Love yo’self

Self-love training. Pfft.

Don’t they know forcing it only invokes hatred? Like mother did.


A few days ago, I came across a challenge—write a story about love in 14 words. Since half the world is celebrating Valentine’s Day today, thought I might post it here. What 14-word love stories can you come up with?

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Mornings

“Good morning, Sir,” the guard touched his cap as he greeted Jake, the regional manager.

Suited up with pointed shoes, he clutched his laptop bag as he strode along the campus pathway towards the open doors. What a great way to start the day, he though to himself as a second guard paid him a salute. He’s only been at the company a few months, but he’d already garnered the respect of all the men in guard duty. He couldn’t even enter the office without five to seven men acknowledging his dry-cleaned coat and trim beard.

Glowing in pride at himself, Jake approached the office doors. He pulled out his phone even before he’d stepped in, checking for views and comments on his latest Instagram story. His mind was already whirring with an idea for the next one.

Jake didn’t notice the security at the reception, who stood up to greet him a good morning and remained standing until Jake had walked passed him. Stifling a yawn, the security took his seat again looking forward to the end of his shift—sleep and home beckoned him dear.

Arriving at his destination, face alight by his smartphone’s brightness, Jake set the bag on his desk and fell back on his chair. He leaned behind in comfort, now scrolling through his Facebook feed, smiling every once a while at a cat video or a child’s tantrum over cereal. Then throwing a swift glance at the large clock on wall, he plopped his polished feet on the chair next to him.

He was early—according to the office timekeeper, he still had seven minutes before official hours began. As he scrolled on, someone else strolled in. In a black suit and pointed shoes, holding a laptop case, stood before Jake, his manager. Jumping to his feet, stumbling as his shoelace caught on the chair’s armrest, Jake stood up, perspiring. “Good—good morning, Sir”

East and West

“You know what, Mildred? I can’t wait for Kevin to leave for college. I mean, I love the kid, but to be honest, Rick and I haven’t had the house to ourselves in almost 20 years.”

“It’d be nice to be alone with each other again.”

“Oh, yeah,” Mildred agreed her mouth full of Julia’s fresh-baked blueberry muffin. “I get it, Jules. You and Kevin need some time off. The kids are grown up now, they have their own lives to take care of.”

“You two should go on a second honeymoon or some’n,” She added as an afterthought.

“What are you watching, Raj?”

“It’s this new American sitcom, Ma—Rick & Julia. Everyone in college is talking about it.”

“Ok. Here—drink this juice. Do you want anything to eat?” Mrs Patil asked as she cleared up Raj’s empty breakfast plate.

“Nah.”

“Alright. I’m just in the kitchen chatting with Geetha aunty. Let me know if you want anything.”

“Ok.”

“So… how’s it like having Raj back home?” Mrs Patil’s neighbour asked as she entered the kitchen.

“Oh, Geetha! It’s wonderful! I was so bored and Raj’s father doesn’t come home until dinner time—he’s always busy with his business. I was starting to feel depressed.”

“Oh, I wish Raj had a longer holiday,” she stopped chopping onions and turned to face Mrs. Geetha, “with him around, it’s like my life’s got purpose again.”

“I’m making his favourite biriyani today,” she announced without apparent reason her eyes beaming with joy.

The new child

He listened as the midwife crooned words of encouragement. It was as if she was calming him instead, while his darling, moaning and shuffling about in gentle motions, braved on.

She was in pain, he could tell, but she’d given birth before. And she was managing far better than he had the previous four times put together.

About ten heavy breathing and a couple more shrieky minutes later, out plopped his new baby. With buttery legs, a mild mane, and eyes battling against the afternoon sun, his fifth treasure—the one that completed his farm—the jet black calf lay on the warm hay.

Hasty

The girl squirmed as she replied to the hooded man. She wasn’t impressed with whatever he was selling either. His hung his head low, spoke as in a whisper, and looked straight into the eyes of the girl who was now regretting taking the bus to work that day. 

Across the bus stop, the policeman observed everything. He wanted to intervene, to nab the vermin that injected evil drugs into his society. But it was neither his place nor right to disturb unless the woman called for help.

After about ten minutes, it was becoming clear that the shady salesman wouldn’t accept no for an answer.

Jeff threw caution to the winds. So what if he was under suspension for wrong accusations? He knew a drug dealer when he saw one. Inspired from super cop movies, Jeff jumped in on the scene, “Hey, mister. You’re coming with me for drug trafficking.”

He pulled at the man’s hood. 

An old beggar woman stared back at him. Not a drug dealer, but instead a gypsy selling beads.

Prompt: Today’s Author