The Vent | Short Story | – Short Story
By: Preeti Vyas |

Her best part of the day is the one, when she sits on her balcony. Sipping tea, adjusting her glasses, reading the newspaper. When she finishes, she likes looking at the convenience store, right in front of her building. It is the only active spot in her range of vision having constant human activity. People rushing in, rushing out, carrying their heavy bags filled with the things they need and the things they like. Speculating, thinking, waiting, debating.

After all these years she has got a system to categorize people. There are few quick buyers. They know what they need. They usually get into the store and rush out in few minutes. There are strollers, they just get in and roam around. Sometimes they may pick up a packet of wafers and stroll out. Then there are the hoarders who get in with a small bag and come out with all the things they can grab. In their hands, on their body. It’s quite a site. It is amusing to see how they manage to pull everything together, walking like a giant ape. At times they lose it, dropping their tomatoes out of the box, spilling their egg carton in the streets, so on. And then they smile and laugh with the people helping them out.

Sometimes, there are toned freaks, rushing in their sports-wear, leaving with their buckets of protein. Also, there are parents with their kids. They often leave the store with all the fancy, glittery, colorful things in their hands. Other times, they seem like dragging their kids away, far away from the store. She can hear them laugh, nag and cry. They remind her of her childhood stubbornness.

Her balcony gives her the glimpses of life which she has lived in the past decades. It is like a reel playing backwards. The life which almost came to an end when she succumbed to the world of wires and machines, keeping her body alive. She is not sad. She has lived it all, the way she liked it. And now in the end, she has a vent, no matter how small it is, to see and feel the real world. She didn’t mind the immobility.

Feature Image: Depositphotos

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