Anitha@Thought Raker has an finished story to which I attempted some endings. Had good fun, the power to change course of lives of characters is thrilling and satisfying. Can’t imagine the fun God up there must be having.

If you read this post, let me know which ending you liked ? 🙂

The story:

Dec 10, 2006:
What I really need now is a miracle.

Consider this: I’m forty-plus, I was fired from my job as a Project Manager in a leading software company six months ago, my wife left me a fortnight ago taking our two kids with her, and I was rendered homeless yesterday after my building was razed down as an illegal structure.

I’m sitting amidst scattered boxes in my friend’s apartment, and I light up a cigarette. It is my fifth for the day, and it’s just ten in the morning. I guess I should consider myself lucky that this place was available – it was between tenants. I haven’t spoken to Sharad about the rent, which is just as well, considering the state of my finances. My credit card bill for the month showed mainly liquor purchases, which, I suppose, is an indicator of how I am drowning my sorrows.

Feb 12, 2007:

It’s Valentine’s Day in two days. The romantic mush all around the city is making me sick. I remember our first Valentine’s Day . I was scornful, but Nicky spent the whole night putting up little love notes everywhere. The first one I saw was on the bathroom mirror, and it said: Love you always! They popped up throughout the day, those silly notes, in my pockets, my mail, my lunch-bag… it didn’t feel real. I didn’t think she loved me all that much. It was just her way of being part of the gimmick. She hasn’t contacted me in more than a month. Perhaps she really never loved me.

June 26, 2007:

I’m still in Sharad’s apartment. He hasn’t bothered me much thankfully, just calling sometimes to ensure that I was doing ok. Cash is running real low. I’ve begun selling empty bottles and newspapers to buy my soma. I found this exquisite sculpture hidden inside a cupboard. I hope Sharad doesn’t miss it. I got just 150 bucks for it. But that’s enough to get by. I am not too worried.

Oct 3, 2007:

I almost burnt down the apartment. It was my goddamn cigarette that did it. The security guy had given me some of his cheap liquor (I can’t afford my brand now), and I had passed out before I finished my smoke. Most of my boxes which were still unpacked were reduced to ashes. I don’t even remember what they contained, so it’s just as well.

Jan 13, 2008:

Nicky had come to see me today. With Sharad. She said I was a total wreck. Ha! Talk about irony. What I really need now is a gun.

My Endings:
One:

Jan 15, 2008: Bought a gun. Testing it now upon myself. Goodbye.

Feb 12, 2008: Yeah, I’m still here. I don’t recall everything clearly. I was so drunk. Gun was not real, of course I hardly could afford a real one. I fell exhausted in house for 2 days. Sharad returned from his out station visit. I am admitted to hospital now.

Feb 14, 2008: Nurse smiled. I smiled. That took lot of effort.

Mar 18, 2008: She said, it is not worth it. Sharad said he would recover from me every penny he has spent on me after my recovery. Heh! sometimes friends are a limit. I am going to be admitted to rehabiliation center. She said she would meet me alternate days.

Oct 3, 2008: I am going back to Sharad’s apartment. She is moving in with me (she said just to take care that I dont touch the bottle and cigarrettes again. She knows I wont do it). My ex-CEO called. He is starting on his own. Asked me if I could join him – with a salary 1/5th of what I was earning but he says profits would be shared equally.

Dec 10, 2008: She said Nikita had come when I was asleep and returned not wanting to disturb me. Disturb, ha. What Nikita did not know was, I was not sleeping. Sharad offered me a peg to celebrate my rent payment. I said not when she is looking. Both of us were joking.
What I really now and forever need is what I have – laughter,love.

Two:

Jan 15, 2008: Bought a gun. Trying it on myself. Goodbye. Wait, there is a knock on the door.

Mar 18,2008: Nikita had come that day. No, fate brought her there. I made her past tense. But memories ! Memories will always remain in present tense. I accepted my crime. It was easy.

June 26,2008: Life in jail. No complaints. I have a “legal” shelter (which will not be brought down overnight), I get to eat food, I have no boss who would fire me ! All I really need is paper and pen to pen my thoughts and life.

Three:

Jan 15, 2008: Bought a gun. Have placed it next to bottle and pack of cigarrettes. Which are next to a photo of Nikita and children. The photo was taken after the recovery of Nikita’s fatal accident. She was in coma for 2 days. And was hospitalized for a month. The work,money,dreams,life was in shatters. I was angry at my helplessness which I showed on client and team mates. Client complained and I was fired, citing my mental illness. I am staring at the photo, bottle and gun.

Mar 18, 2008: Don’t know how long I stared at them that day. Finally the bottle won over. I am in hospital now. Nikita and children had come in morning. With Sharad. Nikita said, get a life. Ha. She left. With Sharad. What were those Sharad’s eyes saying – pity or a hint of victory ? I am kicking the bottle. “Get a life”, she said!

June 26, 2008: Havent drunk a drop from 3 months..smoking has come down to 2 a day, which will eventually go. I convinced the computer institute to give me a job. I am teaching “Business Communication” among others, ha talk of irony. I am moving out of Sharad’s house to a rented house.

Jan 18, 2009: I got a divorce. I could have actually won the claim to children, but I let it go. I heard Nikita and Sharad will soon marry.No anger towards Sharad, he saved my life.

( Optional extension 1 below )
Oct 3, 2009: Nikita and Sharad came to leave children with me. They were very stubborn not to stay with new father. Nikita will come and meet them once in a week.

Four

Jan 15, 2008: Bought a gun. When I put it to head, suddenly I felt afraid. It takes great courage to die. Even greater courage to live, my mom used to say. After all, what is there to lose now ? I shot at bottle using the gun. I kept staring at the spilled liquor for more than 2 hours. In the reflection I saw, from the day Nikita got close to me to the day she drifted apart. She may be wrong, may not be. I told myself “Get up, wash your face!”.

Feb 12, 2008: I visited Nikita. We did not speak. Sometimes, silence is enough. She moved with me to Sharad’s house.

Oct 3, 2008: Children wanted to go on a roller-coaster ride. My life has been a ride – what a fall, what a rise ! As if everything was for good, I got posted in a MNC and have been immediately sent to US for long term. Life is good.

Five:

Jan 15, 2008: Am pushed out of Sharad’s house. I am begging on streets. All I have is this book and pen. I dont eat, instead I drink with collected money.

Jan 31,2008: I am still alive.

Mar 18,2008: I am being treated in this community hospital. I can not see the poor and deceased here. I have pledged my service to this hospital after I recover.

Jun 26,2008: Great satisfaction is attained by serving people.

Oct 3, 2008: Nikita found out that I am here. She has a job now, but she realized what she lacks. She came to say sorry and rebuild our life. I have no hatred towards her. But I gently declined and said bye. Her tears may or may not move me, but surely I did not want to see them.

2 thoughts on “The Finisher

  1. Hard to choose yaar…..Each one has its share which made me think…..
    All said and done I liked "One" and "Four" better than others. One is superb….I liked "Four" even better until the line "what a fall, what a rise !"…the rest is a bit too sugary 🙂

    So I will choose "One"…

    🙂 Nice work yaar….

  2. Great write yaar….

    They all made me think….I liked "One" and "Four" more than others….

    "One" is superb…."Four" is excellent ….until the line "what a fall, what a rise !" the afterlines are a bit too sugary 😀

    So I will choose "One"