Avani

Submitted for Contest #47 in response to: Suitcase in hand, you head to the station.... view prompt

59 comments

You weren't expecting that to occur. It was a horrible reality check, brief and unexpected, like the immediate emptiness you felt an hour ago. But why did you even expect everything to stay the same, you uncomfortably questioned yourself? Did you expect nothing would happen to her?

If so, which you-deep down-knew you did, you were wrong.

Suitcase in hand, your journey to the train station was the very proof of that. To add to that, the increasing darkness and the accumulating clouds indicate that you'll be soaked if you don't get into the train fast enough.

The train doors slid open, and you sank into one of the familiar bouncy gray seats, lost in thought. The conductor came by to check your ticket, and all you could do was helplessly hold it out, staring at his polished dress shoes. He left, and then your hand was hanging in midair, the ticket about to fall from it. The train starts, and your hand quivers, and your ticket slips from your fingers, spinning like the maple leaves you and her would watch as they fell from the towering trees.

Others are staring, murmuring to each other, giggling, pointing.Β  Your reputation comes to mind, and you straighten your back and pick up the ticket and pull out your phone. But all you do is stare at the lock screen, well, stare at the picture on your lock screen. It's a picture of you and her when you had gone to that water park in the city.

The picture was snapped mid-laugh, and your eyes are filled with tears from laughing so hard, and she had leaned against you, weak from giggling. You stare at the waterfall in the background and marvel at it unknowingly; it looks just like a veil. It's so wide-spread it's practically transparent, and it sprays across in such an elegant arc that for a moment, you imagine a falling bride, turning her head. Her veil swishes behind her as she beams at you.

Why does the bride look like her?

And the events of your return replayed through your mind. You had left from the small town sixteen years ago, had become one of the most successful businesspeople of the decade, and come home expecting your childhood friend.

Instead, when you knocked on the door of the worn brick house, number 101, you found a little boy, and a small baby girl tottering not far behind. For a moment, all you see is her in his face. And then the boy asks you who you are, a serious expression on his petite face, and it vanishes, and it's a little boy and his baby sister again.

You hear a man's voice call out to the children, and the boy whips his head around, running towards a man looking to be about your age. His facial features alight with recognition, and he explains that he's seen your pictures, that he's heard a lot about you.

You laugh awkwardly, remembering you were on a business trip during the wedding. You stare at your feet, and then you remember the reason for your presence. You asked the man about her, and he smiles, all too fake. He looks up for a moment, reddened eyes focused, seemingly crying, but you can tell that he doesn't have any tears left. The man clears his throat.

She passed away a few days before your arrival, from lung cancer.

You nodded, unsure of what to say, and while you were still standing upright, you felt empty inside. Everything just vanished, melted, sunk.

When you had fallen apart sixteen years ago, she had pulled you back together, slowly, calmly sewing the broken pieces together into something new, something better. And now this-this was pulling out every stitch, one by one, and you were falling apart all over again.

And now the slideshow of events is over, and you pull out the letter she had sent a week ago.

I know we haven't talked in years, but I'd like you to come to my house. It's the same house that I lived in before you left. I hope you can make it.

You smile from the irony. I made it.

Staring out of the sleek steel-paneled window, watching the trees and bushes and buildings melt together into a blurry streak, you can't help but compare yourself to the train.

You've got your life figured out. You have a specific destination you'd like to reach. You've chosen this path for yourself, and there's no turning back. You're zooming through life, your surroundings blending into each other; you simply don't care about anything else. But now you do, and you realize that you shouldn't have gone so fast. You shouldn't have burdened yourself with work that you would need to complete five years from then. You should have paid attention to what was going on with her. Not only her, but you should've spent more time with your family, with your other friends. How long had it been since you'd visited or even checked up on your family? How long had it been since you'd had dinner with your friends? You should have involved yourself with her more.

Her wedding was unattended by you-business trip. There was no gift from you on the teetering pile of gifts at her children's birthday parties, your presence not there-gala with the elites. You had finally made it now, for the first time since you'd left, just not fast enough. Your train had been hurtling down life's tracks, and for the first time, it was too late. It couldn't make it in time.

You examine the envelope and trace your finger over where she signed her name, slowly, carefully.

A. v. a. n. i.

Avani.

(Note: Thank you for reading my story!! For the next few weeks, I am dedicating one story to each of my followers! This is dedicated to Avani Gupta; make sure you check out her account and stories! Thanks for all the support :D)

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59 comments

Zilla Babbitt
00:17 Jun 29, 2020

You asked me to read, so here I am. So sweet! The story progresses like a flower unfolding and the descriptions are good. A few grammar problems. Don't end a sentence with "that" or "of." More proof of what? Second, write strongly. No. Passive. Voice. This indicates a timid, beginning writer and I know you are neither. "I did not attend her wedding." Always active voice. Good descriptions. I love that you're dedicating stories. Keep it up!

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Laiba M
02:27 Jun 29, 2020

Thank you!! I really appreciate the advice, it means a lot coming from such a skilled author! I had assumed my writing was strong enough but there's always room for improvement, thank you for letting me know! :) I wanted to dedicate my stories because I'm really thankful for my followers :D Anyways, thank you so much for reading! ❀

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Djenat Remmache
23:01 Jul 23, 2020

I love it! Beautiful story. Do you mind reading my stories and give me feedback ?

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Laiba M
03:20 Jul 24, 2020

Thank you and no problem, Djenat!

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Deborah Angevin
09:00 Jul 16, 2020

Beautifully written, Laiba! :) Would you mind checking my recent story out, "Orange-Coloured Sky"? Thank you!

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Laiba M
13:19 Jul 16, 2020

No problem, Deborah! Thank you so much :D

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Rhondalise Mitza
15:16 Jul 13, 2020

I’m so sorry, I thought I was following you a while ago but I guess not. πŸ˜‚πŸ’–

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Laiba M
15:19 Jul 13, 2020

Ah, it's fine! Thanks for following me, we haven't talked in a while πŸ’–

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Rhondalise Mitza
15:23 Jul 13, 2020

I know! See, I was working on a show with Daryl Gravensade if you remember him and that got us kind of busy but now that’s slowed down a lot. How’ve you been?

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Laiba M
15:39 Jul 13, 2020

I remember Daryl! He's really nice~ What kind of show, that sounds really interesting! I've been doing fine, haven't been posting consistently but during the upcoming weeks, I'm going to be writing a ton! By the way, I'm doing this thing where I dedicate stories to my followers, do you mind being mentioned as a character in my story? Thanks!

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Rhondalise Mitza
15:42 Jul 13, 2020

Haha, that would be great! And if you hear from Daryl let me know, because he’s kind of not talking to me but I think it’s because he’s busy... our show is based off the format of The Office though if he doesn’t ever write me back it’s going to be a horror film called the Ghosting. πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚

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Laiba M
16:53 Jul 13, 2020

Okay, thank you! I will try and see if he responds, fingers crossed! That's really cool about the show! Just wondering about some things, you don't have to answer :) Are you planning on just writing the script or actually attempting to make it? Would you rather it be animated or live-action?

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Sam T.
09:01 Jul 13, 2020

I haven't been active here lately and i hate myself for not finding this earlier! you've done a brilliant job again! Your writing as always is so beautiful, and i enjoyed reading :)

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Laiba M
15:16 Jul 13, 2020

Thank you so much, Sam! Personally, this story wasn't as good as the previous one but we all have our ups and downs :) I've missed you and your lovely comments! Looking forward to beautiful stories <3

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Sam T.
16:28 Jul 13, 2020

Aww you're the sweetest!! <3 and don't worry, this story was really good! Thanks for being so kind always :)

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Laiba M
16:56 Jul 13, 2020

Haha no, you are! Ever since I've started on Reedsy, you've lit up my comment section with your kind words :) I appreciate your support, I'm lucky to have such a nice fellow writer! Maybe one day we can become friends~

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Sam T.
07:59 Jul 15, 2020

Aww i feel the same way, i really appreciate your support too <3 It would be great to become friends :)

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Laiba M
12:31 Jul 15, 2020

Haha, thank you! I would be more than happy to :D

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Grace M'mbone
17:58 Jun 30, 2020

Beautiful. The only word I can use to describe this.

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Laiba M
19:30 Jun 30, 2020

Thank you, Grace :) It means a lot!!

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Avani Gupta
14:01 Jun 27, 2020

Aww, thanks so much, Laiba! I am flattered you chose me as the first follower to dedicate this story to! ❀❀

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Laiba M
14:27 Jun 27, 2020

Haha, no problem! ❀❀ You were the first friend I made on here and the first supporter of my writing, of course, it would all start with you!

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Avani Gupta
14:28 Jun 27, 2020

❀❀

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Laiba M
14:30 Jun 27, 2020

❀❀❀❀ Thank you for everything, without you I wouldn't have enough motivation to continue! ❀❀❀❀

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Avani Gupta
14:33 Jun 27, 2020

No problem! I loved making friends with you, too!!

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Laiba M
15:05 Jun 27, 2020

Aw :)

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Batool Hussain
06:27 Jun 27, 2020

Oh My God, Laiba! This story is so beautiful 🌸🌸 I loved loved all the descriptions. And, the thing that added five stars to it was you dedicating it to one of your followers, Avani. LovelyyyyyπŸ’πŸ’ Keep writing❀❀

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Laiba M
12:27 Jun 27, 2020

Thank you Batool ❀ Over the next few weeks, I am writing a story for each of my followers, so expect a story for you coming up! 🌸

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Batool Hussain
13:39 Jun 27, 2020

Yayyy...so excited

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Laiba M
13:39 Jun 27, 2020

:D

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Batool Hussain
13:50 Jun 27, 2020

Also, Laiba if you don't mind will you plz tell me the archenemesis prompt of this week.Like does that mean,having a main character and its enemy? Did I interpret it right?..Im very confusedd..plz help

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Batool Hussain
13:50 Jun 27, 2020

Also ,do u use Instagram?

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Laiba M
14:30 Jun 27, 2020

Yes, an archnemesis is basically one's main enemy. I don't use any social media platforms... how about you?

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You did great in second person. I feel like sometimes second person can be hard for people. Very realistic situation. Great job! :) Would you be willing to check out my story, 'Separate Neighborhoods' if you have time?

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Laiba M
20:38 Aug 02, 2020

Thank you!! I'll check it out sometime soon, Raquel :)

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Laiba M
01:03 Aug 03, 2020

No problem!!

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23:39 Jul 27, 2020

AWESOME!!! Keep it up, Laiba! β€”Aerin!!! (P. S. Would you mind checking out my story β€˜A Poem By A Star’ if you have a chance? If so, thanks!)

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Laiba M
21:19 Jul 28, 2020

Thank you!! It means a lot, Aerin :) I will definitely do that!

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Anjali Malik
17:25 Jul 22, 2020

Hey laiba, hope u are fine . What to say about your story it was so smooth. I liked it very much dear. Amazing story. May your all dreams come true. Stay smilingπŸ˜„πŸ˜„

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Laiba M
23:55 Jul 22, 2020

Hey Anjali! Hope you're doing well too. Thank you very much for all of your nice words! I hope you, too, can keep a smile on your face during everything that is happening~

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Anjali Malik
01:27 Jul 23, 2020

No need to thank me😊 it's all fine dear. πŸ’œπŸ’œ

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Laiba M
03:19 Jul 24, 2020

Haha, you're very nice! 😊

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Anjali Malik
07:37 Jul 24, 2020

😊😊

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Laiba M
12:26 Jul 24, 2020

:)

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Amanda W.
03:56 Jul 22, 2020

Amazing!

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Laiba M
23:54 Jul 22, 2020

Thank you so much, Amanda!!

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Amanda W.
12:06 Jul 24, 2020

You're welcome!

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Laiba M
12:26 Jul 24, 2020

:)

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