The last letter: a short fictional story part (one)

“Hi, I’m Meera, Jay’s friend. I was the one who called you, regarding those letters..” I stuttered right on the introduction. In front of me stood a simple woman in her late twenties, wearing a white floral T-shirt and lilac coloured shorts. Her hair tied into a bun, she had a wide smile. An unforgettable one. Her cat eyed glasses enhanced her quirkiness. “Hey hi come in, be comfortable. I’ll come”. Bahar allowed me inside her house. It was a cozy apartment located in South Mumbai. Everything in the house dated back to the 1980s and 1990s Mumbai. Right from the sofa to the arrangement in her kitchen. Cream coloured walls with lots of wooden furniture. Yes I observed her apartment, completely. She went inside the kitchen and brought two glasses of orange juice. She welcomed politely.

“It might have been quite a long journey, travelling from Pune to Mumbai. I mean in the current times, since travelling is so difficult..otherwise it’s a four hour drive”, Bahar spoke elegantly. Her voice was as sweet as the orange juice she made for me.

“Yeah you are right. But the journey was good, all fine.”

A strange silence ushered through the windows. The soft cream coloured curtains blew with the breeze. The Turkish blue windows watched both of us sitting silently after our first sentences. Letters… letters I took out the letters from my bag. Arranged them on the table according to their dates. I noticed a strange coincidence. The colour of the windows was similar to the colour of the envelopes. And the old paper was changing it’s colour too. It was changing into a cream coloured hue.

I continued,

“My friend Jay, has been receiving these letters from the past 3 years. Letters in beautiful envelopes with the most elegant handwriting. The address said,

Ms. Azara
Marine View, Lane no 2,
Cross Road, Dhobi Talao, Mumbai-002

Because of his work commitments he couldn’t visit today, but I must accept that he ignored these letters. And I want to apologise on his behalf…”

“Oh please there’s no need..it’s alright..” Bahar comforted.

“It was from one of these letters I came to know about your full name and searched for you online..and found you and here I am..” I tried to smile a little. I don’t know what she was thinking when I was speaking but I felt I should leave the house as soon as possible. After all we both were strangers to each other.

“So here are the letters and please check them…and… I’ll take your leave..” I mumbled.

“Oh don’t leave so soon, please sit for some more time, I want to read these letters.”

“In front of me?” I asked.

“Yes, you took the effort of coming here, travelled more than a hundred kilometres, so how could I allow you to leave so soon. I can’t cook but I have ordered some lunch, well I wasn’t sure if you are a non vegetarian, so I have ordered a simple meal.” Bahar insisted.

Now I have some very grave trust issues. Having lunch with her seemed like an audacious decision for me. But the fact that I travelled more than a hundred kilometres to deliver these letters alone, was in itself the most audacious decision I have ever taken. And also I had already finished the orange juice, so if this is a trap I’m already in it. The only one thing that assured me was, I was sharing my live location on Whatsapp with Jay.

I agreed, anyways.

Bahar opened the first letter with a smile, “These are my mum’s letters, her handwriting it’s easy to spot because no one writes like her, no one can ever write like her.” She caressed the paper, the envelopes, she handled all of them so lightly and lovingly. I felt good.

She read ahead,

“Date 05 September, 1988

Dear Bhaskar,

I couldn’t write to you from the past 8 months. The past 8 months have been full of turmoil. As I had told you in my previous letter, my husband has found his own comfort, outside this house. Yes we both are no more different now, both of us doing the same thing, lying and fighting. Committing the same sin. He’ll leave me, he’ll leave me soon. I know. He knows that I know about him. We haven’t spoken about it yet. I haven’t confronted him, because..that’s what I have been doing to him as well. The only difference is I only write letters to you and he..he is living with her. He thinks I know nothing about his business tours, I know what deals he makes on his business tours. But I’m silent. Because honestly, right now I’m not financially stable to support the only love of my life, my daughter Bahar.

Waiting for your reply.

Yours Azara”

Bahar sighed, her eyes moistened. That was the first letter she read. There were 10 more to go.

I was genuinely feeling sorry for her mum and her as well. I knew Jay was receiving these letters, when I found them I doubted that he had a relationship with this woman called Azara but when I read those letters, when I read the incidents I found they are destined for some other man. Jay didn’t care about it. He absolutely didn’t care who this woman was and why she was doing it. For most of the time he presumed it to be some prank.
I couldn’t understand what exactly was happening, but I knew for sure this woman called Azara loved this man called Bhaskar unconditionally. Jay showed me some more letters. The previous owners had dumped them into the storehouse, how good of them that they didn’t burn them away or threw them as trash. It was only after 3 years I thought I should visit this address and find out the truth. In the process I learnt how unkind Jay is, the man whom I love. How unkind of him that he never ever thought of addressing these letters. If only I had come a bit early, I could have met this beautiful woman…

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Read The last letter: a short fictional story part (two)

One response to “The last letter: a short fictional story part (one)”

  1. […] Read The last letter: a short fictional story part (one) […]

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