I watched “The Lunchbox” recently and was reminded of this write here, called “The Nit Picker’s Ballad”, which I then shared on my Facebook Wall. That in turn brought me a couple of requests for a different ending… or the extrapolation of the narrative with a different ending. Here goes :)
On the shores, bereft, he stood
(Though it should be she
He having left at her honesty
At her gift of love)
Gazing long at the loyal waves
That came back again and again
Asking him, beseeching sometimes
To find his peace.
He was young, they seemed to say
Love will come around,
Their quiet murmur consoled
The soft splash had nothing to do
Really, with the twin trails of tears
That found their way down his eyes.
Oh no! Not love. Not forever.
He knew they did not exist.
It was a lesson he was taught.
A niggling doubt, a tiny seed sown
By her yearning eyes. Her silent plea.
By her unshed tears, and brave smile
As she watched him back away.
As she watched, and did not cling.
Did not pursue.
Was he wrong?
Must he unlearn?
He would try, he had to try
Else there would be no way
To ease the agony of his heavy heart.
Back he went, his footprints
Erased by each happy wave
That egged him on, to seek, to love
Then hold on, and never give up
Or give in, to the
Traitorous thoughts that reneged
On faint promises made to himself!
He followed, swift, the trail of wet prints
In the soft moist sand, landwards
Till he came upon her, seated
Knees drawn up, chin on knee
A faraway sadness enveloping…
In the shadows of her thoughts,
And the small fishing boat!
May I sit? hesitant, he asked.
Mute, she nodded.
May I simply hold your hand?
His voice trembled as he asked.
I couldn’t stand for you to then leave, she said
I won’t, a soft whisper from him, if you’ll let me stay.
Let you stay? When did I ask you to leave?
You walked, away, away…
And will you, again? she did not look at him
As her pain reached out and pierced his heart.
I couldn’t leave, I couldn’t leave…
I went away, but couldn’t leave,
Hoarsely he repeated over and over…
There were loveless shores of such emptiness
He’d wandered, that he knew, unlearned,
And learned yet again…
Trust or not, Love or not,
Forever or not…
His survivor’s heart needed her saviour’s heart…
And as they simply held hands
Leaned into each others’ love,
A flash of insight struck his mind -
He who was doomed to wander ever
Would now find safe harbour
In his sails wafted promises of another day
Another moment, another soul
To love, to be loved.
How glad he was
He chose to stay!
Online, 29 June, 2014
Under 500 words. :D