Free, Short Story, Twenty Five Years & Counting, Praveen Pai

Free, Short Story, Twenty Five Years & Counting, Praveen Pai

Twenty Five Years & Counting….. by Praveen Pai

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Maria was decorating her house for Christmas along with her sister and her best friend Santana. The phone was ringing repeatedly and by the time Maria answers the call, it was getting disconnected. Given her impulsive nature, Maria couldn’t stop herself from sending a text message to the number that flashed on the caller ID. She was waiting for a reply, but to her surprise, there was no response.

It was Christmas and after the night service she was wishing her family and friends a happy holiday, when she got a call from the same number. This time she was curious to know who the person was. She answered the call and as soon as the person from the other end heard Maria’s voice he conveyed Christmas wishes and quickly hung up. Maria did not pay much attention to the incident. She was busy with her family, and Christmas celebrations.  continue below …….

Little did she know, she would be getting calls from this stranger on every holiday occasion, from Christmas, New Years to Valentine’s Day and Easter Sunday.

It was 18th may; she again received a call from the same number.  The stranger wished her happy birthday.  This time Maria couldn’t hold her curiosity any longer, she called him back.

The stranger disconnected her call 3-4 times, but as she was calling him repeatedly he was forced to answer her call. She popped out all the questions that had been on her mind for the past five months.

In a nasty tone of voice, Maria asked the stranger, who he was.

The stranger was humble in his reply and stated his name, and the reason for his calls.

He explained that he had seen her at the market and was anxious to meet her, yet was too shy to approach her. A mutual friend had provided him with her cell number and was made to promise that he wouldn’t tell her/his identity.

Maria was impressed and honored that she had a secret admirer.

The stranger had hung up after his humble explanation.  Afterwards, Maria found it hard to whole heartedly participate in her birthday celebrations, as she couldn’t help thinking about the stranger.

Maria called the stranger the next day and requested that they meet. They decided to meet at a park which was two blocks away from her home.

Maria was eager to meet the cell phone stranger, but as a precaution, asked her older brother to walk with her to the park, on the next day.

Maria and her brother reached the park before time. The brother stayed back and talked with others in the park while Maria waiting at the swings, for her secret admirer. She was mentally preparing herself, not to over-react, to any situation.

As she was thinking to herself, she suddenly heard someone call her name. She turned around and to her surprise, she saw a guy who stood 6 feet tall with quite an impressive personality. He introduced himself as Burt.

Maria and Burt started speaking regularly over the phone. Initially it started with 15-20 minutes and conversations started to last for hours. Their relationship took an entire new shape, they knew that they were more than good friends.

They started meeting each other almost five times a week.

It was a year now, and with every passing day Burt and Maria were getting closer and closer. Maria’s expectations were increasing, and she was waiting for the day when Burt would propose her.

Burt was a guy who believed in planning his every move; he wanted to surprise Maria by expressing his feelings for her on the Valentines Day.  As usual he called her and asked her to meet him at the park.   Burt had decided to make it a memorable day, which could be cherished, for years to come.

They met at the park; Maria wore a stunning red gown for the town’s Valentine’s Day, dance. Her thick long hair, hung down her back.

Burt couldn’t take his eyes off her, nor did she take her eyes off him.  They were silent and exchanges smiles for what seemed like a life time. Burt helped Maria get into the front seat of the car, before driving to  the community center on the other side of the park.

He motion for Maria to join him inside the building.  She knew, there would be a surprise, she just didn’t know what.

As she walked into the closed window community center, she saw that the entire place was decorated with red and pink balloons.  There were candles lit all around the room, with fresh flowers placed adjacent to the candles. It was a pleasant sight.   When she turned,   Burt was on his knees with a ring in his hand. They both were quite for few minutes as Burt placed the engagement ring onto Maria’s hand.

She was expecting the three golden words “I Love You”, but Burt swept her off her feet and held her tightly.

Tears rolled down Maria’s cheek and her face turned pink. For a minute she couldn’t react. Her mind was blank, she couldn’t think of anything other than accepting his proposal.  She was overwhelmed by his gesture. It was the perfect and the most romantic proposal.

Several weeks later, while keeping company at the park. Burt’s cell phone begin to ring.

It was Burt’s mother. Burt walked away from Maria as he spoke with his mother.

Once the conversation had ended, he walked back to Maria, slowly.  He informed Maria that he had to fly to California, immediately, because, his mom was ill.  He then went on to promise her that he would return back to her within a week.

A week passed and Maria had not heard from Burt. She made every effort to call him, but the calls did not connect.

It was Sunday morning and Maria was on her way back home, after attending morning services in the cathedral. She jumped from joy when the caller ID displayed Burt’s name.

Burt informed her that he was back and wanted to meet her immediately, at the park where they usually met.

Maria called her mother and told her that she would be about an hour late getting home for Sunday dinner.

When she reached the park she saw Burt standing there. She didn’t notice his expression; she just ran towards him and hugged him. But within moments, she realized that there was no reaction from Burt.

Before she could say anything Burt informed her that his mom did not agree to their relationship and that they have to depart. At first she thought that he was kidding, but he repeated himself and that made her know, that he was serious.

She couldn’t believe that it was the same guy, whose gestures had touched her heart the very first time they met. She didn’t ask for any explanation from him. She just bid good bye and turned to go home.  She waited for Burt to call her name, however, no such action occurred. And she dared not turn around and look. Maria, kept walking, with her head high, until she knew she was out of his sight.

The pain of the separation had proven to be too much for the young couple.  Maria became ill shortly after her separation from Burt, nothing serious, the doctor had said, just lost of appetite, energy and vitality.  The doctor labeled it the flue.  Maria labeled it, a broken heart.

Fortunately, Burt’s mother had recovered from her serious illness and suddenly had a change of heart about her son’s selection, for a wife.  The disappointment and pain from his break up with Maria, was obvious to his mother, and she knew exactly why he responded to her wellness, with coolness.

Now it was 25 years later, and Burt softly woke Maria up on their 25th wedding anniversary ……….

Author:  Praveen Pai is a professional writer and is author to numerous e-books, manuals, articles and blog posts. His passion is writing and research on the internet. You can read the latest blog:

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