Exclusive excerpt from Sajan Kc.’s debut novel “After Love”

After love by Sajan KC

Prologue

2011.11.19

Saturday.11:45 pm

The room claims darkness, the air gloats silence, the temperature persuades a flawless atmosphere to receive a good sleep. Despite, I find myself tossing and turning in my bed with head beneath the pillow and vice-versa, my eyes clenched at their best. I’ve been striving vainly for a proper sleep probably for the last two hours. Giving up at one point, I fling the sirak away, crawl off the bed in sheer frustration, and lie down on the rug.

I get up after no minute passes.

Turning on the light and cheering up the moth that must have been waiting eagerly for it, I begin to wander around the room as if looking for something lost. I go outside the room and enter the kitchen to fetch a glass of water from the fridge. Then moving to the room next door, I decide to watch the TV for a while.

Nothing special is shown.

I try to do everything very silently because I don’t want to spoil anyone’s sleep at home. Back to my room, I throw myself on the bed and take out the paperback of The Tutor of History I’ve been reading.

I cannot finish even a paragraph.

I don’t know why her face is roaming in front of me every now and then.

As it becomes impossible for me to sleep now, I shuffle outside toward the balcony and fall on an alone chair lying there in the cold like some bereft lover. Everyone in the neighborhood seems to be sound asleep already. Tomorrow I’ll have to wake up earlier for the extra-class-session in the schools. Having missed the schools even yesterday, obviously, some good damnation will be waiting for me if I don’t attend them tomorrow as well. But how can I teach if I myself am so anxious? I teach in two schools in the city now. Neither can I get new excuses every then and now nor can I like to listen to “Eh chemistry teacher, you know the whole chemical structure and formula of aspirin and you say you’ve a headache?” Perhaps, I should find more convincing excuses like a wedding of my distant relative. Wedding, what a splendid escapement or entanglement to swell the volume of my heartbeat. It starts beating faster, and my eyes moisten.

Mobile ring tone brings me back from the lonely desert of anxiety to the warm oasis of hope. Not believing my eyes, I carve a desperate smile on my gloomy face with a faint glint of hope. The number which I’ve been trying for so many times is now ringing in my hand. I click on the green button awkwardly not losing another moment.

“Sophia?” I say in hysteria of happiness. I realize such a loud happiness in the dead of night could reach to anyone.

“Emm… I’m Sonia,” says the voice disappointing me.

“Sonia, can I please talk to her?” I say knowing that her sister is standing right behind her.

“Gyan, Didi wants me to inform you that she never wants to meet you again. Emm… she does not want to talk to you nor wants to hear anything from you anymore.”

“Can you please give her the phone dammit?” my voice starts cracking.

“That’s all Didi got me to convey,” she says in her meek voice. “Didi doesn’t want you to disturb her any further.”

“I want to talk to her, right now,” I almost rant.

“Okay, I’ll put the phone off now. Bye!”

“Listen−”

She hangs up and I remain holding the dead call on my ear as such. When I try to call back, her phone is already off. Exasperating, I slip the phone back inside my pocket like a cigarette without a matchstick. I bite my lips, rub my face and pass my fingers through my hair. I know what this means to me. “Didi doesn’t want you to disturb her any further.” I am so annoyed at my folly that I feel like jumping off the house right now. But this two-storied building will merely break my bones at most. Perhaps, I should calm down taking the suicidal instincts at bay and soothe my mind to the Beatles,

You tell me that you’ve got everything you want

And your bird can sing

But you don’t get me, you don’t get me…

Returning to my room, I turn off the light, disappointing the moth once again, and crawl back into bed. I adjust the pillow puffier and pull the sirak up to the top of my head. When I try to shut my eyes this time, my ears ring sonorously like some beetle droning in a far away forest at mid-afternoon. Upright I sit, take my laptop from the table, and turn it on. I swallow a hard lump as I type my password − it’s time I changed it. The moth comes from somewhere and smashes itself into the bright screen of the laptop and falls miserably onto the keyboard losing bits of its wings. The moth fails at its attempt to commit suicide, so far. I look at it intently. After a while it disappears into the air.

Leaving all the songs in the folder The Beatles to the playlist, I rest my head on my hands combing my hair with my fingers at times. Two of Us starts playing imparting the empty air with some magic. From his cattery, Jimmie shows up, jumps on the bed and sits on my lap with a purr as if to sympathize. I click on the document folder, photo gallery and slideshow all the photos in the folder − Kunja.

Sajan Kc.’s debut romantic fiction novel “After Love” is available at all the major bookshops in Nepal. It is priced at Rs. 300.

Image source and excerpt provided by Sajan Kc.