I am posting a story written by myself some years ago, when I had that zeal to be a writer I guess, but well. Please read through it to comment. This was an exercise where we were taken to the downtown Boston and asked to weave a story by looking at people and the artifacts around with a premise given where a ghost visits a town with a purpose.
(A ghost of 100 years comes back to the city where he first met his love of life and married thereafter. The ghost finds himself out of place and lost among all technological advancements until he sees his woman of his life dressed up rather awkwardly arguing with her boyfriend. The ghost is wondering if she would notice him until a gust of wind startles her and she looks at her husband's ghost as if she notices the presence of somebody whom she might have waiting for all along.)
Ivaldo recalled further. They were getting married in the La Sagrada Familia Basilica church in a later month of 1916. He looked his best where as Naira was just looking like an angel who had landed on the earth because she forgot her way home. As she was taken forth by her father, she looked as elegant as she could ever be in her white wedding gown. After the customary I dos’, as the priest asked the couple to kiss and seal the announcement that now they were husband and wife, a gust of wind blew outside the church and people inside could hear the adamance of the air trying to force its way inside this structure. It was not a usual roar people were accustomed to. And no wonder everybody inside observing the wedding got unsettled by this sudden change in the weather. They were not expecting this at all, some even thought it as a bad omen when two people in love were about to start their lives together.
As luck had it, Ivaldo was serving his terms in Spanish Army and he got an urgent telegram from his senior officer the same night, he wedded Naira, asking him to report to work immediately. Here he thought he was on a much deserved break to get married to his sweetheart, but may be it was wrong of him to assume like that.
"I cannot believe you are being called on your wedding day. This is not how I have imagined an important day in my life to be." Naira was upset.
"Honey, if this is how it is supposed to be, maybe it is meant to be. We will have loads of fun when I get back soon, okay?"
"With you not around, my days are not going to be go well."
"Honey, I will not be having a good time either without you"
Ivaldo embraced her to kiss. He could feel her tears spilling over her eyes.
After he left Naira, it so happened that Ivaldo was stationed in this African country where constant civil wars had infested its cities. There, one would constantly hear explosions and then the incessant news about causalities. Lots of innocent citizens were being killed. Ivaldo and his battalion were trying hard to save all the innocent lives and contain the atrocity that was going on there. The irony was that the terrorist groups and then the people who were being killed, all were the natives of the same place and there Ivaldo, from other country was fighting the war against terror, trying to find some way out of this chaos. He would have been a happier Spaniard had he not joined the Spanish Army, but his life was already meant to take this route. The war kept going on. There were relentless attempts made by Ivaldo’s group to defend the innocents and themselves as well. Some of his group members were heavily injured already due to the constant struggle. It was a difficult responsibility for those who were still in good shape to tend to the injured ones and also engage in the war. So far Ivaldo had made it fine, but he could feel some instincts in him telling something was up for him.
One unassuming night while his ensemble was taking respite after constantly fighting the battle for survival, a terrorist group from one of the major cities, who was causing all the havoc, shot a massively powerful bomb at their tent. This unthought-of action killed several unprepared men inside and Ivaldo was also one of them who met with his death, unfortunately. Talking about his history, Ivaldo had no family of his own as he was raised in an orphanage. He grew up to become a hard working man who eventually joined the army and was on his way to make something out of his life. He considered himself complete after he was able to marry Naira but the destiny had something else planned for him. After his sad and meaningless death in the foreign country, nobody knew what happened to Naira. And even if Naira had learnt about the death, what happened to her later would not have mattered to anyone, anyway.
It was late in the evening. A shroud of gloom had hooded the city of Madrid. There was some kind of uncertainty in the weather. Ivaldo bent over and picked up the free paper lying on the curb. The year read 2016! Several people were rushing out of the buildings in nice looking formal suits, most of them probably heading home after work. Once in a while, Ivaldo would see some strangely clothed people that would catch his attention. Lot of tourists were prying the street; the result a lot of foreign languages were being spoken. It was not like before, when one would not see different kind of people like these or hear different forms of languages being spoken like now. Then, everybody looked they would wear the similar looking clothes from the same manufacturing factory or would speak the same language in a tone that they had been used to. The homogeneous look was at its prime then.
“Everyone and everything look so different. They do not seem to have the same attitude like we had. People dress up differently now than how they used to back in my days. People sound different, they carry all these strange gadgets that they are talking to. This city has changed so much." Ivaldo thought.
Indeed, the technology had changed the outer attire of the city so much. Time certainly had changed. The trams and horse wagons had been replaced by the motor or electric driven trains and buses. People now seemed to talk so fast and in many slangs. The formality was gone. People sounded too individualistic. The unifying social ambience was not there.
The sudden but well known wind had added some flavor to the setting of the city. It was intense breeze playing on and off almost as if it had that arrogance to blow ones' feet off the ground. It was such a moment when everybody would behave almost the same. Everybody would try to avoid the brutality of the wind, try to reach for some safer places to hide or shield themselves. In a way they were acting in unison. The wind had brought this character to the people of Madrid as ever. Ivaldo thought to himself that the wind of this city had some special relationship with his life that had taken its own unique course.
Ivaldo remembered he had seen Naira in one of those windy days of Madrid. It was the year 1916. The wind was at its full speed. Ivaldo could not even keep his eyes open. It was such a day when Ivaldo saw Naira waiting for a tram to get to work as a house maid in a suburban house in the outskirts of the city. Though she was from a middle class family, she looked quite well dressed and well kept. That was demanded of her job. But her properness and simple nature besides her obvious beauty were enough to attract the heart of Ivaldo and make his advances.
Standing inside of the La Sagrada church, Ivaldo thought the charm was gone. Where he saw Naira for the second time asking for donation for underprivileged children around the city, now he was looking at this odd enclosed space built housing some kind of modern electronic box with a screen and a closet, holding several folders, by the wall. He read "Reception Codova Homes" on the glass door. The church was now converted into an apartment complex! He could not believe his eyes; the same church he swore 'I do' to his love of life had been traded off for a commercial space. The whole aura was gone. The respect for the history the place seemed to have fizzled out. The church Ivaldo saw and knew back then with full of life, it stood now listless and dishonored disdainfully. He could see all kinds of people entering the church then and now an apartment building. Students, kids, women, everybody. The space now looked like some kind of a boarding house.
"At least they have kept the altar intact, but the rest of the vibes are gone for me. So this is what the city has come to?" He asked himself.
“Maybe people are losing their faith these days.” He further assumed.
Ivaldo had much faith in his life and so on his love as well. Though his life gave up on him so early but he had yet to see if the love of his life had given up as well.
The city owned a square next to the La Sagrada church, that got Ivaldo ruminating. In the middle of the square, Ivaldo saw a tranquil fountain of water flowing out of a lion's mouth and he tried hard to imagine what was there before. The constant sprouting of water made the water itself looked like a transparent frozen figure that had forgotten the time. The new placement of this entity amused him for a while, until he remembered what his soul had really been looking for in this transformed city. Ivaldo resumed walking. His eyes were constantly going through people’s faces that looked disinterested to him. His ears took heed of every unique voices he heard along the way. He kept walking further and then he saw her finally!
She was seated in a corner at the patio of a crowded restaurant called Tapas, by the curb, with somebody, herself looking visibly upset. She was dressed up rather uncomfortably for Ivaldo. Maybe it was a new fashion of the time, but it looked outlandish to him. There stood a contrast picture of what Naira would really be known for. She had almost completely covered herself in a single color. Black long overcoat, black make up and gaudy jewelry just made her look quite distinct from other women of her age. None of the women Ivaldo knew back then were ever dressed in that way. They were more worried about appearing proper and right especially while in public, than anything else. Ivaldo would have missed her but her familiar voice resonated so well through his eardrums directly to his heart that he could simply not have missed her. Her companion who looked like her boyfriend, did not look different either, both of them giving an impression as if they had just landed from some other planet, where black was the only color.
The boyfriend looked dazed and as if on some kind of mind altering drugs, the only difference he had than Naira. Apparently, it seemed to Ivaldo they were arguing about something that was hurtful enough to bother Naira.
"Honey what do you want to know about what happened last night?"
"Tell me more, I want to know more!" Naira demanded.
"It won't take you nowhere!"
"This is your fault! You are a cheater!"
"No honey I did not cheat. it just happened!"
"Really? You justify it like that? It just happened?"
"I love you baby. Let's just forget everything about it. We will start afresh!"
The boyfriend was now pushing himself over her. He leaned forward to kiss her in a relatively awkward manner. Naira struggled to move backward almost about to fall off her chair. Ivaldo clinched his teeth in anger.
Right at the moment, a gust of wind cuddled together, roared quite loudly and the ever adamant breeze played by the side where they were located. Startled by this abrupt change, she found herself quite unprepared for this. The wind made her dark blackened hair fly all over her face that showed distress. She grappled to fix her posture and then her hair.
Then her eyes met accidentally with those of Ivaldo. She paused for a while and kept staring, as if she saw Ivaldo standing there in person. Ivaldo got conscious. Suddenly, a pang of emotions passed through him. It occurred to him maybe Naira and her boyfriend were just like himself. Maybe she had been looking for Ivaldo all these years just like himself! Maybe her soul was still married to Ivaldo all along, in spite of all the changes the time had brought to the outer layers of Naira just like to this city. Maybe, above all, she still loved Ivaldo!
Or, maybe everything was just an illusion!
The unwavering wind blew once again for one last time until it became hazy with dust and everything seemed to just disappear in air, just like a house of cards that had hopelessly fallen down to oblivion.