Story Contest 2018 #1 - Outstanding Stories (Senior) »

Quiet is Okay

“Quiet is Okay” is one of the outstanding stories of the first biannual International Short Story Contest 2018 written by Sharang Goel, Seth M.R Jaipuria School, Lucknow, India.

Quiet is Okay

A few days back I saw a girl at the park sitting alone on a bench, hardly illuminated by the dimly lit lamp post. Now that this was too uncommon, there was a sense of mystery around her which made me feel that I wanted to reach out to her. She didn't seem okay.

I went to her having ensured her well being I began talking to her. My efforts to initiate an engaging conversation didn't prove to be very productive. Perhaps she wasn't comfortable holding conversations with strangers. After some time I bid her goodbye.

The next morning I was surprised to have come across Cassandra again, the one whom I had met the previous day. That day I noticed her body language. There was a kind of restraint in every movement. We sat together and just like our first meeting, she was not speaking much. Perhaps it was a part of her personality. In talking to her, I discovered that she lived alone in the city and was pursuing engineering. I hesitated to ask her about her family, keeping in mind her melancholic persona. But to my surprise, everything was normal. Without much zeal, our second meeting ended. Then I glanced at the extra bag that she was carrying which she must have forgotten to take. I took that along and decided to return it to her in her college.

My curiosity about her was somewhat dampened. She seemed anti-social and uninterested. She did not have any opinion on anything. There was a diary in her bag, which I was tempted to read. But naturally, in the battle of ethics and temptation, the latter won. Reading it, I found out that she was not disinterested and did have strong opinions. She noticed everything but just didn't voice it. I saw in the pages a reluctant engineer who had let loose a passionate writer. She was not anti-social, not even hermetic. She took yarns from her worldly experiences and knit them together to create wonderful stories. She sat alone, quietly, on a deserted bench, under the shadows of lonely trees, not because she wasn't fine but because she needed to dive into her inner world to connect the dots of her constellations of thought. I realized that she was so much different from toxic people who put on labored efforts to display a facade of feigned emotions. She wore her chaos on inside. Such people are not hermetic. They are irresistible introverts. I realized that every introvert doesn't have to be shattered within. Quiet is okay.

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