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U3A Writing: Not For Posting

Dharini Parameshwaran's story tells of a frustrating encounter, and a letter that was never posted.

Nihal entered his study, drew the blinds, switched the lights off and dropped into his chair, a very disappointed man.

His world seemed to be crumbling around him just as he had felt his life was running smoothly, when Cupid's arrow had grazed his heart. He had not expected to fall for a woman's charms so easily, but had not met a girl quite like Lydia before, so slender, sweet and soft spoken. When he first noticed her she had seemed unsure of the locality and looked perplexed as to what she should do or which way to go, when Nihal decided to offer her his assistance.

"Good morning," he said as he caught up with her. "I got the feeling you have lost your way, or were looking for someone. Could I be of assistance to you? I'm from this area and know it very well. Besides I'm on vacation and have all the time to spare."

The lady looked so relieved. "Thank goodness you came along. Yes, I am lost. I'm Sandra and arrived here three weeks ago to help nurse my aging and very sick grandma, who passed away last week. I have assisted the family in winding up the formalities, and am now taking some time off to get over the trauma before I return home to carry on with my life from where it left off."

"Pleased to meet you Sandra. I'm Nihal and shall be happy to take you around and show you our small country town we are so proud of, and have made it look inviting to encourage tourists to our midst. Believe me, we now get plenty of them, and on their return to their home encourage their friends to visit on their vacations. As a result this town has become quite a tourist spot."

Just then, Nihal's pal Sunil came looking for him and as his eyes met Sandra's, Nihal could see at a glance he had lost Sandra's companionship. Tall, handsome, with an athletic physique and a cheeky smile, he attracted the girls and lost no time with Sandra, carrying her off on a sightseeing spree, allowing her time to only write down her name and address for the downcast Nihal.

Nihal took it in his stride. He always knew he wouldn't be able to compete with his pal wherever the fairer sex were concerned. Nihal walked home sadly, sat down and wrote a long letter to Sandra, telling her he was so sorry there had been an interruption to their chance meeting, and that he would always remember with pleasure their brief encounter.

He would keep the letter safely locked away in his memory to later dream of what could have been, and to wonder why he had considered his letter was not for posting but was to be buried deep down in his desk enabling it to be flicked out and aired whenever he felt downhearted and needed to dream illusively.

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