An Accident

“That’ll be 70 Rupees”

“Do you have change for 500, please?”

A good breakfast is what I needed today. This was more than good.

‘Wow’. I thought to myself, ‘today is going to be a good day, starting with the breakfast’
As my friendly food stall owner was looking for the money, I turned my head to look through the glass. Across the busy street, and on the footpath, just beside the pharmacy were two people.

‘They look familiar. Maybe I should go talk to them. I think I may know them.’
But they didn’t seem to be having a pleasant conversation. Of course, I couldn’t hear them talk, but they looked convincingly rash.

‘Oh, a bright Saturday morning and look at them, fighting’

My change had arrived.

“Ah! Thank you”

That was enough change for the next few days. I waved at the friendly stall owner and turned back to familiarise myself with those quarrellers.

And in the next second, as she crossed the busy road, the oncoming car hit her and she was thrown to the side of the road.

People were rushing to the spot and tried to do everything necessary to save her. The guy who she was fighting with was also amidst the crowd. The car that hit her flew away. I stood there astounded.

A few seconds ago, she was there on that footpath. Breathing, fighting. The street was busy, as usual. Like any other day. And I, was still on my way to socialise with her. But then….

“I wish there was a way to forget you, forever”

“No, no, no, no. No. Don’t say that. Don’t say that. It’s not just about you or me. Our families too. It’s for our families too.”

“You didn’t seem to care about families then. Suddenly, when I found out about your erratic behaviour and stinking lifestyle, you pretend to care, huh?”

“See, whatever the problem is. We can sort it out in our home. Not in public, ok?”

“Oh, yeah. You’ve got a prestige problem now. Even though you’re the culprit. Where was your prestige when you were so reckless?”

It was not a pleasing sight. The onlookers were all eyes. Any random person on this busy street, had to pass through, watching them fight. Some cheap bystanders even enjoyed this. Maybe, a little amusement before they go to catch their morning train wouldn’t do any harm. Maybe that’s what they thought.

The whole street was watching. And he felt very bad. She had the right to talk to him like this. Yeah, he did do some bad things. But he preferred discussing in a private setting. He didn’t know what to do now. He can’t leave her now. It was a crucial time for him and he needed her. Unlimited thoughts flooded his mind. She was about to cry and she rushed to go across the street. A teardrop crawling down her cheek. She had just taken a swift step on the road when….

“Hmmm..hmmm….na na na…”

He opened his phone and checked on the route on Google.

“Just 3 kilometres. Nice!”

The music system was on. His favourite band playing.

He was going to the place of his friend’s friend. One who could help him get to study abroad. This meeting was important in his life. So he was all tidied up. Neat, with his full on formal attire.

‘In 500 metres, turn left near the signal’

He was 24 years old. His father had given him his own car, a Maruti. His friends bragged of owning more sophisticated brands. That didn’t bother him, though. He always had his sights abroad. A foreign university degree is what mattered to him the most.

‘In 200 meters turn right’

“Hello. Yeah. I’m on my way, yeah. Will be there in 10 minutes. Yeah. Bye.”

There is no way, he could falter. He was all prepared. Prepared to go abroad, make his place proud.

“Hello. Yeah, papa. I’m just going. Yeah. Sure. Bye.”

The street was wide. People were hastily walking on the sides of the road.

‘Just a little faster, so that I can reach a little earlier.’

The next three seconds halted the future ahead of him. Hitting a lady on the road, veering away into distance and not seen afterward.

A few seconds ago, she was there on that footpath. Breathing, fighting. The street was busy, as usual. Like any other day. And I, was still on my way to socialise with her. But then….

I stood there astounded. Couldn’t move.

Alzheimer’s, they say. Wonder why they seemed so familiar after all.


Author Credits-

B. Raghothaman, a Qualified Company Secretary, writes short fiction and poems occasionally.  He is a fan of the Fan of The Doors, Cream, ARR and the movies.



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