Saturday, April 6, 2024

Second Chance: Chapter 2 - Suicide Point, Unexpected Beginnings

 Chapter 2 - Suicide Point Unexpected Beginnings

Click here to Previous Chapter 1 

Karthik's bike roared to life as Kavya settled in behind, her expression concealed. Determined to decipher her mood, he adjusted his mirror, craving a glimpse of her face. His thoughts wandered, grappling with the haunting question, "Wasn't there anything about me worth fighting for in our relationship?"

The red traffic light interrupted his reverie, prompting a journey back in time, fifteen years back. "They say marriages are made in heaven," he murmured, "but ours... it was dawned at Suicide Point."


Our story unfolds at Suicide Point, a picturesque spot in Yercaud, a hill station where our families organized an annual trip each year. I vividly remember those days; fresh out of college, we eagerly awaited our final semester results. 

Since childhood, my heart held a deep affection for Kavya that endured through the years. However, despite knowing me since birth, she never seemed to reciprocate any profound friendship towards me.

Pausing for coffee near the scenic suicide spot, savoring the chill weather, Kavya ordered a coffee for herself, and I pretended to be unsure about whether I wanted tea or coffee.

I asked her if I could taste her coffee to help me decide and without waiting for her answer, I took a sip from her cup and exclaimed, "Hmm, Lovely! I will have coffee too".

Her response was quick with a smirk, "No, no, you keep this one. It's a saliva blend now. I will get a fresh one."

Before her new coffee arrived, her father approached, burdening me with the family business responsibilities.

"Karthik, studies are done. Join us and learn the business", he urged.

Our families had been business friends for decades, my father chimed in, "Take over in six months. We deserve a break!"

Feeling annoyed with the business discussions, I muttered to myself, "Oh gosh... There it is again, the business talk."

I excused myself under the pretext of checking our car's security, "Wait, Dad! I'm not sure if I locked our car. Let me go check real quick!"

Before leaving, I wanted to take Kavya with me. "Hey Kavya, want to join me?" I asked hopefully.

She smiled gently and declined, "I'm tired, Karthik."

Persisting, I added, "Just a short stroll. Trust me, It will refresh you."

She hesitated for a moment, then relented with a nod, "Alright, let's go"

As we walked, she quizzed, "Our car's that way, why are we going the other way?"

"I just needed a moment away, with you by my side," I teased, a playful wink adding a touch of mischief to my words.

Caught off guard, she playfully remarked, "Nice try," her eyes gleaming mischievously as she added, "Not sneaking for a smoke break, are you?"

"No, no, just needed some fresh air," I reassured exhaling a misty breath to emphasize my point. I chimed in, "That discussion was suffocating."

Her soft voice advised, "If you don't want to get into business, tell them upfront."

The chill embrace of the weather and the misty ambiance draped us, accompanied by the scent of roasting corn nearby. We instinctively rubbed our hands together, seeking warmth in the cold. But in a fleeting moment, the mist disappeared, revealing the picturesque scene before us.

Spotting a stunning viewpoint, Kavya posed, urging me to capture the beauty. Ah, the days of limited film rolls and no instant retakes!

As her hair danced in the wind, I couldn't resist the urge to make a slight adjustment for the photo. Not wanting to miss the chance of getting closer to her, I gently moved closer, savoring the scent of her hair as I reached out to arrange it.

With careful movements, I smoothed out the strands, relishing the softness and texture of each one as I helped her gather them. The intimate moment allowed me to appreciate her beauty close, and I found myself lost in her.

"Hey, go and click the photo quickly before the mist returns!" Kavya exclaimed.

With precision, I meticulously captured her in just one picture, freezing that beautiful moment in time.  

Reflecting on the past, I realize how fortunate we were not to have the instant review and retake feature on our smartphones back then. Nowadays, she would probably ask for a thousand shots until my phone battery died just to get that flawless picture.

As I carefully placed the camera back into its pouch, a fortune teller with a rattle-drum approached us.

With confidence, the fortune teller declared, "Your future bride is here!"

Kavya playfully scanned the crowd, pretending to search for my destined bride. The fortune teller pointed at her, affirming, "She's the one."

She chuckled softly, shaking her head. "Meee?, marry him? That's a good one! But, He is more like my 'bro-daddy' type. I can't image my life with him"

"Bro type, huh? Why do you girls always corner us with bro types?" he countered, glancing at Kavya. Looking at the fortune teller, he added, "Well, marrying her? That's definitely not on my wishlist; can't even imagine us twinning in matching outfits!"

"Whoa, slow down there" But just as Kavya was about to continue, the fortune teller interrupted with a shake of his rattle-drum, creating a loud noise. "The signs are clear; you two have already started arguing. It's like the first requirement of a marriage"

"Hey, why are we arguing? He is just babbling some random stuff to squeeze some extra cash, thinking we are a couple who will feel happy about it."

The fortune teller, irked by my comment, stated firmly, "I have been doing this for over 30 years. And mark my words, you will return here with her" he pointed at Kavya, "after your wedding."

The unexpected prediction took us by surprise, and our parents overheard our conversation. This idea registered in the back of their minds as a seed of possibility. Throughout the trip, they discussed envisioning our future together, and before our trip had even concluded, our engagement date was finalized.

It seemed that the idea of marrying Kavya to me had been brewing in their minds for some time, and the palm reader's prediction simply ignited that spark.

And so, our journey as a couple began at Suicide Point, where we experienced a blend of breathtaking highs and daunting lows, much like the ups and downs of relationships.
As the traffic light switched to green, a cacophony of car horns filled the air, snapping me back to reality. Kavya's urging to move forward echoed in my ears and I zoomed the bike.

To be continued...

Friday, April 5, 2024

Second Chance: Chapter 1 - Clash on the Court

      Chapter 1 - Clash on the Court

In a cozy city apartment, the morning sun filtered through the balcony, illuminating an old photo album on the wall. The image depicted a happy couple in their twenties, radiating love on their wedding day. Yet, as the story unfolds, the bedroom reveals a different narrative.

Karthik, a dynamic man in his mid-thirties, radiated charm as he hurriedly prepared for the day; his wet hair, tousled from the shower, added allure. The stubble on his cheeks gave him a rugged charm, emphasizing his jawline. With effortless grace, he grabbed a sports t-shirt from his wardrobe, throwing it on in a way that highlighted his energetic physique. His captivating smile, magnetic eyes, and black, thick hair drew people in.

Kavya, his wife, dressed in a black sports t-shirt and carrying a badminton bag slung over her shoulder, entered the room, her expression a blend of anger and frustration as she confronted Karthik. Her posture spoke volumes about her confidence. Slender with long, glossy black hair tied back in a ponytail, her captivating deep brown eyes drew others into her gaze. Her charming dimple enhanced her charm, adding a touch of sweetness to her presence.

"Karthik, The match starts at 7:30, and it's already 7. If you are not interested, you should have informed me during registration." Kavya's voice hinted at aggression, her eyes locked on him while she crossed her arms.

Caught off guard by his wife's sudden outburst, he looked at her with a puzzled expression,

"Why would I wake up at 6 in the morning if I'm not interested?" he asked, gesturing with disbelief.

"You woke up, but you were in the bathroom for a long time, glued to your mobile," Kavya remarked with a sigh.

"That's men's time," Karthik defensively replied, running a hand through his hair and applying gel to style it perfectly. "And, You wouldn't understand," he added dismissively, turning away to check his appearance in the mirror.

Karthik's inner thoughts echoed. "It's just a friendly tournament at our apartment, not an international match. Why does she always create a scene out of nothing?"

Kavya stormed off with a slam of the door, leaving Karthik behind in a rush. He hurriedly grabbed his shoe, dashed towards the lift, his breath slightly labored from the morning's frantic pace.

Inside the lift area, Kavya stood alone, anxiously checking her watch as time passed. Just as the elevator doors were about to shut, Karthik's last-minute press of the open button caused them to reopen.

As tension mounted in the confined lift space, Karthik stepped inside hurriedly, saying "Whew, just in time!" and winked at her. The door closed behind him, sealing the lingering unease between them.

Exiting the lift, they stepped into the corridor, their footsteps echoing on the tiled floor as they headed towards the parking area. Reaching the parking area, Karthik headed straight for his bike. However, a sudden realization struck him.

"Oh no! I forgot my bike keys at home," Karthik exclaimed in dismay.

Kavya looked at him incredulously, her disbelief palpable.

"Seriously?" Kavya questioned with a hint of exasperation in her voice. "I knew you would rush back for your helmet again."

With a rueful expression, he rushed back to their apartment to retrieve the forgotten keys, leaving her to wait impatiently.

Arriving at the badminton court, Kavya began her warm-up routine, and Karthik joined her, teasing, "I must say, no warm-up needed for you. You are already warm with your anger, just like a steam engine." She let out a light smile, trying to shake off the tension from earlier.

"Ah, my wife finally smiled," he remarked, a playful glint in his eyes.

Just then, the organizer approached and asked, "Your match is next. Are you guys ready?"

They nodded, but as the match began, their coordination seemed off. They both missed shots, each assuming the other would take them.

"That was your shot, Karthik!" She blamed, frustration evident in her voice.

"No, that was your shot, Kavya!" he retorted, his tone mirroring her. 

Frustration crept in as they continued to struggle on the court. The referee reminded them sternly about the seriousness of the match.

"Guys, this is a knock-out match. Can you play a little more seriously?" the organizer reminded them.

With a shared glance, they switched sides, but their gameplay remained disjointed. As the match progressed, their communication faltered, leading to more missed opportunities.

"Game ball, Score - 21-5," the referee announced. 

The shuttle reached Kavya perfectly, giving her a clear chance to score. However, in a moment of anger, she hit the shot into the net, sealing their defeat. Disheartened, she stormed off the court, grabbing her bag.

Kavya watched as the organizer approached, shaking his head at their performance.

"I can't believe you guys were the tournament winners last time. Clearly, the issue was lack of sync and coordination" the organizer remarked before walking away, leaving them to contemplate their disappointing performance.

Karthik observed Kavya slumping onto the steps, her expression a masterpiece of disappointment. He mused, sensing her mood. "If I talk to her now, she will bombard me with non-stop blame. If I don't, I will get a double serving for not convincing her. Ah, the dilemma,"  He thought he would better deal with it now and sidled up to her. 

"Leave it, Kavya. Let's focus on the next tournament," he said, hoping to lighten the mood.

"I'm not upset about losing this tournament, It's just..." She replied. 

Surprised, he waited for her to explain.

"Did you hear what the organizer said? We lack synchronization and coordination!" she expressed her annoyance.

With a carefree attitude, he replied, "Well, you know how it is with organizers—they say some random stuff. Let's not take it seriously."

Her tone softened, "But what he said is true, Karthik."

Lost in thought, she gazed into the distance. "It's not just about our match," Her voice quivered with emotion. "Our lack of sync extends beyond the court."

He got straight to the point, replying firmly, "Let's not jump to conclusions based on one match, Kavya."

"But, don't you think that game reflects our relationship?" she asked, a hint of concern in her voice.

Feeling a surge of irritation he replied, "For heaven's sake, can you stop dragging this match into everything? We are here to play, not to psycho-analyze our relationship on the court."

"See, I'm trying to express something, but you are not understanding. This sync issue reflects in our lives as well."

Karthik, maintaining his stance, replied, "I hear what you are saying, but I don't agree. Our game and our relationship are separate things. Let's leave the deeper discussions for another time, please." He looked at her firmly and added, "Can we leave now?"

"No, I can't keep postponing anymore," She continued, "Perhaps it's a sign that we need to take a step back and reevaluate our relationship." Her words trailed off, filled with introspection and underlying concerns.

"Sh...She's bringing this up again," Karthik muttered quietly.

"Karthik, maybe it's time for us to consider moving on," Kavya's voice trembled slightly as she spoke, her words laden with the weight of years of unspoken pain.  

Kavya had tried to resolve their issues, to bridge the emotional distance that seemed to widen with each passing day. But her efforts had often been met with indifference or temporary fixes, leaving the deeper wounds unhealed. It wasn't just about this particular argument or incident; it was about the accumulation of unresolved emotions and unaddressed issues that had been festering beneath the surface for too long. She had reached a breaking point, where the constant struggle and pain in their relationship had become too much to bear, overshadowing any hope of making things right.

Karthik was taken aback by her emotional statement. His mind raced, trying to process the gravity of her words. Fifteen years of marriage, filled with both joy and challenges, flashed before his eyes. While he acknowledged that the initial spark had dimmed over time and there were misunderstandings and gaps in their connection, Karthik couldn't fathom using that as a reason to give up on their relationship.

"Let's discuss this further at home, not here," he finally managed to say, his voice tinged with uncertainty. He couldn't bring himself to meet her eyes, his own emotions a mix of confusion, sadness, and a lingering hope for reconciliation.

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