EMPTY PAGES — EPISODE 12

# 76 Moments

Strangers whose paths hadn’t met.

Neither aware of the other’s existence.

Of infinite possibilities — their paths met.

For the briefest moment in time, there was nothing but joy.

How long is a moment? A minute or a year, she wondered.

Their paths separated, each their own way.

Strangers again, but not stranger enough.


#77 The trail

He was walking by the lane, minding his own business.
There was just one path to follow, one place to go.
Everyone knew what had to be done, no orders needed.
You just had to follow the trail. Every day,every night.
There was no prize for reaching first, no traffic to be fixed. 
Wasn’t it boring, repetitive? Had anyone ever rebelled? 
He hadn’t. Didn’t need to. Follow the trail, get the job done.
You could get in their way, be an obstacle. A mammoth one.
They’d find a way around you. Below you. Over you. 
They’d find a way to the other side, it was all that mattered.
His folks took pride in their efficiency, work rate.
Humans read books, research methods to be efficient.
Somewhere something 1/1700th their size did just that.
No words. No perks. No appraisals. One target. One purpose.
Never to be proved by graphs, proved simply by results.


# 78 Silence

It was a cool breezy summer evening. They sat together in silence.
The park bench was probably as old as them, rusted in places.
It stood testimony to the silent hours that had passed between them.
They used to talk a lot. Argue. Fight. Make up after their fights.
Over the years, the words had dried out, pauses just got longer.
They didn’t have much to say to each other, not that they hadn’t tried.
Silence was the cushioning that kept them from hurting each other.
They could have left each other, parted ways, lived their lives. 
It wasn’t love that kept them together though, or happiness.
It was comfort. They knew each other. They knew the good, the bad.
They were comfortable in the silence. Scared of the unknown. 
Comfort kept their partnership alive till they reached their adjacent graves.
Together by measurable distance , detached by all other means.


#79 Answers

He watched as light filtered through the prison windows. 
This would be another blip on his long tumultuous journey.
His arrest seemed years ago, it had actually been few weeks.
He had seen more than most 60 year olds had, at the age of 20.
He still woke up at nights, cold with sweat, heart pumping.
He would never forget the day his world had shattered.
Hidden behind the wreckage, he’d watched his family’s slaughter.
He watched grown men attack each other, kill each other, burn. 
Years later he couldn’t understand why ideologies were worth death.
What God asked for the death of innocents to be proved superior?
Why did people feel the need to prove that their God mattered?

He had no answers. Not even as a wise old learned man 60 years later.
Over the years, with travel, discussion and debate, he realised one thing, 
The only place God existed for sure is in the minds of men.


#80 Safety

She sat there bored, bored of her monotonous existence. 
She wondered how people had such exciting lives,they did so much.
She was scared to try doing any of those things she had seen. 
She knew because she had researched it all, thoroughly. 
It reached a point when she knew what could go wrong with everything.
She knew the worst case scenrios of everything under the sun. 
The knowledge paralysed her below her neck, she could do nothing.
She would tell everyone to stop, scared they didn’t know the risks. 
Some thought it was because she couldn’t, she didn’t want them to.
Her knowledge induced phobias made her quite unpopular with people.
She died safely, a knowledgeable old woman, who had died many times before. Her last words were in her diary, written in a scrawly, tremorous handwriting —

Safety kills more people than danger does. I’d rather have died once due to the latter than lived the deaths I have till date.

#81 Flame

She was burning. Not literally but her mind was on fire.
Some predicted that she was going to burnout soon. Be ashes.
Some told her to slow down,she was destroying herself.
But she gave it all, let her motives burn everything she was.
If she would be ashes at the end of it, she was prepared for that.
It burnt her pain, her past. It burnt everything else in it’s way.
She was burning while others rested. Embers glowing in the dark.
Till the day all was left of her was a much tinier flame. Tiny but bright.
Everything around her dimmed in comparison, blended into the darkness.
The tiniest flame in the darkness can cast the largest shadow.