Choices3 mins 132 3 mins 132
Anna was sitting by the window in the third row of the bus that day. The seat next to her was empty and she felt a strange sense of relief as she plonked herself on the chair. The commute to work was a long one, and each morning she would carefully scan the passengers to make out who was the quietest of them all. Lately, she had started expressing aversion towards anyone who would try to barge into her thought bubble with senseless chatter. She had developed her own strategy to evade such intruders; she never forgot to carry a book and a pair of headphones on her journey. Armed with her choicest weapons, she felt safe.
Her day had started on a somber note, it was one of those days when she felt nothing in particular. There was a lingering feeling of discomfort that she had been experiencing since the past few weeks, but it had begun to dull down, and now she felt the remnants of it as the day progressed. As she looked out of the window, she could see thick, black clouds slowly gathering in the sky. The bus was stuck in heavy traffic and she could make out a long queue of cars, stacked one after the other like chess pieces, jostling and struggling to move forward as the weather worsened. It had started drizzling when she had stepped out of the house. The clouds looked ferocious, rather menacing, she thought to herself, as they enveloped the sky in darkness. Suddenly, she heard a flash of lightning and the sky lit up for a split second like a burning ball of fire. It started pouring heavily, as if someone forgot to close the tap after leaving it open. Everything around her looked ominous; the trees and buildings threw terrifying shadows on the pavement where pedestrians were cowering for shelter, they seemed to appear larger and magnified than usual. The wind let out a sharp whizzing sound and rattled the window panes inside the bus. The weather seemed to reflect Anna's inner turmoil that had now reached its peak after being suppressed for so long.
Amidst all the chaos, Anna noticed that the cars in the adjacent lane had started moving faster than theirs. She imagined sitting in one of the buses scurrying in that lane, and wondered what it would be like if she was in it. Were the passengers in that bus quieter? Would they have understood her need for space? Would she be happier sitting in that bus? Would she have reached her destination faster? Anna had no way of finding out. She turned her gaze towards the road. Weren't most of life's choices much the same, she mused. She had no way of telling which path was better; the one she had left behind or the one she was treading on. She felt the old feeling of discomfort rise in her again. What if she had chosen the wrong path, and how would she know when the right one presented itself. Anna closed her eyes and leaned back in her chair. This time she felt something different. It was a sense of confusion mixed with a hint of epiphany. She had a habit of finding answers to her problems in the mundane, everyday existence. The bus lurched forward and gained momentum, it had stopped raining outside.