Story Contest 2017 #2 Results » Highly Commended - Junior Category

Pooja Rakesh

“I partied with the Stars!” by Pooja Rakesh, is the Highly Commended story in the senior category of the second biannual International Short Story Contest 2017 which was organized by Kids World Fun.

I partied with the Stars!

I walked out of the examination hall at a quick pace, trying hard to avoid my friends. It was the last exam; the last in these five years I had been here as a medical student. Their cries kept getting louder. You see, my friends were going to celebrate their freedom from studies with a big, expensive bash. I had spent many thousands buying the ‘perfect’ outfit for the party and many hours, before that, deciding on what to spend my many thousands on. In fact, I had been eagerly waiting for this day to dawn!

But as soon as I finished my exam, a deep sense of fear engulfed my head. The fear that almost all students have- their future. So, giving my friends a miss, I walked straight into my room and lay flat on my bed.

I hadn’t even removed my pink sneakers. I stared at the motionless ceiling fan. My mind was blank. “What are you doing here?” I asked myself. “Go out and enjoy the party!” But my body wouldn’t budge. I somehow got up slowly, as if in a trance, and changed into my pyjamas and hawai chappals.

I decided to go up and pay the terrace a visit. I used to do that very often when I first came here. But somewhere along the way, I stopped doing it. It was over a year when I had last gone to the terrace. I walked up the stairs all the way to the terrace door. It was broken in some places from where the golden evening sunlight streamed in. I unlatched the rusted latch and pushed the creaking door open. A light breeze came running to embrace me. I brushed my hair out of my face and stepped in. I took a quick glance around. There were buildings for starters; traffic-jammed roads seasoned with honking vehicles and agitated drivers for main course; and a few scattered coconut trees for dessert!

My spirits soaring, I searched for a place to sit down. I saw that the water tankers had high platforms built around them. I advanced towards the biggest one. But to my dismay, there was no way I could climb up. No stairs, not even a ladder. But, I, being someone who hates giving up so fast, tried making a long jump all the way up. And well, I was successful.

I now sat up there with my eyes closed and my head facing the infinite sky. I did that for around five minutes. This was the first time I realised what a lot of noise there was in the world around! A child shouting, another crying, birds chirping, my neighbour’s cooker-whistle going off, and of course, the evergreen ‘sau ka chaar’ of the tired salesmen and their creaking carts piled high with wares. In the distance, I could faintly hear party music playing. I could also hear my friends screaming and howling like a pack of wolves, or maybe, as they call it, enjoying themselves.

Well, I was fine here, all by myself. I raised my head high and looked directly over my head. I could see the faint outline of the crescent moon. Across the sky, I noticed a bright orange-yellow ball of light slowly slipping deep into the horizon. I realised, that in a few hours night would be upon me. The birds in huge, large groups started their journey back home. With the birds gone, the bats started appearing. They are fun creatures! Flying real close to you but making sure never to touch you.

I jumped back to the ground and headed for the door. As I held the crumbling handle of the door to pull it and go back to the safety of my warm and cosy room, something inside me asked me to stay. I lay down on the hard and cold floor, cupping my hands underneath my head, to form a bony pillow.

By now, it was dusk. The beautiful stars were out, taking their place to form the famous constellations. I closed my eyes on the sky. I started getting visions from my childhood days; my friends, teachers, achievements and not to forget, the scolding from my elders. I would have been there for almost half an hour after which I went back to my room.

My friends were still at the party. The music from downstairs was loud and jarring. Suddenly, I realized - I had just been to the best party ever. Organised by God, the Sun being the chief guest with the Moon as the DJ and the stars at the drinks bar!

But still I decided to attend my friends’ party and walked to my wardrobe to change to my party ‘outfit’. So that I could give them a few tips on how to make their lousy parties, way better!