The Eternal Side by Menaka G


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SUMMARY: Entry for June Flash Fiction Contest. Theme: Two sides to every story

The first time I laid eyes on him, I was startled. I'd never seen anyone more handsome in my life! There he was, walking across the road, a spring in every step he took and a smile plastered firmly across his face and I could feel my heart beat in my throat. And when he turned to look at me, I felt my legs turn to jelly.
And now that I'm sitting across him, looking deeply into his eyes and feeling his voice wash over me; I can't help but feel a little sad. None of his words makes sense and I can't understand how he can look right through me! But he is and his words are addressed not to me, but that girl sitting behind me.
"But, Ali! None of this makes sense!" she squealed.
At least I have some company!
I turn to look at her. It's funny how I could fit into that space between her chair and the table. I couldn't have done it a few weeks back.
Her eyes were as wide as the saucers on the table. I could tell she was scared.
"I know," he said softly. "But..."
I turn back to him. He looks handsome even when he was tired.
"Please understand..." he muttered as tears filled his eyes.
I understand! I really do!
Ok, I don't. But I'm trying!
He opened his mouth very slowly and his voice sounds like it was coming from a woebegone record player. The coffee shop I was in starts to melt.
"Not again!" I scream. But I can't hear my own voice. Everything was turning into a black nothingness.
I flay my arms, trying to grab a part him that I can take, but I get nothing. My hands pass through him as he too starts to melt.



The first time I laid eyes on her, I was blown away. She was the most beautiful girl I'd ever seen! There she was, standing across the street, her hands in her jeans' pocket, an ethereal smile on her face and I knew that my life would never be the same again!
And now, as I walk to her grave with a bunch of red roses, I feel dead myself. This is not where I had planned to propose marriage.
I put the roses at the base of the tombstone. It read "Love never dies."
So true.
I sit cross-legged near her grave and wait.
A gentle breeze softly ripples through the grass making me smile.
"You were at the coffee shop, weren't you?" I ask. The breeze blows on my face.
"I know this sounds crazy. But," I take out my grandmother's ring. "But..." I falter. Sheesh, I'm nervous!
I get up on my knees as the breeze blows on my face again.
"Better late than never, right?" I take a stab at morbid humour as I hold up the ring. "Meghana, will you marry me? Please?"
I wait for her answer.


"But, Ali! This makes no sense!" I scream. Half the people in the coffee shop turn to look at me.
"I know. But..." he faltered. He looks handsome despite the greys.
"Please understand..." he muttered as his eyes fills with tears.
"Ali, its high time you came to terms with the fact that Meghana is dead..."
"I know she is dead."
"...for three years."
Ali looked confused.
"You mean three weeks?"
"No, I mean three years!" I scream again. The owner of the coffee shop looks disapprovingly at me.
"Aren't you tired of proposing to a dead woman's spirit?" I ask lowering my voice.
"No."
"Please, Ali! Please let me help!"
"There is nothing you can do, Ayesha. She is dead!"
He stood up and muttered something before leaving.
I continue to sit at the table, too tired to move.
A gentle breeze blows on my face. I look up and see Ali through the window. He is buying a bunch of red roses. The sight reminds me of my mother. She had once told me that most love stories had two sides to it. One was the Real side, what actually happens in lovers' lives. The other was the Eternal side, what continues to happen in lovers' hearts when reality no longer keeps up.
My brother's story had long since crossed over to the other side.