Burning Your Bridges

By Neel Anil Panicker

‘You are a bridge too far. Absolutely unattainable!’

Shilpa looked askance at Hitesh.
The two had been good friends for the past six months, and ever since they started taking music lessons together, the two teens had become virtually inseparable, one tagging the other wherever he or she went, the other gladly playing second fiddle.

‘One day I will become a famous heroine and you a well known playback singer’ was what Shilpa had declared, her dulcet voice laced with a definitive oracular tone.

“Why…why did you just say that?
Why did you just say that it is unattainable?
Are you not sure of yourself, of your dreams…their fulfillment?”

In response, Hitesh turned his face away.  Instead, pretended to look at the waves as they lashed white foams onto the shore.

What should he say, he wondered. Should he tell her the truth? Telk her that he was no good for her? That he would never become famous, hadn’t the talent to male his mark in the highly competitive Bollywood playback industry.
And that meant had no chance of…err…was not worthy of even dreaming of a life with Shilpa. Shilpa, who not only looked like a diva but also was destined, what with her considerable acting talent, to achieve mega success as a much sought after Hindi film heroine.

A moment’s awkward silence elapsed between the two.
It was Shilpa who finally punctured the pregnant pause.

Clasping Hitesh’s hands, she looked into his eyes before volleying, “Hitesh, success or not,
I will always be attainable for you”.
As the setting sun shone bright in her beautiful almond shaped visage, the  conviction in her eyes was enough to gladden the hitherto unsure heart of Hitesh.
This time he turned towards Shilpa and replied in a resurgent empathic note,  “Yes, your love makes every task possible, every dream a reality”.

#neelanilpanicker #flash #fiction #shortstory #writephoto #life #love

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