The Naked Truth


Studio House (1885) designed by Richard Norman...
Studio House (1885) designed by Richard Norman Shaw for Kate Greenaway, 39 Frognal, Hampstead, London, England. A Grade II listed building (IoE 477407). (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Walking down the driveway, his silhouette  said it all. They say when a man walks with a stoop, he accepts he has lost it all. Richard had everything that a guy his age could want. Good looks, good pay, good height, good taste, you name it he had it. With an avid flair for photography, and a passion for theater, he was a power house. Yet, there was something lacking that made Richard wonder if Lady Luck would ever smile at him. He sat down in the settee and mused back.

Too much had gone past in the few days. Just a couple of years back, he was a happy-go-lucky fresh graduate out of the local University. With a Masters in Building Planning, he was raring to go. He had so many friends and it tugged at his heart to leave the campus for it had become his second home in so many months.

Time passed and soon, Richard got busy with work in his new office. He had decided he would quit the moment the contract got over.  He was not happy with the job he got, but life has to go on and he did stick to the job. The same dreary office and the same people and the same routine and office soon became a mundane routine for Richard till Kate walked in one day.

Armed with a Management Degree, Kate was every bit of that whiff of fresh air, that could set a thousand leaves fluttering out of the window. A casual photographer and a voracious reader, Kate was a plain Jane yet looked the kind who was ready to call a spade a spade and was indeed fun-loving.

There is something about offices, parties, meetings and conferences which brings people together. Richard and Kate thus had to meet and they did, and the relation bloomed from a casual office acquaintance to going to the local cafe, the bistros, and the quiet pleasures of being in a hurried concert programme. Both of them liked theater and they often lounged in the local academy during weekends. Food festivals, art fairs, music operas, you name it , soon Richard and Kate were a couple everywhere. Rita, Richard’s friend was quite perceptive and asked after watching Richard for around six months if he was in love with Kate. Richard said that Kate was one girl he could go back to, and not feel guilty about it as he had no feelings for her.

Life has its own twists and turns and one night, the inevitable happened. Kate confessed to being in love with someone. She kept Richard guessing, and finally let it loose in the air mentioning that she was not sure if he loved her. Richard never did realize that the dam was yet to burst, so pulled on with his everyday routine. Rita was quite aware of where this was all heading and told him to take it easy with Kate.

But Richard has this innate need to be surrounded by someone he likes so that he could be pampered. Gradually Richard realized that Kate was getting overtly possessive and in fact sent him a mail confessing she loved him. Richard never reciprocated. Kate could never fathom why.  From that day on, Richard was an emotional mess. He couldn’t gauge how best to handle the situation. He decided to move on and as he walked up the driveway, he was musing as to how to deal with Kate and her life anymore.

Time passed and Richard got married. Thoughts of Kate did haunt him, and one day as he was driving past the local church he just stopped on his tracks. He stopped the car by the kerb, and walked slowly towards the church yard. There he saw something that gave him every reason to smile. For there in the middle of the yard, he saw a cherubic child, face full of chocolate and being chided by the mother. As he approached nearer, the mother looked up and saw Richard and said “Time, Danny.” She led the child by her arm, met a man in the kerb, kissed him, and said, ” Darling, time to move on, isn’t it?” The man by her side said ” Mrs. Kate Huddleton, my wife, sure it is.” ……..

Richard watched them, and did nothing to wipe the tears from his eyes. And as he looked down at the ground, he could only look at his wooden feet and say a silent prayer to God for blessing Kate with the best.

The Reader’s Column : As a reader what do you say? Did Richard do the right thing, by not accepting Kate’s love? What would you have done? Is a handicap so big an impediment? Would you want to change the ending ? If so how?

Write to me at kaybees22@gmail.com….Your feedback is welcome.

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