The Footsteps That Followed
The Footsteps That Followed
Indeed experience does matter, a universal truth that we all believe in. We tend to learn each and every day from every instance that we live and face in our daily life. Such an instance still lives in my memory.
A Saturday evening it was, the local news had forecasted a stormy weather after sunset. A college student Rahul was busy preparing for his mid semesters to be held after 2 months. Quite an introvert he was for which he didn’t have much friends to his company. Studying and preparing for his project works, Rahul went too deep into the books and searching the internet sitting in the library that he forgot the closing time of the library. “Rahul, where are you? Its 8.45pm now. How long will you take to get back home?” his tensed mother rang him. “What! Oops, didn’t check mom. Will be get going right now. Don’t worry mom” he consoled her.
“Oh God! Can’t believe I just have 2 days to submit this never ending project” Rahul recollected to himself unaware of the weather outside. Packing up his things, he got up to head out. He noticed that except the librarian, everyone else had left the library. “Sir, I left the books on the table. Would that be a problem?” he asked the librarian. “You’re still here! Rush to your home boy, a big storm is flowing through the streets. Get home before you get stuck in the storm” he replied. “Is that the reason no one is here at this time?” he thought to himself. Getting to the door of the building, he heard a peculiar sound coming from outside the door. To his astonishment, it was the sound of the storm, i.e the speed of the wind flowing through the streets. There was no kind of transport visible to his eyes that very point of time. “Seriously! How am I supposed to get home? Oh God, do I have to walk down all the way now!” Rahul questioned himself.
The wind had a good speed flowing to the back side. Seeing no availability of transport, Rahul decided to walk towards his home. “I don’t think I would be getting any bus even right now”, he started heading towards his home taking the short route by the nearby lake. Trying to cross the footpath to the other side, it seemed to him as if there were wet footprints heading from the opposite footpath towards his path. Unnoticed of the situation, a light came to his vision. To his surprise, a bus had just turned from the next crossing and was now heading towards the direction of his home. “Oh God, I have to catch that bus!” he exclaimed and started running towards it with a greater force. Just about the time Rahul ran to cross the road, with the flow of the wind, a piece of cloth like a scarf just came in flowing in front of his face and got stuck to something which stood as an invisible obstacle. Although Rahul could not understand or realize what actually just happened, it took some time for him to digest that the cloth which got stuck had actually taken the shape of a human face. However, there was no one there visible.
The cloth was stuck for just few seconds and flew away with the wind. This made Rahul completely shocked to see what just happened by his eyes. In that startled state, he could see the bus horning away but could not react to run as his mind was still trying to figure out what just happened and was trying to capture the face of the obstacle simultaneously. By the time he got back to his conscious mind, the bus had already gone too far. “God! I have to catch that bus” he started running in that direction.
Except for the street lights, the road was a bit dim. As the boy was running towards the bus, he was gradually becoming breathless with his speed decreasing simultaneously. It seemed to him as if a heavy bike like the Royal Enfield was heading towards him from the back. He stopped to check if he could get any help. To his surprise and rescue, he saw a police was heading in the same direction in his Enfield. “Sir! Sir! Please stop!” the boy screamed for help. Slowing down, the middle aged police guy asked “Boy, what are you doing here alone in this whether? Where’s your home? Are you okay?” Rahul then described his situation about the bus heading from the nearby stand and how he got stuck with the scarf taking the shape of a face right in front of his face.
“Relax boy! You are too stressed out right now it seems. There is nothing to fear boy, look there is no one on the streets not even any transport. Tell me where your home is and I will drop you there?” the police consoled the boy. “Thank you so much, Sir that would be really nice of you as I’m stuck here. If you can drop me near the J.D. crossing, it would be really helpful to me!” Rahul got back his breath. “Sure boy, hop at the back. I’m going in that direction” said the police as they started right away before getting any further delay. “I’m afraid the weather might get worse” commented the police man as he chitchatted with Rahul along the way. Due to the bad weather, the streetlights were functioning less to the normal days as few of them seemed to have lost connection with the power.
Reaching out to the destination, the boy signaled the police, “Sir! You can drop me here. My home would be 5 minutes to walking from here to the lane down that side however, the lights this here are out seeming the road is darker. It was really kind of you to help me today Sir!” he said to the police man. “You are most welcome my dear! All the very best and take care boy, I need to go now” smiled and replied the police man. “I wish if I can be at your help any day” said the boy to which he replied “No need boy, thank you. But do help anyone who is in need of it”.
“Oh it’s a tiring day, Let me just have a fag and get going” the police man took out a cigarette, the lighter from the same pocket fell down while taking it out. “Wait Sir let me help you with that” offering the help, Rahul picked up the lighter. As the boy lit the fire to the police man in that dimed light area, to his astonishment and shock, the only thing he could see was the cigarette floating in the air in that exact same position and nothing else was there. It was like all of it was gone within a fraction of a second and as if no one was there at the very first place or even no bike. Startled and shocked to what he just saw with his naked eyes, Rahul dropped the lighter and that very moment, the floating cigarette instantly dropped to the ground.