SHORTS: Mirage

«Mirage» — A short story by Nikhil Bekal It is a beautiful rainy night. I wish I had a companion with me to spend this lovely, cozy night. But things are just not the way we expect it to be. I can sense the aroma of wet mud in my front yard, the sound of rain drop dripping from my window panel, the soothing air carried by the rain gushing through the tiny holes in the door, all of these made me miss that special person.

It was years back when I met her, Linda is what she is called by, but she preferred her to be called by Leona. She was in the twelfth grade and I was in my graduation of human psychology.

The University of Colorado had a huge campus and Leona was the lily in the garden that stood fresh, simple yet elegant, vibrant & beautiful.

One dark café & one mocha La café is what I heard on June 7th 1987. The sweetness of the voice echoed in my ears one hundred million times & every time it did, my heart beat ran faster than the normal pace. I made an attempt to turn and gaze. It was she, Leona, the one moment, when I decided to be with her and just with her always. She had the French facial expression and a strong German accent. I gazed at her till she sipped the last drop of mocha la café. Days passed by with me just being successful in reading her mind, I could guess her next move and simply follow down the lane where she walked

She was about to graduate in a month’s time and my feelings for her was just not getting out of my mind. I felt I am going to lose her. But thank the cross on my little finger which gave me the courage to approach her and let her know how I feel about her.

She was alone in the café house and I was sensing the aura to be perfectly fine to let her know how I feel about her. Jan 16th 1988 was the decision day. I had the déjà-vu about this incident happening in my life before. I approached her, just when she was about to look at me, she happen to receive a call, which looked emergency. She had to leave unrecognizing my existence. I failed for the first time.

Photo by Josh Fassbind

I tried to find more about her by enquiring her academic records, personal history. It all looked as if she was an average student with a talent of music embedded in her. She hailed from a musical family. Dad worked in a theatre and mom was a vocalist, which obviously made her the voice of the era. I tried to get some of the recordings and they were just running in my mind like the sinusoidal wave oscillating to and fro.

I saw her back in the campus a week’s time later she left from the café house seeking an emergency call. I did not see the same charm on the lily’s face. It was faded by the strong sun light. She didn’t seem to be normal. By the amount of observations that I’d done over the period of time, I could sense everything running in her mind. There she goes, lifts her hand right up the air to wave at her friend and the glittering diamond embedded stone on a gold ring made it very obvious that she was engaged.

My feelings for Leona were just going to be within myself. I was about to graduate as a psycho analyst by destiny wanted me to be a psycho! I kept the feelings within me and never bothered to tell anyone about it.

I was creative from childhood. I made the world of imagination and lived in it. I thought I could get my academics in place; I studied harder and diverted my mind totally into studies. I was doing well in the grades and scores, but every time I did, I missed Leona even more. I decided not to visit the café house anymore. I never went there nor the places where she usually was seen. My department was few yards away from her and I would take a different route.

September 27th 1989, I was awarded the gold medal for human psychology and I was forever going to leave the memory and the place. Once before I go, I wanted to see the café house, feel for the last time, the couch and the place where she used to sit.

I walked in, ordered a mocha la café and started to sip it. I saw the waitress staring at me and a moment later she approached me with few letters. I was shocked, dazed, surprised to see the letters from Leona to me saying she loved me from the day one. She waited for me for years and wanted to say how much she loves me. Every time she came to the café house, she left a message for me asking to see her once before she goes away forever and she left and that too forever!

I was true; I was in my imagination world of not recognizing her love. The ring was not her engagement ring! I was wrong! I was a gold medalist in human psychology but could not sense the psychology of the one who loved me! I was wrong! I was wrong!


Nikhil Bekal

Nikhil Bekal is a Design Engineer with one of the Semiconducting Firm. Short Story/Creative writing has been his hobby ever since he was in his School. He has published Few short stories of which Mirage, Wish & Forlorn are renowned. He Strongly believes in the saying "A pen is mightier than the sword". Being a pet lover & a Basketball freak, he also loves to experiment few deliciacy in the kitchen.