THE SCARED CROSSING…

Posted: September 7, 2009 in Short stories

She never thought she would walk that way again! That was the scariest place she had ever been in her entire life! Yet, she was there on that winter night… strolling through that uncanny highway, alone… The winter was at its peak and she knew that well… yet, she didn’t feel it! 

It was during the last year, while she was returning from the ‘green lake villa’, she walked that highway for the first time. But it was different then… She had Jason with her.

Jason was the only one who could make her feel happy and secured even in the hell! All she cared was his presence… and nothing else really mattered to her. They had waited there for 8 long hours before a mechanic came and repaired their ‘Maybach’…

She desired to spend their ‘waiting time’ inside their luxury car… making love with her sweetheart. She felt that their vacation at green lake villa was short, even though they had spend 2 days and nights there, and wanted to make up for that! After all, it was a much awaited vacation… But Jason insisted that they should take a walk!

She was very hesitant in the beginning as it was freezing outside… Besides, the place looked eerie and unwelcoming. She tried to convince him about the possible dangers hidden out there, but Jason was always different… He took her along, dismissing her ‘girlish’ worries…

She had decided to express her disappointment over his decision by not talking him until he took her back to the car. And she succeeded… but just for a couple of minutes! As she walked by his side silently, she realized that her two pullovers were no match for that freakin’ climate… she quivered like an ‘autumn’ leaf! And in a little while, she grabbed his hand and pulled herself close to his huge arms. He just smiled and put his arms around her…

The moon and the stars beamed at them as they sauntered happily through that lonely highway… She leaned completely on Jason and walked in a state of trance… After a little while she realized that her worries had departed miraculously from her little heart. She no longer had any concerns… she was enjoying each and every moment of that divine walk… ‘Jason effect’ was the only puzzle she had ever failed to solve in her entire life… and she was proud of that! She held him tightly and strolled along with him… It was then Jason spotted a Punjabi dabba…

She woke up from her dreams when a truck’s head light hit her hard on her face. It was approaching her furiously. But she leaped on time to save herself!

Where the hell are your eyes, stupid? She shouted at it furiously… But it got dissolved in the noise of that old truck’s ailing engine.

She always knew that the truck drivers are like wild buffalos when they hit the national highways! Jason had told her once that they would be drunk and be half asleep most of the times. The only thing that makes sense to them, then, is the head lights from other vehicles… You would be dead if you are walking in trance! He said to her once…

Why are you always right, Jason? She chortled…

She shot one last outraged look at the old truck and turned to walk… Someday, I would teach these idiots a lesson… She said to herself. And just when she turned, on the right side she saw that Punjabi dabba – the same dabba where she and Jason had dined last year. She then understood where the truck came from!

She walked towards the restaurant lazily, but carefully. She didn’t want to bump into any stupid trucks!

As she approached the dabba, she realized that nothing had changed much there – like last time, it was crowded and noisy.

Last time when she walked in there with Jason, the people drinking there had stared at that couple as if they had descended from some alien city! Some ‘drunk’ truck drivers had even passed some hushed comments. She wasn’t sure whether they had recognized her but wondered whether they had x-ray eyes! She still remembered the ‘eagerness’ and ‘hunger’ in their eyes… She ignored all those and glued herself close to Jason… She knew that there was nothing to worry when she was with him… Besides, he was a notorious IPS officer…

The dabba was still the same. ‘Drunk’ drivers were laughing and singing merrily… devouring fat chicken legs and rotis. Most of them were completely drunk and were blabbering nonsense. A group on the first table was shouting at a poor waiter for not serving ‘mango’ pickle to them… She walked past them without getting noticed. The one in the next table was engaged in a heated debate over some celebrities ‘unchecked life style’…  

Ridiculous! What the hell they know about us! She sneered and continued strolling…

The ‘old’ group on the other table was talking about ‘swine flu’ and its ‘future’… The next one about some freak accident that they had witnessed… Then some on rape and assault! It went on…

Suddenly she spotted some ‘uniformed’ young truck drivers drinking on the table next to the corner one. They were boasting about their ‘adventure’ journeys through the highways and their number of ‘hits’…   I should tell Jason to arrest these idiots… I’m sure, that truck driver must be one like these jerks… She mused and walked slowly to the corner table where they dined together last year…

Everyone was in their own world… Strange that they pay no attention to me! Have I lost my appeal? Or these people don’t know celebrities? She pondered over those thoughts. But she knew the answer… She looked at herself. She wore a loose T-shirt and rugged ‘anti-fit’ jeans. Besides, the loose ‘soiled looking’ leather jacket she wore was Jason’s which she took from him during his last visit. That was 3 days ago… when he turned up, out of the blue, on her door just to see her new hair style!

It was during the last week she had changed her hair style – a stunning boy cut!!! Jason had protested that idea in the beginning, but yielded when she insisted. She wanted a change.  He thought she would look ‘weird’ in that style but when he saw her, he realized that she looked more attractive in that style! After an initial ‘drama’ Jason had confessed that to her with a naughty smile.

She chuckled, straightening her cap. No wonder they are not staring at me! I might be looking like a nasty boy now! She tittered and started walking back…

She didn’t feel like having anything even though she hadn’t had anything since breakfast… Besides she didn’t want to have food from there alone. She missed Jason…

Just then the waiter shot a look at her. He stared at her for a second or two and then withdrew. She wondered whether he had recognized her. She smiled at him but he didn’t return it! She just shrugged and walked to the gate silently.

She admired her guts to walk into that dabba alone at mid night. ‘Jason’s would-be’ status had given her an extra grit these days! However she felt lucky to have escaped those drunken truck drivers eagle eyes. I think I can work with Jason now! She giggled when she thought of mentioning about her ‘lonely’ visit to the dabba to Jason. She was sure that Jason would get upset when she mentions that to him… He was always possessive about her and she had enjoyed that very much… It was warm and something she loved deeply…

She walked forward… Jason had taken her, last year, to the nearby field after that dinner. She wasn’t sure what was cultivated there. But it seemed something like wheat in that darkness… As they walked towards the field, holding their arms together, some old lady popped up from nowhere and warned them about the ‘ghosts’ in that area…

Jason never believed in them. “When the living is more dangerous than dead, why should we fear the dead” She didn’t say anything back as she knew Jason well.

He had joined the Police for a reason… But when he got inside the circle, he realized that they were all just ‘poker chips’ in the hands of some political devils. Directly or indirectly they ruled the city and controlled the activities of police. Jason had tried, desperately, many times to protest that, to chain them down… but!

He soon found that his mutiny was not against the culprits but against the ‘guardians of law’… At some point, the latter becomes more dangerous than the former Jason always said that… Couple of times he went against his superiors and acted against their will. But the only things he received were some silly transfers, half wounded enemies and embarrassing rounds of ‘firings’ from all top level ‘gods’.

Eventually, even he started accepting that ideology… Police is just another puppet in the hands of skilled political leaders and money launders…

He had encountered many terrorists and dacoits… some had threatened to ruin his family, some tried to kill him… but luck favored him all the time! Besides, he was a one mountain of man! Nobody would dare to attack him from front!

Its better to live among ghosts than with them He once said that to her… She chucked at that time. Hey big boy! You want to change this world in one day, ah? She tried to pull his legs…

Suddenly she wondered why Jason was talking time… He had promised to meet her there in half an hour. She checked the time… She knew very well that Jason was a man of words. He had always made it on time… Never even once had he been late! A thin breeze of fear and anxiety washed her… He is smart and strong. He knows how to get out of trouble… and my God will protect him… She reassured herself and walked to the huge oak tree on the bank of the field…

It was their second winter vacation and they had chosen ‘green lake villa’ again… She had asked Jason, at 1 p.m., to check in to the villa by day break. Then she promised him that she would meet him at the villa by mid night as she had some urgent work left.

She completed her assignments by late evening and started to the villa in her Volkswagen Jetta. But the damn car! I don’t know what’s wrong with it… Pooh… She heaved a sigh. She had called Jason half an hour back and he had promised to pick her up from there…  

Normally, it’s only a half an hour journey from the villa to there. And for Jason, it’s just a matter of ten minutes… He was crazy about speed and always had teased her for her ‘snail-driving’. She laughed silently…

She checked the time again and waited impatiently. She was eager to meet him… After all, it was a much awaited vacation. The year was tough for her, but fruitful. She thought about her future assignments and heaved a sigh. It’s a glamorous world… but it demanded her to put in nothing less than 200%. Moreover her designs were the ‘most sought after’ in the business world.

Ah! I have to edit those and send to the client by Tuesday morning! She suddenly remembered…

At that moment a rustle from behind woke her up from her thoughts… Jason!!! She wheeled. But it wasn’t Jason…

A young lady of about her same age stood there…

She studied her in that darkness. She wondered whether she was a Greek goddess! Even in that darkness she easily made out the exquisiteness of that young lady. She couldn’t help herself wondering what a beautiful woman like her was doing there in that strange place… that too in the middle of the night! It seemed that she was expecting someone – her eyes rummaging around the distant horizon!

She cleared her throat just to gain that lady’s attention.

Slowly the young woman turned to her and smiled at her affably…  

“Well, I wonder what a beautiful lady like you does here at this time of night?” she inquired to her returning her smile.

“May be the same thing you are doing!” The young woman responded…

“Waiting for someone?”

“ah… not exactly… but, yes, I have to receive someone…” she turned her face towards that distant sky…

Receive! She wondered what she meant by ‘receive’.

“Do you belong to this place?” She asked casually. But the young lady gave her a sharp gaze and turned her head again to the horizon…

“Just asked…” she paused. “you know, they say that there are ghosts around this area.” She shrugged… “and that they hurt human beings…”

“No they don’t…” her eyes still fixed on the distant dark sky…

How does she know for sure? She asked herself…

“Hey!!! You speak as if you know them and have seen them?”

“Yes, I do…”  Her posture, still the same!

She felt that the young lady’s answers were short and indifferent! Moreover it lacked clarity… She had been nice with her till then. Yet she had paid no attention to her and gave the weirdest answers. Besides, she still stood staring at that distant sky…

She doubted whether the young lady was playing tricks on her! She had heard about ‘those’ people who play such ‘cheap’ tricks on common men and cheated money from them… Jason had told her about them once. But she didn’t seem to be one among them… Besides, those kinds of people usually target the lonely highway passers and definitely not the ones who were waiting for someone near a paddy field!

But her previous answer had annoyed her beyond limits.

“How absurd! That’s the silliest thing I have ever heard. I have never seen them or came across anyone who had seen them either!!!” she snapped.

“That’s because you were not one among them…” She spoke, still staring at the distant sky “…till sometime back!” her voice was firm and profound…

“Excuse me…” her voice trembled… “What did you say…”

The young lady slowly turned back and looked straight into her eyes… As she looked, her eyes glowed… just like two sharp lights…

Her memories began to fade… It travelled 45 minutes back through time…

The only thing she saw was two bright lights. She tried to steer her car away. But it was too late! Those lights crashed into her ruthlessly…

First, she was confused… then there was a sudden sharp pain… She couldn’t sense her right hand. The left one rummaged frantically for something inside Jason’s ‘soiled-looking’ jacket… Soon she found what she was searching for. She grabbed her mobile and rang Jason up…

Words didn’t come out as she wanted! She wondered whether she was making any sense to Jason… She spoke many things over the phone for the next two minutes, but didn’t remember even a single word she spoke! But there was one thing she still remembered – his promise… He had promised to meet her soon…

“You are fine… okay… just stay with me honey…” Jason’s voice shook when he said that…

For the first time in his life, she heard him taking the name of God…

She knew that he was crying… “Just hold on my dear… I’ll be there soon”

But she knew that she was losing…

“I am coming, my love… just stay with me…okay” Jason’s voice faded gradually… She smiled weakly for one last time…

The young lady suddenly broke the eye contact and turned back and stared the distant sky… This time she too followed her gaze…

Half a kilometer away in the highway, Jason sobbed like a child clutching her close to his body… That faint smile still lingered on her face… her mobile still safe on her left hand…

“I’ll always be yours, Jason” The last words he heard from her about half an hour back… but it still resonated in his ears like jingles from a fairy land…

***

As they both looked, a star popped up at that distant sky and glimmered… The young lady turned back to face her…

“It’s time… to leave…” the angel whispered to her in a soothing voice.

As she struggled fighting that trauma, the angel gently took her hand on hers…

A cold breeze passed by… Again there was a rustling of leaves near that huge tree…

As the oak tree and the paddy field stood still in that darkness, at distance, near the horizon, a new star slowly brightened…

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Comments
  1. Rose says:

    nice…….. something interesting……….. real suspense……………… want to know how come this going to link with KEVIN incidence

  2. Manoj Vijayan says:

    gr8 dude! Inspired by 6th sense, eh ? The climax gave me Goosebumps. It started as an ordinary love story but transformed in to a ghost story! you r doing a good work with ur novel as well.

  3. Amal says:

    Wow! So it was a nice reading eh? 🙂 🙂 Thanks buddy 🙂 🙂

  4. Anupa says:

    !! Meow !! now only i read your story.
    As usual its good..
    Next i’ve to start reading virtual marionettes

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