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I was just sitting in front of the monitor and was running my hands over the keyboard. I loosened my tie. The project which I was working on came to an end. I gave the submit option. But it showed 'Error'. I got annoyed. Then, I turned around to talk about this problem to my colleagues. But where were they? I could see no one. I got up from my chair and looked around. All the lights were off except the one which was above my head. There was barely anyone left. ' They must have completed their works and must have left', I thought to myself. I looked at the monitor again. It still showed 'Error'.
This irritation got changed into anger and yeah, it was towards my boss. He is so cruel, making his staff work late at night. He even asks us to come on public holidays. Why aren't there any cases against such sadists? The spirit of vengeance just surrounded me, I felt like , I should do something to the boss. One sound got my attention. I heard a telephone ring. I wondered who else was there in the office. I looked at the entrance of our floor. There was a staircase leading to the next floor. I was about 100 meters from the staircase. From my position, I could see only the first two to three stairs. In that dim light, I saw someone climbing up the stairs. I couldn't recognize him. But I am damn sure that he was wearing Black shoes. Those were clearly visible when he stepped up.
I decided to follow him and find what was he up to. I came near the staircase and started climbing up. The telephone stopped ringing. I climbed and reached the next floor. I looked around. There was a small room. I opened the door slowly and went in. I didn't expect that he would be there. Yeah, there was my boss.. sitting in his showy chair comfortably and taking a nap. I went near him and stood in front of him. As he was asleep, he took no notice of me. Sleeping happily, making his staffs do all the jobs. My eyes just looked around and focused on something. What was it? There was a night lamp. In that dim light, I could see a pistol kept near it. I reached for it. My hands took the gun.
Then it started pointing towards my boss. Some voice said, "Do you remember the troubles you had because of him? Just make him have it. Kill him." I was holding the gun towards my boss and was about a shoot. The next few things happened all of a sudden. Someone pushed me from behind. My hands triggered the gun. As I fell, it shot the right leg of my boss. My head hit his table and I felt the pain.
I woke up and realized that it was just a dream. If you ask, ' Was it just a dream?'. Yeah, it was. I am glad that, I didn't shoot anyone. And if you think, 'the story came to an end', that's wrong. This is where the real story begins. Each and every incident I witnessed after this, had something behind... that could never be found out.
I just recalled the dream. ' This idiot is not even allowing me to sleep. Asking me to work even in a dream'. I got up from my bed and looked at the clock. It was at 10.30p.m. As it was Sunday, I went to sleep early and even got a dream within a short span of time. This shows how deep my sleep was and how tired I was. I had one problem. If I wake up in the middle of asleep, I should remain awake for the rest of the time. I couldn't sleep again. So, I decided to go for a walk outside. I dressed in a jerkin; put on my office shoes... Why office shoes? Because I didn't have anything else to wear. I stepped out of my house and was about to lock it. Before locking, I looked at my house. Was it really a house? No, it was just a small room where the only soul of mine resided. I locked the doors.
I started walking on those empty streets. I had no idea where I was going. I looked around as I walked. Street lamps gave me guidance. But some of it was blinking at me. Even the growling dogs were asleep. There was no one in the streets. As I walked, I reached the main road. I looked around. Most of the shutters were closed and some shop keepers were closing their accounts and pulling off their shutters. Only a few people were walking here and there. Only some vehicles were enjoying the roads. All of a sudden, a White Bentley hit an individual. Without even having the sense that his car had hit a person, the car speeded up and went away.
I noted the number of that car. Kind of fancy number. 'Probably..it belongs to some rich and influential person', I thought to myself. I was just standing in the same place since the accident. All the shop keepers who were still there gathered around that person. I was standing in the same place, just looking at what was happening. 'He must be bleeding', I thought. One man in that group took his phone out and called an ambulance. Another one took his phone out and took a photo.
I tried to see the face of the witness. But I couldn't. I tried to move. But my legs hesitated to do so. I saw that person being taken inside the ambulance with a charter. While they were loading him inside, I saw one thing. The person's feet. He was wearing black shoes. It made me recall the dream. The person who met with an accident now... should be the person who climbed the stairs first in my dream, I thought to myself. I was still standing there watching all these scenes. The ambulance went away. Shopkeepers came back to their shops murmuring something. The roads were back to its normal form again.
I continued my walk. I started thinking about this society and the way some people behave without caring for others. I rested on a bench at the tea stall. Was the tea stall still open? Yeah. But why? It was open mainly for those who travel a long distance, through those routes. As usual, I looked around. There was a magazine lying on the bench. My hands took it and started flipping the pages. I stopped at one page. That page had a list of Top 10 movies of all time under various categories. My eyes focused on a particular category. What was it? The list of science fiction movies. Yeah, I am always interested to see those movies. Each and every time I watched those movies, I thought about how it would be if that fictional story occurred in my real life.
Then I turned another page. It was completely blank. My eyes focused at the bottom of the page. There were some numbers and names of the streets. Yeah, it was an address. But who's address was it? My eyes were seeing that address. Some voice said, "No:13, Deccan Villa, Paradise Avenue. Now Go!". I turned back to see whose voice was it. There was no one. Then I started walking again. I know where Paradise Avenue is. But why am I going there? I too didn't know until I reached there. I walked in a normal speed and reached Paradise Avenue. I was about 100 meters from Deccan Villa. I looked to my left.
There was a building that was under construction. The workers were asleep. There were few uncut steel rods and a few cut steel rods. I went near the heap of cut steel rods. I took one from it and started walking towards Deccan Villa. I was standing in front of the gate. Deccan Villa was a huge and luxurious house. I waited for about 5 minutes with the steel rod in my hand. What happened at the next moment was least expected by me. The same White Bentley came and stopped in front of that house. Someone stepped out from the driver's seat. He walked unsteadily. I am damn sure that he had consumed alcohol. I walked towards him. Some voice said, "People like him are not supposed to be left alive. Kill him". The next few things happened all of a sudden. I lifted the steel rod above my head and injured his head with the steel rod. He suddenly turned towards me and somehow managed to push me with all the energy he had. I fell down. My head hit the ground and I felt the pain.
I woke up. What? Was it a dream again? No, it didn't feel like a dream. I felt like, I was taking revenge. I am sure that it was not a dream or maybe it was. It must be some sort of imagination. But where am I now? I looked around. I was in bed. There was a machine that read the rate of my heartbeat. The room was surrounded by white light. I came to know that, I was in a hospital. A man with a stethoscope entered the room and came near me. " How are you feeling now?", he asked. "I am alright. Why am I in a hospital? What happened to me?", I asked. " Don't panic. You met with an accident. Your legs were fractured. Thank God, you landed in a heap of sand. You didn't get any major injury. Just a minor surgery on your legs. You'll recover within two weeks. Take rest", he said. Then, he took some reports and left the room.
I was silent all the time. I looked at my legs. It was surrounded by a white cloth. I was totally confused. What accident happened? When did it happen? Why didn't I have the feel of witnessing an accident? My mind was filled with a lot of questions like this. My friend came in. He sat near me. He was looking at me suspiciously for a few minutes. Then he asked, " What the hell were you doing in the main road late night?". "I couldn't sleep. So, I went for a walk. Leave that. Just say what happened to me", I asked.
"I don't know exactly. I just saw the CCTV footage. You are walking on the main road yesterday night. Suddenly, a White Bentley came and hit you. You just landed on the sand heap nearby and fainted. The car just went away. The shopkeepers came to rescue you. You were boarded in the ambulance; brought to the hospital; a surgery was made and now you are awake", he said. I was completely puzzled. He left after a while. I was shifted to the general ward after a few hours. I spent the whole day, thinking about what had happened to me earlier. At last, it all became clear. Was it really all clear? No, I came up with my own theory. What was it? Let me say it from first. I was sleeping at my house and I was dreaming about killing my boss. Then I woke up and came for a walk outside. While walking, a car came and hit me and then I went unconscious. Shopkeepers helped me and now I am in the hospital.
So this theory gives a conclusion that' Myself walking to that address and hitting the car owner with a steel rod', was a sort of dream or a kind of imagination witnessed by me when I was unconscious in the hospital. So that's why it looked like I was taking revenge. Yeah, now it became all clear. All the science fiction movies that I had watched help me solve this puzzle. Now, I sat in the bed with a smile letting my imagination wander. I started thinking. "So each and every person who witnessed an accident and reached the stage of unconsciousness will have a similar dream of themselves taking revenge against the person, who is responsible for the accident. Thank God, I am not confused right now. Reality and imagination just played with me. What would happen if I couldn't find out the difference between imagination and reality? What if I lose the grasp of reality? No. It would never happen", I thought to myself. I was about to get discharged the next day. I had a nice sleep that day.
The next morning, my friend woke me up. He helped me in packing things; made me sit in the wheelchair and rode me to the cash counter. He was making the payment and was carrying out some procedures. I was sitting in the wheelchair seeing all the other patients."Sir! Sir!", someone shouted from behind. It was the sweeper who was cleaning the ward. He came near me and handed over one of my belonging. I was terrified after seeing that. It was my black office shoes. The same shoe which I saw on the feet of the person who climbed the stairs. The same shoe which I saw in the ambulance. I realized that it was me, who I saw in those scenes. I scolded myself for not recognizing even my own shoes. "Can we leave?", my friend asked. I just nodded. He pushed my wheelchair and then helped me get into the cab. He folded the wheelchair and kept inside the car dickey. Then he came inside the car and sat beside me.
I was still thinking about those black shoes. But that was not the only suspense waiting for me. The cab started moving and after a while, it stopped at a signal. I saw the signal. It was red. There was a timer too. It counted the seconds: 90, 89, 88 and so on. Those 90 seconds brought an unsolvable doubt and confusion in my mind. There were many vehicles waiting for the signal.
I looked out through the car window. You wouldn't believe what I saw. It was the same White Bentley waiting for the signal. I saw the road again. Some of them were crossing the road. "You are so lucky", my friend said. I asked, "Why?". "You won't get any scoldings", he said. I asked the same question again. The reply which he gave electrified me. " Our boss didn't come to the office for the last two days. Someone shot him on his legs", he said. "What?!!", I shouted. I suddenly looked at the timer...3..2..1. All of a sudden, the White Bentley speeded up and hit an individual. I was totally confused. What the hell is happening over here? I heard some voices saying something. Now I recognized the voice...it was mine. It stressed the words, "What if you lost the grasp of Reality?"
- The End -