There’s Something About Rome

~ A short story ~

Sweat dripped from her forehead and her white cotton shirt, soaked. Sally could have sat inside the cafe, the air con could have cooled her down. Instead, she sat outdoors because the view was better. Pavement cafes lined up on that narrow cobblestoned street. Bougainvillea vines crawled down from the second floor of the building down to the glass windows of the cafes, albeit neatly cut. Café Romana, that’s where she sat; its wooden tables topped with lacey white runners, chairs were cushioned with either pink and white or mint green and white stripes. Continue reading “There’s Something About Rome”

Patched Up

Sometimes, it is the most trivial of things that crack that hard shell and breaks into the deepest and most fragile part that you ever so protected. One thug and you are shattered. The type of brokenness that will make you curl yourself in a fetal position between your three pillows, tucked in the sanctuary that is your blanket as you stay late and cry yourself to sleep. Continue reading “Patched Up”

Ripples on a Quiet Lake

~ A short story ~
The aroma of instant coffee woke me up. It wafted into my nostrils, whirled its way into my every nerve, and woke up every bit of my sleeping body parts. I sat cross-legged; hands tucked inside the pocket of my grey sweater, absorbing every heat they can get. My eyes squinted as the tender light of the dawn entered the tent. The fog slowly vanished in the presence of the early morning sun. Puffy, white clouds enveloped the Lover’s Summit – as what everyone called the twin mountains.

Continue reading “Ripples on a Quiet Lake”

She Won’t Follow Anymore

~ A short story ~

She bounces between the glass wall and the tiny tables and finally slides herself into the chair. She gives him a wide smile and hangs her bag on the back of the chair. He crushes the butt of his cigarette on the ashtray in the middle of the table that is occupied by a wooden sugar caddy, an empty espresso cup, and his dark brown messenger bag. Continue reading “She Won’t Follow Anymore”

Nothing New, Just the Year

Fairy lights reflected on the wine glass half-filled with Chardonnay. It was the last dinner of 2020 and the island was bright and merry. My plate was filled with seafood I have not tasted for almost a year: salmon, crabs, prawns, and lobster. I devoured the food like I’ve never tasted food before. I was grateful to be able to eat something exceptional just before the blurry 2020 leaves. And with the sumptuous meal in front of me, I tried to forget that I’ve been eating boiled eggs daily for the last eight months for breakfast. Continue reading “Nothing New, Just the Year”

A Mellow Goodbye to November

Five minutes outdoor and my thin white cotton uniform was already soaked in sweat. My mask was no different. ‘It is so humid today,’ said the American-Asian journalist that we sent off this morning. The wind might have protested. Not a single leaf moved. Not the slightest of waves disturbed the sleeping shore. The sun was relentless. I thought an egg could be soft-boiled on my head.

Continue reading “A Mellow Goodbye to November”

Guaranteed Rain

The bonfire was about six feet tall. More or less seventy people danced around it, and the group leader chanted Energy Ball over and over again. We sat a few meters away with the huge fire hose beside us, ready for any unwanted incidents. It was a dry starry night but the wind picked up and the embers were like tiny fireflies, they danced towards the palm leaves to the tune of Energy Ball. Continue reading “Guaranteed Rain”

Tiny, Winged and Tangerine

Dragonflies lingered about outside my office door. This was the first time I’ve seen dragonflies here in the Maldives so I found it quite strange. The color of their bodies was tangerine, the darker shade different from the green and blue ones I saw during childhood. They flew around me whenever I stepped out of the door, only for a few seconds. I covered my ears every time I walked past them, that’s the last part of my body I wanted them to fly into.

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Malediven Express

~ A short story ~

Bound to Javahiru Rah, Malediven Express left Male’ at exactly nine on a Saturday morning of November. A thin silver line hemmed the cloudless neon-blue sky and the lazy deep blue. Frothy waves ebbed and flowed as the speedboat slammed the perfectly idle sea. Nature-trimmed palm and banyan trees on islands waved at the high-speed ocean toy. The three passengers of the speedboat were bound to Javahiru Rah which means Jewel Island, all with different reasons. Continue reading “Malediven Express”