The Pungent Taste of Success

He feels a gentle caress.  Its been a balmy night. Sleepily, he lets out a sigh, finally the hint of breeze he has been waiting for.
It had been a muggy day, heavy with expectations.  Every breath came labored and laden with the burden of  long dry spell of  dissapointment.  It hadn’t rained.  Although uncertain if a downpour was enough to quell the hot winds blowing in his life.  The spring was a distant dream.

As he gnawed at the quiet daylight hours in solitary wait, he sought company in the bundle of letters. Rejection letters, full of platitudes to mitigate the despair. If he stared at them long enough, they inevitably took form of her face. A face, he had always read well. Unlike the letters from unknown faces,   contours of her face were perfectly legible. It could not fool him with hollow niceties. Pity was indelibly etched all over.

She always tried to hide behind small talk, making it worse. His glassy eyes shrieked mutely back at her. Yet she would not stop the monologue of her day job.  There was no place to look at and nowhere to run.  Their one room compromise , did not boast of manicured garden. The stark naked light above exposed raw emotion. Devoid of any desire to consume, it lay bare, cold and wasted. Without the warm glow the bright white  threw no shadowy escape route , sharply accentuating the cheap plastered walls enclosing them.

He  often reminisced the poor little beggar boy on the street who had once turned away from  him. The boy had appeared by the side of his car as if like an apparition out of the blue. He had had no time to avert or adjust his face to a careful nonchalance. No sooner when their eyes  met, the beggar had melted away. Undoubtedly taking himself and his shredded dignity far away from judging eyes. Whenever she looked at him, he was that poor little beggar boy ,only far worse. He was glued to a spot near her with no place to go . Everything had been sold, including his dignity.

Stuffing the letters back in the drawers, trembling he dialed the number.  In his other hand he held hard on to the little vial. His little secret for release.  Determined, this drug had powers to exorcise all his ghosts. There was a clear ring and crisp voice at the other end. Thousands of miles away , his painstaking wait , came to a  close. Cradling the phone he felt the welcome wetness pour down his face cleansing him of accumulated grime. Finally, he had bagged the order to produce this drug and the bank loan was through.
He lies wide awake now, cool breeze has blown something more tangible. The warmth of her soft body wrapped around him.  Quietly he walks out to the cold white room , yet again seeking the hard grasp of the little vial. He uncaps, unmindful of the vile smell permeating out , for it added to the pungent taste of success.


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