Their Shortest Short Story
“I want to write something nice, deep and meaningful with context. I want to write based on empirical evidence but I am not feeling up to it. I am an emotionally fraught, sad panda. I am not even confident I can churn out that piece. I am afraid of being judged. I almost know I will be ridiculed. Why should I set myself up to be ridiculed after so much of an effort and hard work? Why?” said Tina to Harry. Harry simply turned towards the window and started to stare at the Verizon; his silence adding to Tina’s frustration. “Say something?” She prompts.
“I don’t really mean to put you down, it comes naturally to me” he responds. “Putting people down?”
“Yea...I suck, don’t I?”
They go back to the quiet again. It isn’t one of those comfortable silences. There is a lot of heated tension and awkwardness between them. Harry sets his spectacles aside, lies on the floor and starts smoking while staring at the ceiling. While they are both at home, for some reason he is fully clothed and she isn’t. She lies down next to him and they share the puff. They are back to their old, comfortable banter. They are talking about anything and everything. The conversation is fairly random with added doses of bickering. They start laughing at some private joke and then, the quiet discomfort creeps in again.
“I should go, you know” she says
He sits up like a bolt as soon as he hears that.
“Why?” he asks.
She responds with a “Why not?”
“Want me to take you out?” He asks
Her insides are burning by this time. He looks at her forlornly. She is too tired, just wants to sit down and cry. He doesn’t know. He never knows. He walks out of the door. She had just mentioned walking away and he just left like that. She was flustered. He came back in a few minutes. Probably, sensed her feelings... He was fraught now. He couldn’t think straight.
She starts packing. He wants to hug her but is shy, distraught, angry and deeply hurt. Still keeps looking at her forlornly. She looks at his innocent face and her heart skips a beat. She almost can’t bear to not hug him but she must.
“Are you crazy?” He asks her. Demands rather...
“Crazier” she responds.
“I always wanted crazier” he says.
“You can’t handle it” she says
“I love you” he says.
Her heart skips a beat again but she says calmly to him “That’s what they all say when they can’t handle it. As if that’s not enough, they then go on to blame us for their ruin. As if our lives weren’t troubled at all....”
Tina blabbers. Harry is now down on his knees asking her to marry him. Tina’s heart does a back flip. She doesn’t want to marry him. “Reject him!” She thinks in her head while embracing him into a deep passionate kiss.