Short stories

The News

I didn’t have many friends during high school and out of the few that I had, Nilay was the
best. We were the last bench late comers. We even shared the same hostel room for three
years. I used to make him watch horror films with me and in return, he used to make me
watch mainstream bollywood ones. We had sworn to remain best friends for life. But once
the high school got over, our connection started fading away, mainly because we moved
back to our hometowns. The friendship oath was dissolved into thin air and none of us
contacted each other for 5 years, until yesterday.
It was 8 in the morning and I was getting ready for office when Nilay called me out of the
blue. He told me that he got my number from a common friend. He was in my city for some
work and wanted to meet me. He also told me that he had some news to give. He asked me
to meet him in the evening at Cafe D’Costa. There are rumours about the cafe being
haunted by the spirits of two brothers who loved each other a lot. Other than that, the place
is really aesthetic. I asked him if he was okay with the place. He laughed it off and said that
he was so thankful to me for making him watch all those horror films, that he wasn’t really
scared of anything now.
So, we met in the evening and caught up with each other’s lives. He told me about his job as
a junior software engineer at an IT firm. However, it was so strange to believe when he told
me that even in today’s age, he was not on any social networking website. Maybe that’s why
I couldn’t find him anywhere on the internet and maybe that’s why we lost our connection in
the first place. After talking for a while, I asked him about the news that he was going to give
me. “Oh yes! I should’ve done that first”, he said while taking out a newspaper from his bag.
It was dated back to 19th September, 2013. He opened the newspaper to page 5 and
pointed towards his photo which was printed at the bottom of the page. There with his photo,
was the news of his death.

-Purvang Joshi

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