to let the fools present here to get a glimpse in my past. I needed her beside me right now.

“ I see faces, hundreds of them, present here waiting for something peculiar to happen. So let me tell you this first, that I’m not going to disappoint you. I started writing, five years back. It happened because I was not good at expressing the emotions in words. There are many terms and tags for such people, but believe me those are useless, you can’t be the next person in the same tag. But it all went wrong when I conversed with her the first time. She was me in a feminine skin. Two similar awkwardly boring people. It was a matter of time that we started doing all stuffs together. You will find less people who will grant the real you to be a part of their world and much lesser are the ones who don’t need words to see inside you; She was one of them. But time collapsed us. We separated ways for the greater good- livelihood, family. But I can acknowledge that human today after so many years. I can see you. Can you please share the stage with me?”

Choking over those last words, I closed the book and hastily tried to escape the place. I promised myself that this is going to be the last book. And she was not coming back.

Feature Image: Letterboxd

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