I am driving through long winding roads along the banks of a lake, a canopy of trees over-head and an intermittent view of the lake through the trees as they part away occasionally to reveal the presence of water on the other side. The road is in good shape especially for this season when the sky is overcast and the rains can hit really hard though by their own standards, the rains have been scanty this year. The road is almost devoid of contact with any moving life as the only view I have is of fleeting birds up on the trees as my bike whirrs through the forest. I reckon I am the only human who has come to these parts in a long time, rather surprising for a place so beautiful and only a stone’s throw away from the city. I suppose it’s a little too beautiful and borders on the edge of the eerie, enough to inspire tales of highway masquerades and the occasional ghost stories. I haven’t been to these parts in quite some time myself.
It’s funny, no matter how much I had promised myself, I did let myself get caught up with life. The day I chose to work over-time because I had nothing to look forward to in the rest of the day, was also the day I typed in my resignation letter. After a long time of having immersed myself in work to run away from the pain and heartache, I finally was able to think that evening. When I did, I realized I was becoming every bit the person I had promised myself I wouldn’t be all those years ago. I still remember that late night excursion with my roomies in the by-lanes of Bombay, when I had told them of my elaborate plans in life, ones that did not involve a 9-5 work schedule, ones that did not involve agreeing with the boss just because he was the boss and ones that did not involve a heart-ache. Ironic as my life has been, I have only had myself to blame. Like the trees that now pass me by swiftly, I have always been running away just as swiftly from everyone that ever tried coming close. The first time, the second…always running away for reasons completely unknown to me. Or maybe just reasons that I didn’t want to see. I guess I keep forgetting love isn’t about perfection but about imperfection. I close my eyes and all those wonderful images come rushing back…those times spent over coffee, those first days of courtship, that feeling that surged through my insides when I first saw her, that smile, those eyes. ~sigh~
And THUD! I open my eyes and I can see the sky through the canopy above. There’s a weaver bird’s nest above that looks beautiful even from the bottom. I notice a few squirrels scurrying around. My eyes close again. Once again I am floating through those images of her. That mad time back in college when I couldn’t find a friendship band good enough, so I went and bought her a watch! Those mad long drives that were a result of long boring days in class. Those late night talks over the phone. Sneaking her out of the hostel for coffee. Sneaking into the hostel to wish her on her birthday. And despite it all, walking different ways at the end of it cause we were too scared of ruining it all by coming too close. Funny how neither of us got anywhere without each other. Funny how I was still running away from her on these winding roads…where once we first came together. I open my eyes again and I’m in a car, it looks like my own backseat…yeah, I can see the chocolates I keep on the dashboard too! There's a familiar looking watch hanging from the mirror on the dash...but I still have my jacket on and I am not driving… I close my eyes again.
I wake up in a white room. The ceiling seems too clean to be mine. I see a saline bottle on a stand. I feel the IV pinned into me. I almost close my eyes again but I can feel a familiar squeeze of my hand…I turn around and I see her smiling at me. I return the squeeze, smile back at her and close my eyes again. I can’t run away this time…
It's my first attempt at a short story...be gentle!