Sunday, 4 January 2015

Two women on a night

That night was all about hushed speech and gripping fear. Two women were fleeing. R was on her bed trying to make sense out of her sleep and S was by her computer. They were seas apart but bound together by a thin supple silver line of fear. There was someone outside the door. He was listening to them talking. He could hear their plan. It wasn't foolproof. When R got up from bed and stealthily moved towards the switchboard she was scared that with the light the stranger would also find an entry into the room. Even when nothing happened she was scared. She bolted the door and unbolted it in a moment thinking of the possibility of him already hiding in the room. There were two doors to open and close before she reached the road. The rusted iron wouldn't easily budge. She had to pull at it with all her might and was worried if she would have to seek help. She couldn't afford to involve another person in the plan. She had to flee by herself. The railway station was only a few kilometers away. The journey was only ten hours long. She could sleep and get up to home. It was 5.00 am.

A teashop was open. The tea wet her throat and curbed hunger. Tea was the best thing one could find in the morning. An auto was fast asleep in the nearest junction. The driver was in the seat in deep slumber. 'Chetta', she called and he sprung up. Railway station would be Rs. 50. Okay. While getting off  she apologised for having awaken him from sleep. He smiled and said it was no big deal. She felt like hugging him to say thank you. Good thing she didn't know how to hug.

At 6:25 the train moved. It was hard to keep her heavy backpack on the rack. The weeklies in the side pocket were falling off. After securing her place near the window she went to the toilet for a quick smoke. For the first time in her 7 years of cigarette addiction she had forgotten to take her cigarette packet on a journey. Unrest began. She will have to sleep till destination so that the restlessness out of lack of tobacco wouldn't drive her crazy. She had a coffee and went to sleep. When she got up only five hours of the journey was over. Her arm was aching from pulling the suitcase in the morning. She had a body, she was aware because of the pain. This is all she could do in a day, she thought. Only five hours in a stretch. The plan had worked only half way, S, she tried to communicate through her thoughts. She got off where she had met S four years ago. They were in 'Life is Beautiful' now. Father and son playing a game which was anything but, to live. To live. When she thought of that R's throat glued its walls together. Only one survived in the movie. She couldn't let that be. They had to flee together. Together was the only way they could be.

The city welcomed her. The fear still hung in the air. She thought of S. She only thought of S. Survivors only think of each other. They survive to love. Love to survive. One more night, one more night and she will be home. One night a day. Safety is only one night away.

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