Culture & Society

Short Story: Over The Moon

Arun AK writes a short story about a former music star who now leads a solitary life in obscurity. Then one day, he receives an email from a fan after many years.

Arun AK writes a short story about a former music star who now leads a solitary life in obscurity.
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Tom’s music band was defunct. It had been more than a decade since the release of their last album, and each member had gone their separate way. The debacle of their previous few albums had led to frequent arguments and blame-gaming among them. The collapse was inevitable.

Once the heartthrob of millions, Tom was now leading a solitary life. His live-in partner and so-called friends had deserted him; he had blown away most of his money earned during the band’s glory days and had been under the spell of alcohol for many years now. As a result, the former poster boy of teen pop lived a life of loneliness and obscurity. Occasionally, he would perform small gigs in the ghettos to sustain himself.

This morning, he was taken aback by the new email in his inbox. After many years, a fan had written to him expressing her admiration for one of the early songs of his band. It was an elaborate email explaining the impact his singing had had on her and how she had discovered the song through an old record at her home. She requested him to attend her birthday party on the coming Sunday and perform the song for her. 

The Tom of yesteryears would never even open a fan mail. Fame and success had gone to his head, making him self-obsessed and apathetic towards others. But the Tom of now was a changed man. The downs of life had turned him into a humble and kind person. This time, he would not ignore a fan's request, and that too, of an 11-year-old girl. He agreed to attend the birthday party at her home.

Sunday arrived, and Tom was on his way to the little girl’s home on his bike. Suddenly, a speeding car bumped into his motorcycle at a crossing junction and threw him off balance. The driver rushed out of the vehicle to help Tom, who lay on the road with his legs profusely bleeding. Tom refused to be driven to a hospital as he did not wish to be late for the girl's birthday party. He did not want to break her heart. He had already broken many a heart in the past.

Tom picked up his bike and rode to the given address in excruciating pain. On arrival, he was greeted by the girl's parents. Seeing Tom, the girl ran towards him and hugged him tightly. He took out a small gift from his pocket and wished her a happy birthday. Her smile made him forget his unbearable physical condition. All the guests had been eagerly waiting for Tom to arrive. They welcomed him with loud cheers and whistles. He was experiencing such warmth and affection after ages. 

Tom walked up on stage where the mic was placed and began singing the requested song. The entire audience joined him in the chorus. He affectionately looked at the birthday girl while singing the line: Your smile can make my wound heal. Her parents caught sight of blood drops trickling down Tom's shoes, but the girl was over the moon.

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