Rajan was on his way back home. Tired from work, his pace was slow. It was a really long day, and it was going to be a long night too. Some may say the distance from office to home was not walkable. But it was late in the night and the weather was perfect for a quiet stroll, thought Rajan.
The breeze was not chilly, but cold. It soothed his sunken face.
The traffic was moving, but the road had rare cars zooming past him. Rajan relaxed his stretched muscles.
Some days go outright boring and uneventful, but this was not common in Rajan’s life. His life was happening. But today was one of those other types. Totally not worth it.
But Rajan was enjoying this lone walk. This was a once-in-a-while event in his life. He was almost always with his ‘gang’, the special bunch of friends.
The whisper was feeble, very feeble. Or was he hearing the voices in his head? Yes, they spoke to him sometimes.
He tried a little harder. It was a female’s voice! Yes. Was it ‘baby doll’ she was calling him? ‘Oh come on! Seriously? Baby doll?’ He frowned. And then he chuckled. ‘Yeah. Maybe he had a cute face. Didn’t all the girls in the gang drooled over his innocent looks?’
He thought of ignoring the invitations. He could hear all kind of pleasantries the girl had to offer. She was speaking with such intimate tone. He felt tempted. The voice was starting to dissipate.
He thought of giving a glance to the face with such seductive voice. He already had a pretty picture drawn in his mind. But the job she was offering was denying the imagination. Let’s do it, he thought.
The world went still. Just like in movies. What was he looking at? Was it ‘Aphrodite’ herself? Where was his breath? Was he going to die looking at this perfect carving? Was he going to die of a heart attack, because he couldn’t feel his heart beating? Was this a trick from the God Himself? A mirage! An illusion! A trap!
And then the honk tore through his ears, to his brain and finally had its escapade through his heart. ‘Die. Die. Die, you moron.’ He screamed at the driver in the car behind.
And Whoosh! She disappeared. And he was still again. A statue. A body. A nothing.
The next day was hectic. He might have to stay back today as well. He felt a sudden anxiety; maybe it was a dim hope; the hope to be able to see her again.
He chose to walk back home with a faint chance of meeting her. And there she was. Just as beautiful as yesterday, or maybe she had got even prettier. He looked at her. Of course she didn’t recognize her. Why would she? But he thought just maybe she would.
It became a routine for him. He started to stay back at office regularly, waiting for the clock to strike 11 and then he would rush for the gates.
Was he in love? Lying on the bed at night, he would imagine how it be to have a long walk with her, to talk to her about all his future plans and to know hers.
He could feel the happiness on his face and in his heart.
After a couple of weeks, the girl started to recognize him. She gave him cute smiles and that adorable shimmer in her eyes! Oh! How he died every day, just to wake up again next morning with her dreams.
Today he would speak to her, he confidently declared (to his heart).
‘Hey babydoll! Are you going to take me with you finally?’
‘Hi. You are pretty.’
‘I’ll look prettier at your place.’
‘No. I don’t want that. I really like you.’
‘Then let’s go. I’ll discount you a little since you seem to be an inexperienced one.’
He turned around and walked back home. He could hear her fainting voice and her desperate calls. She just lost a customer. He could also hear the shatter of his fantasies.