11:11 AM

11:11 AM
***************************
It was the worst day of his life so far. Fragile hearts so shatter upon impacts. He knew things would be bad and just that he didn’t expect things to be this bad. Numbers were not his friend that day. 18 spoke a lot. He wasn’t even 18. It was a number that sealed his fate over a test that graded him against another number. Funny how things panned out. 18 made him a failure. 20 would have helped him pass and he’d still be considered a failure. 

He could see the look on his parent’s face. His mother would be disappointed. His dad would probably beat him up. He knew all the comforts and privileges he enjoyed in life would come to a grinding halt. His friends had already giggled and teased him. He had made his choice. He had found a new best friend in a rope. Liberation!
**************************** 

Her heart fluttered. She knew such a day would be inevitable. Every night, under the safety and secrecy of her bedroom, the mirror bore witness to her. It wasn’t a tale of the ‘Oh mirror mirror on the wall’. It was a simpler fable of wanting to brave the odds. Hers was not a gift of her choosing. Her heart held on to a million thoughts and expressed an acute desire to express them. A mic was all she ever craved. She had a demon that haunted her every day. Her demon was not confined to the darkness of the night. It bullied her during the day. World called it STAMMERING. It pained her to be ridiculed. The impatience around her robbed her of dignity at times. The mirror was her one great friend who listened to her words with open ears and in gracious patience. 

She had stayed up all night. She had practiced her speech. The microphone buzzed. She cleared her throat. 
A standing ovation awaited her. Life didn’t disappoint. 

*****************************

There was a fear in his heart. It gripped him tight. How could he? The mere thought left him feeling violated. He had not signed up for such a life. Life had not prepared him for that moment. It happened. It was a nightmare beyond his wildest imagination. He never thought such things happened. He never thought such things would happen to him. The folks were nice. He thought he had made wonderful friends. His boss, he was like a cool dude bro to him. Hi 5’s around the corner, notes of appreciation galore, he was sitting on a promising career. And then life took a turn which caught him off guard. 

His boss was in love with him and wanted to ” express that love” . Kindness now ceased to be an act of generosity. Kindness , he learnt, came with a hefty price tag under the guise of obligation. A career was in question. A life was in question. A predator was on the prowl, the prey realized that it couldn’t out run. 

In silence, he buried a helpless guilt as he rang the doorbell that night.

*****************************

Eyes were failing. It was not her age that failed her vision. Tears tend to do that. She had locked herself away to protect herself from yet another alcohol fuelled rage. If the scars in her body could write, they would convey a story of love, betrayal of that trust and violence. She cried for as long as she could. Like most days, she was curled into the foetal position and her tears left a salty stain on her pillow. Love was her only sin. 

She could walk away from it all. It was that easy. She knew her friends would feed her the courage she needed. She worried about her dad. His last words haunted her. ‘You never come back to his house” he had screamed. That was two years ago. Words had failed to heal that broken relationship. She felt helpless. Her tears had dried out. In silence and broken pain , she packed her bags. She paused a second and stared at her wedding photograph. Tears rolled down her eyes. She refused to pack it with her belonging. 

The next morning, there were more tears. A heart broken father met his heart broken daughter. Their tears acknowledged the love that they had for each other.

*****************************

I’m sorry , the message was typed. I’m going to have to let you go. We’ve had a lot of wonderful moments together. It breaks my heart to let go. Had to be done though. I no longer feel the warmth in my heart. I no longer feel the magic in the moments. I am but reminded of the million things that went unsaid. I’m thankful for the ugliness that couldn’t find words. The more I thought about it, the more it left me barren. So full of life, yet so void of it. I cant take this any more.

There was a pause. The loneliness ahead was daunting. What would our friends say? how will I explain all this to the world? Am I still doing the right thing? I’m unhappy now, but wouldn’t I feel unhappier by walking away. 

A decision was made. The message was deleted. Hey, what are you doing? , the new message read. 

*******************************

Different stories. Different people. So many thoughts that took years, months, days to help form a decision. for all the million moments spent contemplating the what’s next to life, all it took was a minute, JUST A MINUTE, to commit to that decision. The tale outlines the battle that a few minds raged between 11:10 and 11:11. Some braved to a better world. Some gave up to a life in continued misery. 

So much to them 60 seconds huh!


Karthik

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