Regarding James

Posted: January 13, 2010 in Fictional stories
Tags: , ,

(A dispassionate peek into the life of James : Fiction)

James sat down and stared at the wall. He noticed the nail on the wall made a point equidistant from the ends. He sat motionless, his mind a blank and his hands resting on the table. The light from behind threw an oblique shadow on the wall. He raised his fingers and made figures. A deer, a monkey, a cat and a bird materialized with his dexterity.

He indulged in these pleasures for a while engrossed with his creations. The evening threw silhouettes around his town. Not that he cared. His mind was impervious to the outside world. The tenebrous time of the day plunged his abject world into further discomfort.

He ambled over and threw the curtains aside. The light filtered in and threw grotesque images on the wall. He swiveled around and watched it in fascination as the light dimmed in the horizon; the shapes looked elongated and stretched on the walls.

Shadows of a ‘today’- that disappeared with the light.

He prodded himself to rise off his chair and turn the light on. Artificial light, something he despised.

He loved the natural light and the way it streamed into his room in the morning, bringing in energy and a strange sense of excitement, an indulgence he craved for.

He sauntered over to his desk and sipped the cold, tasteless coffee. He must remind Mrs. Summons to bring in better coffee grinds next time. This one tasted like dishwater running down the sink. After living for 60 long years the routine never changed. He was padding around in his housecoat and floppies that his daughter sent him every Christmas. She lived so far away and had never visited him after she ran away with the village idiot.

 He cursed under his breath. If only she had listened to him. She was so young and in love that she ignored the warnings from the village elders. She never failed to send him Christmas gifts. It was her way off making up for her decision and her guilt. He hated to admit that he loved getting the gifts from her reminding him of the reason for his existence.

Beatrice left him early. She had cancer or at least that’s what the doctor had told him twenty years back. He wasn’t sure if the yokel knew what he was talking about. Strangely he didn’t miss her at all. They didn’t have much in common at all and he had often wondered why the heck he was staying in the relationship. She stayed and he stayed and they both lived, if it could be called living by any standards.

 He liked having his daughter with him. Bella was the soul of the house. Bubbly and a walking sunshine who added fall colors on a bereft winter tree. Her laughter filled the house and when she wasn’t around, there was a deathly silence that filled all the vacuous spaces in his life.

Then she ran away with a village boy never to be seen again after she got pregnant with his son. She was only eighteen. James cursed her and his incapacities at raising a girl. Her useless mother didn’t teach her much and was only interested in crocheting and knitting her time away. He couldn’t blame her either since she was the weak child in her brood of eight who was kicked around and punched in the face by an abusive father.

She had looked so helpless and lost when he had first met her and married her. He didn’t know she was suffering the consequences and bleeding inside.

Now he lost them both and he had nothing much to look forward to except the pair of floppies that promptly appeared Christmas time from Bella. He didn’t throw away the old ones. He neatly arranged them in his closet and looked at them when he missed her. The maid came in and dusted the house for him and cooked his meals.

James sat at the piano and played Beethoven’s moonlight sonata, his favorite. He was calling it a day and calling in the closure to his life.

 He had lived and that was enough. He was ready to let go.

A knock on the door woke him from his trance. He ambled to the door and slowly opened it.

There she stood.


  1. Meera_San says:

    Interesting… good read.

  2. Thanks a bunch Meera for stopping by :)