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Fiction Friendship Happy

“Holy crap…….” Sharon almost tripped over an empty wine bottle. And the silly bottle rolled and got under the couch. She bent down and tried to look but stood up quickly in dismay. She thought “what the hell!! I need a huge round of clean up right now. What is trash bin for if you throw your garbage under the couch?”

Sharon stood in the middle of the hall room with her hand on her waist and her eyes moving all around the house with a frowned face. Every corner of the house was in a complete after-party mess. Although she isn’t the owner of this house, she too is a guest just like every other fellow scattered here and there around the house; drunk, drowsy and passed out, she can’t tolerate griminess around her.  And the best part, she didn’t drink today. Not even a single sip. That’s why she’s the only person who’s standing still to clean up the mess. Sharon is a cleanliness freak person not OCD type of but more or less similar.

Sharon ran into the kitchen to grab something to clean and when she entered the kitchen she freaked out. No…… she didn’t see any ghost or a serial killer but she saw trash all around. The island is full of dirty plates and a portion of the cake awfully smashed, wine glasses, paper plates, napkins, balloons, confetti, garlands, ribbons all swirling around. While assembling them from the table something pricked Sharon’s finger and she screamed in agony “ouch”.

“Hey!! Are you hurt?” a voice said from the kitchen door and Sharon turned around at once.

“No …..Not much…….just a stupid toothpick”. Sharon said with a blushing smile from the corner of her lips.

 “Are you trying to clean up?” asked Harris.

Sharon nodded still holding the garbage bag in her hand.

“Wait…….you need my help. It’s too messed up as if a catastrophe has run over this place.” Harris came running towards Sharon and took the garbage bag from her hand and while doing so their finger got touched. Sharon felt as if a feather that just swiped upon her fingers. She closed her eyes and the feeling which she once had for Harris 18 years ago crouched slowly inside her.

“Where’s our host? Amanda might have definitely passed out. I am shocked that she has become such an alcoholic. She used to be the dumbest of all in high school, remember?”  Harris said with a scoff.

Sharon opened her eyes but she didn’t reply to his words. She started cleaning up the wine glasses and the last few dishes.

Harris walked towards Sharon and stood beside her to wipe the cleaned crockery with a towel. For few seconds there was tooth pick drop silence except the crockery talking to each other that finally they got cleaned up.

“You haven’t changed at all Sharon. I was really happy to see you today.” Harris said with twinkling eyes.

“Yes me too. I was not quite expecting you in this re-union party but somewhere deep inside my heart I was hoping to see you.” Sharon said with an overwhelming tone.

The kitchen was almost done. The counters, the island and the small dining table looked neat now. Sharon wiped her hands with a towel and sat on the chair opposite Harris.

Harris poured wine in two glasses which they cleaned just now and said “our hard work should be rewarded. Cheers!! I saw, you didn’t drink at all. Even I didn’t drink much.”

“Harris I wasn’t expecting that you would talk to me after what happened in school. I mean do you remember we were not in talking terms?” Sharon asked.

“Yes I remember, as if it was yesterday. And I am extremely sorry for that. I have hurt you a lot isn’t it? Sharon I really wanted to talk to you in these years and wanted to apologize. And that’s the only reason I am here. Every single day I have thought about you. Such an idiot I was.”

Harris continued “you are married now right?”

“Yes happily married from last 7 years and I have a son too. What about you?” there was a concealed ache in Sharon’s voice.

“I got married two years back. You know what Sharon; I was waiting for you to show up some day. Stupid thought isn’t it? How would you know that…………. after all it was me who stopped talking.”

“No Harris it was entirely my fault. I was a teenager then and I shouldn’t have………….” Sharon said with distress.

After finishing the remaining wine Sharon walked to the hall room with a garbage bag and started collecting the trash. Harris came running behind her and said “you didn’t complete the sentence Sharon. What is it? What you shouldn’t have done?” Harris sounded jumpy.

Sharon looked deep into Harris’s eyes. His feelings were crystal clear. She said “nothing Harris. Go and get the broom with a tall handle kept in the store room. There’s lots of trash inside the couch which needs to be cleaned right away.”

“And lots of trash is buried inside our hearts too. That too needs to be cleared right away.” Harris’s voice was firm.

Sharon sat on the carpet recalling that day when she saw Harris for the first. Harris was a very bright student in high school. She felt a connection with him from the very first day. They became best friends. Their classmates used to tease them and called them by various names behind their back like Romeo Juliet, love birds… and many more. Sharon knew about this but she wasn’t sure about Harris. Sharon fell head over heels in love with Harris but unfortunately she was never able to express her true feelings to him but still even today she has no idea how he came to know or who told him that Harris stopped talking to her all of a sudden till the last day of their high school. Those were the most terrible years of Sharon’s life. She was carrying the burden of guilt from last 18 years, until today.

“What took you so long Harris? I was waiting.” said Sharon.

“The store room was so dark, it took me 10 minutes to search for the switches.” said Harris.

The couch was cleaned- on and under, the cushions were kept at their proper place, the table at the center was tidied up and the floor too was cleaned neatly.

“Ahh…… finally….. It’s all over.” Sharon exhaled a deep sigh.

“Here take this” Harris fetched a glass of water for Sharon.

“It’s not yet over. You have to tell me.” Harris sounded obstinate.

Sharon finished the glass of water in a go.

“Okay…… fine. Look ……back then at high school I liked you. I mean ……perhaps I was in love with you and I am sorry for that. I shouldn’t have. I knew the day you will come to know about my feelings you will be offended and you did. You stopped talking to me. You remember so many times I pleaded to you, I begged in front of you but never gave a heed to my woes. Okay ………I know my feelings were one sided and I never expected you to love me back.” Sharon stopped as her voice was choking. She swallowed a big lump of distress.

Harris was listening to Sharon very attentively but his eyebrows frowned and he said “you liked me, really? But nobody ever told me that. And I am such an asshole I never got it at first. You know, after high school the first thing I did was regret. Every day, every moment I thought of you and I repented on my arrogance and stupidity. I should have talked to you. I should have listened to you for once at least.” Harris lowered his eyes.

Then he continued “but….. That was not the reason I stopped talking to you. The reason was completely different.”

Sharon’s eyes got bigger and her face reflected thousands of question marks. She was awestruck. She asked “what do you mean? What was the reason then?”

Harris said “Tony, do you remember Tony?”

“Yes I do. He was a bastard. He used to stalk me and he kept love letters in my bag in my absence. He was such a moron.” Sharon said with bitterness in her tone.

“What? He stalked you? But you never told me?” exclaimed Harris in awe.

Sharon scoffed and said “as if we were talking.”

Harris sensed the sarcasm so he lowered his head.

Sharon had no intention to hurt him. She said with empathy “how this Tony got into the frame now?”

“Yes……. one fine day Tony came up to me and said all sort of rubbish about you. And I believed all of that. Please don’t give me that look Sharon. I know I was a big idiot. And was such a geek who only knew books and nothing else. I never bothered to open the eyes of my mind to look around.

So Tony said you hang around with senior boys, you are seeing someone and you even kissed a senior class boy-which he has seen with his own eyes. So I developed revulsion for you because you were my best friend and I presumed you to be like me. Tony injected evil inside my mind that I thought you to be a girl with no decency and Casanova character. That was the reason I stopped talking to you, without even verifying the truth or talking to you about Tony.” Harris punched his fist on the ground with rage.

“Wait a minute…….. Tony knew you liked me?” Harris asked abruptly.

 Sharon rolled her eyes and said “yes he knew. I had to tell him. He was becoming a real pain in my ass. So one day I caught him stalking me outside my house and I told him to stop because I said I loved you. But after that day he never ever teased me or came in my way. At first I thought it was weird but then I moved on. And now I know what he did after that day. He made you cynical against me.”

“And I punished you for no reason all these years. Will you ever forgive me Sharon? Initially I liked you only as a good friend I agree but eventually your absence in my life made me realize I actually loved you. It’s too late now.” Harris sighed deeply.

“No Harris it’s not true. Whatever happens is always for our betterment. God has ordained every act already, perhaps its better this way. Apparently yes, the misunderstandings had to be cleared so we met.” Sharon said with a tranquil smile.

Harris nodded and said “you are right perhaps.”

Somewhere in the eastern horizon the sun was about to rise with pride.

Amanda woke up and came straight to the hall still rubbing her eyes and yawning. But her hangover vanished in seconds when she saw her house completely in order and spotless. Then her eyes fell upon Sharon sleeping on the couch and Harris on the carpet below. She stood watching them with a broad and gratifying smile.

She thought “well!! Lots of things got a clean up last night.”

The contentment was clearly visible on the neat and tidy faces of Sharon and Harris.

                    THE END                                     

May 09, 2021 19:22

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