Will my battered soul ever have a taker? Will my battered soul ever have a taker? Will my battered soul ever have a taker?
My head kept ranting this incessantly in the background. In front, my team lead was sighting slight discrepancies in our report. I didn’t care. Wait, but I did. I wanted my work to be perfect too. I wanted an accomplishment. Success. Where was everything going? I could see. But, in circles.
Unceremoniously everything blacked out.
When I woke up, it was all pristine White. Aargh.. Melodramatic. In the infirmary. It was the 5th day in a row that I hadn’t slept. Bouts of unconsciousness were inevitable and so was the constant humming inside my head. I tossed an aspirin for the headache and headed out. Coffee. I needed coffee! Three more hours, before I could put a dot to the report. I will.
I did. Four and a half hour later, I did. Nothing tastes better than success. And anything tasty comes with a price. So the price to be paid for the tastiest will be the heftiest.
It was late. I had to wait for a crowded cab. Crowd feels safe. It arrived. 20 minutes later. The crowded cab. It was suffocating inside, hot and airless. I couldn’t complain. I shouldn’t. I did, with a crinkled nose.
A set of eyes. They’d intrigue me. They were the only difference in my otherwise monotonous routine. Sometimes those eyes ‘d find me. Today they were smiling at me. But, not because of me. I, like everyone else wanted this simple association to be different. Our eyes would lock for only a few seconds. The cab would speed towards its destination. I, towards my pool of thoughts. Thoughts, it was strange how badly I was tethered to them given I wanted an escape.
Today was no different. I arrived home. To my room. My back to my family. My association with them had gone from mono-syllables to complete silence
That night in the black of my room, siphoned off all spirit, holed up by my bedside, I could swear that death had come to take me by the throat. And I could also swear that I saw that light-eyed stranger staring back at me, for a flash of a second. Eyes that were still a mystery. Eyes that thrilled me now. Out of everything in my life why’d They flash in this murk of woe.
And I then stood up, stared at death hard in the eye and snarled “Not Today.”
I remember jumping down the window. Down to the porch. And that run I took in the cold winter night. One cardigan.. The icy breeze cutting through me. Slicing across my ear. I could hear it howl. But I chose to ignore…
Something struck my foot. Some sticky liquid warmed my hands. Something. Those eyes again. They’d save me. I believed.
For ages, it felt, I could hear only myself breath. And my heart clamouring, beating, pounding, writhing. I was bleeding. And my heart was pumping my own death.
Something hit me, savage, crude, craving raw hunger. My lips parched. I couldn’t sense any. Nothing. Sleep. My famished stomach kept sleep at bay. Nothing made sense. And then again, I started losing sense. Before the blur. Those eyes. Again. This time disturbing me. Frightening. Annoying.
I couldn’t feel my hands. Left. There wasn’t. My hand wasn’t. Left. I didn’t have my hand! I didn’t have my hands. . .