In The Quest Of Nothing
In The Quest Of Nothing
The breeze was blowing off my messy uncombed hairs.
I moisturized my cracked lips with tongue.
My watch read exactly 3:19 pm which meant that it had been an hour since I left the house without informing anyone.
I was wondering if mum would've realized that I was gone. If she was perturbed. If dad was home by then and if they had filed a missing complaint at the police station.
I closed the window of my train cabinet.
When the train stopped at the station, I gathered my backpack and got off.
The board read 'Torsands.'
It was a small station with a couple of shops; one selling books and the other one selling snacks.
I went to the shop for selling books. It was smelling like that of musty cellulose. Some books were hanging on strings, some were displayed on the shelves and some were kept one over the other, making stacks.
I loved reading books, especially Gothic books.
I ran my eyes to scan the shop, searching for a book. There was 'Hamlet' hanging on the string, 'Sherlock Holmes' was lying on top of a stack, 'To kill a mockingbird' was kept on another corner.
And...............there was..............' How stupid I was' by Chris J. Hammer. I couldn't believe it. I was looking for that book for an eternity. Finally, I found it, kept respectfully on the shelf.
"How much for that one?" I asked, pointing at the book.
"7 Sterlings!" replied the lanky man with long-nasty beard and glasses large enough to cover his eyes and half the nose.
"7 Sterlings!" I exclaimed.
I searched my pockets. I only had 10. I left the house with 20 Sterlings, out of which I had spent 10 on the train fare.
I thought for a second if I should consider buying the book.
No, one can live without the book but without food! Book can't be my priority.
I nodded and turned. I thought I should better leave the station and search for a place for accommodation.
"Pack it!" I told the man.
Yeah, I changed my mind. I preferred the book and chose to starve myself.
He gave me the book and I paid him the bill, which left me with only 3 Sterlings to survive.
I tore the paper bag, revealing the book. Its cover had a picture of a man sitting on a rock with his hands under his chin, lost into deep thoughts. I flipped the pages of the books. It smelt like that vanilla flavored ink.
I kept the book in my backpack and left the station.
It was a small village, I realized soon after I left the station.
There were fields and farms all around. The road, in fact, I should better call it 'trail' seemed as if someone has sprinkled sand over it. The fields were covered with maize and mustard. The petrichor indicated that it had rained there.
I started to walk on the trail.
I still couldn't believe that I had left my house, alone, for the first time.
I couldn't believe I bought 'How stupid I was.'
I couldn't believe that I was such a loser.
I had failed my academic exams which meant I had to repeat the class.
I realized that the girl, I was deeply in love with, who was a celebrity (but still I loved her; it was true love). She was pregnant with her boyfriend.
My parents thought that I was getting distracted but actually I was dying.
I never told my parents what I've been through, right from the first day of my school.
Not just mental, but also physical abuse.
They thought it was just a phase. You know, teenagers. Everyone has it.
No one has been through what I've experienced. And I pray no one should ever experience it.
I couldn't bear more.
I couldn't hide more.
Things were getting worse. I was getting entrapped deeper into the world of crime.
Things that were worse than the above one.
So, I decided not to be a burden for my parents and hence left the house.
The smell of mustard burnt my nostrils.
I was lost so deep into thoughts that I didn't realize when I got off track and entered the mustard field.
I was standing in the middle of the field surrounded by mustard plants from all around. The plants were tall enough that they formed a canopy over my head.
I had no option, other than continue walking aimlessly.
Pushing. Hitting. Dislodging the plants, I was making my way through the green and yellow jungle of mustard plants.
I felt as if someone has locked me in the bottle of mustard sauce. The smell was awful. I could hear the ribbiting of frogs and chirping of birds.
Finally, I was able to pass the seemingly never-ending mustard jungle.
I found myself standing in front of a huge farm.
Stubble was lying outside that farm. It was blue in color. There was a house next to the farm.
It was nearly dusk time.
So, I knocked on the door of the house.
An old blonde lady opened the door.
"Good evening, Ma'am!" I said.
"Good evening, dear!" she replied.
"I'm here for some research work but unfortunately I got pickpocketed. I would be really grateful if you could allow me to stay here overnight."
"Do you have any ID proof?"
"Will this work?" I told her, showing her my ID proof.
"Yeah. It would be a pleasure," she replied.
"You can stay longer if you want but then you'll have to help me in the field," she added.
I smiled and nodded as she welcomed me.
She showed me my room.
It was a decent sized room on the first floor with a single bed and study table. It also had a window with a beautiful view of the fields.
I drew the book out of the backpack and kept it on the study table.
"Wanna have some tea?" the old lady asked.