The Failed Pursuit
“Why can’t we be happy?”
“Do you even know how to keep someone happy?”
Complete silent crept into the cabin of the brand new Audi. Designed to block all the outdoor noises, the only sound audible in the cabin was that of the unremoved plastic covers on the heavily scented seats, and it wasn’t really helping the mood.
“You are right. I don’t know how to keep you happy. May be because it is simply impossible. I do all I can and yet…”
“And what is it that you do?”
“I buy you everything you have ever asked for. Sometimes even things that you haven’t even asked for. Bigger home. Better car…”
“May be that is not what I want!”
Jav and Gia made an enviable young couple. With both having equally affluent backgrounds, they tied the knot just two months into their love at first sight. Five years later, the sight had become quite unbearable to stand. The only thing they had in common was perhaps the differences, and the fact that neither knew how to find a way around them.
Gia was strong headed — an attribute Jav appreciated as long as he hadn’t had to handle it. He looked into the mirror and saw her reflection. With her flawless makeup, refined sense of style, and gifted grace, she was a goddess. She could make him feel a lot of things — pride, love, challenge, regret. Everything but happiness. He shrugged the thought and tried to lighten the mood by reminding himself of all the things others loved, perhaps envied, about them.
“We are almost there. At least put up a smile.”
Being told to smile was Gia’s personal pet peeve. She mockingly sneered as wide as she could and kept staring at him through the mirror, like a killer clown about to attack.
For a moment he was scared and then he felt rage creeping all over him.
We will never be happy, he thought.
‘Why can’t we be happy? ‘
With that thought, Khuda Buksh took another heavy step away from his home. Finally, he can stop smiling and look as sorrowful as he feels.
The ten minutes walk towards the bus stop wasn’t his favorite time of the day but it was the only time he could think about himself. The first bead of sweat trickled down his forehead and he remembered how he wasn’t supposed to walk today. He was supposed to pay the first installment of his CD-70 yesterday, and riding his way to work today.
He wasn’t sure if he regrets where the money went but he sure wasn’t happy . At least he put an end to the weeks long argument at home.
Belonging to a lower class family, Khuda Buksh and Khush Bakht married young. Their marriage was decided by the elders and wasn’t exactly a perfect marriage. There were a lot of things to fight about. Khush Bakht was not the kind of a woman who would stay quiet, surrender to excuses, or tolerate careless attitude. She wanted what she wanted — better schools for the kids, better clothes, tuitions to make sure they don’t lag behind. She would fight and fight till Khuda Buksh gives in to her demands. She wasn’t exactly the kind of wife who could keep him happy all the time, but he was glad she was there to share his sorrows.
The bus stop was almost empty. Without asking for time, he knew he was late. Fifteen more minutes before the next bus.
‘Great. If only I had my own ride,’ he thought as he watched cars and bikes pass by.
‘They will make it to their destination before the bus even arrives.’
Sorrow. Hatred. Envy. He wasn’t sure what he was feeling. He just knew he wasn’t happy. He looked at the passing vehicles and imagined how it must feel to have your own set of wheels.
It must feel happy, he thought.
The road was fairly empty. He saw a shiny new car speeding forward. He couldn’t help but notice how happy the lady in the passenger seat looked.
‘The bigger the car. The happier they are’, and then it hit him.
‘Perhaps, a car is the key to happiness. I should start saving for it.’
With his blood boiling, Jav pushed the accelerator as hard as he could and steered left with a sudden jerk. The shiny Audi spun out of control, swirling on the road like a drop of mercury.
Air bags came out. The sound of car alarm muffled the sounds of screams.
‘Happiness at last’, Khuda Buksh thought as the shadows around him start to blur.
Genre Philosophy, Story 3