Short Story: Crushed

He felt crushed. Like the wind had been sucked out of his lungs. And he couldn’t fill them up again. He felt a deep pain in his guts. Not like he had been punched, but similar to the feeling he got when he got nervous, or when he got scared, except with a strange sad twinge to it. This was not how he had planned it. This was not what he had struggled for all those days and nights. This was not what he had sacrificed everything else in his life for. This WASN’T THE PLAN! He wanted to scream. He wanted to scream his heart and soul out. He wanted to tell everyone that there had somehow been a mistake.

This wasn’t his dream, it was his nightmare! How could he have come so near, when millions with similar dreams never went beyond that first hurdle? He had cleared not only the first, but every single hurdle, every obstacle, every roadblock they could lay in his path. He had braved critics and fought off rivals and defeated adversaries for this one chance. Didn’t it all mean something? How could he fail when every fiber of his body, every strand of his soul was convinced that he would succeed? And when it was finally within his grasp, how could it have been snatched away. As if it wasn’t real. As if it was all a cruel joke.

One is at his weakest, most vulnerable self in his moment of defeat. It is a state best hidden from curious, prying eyes; eyes of those that revel in that misery, while maintaining a façade of concern and empathy. Seeing his state reminded them how fortunate they were not to be him, how right they were to not even try, how his dreams had been mere delusions. It made them feel secure from painful defeats and reassured of their wisdom in abandoning their dreams to settle for mediocrity. He could see the pity in their eyes, their fake smiles and words of comfort, the shoulder they offered for support that would soon grow cold.

He wanted to push away their pity, wipe those barely hidden self-satisfied smirks from their faces, ask them why they felt they were any better than him. But now was not the time. For now he had to stop the stream of tears flowing down his face. He rarely ever cried. But this was a rare moment. The pent up tide of emotions he had been withholding within himself for the past few weeks had finally broken free. From a potential idol to quite abruptly, a tragic hero.

He wanted to run and hide from all of them. Keep his failure a secret. Tomorrow when he met his friends, his family, his loved ones, he didn't want them to know about his misfortune. But that was a luxury not granted to losers on reality shows on national television.


  1. lovely!!!! i don't know how, but from the first line I knew you were talking about a reality show.

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  3. hmm....that's well-written for sure. i think your strength lies in capturing the depth of emotions and creating imagery that is not too pressured...particularly because of the ease of language.

    but in case u want criticism too, let me know...coz i hav a teeny tiny one ;) :P

  4. @pankaj: Thank you! And I think you've been watching too much television! :)

    @Safoora: :( The idea is to read it once, figure out the ending, then read it again. :)

    @Nikita: Thanks a lot for that. You've made it sound better than it is.. :) And I would definitely appreciate criticism, in fact, the more brutal the better. So, fire away! :)

  5. really liked it ... u could remove the last line and still makes a lot of sense ...

  6. @Gunner: Yes, most of my fiction attempts are written with that idea. The feelings are universal, and you can take them out of context and still appreciate them.

  7. U already know what I'm gonna say..but since u can never have too much of a good thing..

    I love how ur stories make the mundane mingle with the contemplative..

    it creates a very unique has me reading every story twice over..

    I see I was inspired by one of the best! :)

    I missed being here..I so did..

  8. @Nikita: I will have my vengeance.

    @Tangled: Yup, I never tire of hearing praise (however undeserved I might think it to be). Welcome back and hope to see you blogging again soon! :)


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