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Participate in the 3rd Season of STORYMIRROR SCHOOLS WRITING COMPETITION - the BIGGEST Writing Competition in India for School Students & Teachers and win a 2N/3D holiday trip from Club Mahindra

The Reason

The Reason

7 mins 21.5K 7 mins 21.5K

Beep. Beep. Beep. The clock screeched for the umpteenth time. That shrill, blatant and unbearable noise on a horrible Monday morning. Sid's deep sleep finally started to fade. Half asleep, he reached out to shut the alarm up, causing the rolex watch that lay beside it to fall and crack its expensive glass. He was still dizzy when he opened his heavy eyes to look what time it was. He woke up abruptly. It 9:30 am. Crap! Abhi is going to strangle him for this.

He reached his cabin at 10:45, panting.

"Wow, you're early, Siddharth!" a sarcastic Abhinav Ahluwalia yelled, searing Sid with his angry stare, his blood boiling.

"Ah boss...I was…what happened is that..the traffic.." Sid tried his best.

"Oh yes, the traffic, the alarm clock, the car, the rain, the sun, the this, the that...everything in this world causes you to arrive late at this place. Isn’t it?" Abhi was visibly pissed off.

Sid had no answer. In a way, Abhi was right, he thought.

"Next time you're late, don't come. Else I'll make sure that the word late becomes a permanent prefix to your name!"

He stormed out blabbering something in his mouth.

Sid left his office at nine. Overtime was such a penalty.

He walked down the Emerald Alley to get his beloved watch repaired. A store with a fascinating name caught his eye ‘Time travellers’. Luckily, the only such store open at that hour. While he stood noticing watches of unusual designs lined up for display, he was pushed by a bearded man running, as if he'd absconded from prison.

"Sorry brother, in a hurry."

"It’s okay, I know the feeling," said Sid, thinking aloud, watching him disappear into the darkness at the other side of the lane.

He entered the store to realize he was the only one inside with an old man on the counter with looks as if he'd escaped from a fairy-tale. He reminded him of Dumbledore, in fact.

"I wanted to get this repaired," holding up his broken watch.

"Ah, broken time cannot be repaired, my son," he spoke gently.

What is that supposed to mean? wondered Sid.

"But a broken time teller can be. Anyways, I am glad that it broke." He laughed at his own joke, as he took the watch from Sid's hand and examined it.

Great, this man is glad that my Rolex broke. Sid raised his brows.

"There is a reason for everything, dear lad. But it's best for us to not know that reason," the old man preached.

"In that case, there has to be a good reasoning behind breaking of this, then," Sid replied.

"Oh yes there is. There is. You never know. You shouldn't know," old man said in a deep trance.

What old age can do to a man. Sid pitied.

"For now a week is all I need, to fix this thing," old man continued, now looking straight into Sid's eyes.

"But a week is--

"Will a replacement do?" he cut into Sid's sentence. He took out an old looking watch from an equally old looking metal box. "There! This mighty thing! You will own your time, my boy."

Sid ignored the words which only made sense to the old man, liking the rustic watch.

"Does this? This dial seems--

"Ah, not now, dear lad. You will own your time. Time is the greatest gift you can ask for. But remember, each moment has its time and its price," he stopped Sid from touching the dial, laying special emphasis on the last three words.

‘This man has lost it,’ Sid spoke in his mind as he took the watch from him.

"Thank you, I'll see you in a week."

"We'll let the time decide that," the old man smiled. Sid nodded wondering what that meant, as he left the shop.

He wore the new, or the old watch adjusting it as he accidentally turned the dial, revolving it. Well, the old man had done away with a defective piece. He turned to prove him wrong.

"Sorry brother, in a hurry," he was pushed by someone running.

"It's okay, l...” Sid stopped, shocked.  It was the same bearded man who had pushed him a few minutes ago. Why would this man return when he had already left? Wait...is this? It struck him now. “You will own your time,” echoing words of the Dumbledore man hit him.

***

He awoke on the usual time next morning. In other words, he was late. But was he? He whistled to his cabin, while everyone including Abhi stared at him open mouthed. Siddharth on time, was an irony. Therefore, Siddharth before time was an impossibility. Nevertheless, it just strengthened their belief in miracles.

And it was raining miracles for next few days. He was on time since forever, attended all meetings, met all targets, saw a number of clients which was humanely impossible given the time restraint and had still left with all the time in the world for himself. The world walked at Sid's orders, quite literally.

A week passed, rather flew. It dawned on him to collect his Rolex and to buy the wonder machine from Dumbledore (he had mentally named the poor old man).

But he returned only to find out a book store instead of the watch store there. Quite quick of the old man to switch jobs, he thought.

He went in. "Excuse me, there used to be a watch store of the same name here. Did it shift?"

The man on the counter stared him incredulously." You must be mistaken sir. We've owned this place for last twenty years, after my father bought it," he said pointing at an old man's portrait.

"And there hasn't been any watch store here as far as I know."

Sid was stunned and speechless. Thoughts swept over him. He apologized and left.

He tried to come to terms with the situation. So, how could a shop vanish, or not exist, or exist only for him. Confusion took better of him.

It was not the shop that mattered, it was his Rolex that did. Damn it. Only if it wasn't bought from his first salary.

Suddenly his face lit up. A week wasn't too far away, in fact few turns of the dial and he‘d be there.

 

Beep. Beep. Beep. The clock screeched for the umpteenth time. That shrill, blatant and unbearable noise on a horrible Monday morning. Sid's deep sleep finally started to fade. Half asleep, he reached out to shut the alarm up, careful to not touch the Rolex watch that lay beside it. He was still dizzy when he opened his heavy eyes to look what time it was. It was 9:30 am. He smiled. No clock could tell the correct time for him, he owned his time now, didn't he?

"Wow, you're early, Siddharth!" a shocked Abhinav Ahluwalia spoke, amazed to see his forever late employee on time.

"Ah, boss. Just trying to be a better employee," Sid smiled proudly and walked to his cabin.

To top it all, everything was so interesting to go through the week all over again, knowing what was coming next. It was like knowing the story of his own life for him.

Yet one stone was lined up to be unturned. What about the watch store? Was it really there? He headed to the Emerald Alley to get the picture clear.

He went for a stroll before he finally headed to the mystery watch repair shop. It was like a science before the storm for him, and he wanted to enjoy every bit of it. Even if it meant longing for the secret to unfold to last a little longer.

He took the longer route, the main road. He took the turn, only to spot a little child walking on the busy road, to catch his ball, oblivious to the truck approaching towards him. He pushed the kid just in time to get hit by the truck himself.

The reason had hit him before the existence of the store was proved. He died on the spot, while the driver, a bearded man absconded from the scene. His escape route was the same Emerald Alley, if eye witnesses are to be believed.

Siddharth had found his reason. However, it would have been better if this reason had remained a secret.

 


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