Unknown Encounters5 mins 302 5 mins 302
I see this old man sitting on the bench everyday next to the red phone box. I see him waiting until evening and then he gets up and goes to the phone box and after few minutes walks out and I watch him walk away.
I have never seen him speaking to anyone. All I see him do is, stare at something. I have my book shop right opposite the road. I never felt the need to ask him. It's normal for old people to be by themselves right.
It must have been a month or two I have seen him come by and just sit there. The last time I saw him was 2 days back. I came early to open my shop as we had a book launch.
My mind wasn't really into the launching program. Something didn't seem right today. I went out to see if the old man had arrived but I didn't see him. Strange! He never missed a single day. I kept wondering what happened.
You know what I thought, "Look he is old, so he must have fallen sick. Right?" I just ignored and went about my business. I must be thinking too much.
It's been 2 weeks since I saw this old man. I was worried, which I think is weird and creepy because I don't know this man and yet I am worried about him. This might sound scary but I saw him in my dreams. He smiled at me while standing right outside my shop. It gives me chill thinking about the dream.
And here I was totally lost in the thoughts of a stranger. I was getting anxious day by day. I needed to do something. I started enquiring about this man in the neighborhood and surrounding areas. But none had any clue.
I thought I must give up because I knew nothing about this man, I didn't even have a photograph. "How am I going to find out about him?"
When I was going back to my shop, I saw a freaking looking man dressed for winter in the hot summer season, standing outside my shop. He nodded at me and said, "Have been waiting for you."
I almost jumped. "Why on earth is this man waiting for me? I don't even know him." I was sweating. This man in front of me was covered with all the woollen clothes he could find.
He came closer to me and whispered. "The old man is at peace. You can visit him If you wish."
OK! Wait! What? Did I just hear him talking about the old man? How did he know?
"Is he dead?" I asked.
"You are a beautiful soul, my friend. You can meet the old man's wife Linda at an old age home that is four block away." Said the woollen man.
I knew my mouth was half hung open. I knew that I was going crazy. I closed my eyes and tried meditating. I opened my eyes and this man was no where to be seen. Where did he go? I needed rest.
The next morning, I walked four blocks to find the old age home. I came across a shabby looking building that looked like it was built 100 years ago. It looked straight out of a scary movie set.
I went inside and saw a lady. I asked if she knew anyone named Linda. She just pointed at the door on the right. As I was about to thank her, I saw a nurse bringing an old lady in the wheel chair.
She came right at me and stopped. This lady in the chair gave me faint smile and said, "Don't wait for him. He is well. He is happy now," and then nurse took her back to her room.
I stood there like an idiot with my mouth wide open and my eyes ready to fall out. "Are these people mind readers? Why is it that every one I meet today seems to know what am I going to ask them?"
I turned back to the reception and it was empty. Like nobody was there. I couldn't take it anymore, I didn't know what was happening but I just wanted to be out of this place.
I walked as fast as I could to my shop and the same woollen man I saw earlier stood right in front of my shop. "Can my day get any more weirder?"
He stopped me and took my hand and took me to the bench where the old man used to sit. I sat there without saying a word and suddenly something happened. I saw the old man sitting next to me and he smiled at me, he looked younger, it seemed like it was morning and now it looked like the day was setting and the old man got up and went to the phone box and dialed someone, few minutes later he came out and then a speeding truck came and hit him.
I remembered running towards him to see if he was alright but there was nobody. I was sweating. I was dreaming.
What just happened to me. I felt someone grabbed me and pulled me back. It was the woollen man. "Hey, are you OK. What happened? Why did you jump in front of the car?"
"What car?" I screamed at him. The moment I came to my senses, I realized I had actually jumped from the bench and landed right in front of the car.
I was totally confused. I narrated everything to him and he said with a smile, "20 years back from now, there was this man who was waiting for his wife. When she didn't turn up, he went to call her but he got to know that his wife had met with an accident. He rushed out and it was when he met with an accident with a truck right outside this phone box. He has been wandering since then and still waits for his wife."
Wow, I needed some air. I didn't know what to believe. I looked up and the woollen man was no where to be seen. I felt a knot in my stomach. I couldn't take this anymore. I couldn't breath.
I never believed in ghosts but after this I don't know what more to believe. The bench and this red phone box gives me chills down the spine. And even people in woollen clothes.