Fiction Life Short Story

The Maze


“I am really not happy with this job”, said Divya trying to hold back her tears. “I expect more from my job. I don’t like the kind of work I do. It feels like meaningless work. I feel like I am being under-utilised.”

“That must really suck,” said Prateek.

“You remember my last job, right? The team I used to work with was so lovely. Although it did not pay as much as this job, I looked forward to it. I looked forward to bloody Mondays, Prateek. I don’t know what I am doing,” Divya said tucking her head in her knees.

Prateek got up and went to the kitchen, and started brewing a pot of coffee. He came back and sat next to Divya on the couch, with a reassuring arm on her shoulder.

“You know Prateek, I have to travel twice as much to get to the office now. I don’t even know if the extra pay is worth all this trouble anymore. I even hate the computer I work on. I asked that ass Bhaskar to give me a new computer and he is like “Divya, no one else complains about their computers, and everybody is using the same one,” she said mockingly. “I hate Bhaskar.”

Prateek sighed.

“The only reason I am still at this job is that it pays really well. And because of this stupid ‘reputable’ firm, it would look good on my resume. Why do resumes need to look good,” she said throwing a tantrum. “I don’t want a good looking resume. I need a good looking boyfriend, whose shoulder I can cry on.”

“Well Div, good looking is debatable, but I do have a shoulder here. Just saying,” chuckled Prateek trying to lighten up the mood.

“Why the hell am I so confused all the time? I can’t see one thing straight. And then I come and talk to you about the same thing again and again. One of these days, you are also gonna lose it at me, and then I will have no one.”

Prateek heard the ding on the coffee machine and went to the kitchen to get coffee. He brought the coffee and placed it next to Divya. “Four spoons of..” “Sugar please,” completed Prateek. “I know, you have got to cut it down babe.”

“Prateek, I am saying you will leave me one day too, and the next thing you say is that I need to cut down on sugar? Wow, just wow!”

Prateek set his cup aside on the table, held Divya’s hand and said, “Div, I am not going to leave you.” She raised her head a bit, and he could see a hint of a smile there. Prateek raised her head by her chin and wiped a tear.

Wiping her own tears and smudging her own kohl, Divya said, “I don’t understand why I can’t see things clearly like you can. I want to be able to deal with my bullshit by myself. I don’t want to be dependent on you for this. I don’t want to come crying to you every time I have a breakdown. I want to cry on my own shoulder. Or better yet, I don’t want to cry at all.”

“I don’t think you are being fair to yourself,” Prateek said sitting back on his side of the couch, taking his coffee in his hands. “You remember the time when I was spiralling about whether it was the right decision to leave my ex-girlfriend? I could not see things clearly either.” Divya started looking attentively in his eyes. “When it comes to your own problems, it becomes impossible to see them objectively, which is why, even if the solution is staring right in your face, you can’t see it.”

Divya kept the coffee mug aside and slid closer to Prateek.

Prateek continued, “It’s like when you are in a maze, it is difficult for you to find a way out. You can keep running and running only to find yourself right where you began. But if someone else is looking at the maze from above, they might think it is very easy to get out of the maze. So don’t be so hard on yourself.”

Divya broke down in his arms. She felt like someone understood her, finally. “How do you always do this man,” asked Divya.

“I don’t know, maybe this is how we balance each other out. You got the good looks, and I got the brains,” chuckled Prateek, shrugging his shoulders.

Divya playfully hit his arm while backing away and said, “You are not too bad to look at too, mister,” and coyly sunk herself in her cup of coffee.

By Chinmay Behare

Chinmay Behare is a Pune based writer who likes to write about everyday things in life. He likes to play music and football. He also weirdly writes about himself in third person.

21 replies on “The Maze”

Next time want to see something big as I think this must be trailer of what’s going to come.
Well written buddy!

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