The Endless Wait

by Renu Thappa

While the students were getting ready for the first period, Rajan kept scribbling something on a piece of paper. His classmates knew he was writing stories again. Although every kid is special, Rajan was slightly unique than others because of his illness and his classmates bullied him for that.

It was the beginning of the new session and the last of their school life. While students were excited about what life will offer them next, Rajan had no plans for himself because he always dreamt of writing.

The teacher’s eyes examined every student, but it stuck on Rajan. “Rajan! What are you doing?”, he screamed.

Rajan didn’t respond as he didn’t hear but the entire class giggled.

“Rajan! Sir is calling you” said Manish, the class monitor.

“Y-Yes, Sir”, Rajan stumbled.

“Stop being the center of attention.” The teacher scolded. “Do you know students like you get ragged at college? Always scribbling and making a mess.”

The sound of people laughing, the gaze of mockery and doubt made Rajan insecure about his own self, like always but he kept on writing.

The class was busier than usual. The first benchers were busy underlining questions, some were having pen fights, while some were busy hogging the lunch box. Rajan on the other hand was looking forward to pranking his grandma for April Fools day tomorrow.

While he was planning tomorrow’s day, Manish, the class monitor, had other plans for him. Although Manish got good grades, his manners weren’t really the best. “Who wouldn’t love a practical prank? Let’s go and pull his pants a little.”

Rajan, who had no clue about their prank, greeted Manish well.

“Buddy, you write so well. Why don’t you post them somewhere?” Manish suggested. “My brother sends his stories to NewYorker and they publish it. You do it too. What do you think?”

While Manish was giggling, Rajan thought of this as a good opportunity. “Do you think my stories are that good?”

“Of course they are. You should post them. Wasting your talent just like that.”

Rajan had a spark in his eyes as his grandma had said the same to him the other day.

“Thanks.” Rajan said.

“No worries, bud.” Manish said. “You know these people don’t understand this but, I do! I have a freak brother at home so I know.”


“You share your email ID, I’ll go home and mail you the email id of the New Yorker. Cool?”

Rajan passionately wrote, RAJANHULK234@GMAIL.COM on a clean piece of paper and gave it to Manish.

By the end of the day, the entire school knew about Rajan’s hulk email ID. If bullying wasn’t enough, people started calling him ‘weirdo hulk’. Rajan did not care because he had other things to worry about. He didn’t pay attention to any of them and went straight to his school bus. On his way back home, he started daydreaming about how popular he would get like Manish’s brother. After all, NewYorker was a big deal.

When he reached home, he had already received an email from, it read:

To Rajan, the email ID looked like the golden ticket that came straight from the Chocolate factory.

He flipped the pages of his journal and picked the best story he had written. He typed, in the ‘to’ option, attached the word file and pressed the send button. To his surprise, he soon got an instant reply saying:

“Thank you for your submission. Note that if your manuscript is right for the NewYorker, you will hear from us within ninety days. If you don’t, please assume that we were unable to find a place for it.”

For the next three months, he kept refreshing his Gmail account but got no reply from them. And so, the saga of sending new stories every three months began. He would wait for months and in the similar thread would send another story.

Rajan never told anyone about this incident, maybe because he didn’t want others to feel that he’s a loser in writing stories as well. So he kept quiet and hence this little secret was only known by him and Manish.

Years passed, the tea stalls turned into malls, leaves turned yellow and green again, but Rajan was the same. He was still unaware of the cruel world. Rajan passed away on March ’21, sitting on the same chair he used to sit every day, writing stories.

The news of his death soon reached his school’s WhatsApp group and Manish read the message. He was sad, yes tinged with a sense of guilt.

He opened his Gmail to find 134 unread emails from RAJANHULK234@GMAIL.COM. Tears started rolling down his cheeks.

The last message he had sent was the day before yesterday, the title of which was, ‘Manish: My only friend at school’.

The last lines of the email read:

Editors, I have grown through these emails, learnt my mistakes and accepted them. My sincere request to the editors to have a look at this story and if it lacks something, please attach a feedback. This story might be my last but writing these stories was the idea of my only friend, Manish and was the beginning of our friendship. I hope the editors will like it.


And with that, Manish deleted his email account,, forever.

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