It was a constant companion for her out in the middle of this hilly area, as compared to the fast moving city like Mumbai. Her life was surrounded by a vacuum. A woman who shifted here some 5 years ago as a happy bride only to have her husband die shortly in a car accident after they put their heart and soul in building this home. She had a kind of unspoken relationship with each and every inch of this house, which kept on reminding her about her husbandâ€™s presence even after years of his death. A woman who spent 5 years alone with nothing for her company except the loneliness and the sounds of wolves at the middle of the night. Their howls echoed the resounding emptiness in her heart, in her life.
Swati packed her things.
Today she is returning back to the city, especially when she has heard the news of her father suffering from cancer and his last wish being her together with him. She had enough of being isolated from other people. God, after all, did not create man to be alone, and after spending endless hours by herself, she learned how true that lesson was.
Loading her baggage into the car didnâ€˜t take long. Ramu kaka and Hari obeyed her command to move forward. At long last, she was leaving. She didn’t look back at the one room cabin. It was a cruel reminder of all that sheâ€˜d hoped for but lost. A lifetime with someone who was to be her lover and friend.
But she wouldn’t dwell on the past. Things that could have been were better left untended to. And so she put the car in gear and drove towards Mumbai. Sheâ€˜d take a job, she thought. She didnâ€˜t care what that job was as long as it involved being near to other people who mattered to her the most.
The car was going at full speed and her mind was wandering over last few years of her life. Suddenly she had to apply brakes, and the car came to a complete halt making a loud screeching sound.
It was the first time, she saw him on the road. He was lying down, on his stomach, right in the middle of the road. With a unknown fear in her mind about robbers, her mind was enticing her to drive away from that place as soon as possible. But, suddenly the horrendous images of her husband lying in the pool of blood flashed in her mind. She had made her decision.
She stepped down from the car and closed the door behind. She rushed over to him. He was badly injured, with blood oozing from his head. How lucky he was that he was still breathing.
â€•Help?â€– she yelled as loud as possible.
No response. There was no one around. Not even any animal.
She tucked the strands of hair back under her hair band and knelt beside him. Now this was the first time, she was looking at her so closely.
He seemed a young person is his last 20s, probably from some well to do family, evident from his Reebok T-shirt and Leviâ€™s jeans. His hair ruffled from the wind, and his beard was adding the roughness, the enigma, the maturity to his overall personality. Oh my God! What he must have gone through to end up like this. Her mind was wandering with numerous answers which were certainly not going to be answered until and unless the person does not come to his senses.
She took a deep breath to settle her sudden anxiety. What if he dies in between? She glanced at the endless road and the horizon that spanned in all directions. If he is dying, should she carry a dead body with her? Or should she leave him on his fate and leave?