Out of season

I’m still obsessed with flash fiction, and although this doesn’t entirely qualify as ‘flash’, it still can’t be categorised as regular fiction. This also happens to be the first time I’m writing in a second person narrative, and it has been quite a challenge! 🙂

Say you see someone at the bus stop. She’s wearing an out of season grey hoodie, worn-out running shoes, and carries a tote bag with a safety pin on it. You wonder why someone would still need safety pins. She smiles at you, and you realise you’ve been staring and avert your gaze. You believe that everyone has a story and that the writing industry is extremely overrated. You wonder what her story is.

You wonder why you are obsessed with this person standing beside you. You realise that you’re the only two people in a deserted bus stop waiting endlessly for a ride to the fair in the next town. You tell yourself to go say hello. You tell yourself to make friends with strangers like all the stories that you’ve read and watched. But, you find the need to be wary of pseudo-killers and psycho-neurotic man-animals. You’re standing to her left, and can see the profile of her round body, and the swoosh of her five-year old (minimum) Nike. You probably wonder if she thought you were a threat too, and carried the safety pin, as a defence mechanism. The place where your beard used to grow itches.

You understand that the bus won’t be at least another twenty minutes, and decide to talk to her. You’re scared that she will judge you because your voice doesn’t match your body. You’re wondering why you’re scared, and the feeling of restlessness takes over you. You desperately want to fight it, but you’re struggling in the process. You think of yourself as extremely strong and tough, but deep inside, you know how the world sees you. You feel ostracised everyday, and want to be accepted. Just regarded, at the least. It’s a regular wager against loneliness, one you wish to be reprieved of. You’re a woman trapped in a man’s body, and you sometimes forget that it’s how the world sees you. You square your body to face her, standing perpendicular to her. You walk up the two steps, and with your guttural voice, say ‘Hello.’

She looks at your floral dress, your beautiful coat, and smells your Yves Saint Laurent perfume. She accepts the hello, and smiles but doesn’t say anything. Somehow, your unmatched voice and dressing doesn’t seem to bother her. It’s as if she never heard you. You try to engage her in a conversation, but she simply nods and doesn’t talk. When you decide to stop talking, she brings forth a handful of gestures. You pity her. She doesn’t want that. She smiles and turns away. Minutes ago, she was a stranger, and now you felt something for her. You don’t know if it was pity or sympathy or if the two were entirely different at all. You stay glued to your spot, and can almost feel her breathing next to you. You do something unexpected. You go shake her hand, and she doesn’t refrain. At that moment, you know you’re not the only person excluded by the world. You know there are far greater stories, and far bigger problems. But, you ultimately process the truth of it all- the meaning of hope in reality or the fact that out of season hoodies just don’t bother you anymore.

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40 thoughts on “Out of season

  1. Wow! What a great piece of fiction! I’m not using these words lightly. This is so heartfelt and moving and makes the reader comfortable that being different in any way doesn’t mean you can’t connect with others.
    Kudos on the great work.

      1. Well, this reply brought a smile to my face. I have an idea of this. 😀
        You are welcome Potato, always. And thanks for the praise, whatever it may be for. 😝😂

      2. Hahaha. Anytime I think of praise, I can only think of the Hobbit and how praise led him to the craziest adventure of his life (hobbit is my favourite book ever but I’m sure you got that by now). Silly billy, even Bilbo needed Kili and Fili! I don’t know why I wrote that, but it just hit me when I thought of Tolkien. I still don’t know why I love him so much. Lol.

      3. And I have never read either the Lord of the Rings or The Hobbit books. Imagine!
        I can identify with the love you have for the characters. We all have one or more of these.😀

      4. Goodness! Have you watched the TV series? Where did you? I thought you wouldn’t even have heard of that. It came out in ’88.
        And yes, the TV show was adapted from the first trilogy. There are three trilogies in all.

      5. I haven’t watched it. Netflix should do something about that though. 😀 However, I’ve heard a lot about it. Maybe I’ll start with the books, and then I’ll probably like it so much that I won’t have the need to watch the series 😀

      6. Undoubtedly. I’m definitely going to Amazon the series. *rubs hands in glee* I always get unnaturally excited by the smell of books. My friend once told me that I had the same books in different formats (hardcover, paperback, part of a collection, and Kindle), something I hadn’t even realised. Lol.

      7. Ah. I’ve never like Two and A Half Men, but to me, F.R.I.E.N.D.S is iconic. I’ve loved it as much as I’ve loved Breaking Bad or Dr. Who.

      8. And again, have never watched Dr. Who. Tried watching BB but it didn’t quite catch on. Left midway through season 1. Mad Men is my thing these days.

      9. Granted, BB was at its slowest best (not so much for pace) but it’s totally worth it in the end. I love Mad Men! Haven’t watched much of it (probably just the first season sporadically) but it was so fascinating. This is an era of really good TV!

      10. I couldn’t be bothered to finish the first season, I was so bored with BB.
        You must watch Mad Men, especially as you liked season 1. This is the Golden Era on TV.
        Just think, we are discussing TV seasons on a post called ‘Out of Season.’ 😝😝

      11. Hahaha the irony! But yes, I will definitely resume mad men once I finish watching Jane the Virgin. Don’t judge me, it’s actually a brilliant script. Okay decent, if not brilliant 😀

      12. Hey! :@ It’s a great show. Embraces diversity, and has helped me understand a little more Spanish! It’s a great show, with so many plot twists, you’ll be worried sick most of the time. Also, with such loveable characters, it’s impossible to not like JTV!

      13. Compréndé, Si. I can understand very little of Español, but I’ve been trying to learn more languages/ better the ones that I’m currently learning.

      14. Same here. I understand very little of very little. I bought a book three years back to help me learn Spanish but somehow, couldn’t keep at it. I want to learn as many languages as I can. I find it exciting to be able to speak with people in their mother tongue. Yours is Malayalam?

      15. I know. I’m currently speed-dating German but I still don’t want to leave Mandarin or Spanish behind. Mine’s Tamil, but I do watch a ton of Malayalam movies. So, enough to understand the basics 😀

      16. Haha I’m not good at either of them (except Tamil). But maybe in a year or two, we’ll assess the progress again eh? Hopefully I should be in a better place 🙂

  2. Great story as always, Potato Pen. 🙂 I understand Second Person (POV?/Narrative) is the hardest and thus, it is hardly used. I’m sticking to First Person and Third Person. 🙂

    1. Aww, thank you, Anne! Oh it was so hard and it went through numerous drafts, for such a small piece. But, do give it a shot. You’ll never know, you might be awesome at it.

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