Take good care of her..

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.


Oblivion

He lay on his bed, behind the locked door of his room. Face down and in tears. The lights were out and it was nearing midnight. His weeping was the only sound heard, other than that of the ticking clock. His body was getting warmer and he was perspiring. But this didn’t seem to affect him. Thoughts about his fight with his parents preoccupied his mind. They had insulted him again. He had done badly in another test and they thought he was good for nothing. This was not the first time this had happened. Every such fight was followed by a storm of escape and suicidal thoughts in his mind. Every time he decided against them by convincing himself that his parents are right in their place. But not this time. Their words had pierced his heart.

“I’m not killing myself,” he said to himself. “Suicide is for the weak of the heart! And I’m not weak.”

He was a young man with warm blood. In an emotional outburst, his adolescent mind made an impulsive decision. He pushed his body upright and switched on the lights. First, he washed his face . Next, he opened his wardrobe and pulled out a suitcase. He started filling it with his belongings. His actions gave away his intentions. He put on his hoodie and stuffed his pockets with his phone and his bike keys. He was ready to go! He thought of leaving a note but cancelled the idea as nobody would care anyway. Making sure all were asleep, he left his room and the house. His unsuspecting parents were probably dreaming about their son’s bright future.

It was raining outside. The chill made him shiver. Rain drops had gathered on his bike and the breeze had made the handles cold. Undeterred, he took out his bike and headed to a specific destination. His body trembled when its warmth came in contact with the frozen handles. The rain drops hit his face as he rode. But he seemed to be oblivious to the weather.

Brakes were applied under a building in a housing complex.  It was midnight now. Reaching out for his phone in his pocket, he dialled a number. A sweet female voice said hello from the other side.

“Please can you come down for five minutes?  I’m waiting,” he said. 

“Now? My parents would not send me”, she said. 

“Just this one last time ,” he said.

“Umm..Okay,” she said confused.

The sweet voice was of his love. His one and only crush ever. He liked her a lot. But she did not reciprocate the feelings and had rejected his confession. They were great friends though. She came down and stood below the construction of the building to avoid the rain. Seeing her, his face automatically lit up. He got off his bike and brushed his hair with his fingers, approaching her. He greeted her with a warm smile and just stood looking at her face. Her face left him spellbound every time.

Little annoyed, she said,” What is it?!”

He began in his husky tone,

“This is probably the last time I will ever see you. So I HAVE to say all this. I like you and I like you a lot. And I’ll probably never like anyone else again. But I also know that you don’t have the same feelings for me. So can I get a farewell hug before I leave, so that I can live with its memories for the rest of my life?”

Unable to understand the gravity of the situation, she carelessly said,”Where will you go stupid? “

She hugged him tight and he hugged her tighter.

The hug made his smile ever more charming. And with the charming smile, he waived goodbye to her. And leaving behind all his life, he faded into the oblivion.