RedPaper.in – Short Story
By: Nidheesh Samant | RedPaper.in
The gentle breeze during the post-midnight hours made him feel cold. He took another swig from his soft-drink bottle. The liquid that resembled the soft-drink helped warm him. The warmth of the liquid and the coolness of the flowing wind came together perfectly, to give him a feeling of serenity. The darkness suited him well. In his opinion, it gave him the perfect sense of belonging.
“Oye Sid! Are you with us? Or are you drunk already?”
The words of the girl walking beside him snapped Sid back to reality. He turned to look at her. The sarcastically poised face of Kanan looked back at him. Her hair was swaying so gracefully, almost as if the very air was playing with it.
“Sid? Is it game over already?”
Kanan swept back her hair from her face. Sid realized she was glaring at him because she was expecting a reply. Sid shot her a grin.
“Kanan, the game isn’t over. But, my drink sure is getting over fast. Hey Krish! Is the second drink ready yet?”
Kanan shot a glance behind him. She saw Krish fumbling with a bottle of rum, trying to pour it into the half-filled bottle of coke. Walking next to him was Pernal, who was trying really hard to stifle her laughter.
“Almost done bro. Just need to get the rum in this blasted bottle. I swear the last bottle was easier to pour in.”
Pernal could not hold her laughter anymore.
“Krish, why do you even try? You know one beer is enough to knock you out. You should be glad I’m there with you.”
She grabbed the bottles from Krish’s hands, much to his displeasure. Kanan sighed.
“Guys, can’t we just enjoy this walk? It’s such a lovely night and what amazing weather. Even the rains have stopped so that we could enjoy this walk. We had planned this so long ago. Don’t set your focus on the booze.”
Sid looked at her and caught her eye.
“So, I guess you don’t want to drink at all, no?”
“Well, I never said that.”
Kanan took a couple of swigs from the bottle.
Sid took the bottle from her.
“Guys, now let’s just enjoy this walk, shall we?”
His question went unanswered. He turned back to see that his friends were not there. They were gone. But, he knew that. They had gone a year ago on the same night. Tears welled up in his eyes as he remembered the night.
The road was long and deserted. The four of them had decided to go for a walk along a sea-facing road near their society. At 2 am in the night, the whole area became quieter and darker than a mausoleum. That was the very reason the four of them had picked this time. The only lighting in the area came from the street lamps along the wide road they were walking on, and the very few flats whose occupants were still awake. However, on that night, there was another source of light. A pair of headlights approached the four friends at blazing speed. Remaining unnoticed to the very end, the headlights had made contact with Krish and Pernal, killing them on spot. Kanan had managed to shove Sid out of the way before becoming the third victim of the car.
Sid could still see all of it happening before his very eyes. Later, it found out that the driver behind the wheel had been under the influence of the bottle. Sid looked at the bottle in his hand. It had been the cause of his friends’ deaths. He had stuck with it for a year, hoping it would take him too. For the better or for the worse, he did not know. But, the bottle had refused to claim his life. Now, after a year, the bottle had finally shown him the way. He looked at the empty street in front of him and tossed the bottle away. His drunken days were behind him.
The bottle shattered into many pieces as it hit the ground, just like his dark thoughts. Alcohol would not claim him after all.