He trudged down the lonely street. The shining moon made the streetlights fall faint. It was chilly and he had his jacket on. The atmosphere complemented his jubilant mood perfectly. He had had a great day at work and now he looked forward to the dinner cooked by his wife which awaited him at home.
He wanted to reach home fast and therefore he chose the alternate route to avoid the Main Street rush.
He took the decisive turn.
Suddenly the setting changed. From modern glass buildings to suburban stone structures. Fewer street lights and no people. The only light that lit the dull street was that from the coffee shops, bars and restaurants towards the end of it. It was quiet and the surroundings were ominous.
Neither of this affected him though. He was in a world of his own. He was a little insecure too but the joy had overpowered the insecurities.
As he approached one of the bars, he could see two individuals standing below the flashing lights of the bar title.One, an old man in a chequered shirt and second, a girl,an infant, holding his hand. The girl was very charming. She smiled at him as he made eye contact while passing them. He too reciprocated it with a gentle smile.
He had walked only a few metres ahead when he felt somebody was following him. He quickened his stride and glanced behind. It was the old man. Soon he was jogging and then running. His formal attire and office bag gave little room for pace. Moreove, the old man showed unusual athleticism for his age.
In a matter of seconds, the agile runner pinned him down. In a series of quick motions, he put a chit in his victim’s pocket and ran away saying, ‘Sorry.’
He couldn’t understand what had happened. He stabilised himself and dusted his clothes. Then he took out the chit. Something was written on it in gibberish handwriting.
Her father left her at this bar promising to be back. She’s waiting for him. Take good care of her. Love.
He couldn’t comprehend the situation. Then suddenly everything struck him like a bolt. He gave out a shout and banged his fist on his head. Then trying to calm down, he turned around and walked to her. She stood there with the same bright smile, looking into his eyes.
He clasped her hand and said,’Come baby.’ And they walked to his house.
Next night, he stood outside the same bar. With the same girl and same chit. Waiting for the next passerby who smiles at her.