Your ticket has been confirmed. Seat no. 13W. Have a safe and a happy journey.
A part of the confirmation mail screamed at me. Why do they even attempt at writing the same "safe and happy journey" message to everyone. What is so happy about a journey, I thought.
My bus was meant to depart at 5 a.m from the terminal. I woke up much earlier than that. When you have ghosts of past haunting your dreams, the morning becomes the end of your darkness. The mind fears those monsters with such trepidations that the cobwebs of the nightmares have to be broken by the dawn of new rays, new hopes and new aspirations.
From the corner of my mind I can see those monsters seeking the darkness that I have been trying to thwart. "Thou shall not find light", they seem to say even in the midst of the morning light. Going to a new place would help me find my light, I thought and so did the doctor, with a bag full of anti darkness pills, concur.
It didn't take me time to pack my bag. A book and some clothes to hide my ugly darkness is all that I needed. And so I reached the bus terminal ahead of the time, ahead of the snoozing humanity slumbered deep in its warm embrace of angels. "We killed your angel, my friend" whispered the monsters behind my ears. I ignored them.
The bus started its drowsy whirls half an hour late than its departure time. I wanted a window seat but even the ticket booking company, it seemed, joined hands with those monsters to part me away from the sunrays coming through the window.
"Block the rays, seek us and you shall be delivered", they sang in chorus. The only song that I hear, nowadays, from the nadir of my miseries tucked deep within the creek ruled by those monsters.
I placed my bag on the window seat and positioned myself on the seat beside it. The bus was a 2x2 and so I couldn't land myself a single seat. Not that I blame the company for everything. The conspiracy is not done by them, the outsiders, but by the creatures of darkness within me.
I dozed off to a sleep.
It was the same arid place with not an ounce of sunlight. A broken moon tried to throw her light, just when I saw them. The creatures of darkness. Laughing at my face. Distorted and diabolic faces adorned with maniacal, cannibalistic and hoarse laughter. A soft hand touched my shoulder and the laughter started ceasing , the faces started fading and the sunlight started seeking me as I woke up from my dream.
A beautiful lady was standing on the pathway between the bus seats. I looked at her and apologized. I took the bag out and made way for her to get to the window seat beside mine.
Did I see a sword eased behind her head? I looked at her. She was looking outside of the window, so oblivious to my presence. I was insignificant in front of her, it felt.
No, that was not a sword but a chopstick used to tie her hair. She was wearing a light green kimono or I don't know what it is called . With a round pair of spectacles holding its place on her eyes, she seemed nonchalant to the nonsense of the world around her.
Just then, she looked at me. Why is it intuitive to people to look back at the person ogling at them. I got a bit strait laced in that transitory moment. She smiled at me. Is that Kafka on the shore? She asked. I was holding the book, meaning to obliterate myself in its world. I smiled back.
I love Kafka, she talked back in response to my smile. A smile makes a person approachable, I remembered reading it somewhere. I tried plastering a smile to my mouth for everyone, in hopes that it gets cemented on my face captivating those monsters inside them.
I told her that the book is not written by the Kafka, although I love his works. She kept looking at me with her same nonchalant eyes making me more insignificant with every passing second.
"You know, you remind me of my brother" she said, "he also loves reading books." I smiled back with my inelastic plasticity of smile.
I wanted to talk to her. There aren't many people who would talk to me in such a cordial mannerism. People don't even talk to me to begin with. I am okay, most of the time. Better to be with the books than with insincere folks.
"You don't talk much, do you?" She remarked while opening her tiffin box made of shining steel and continued " want some cashews?"
I nodded yes and then no, as if I was some dumb weirdo. But against my inhibitions, said, at last, that I am thankful to her kind gesture to which she smiled back again, eating my diminutive existence from the world. There was something about her that made me weirdly comfortable, the way those anti darkness pills make me.
The bus stopped for a repose in front of a restaurant. Would you mind having a cup of tea? I asked her, after all her company indeed felt better than those solitary white tiny cruel pills.
Oh, I hate tea but let's go! She became a bit more cheerful.
"So what is your story" she asked me after we took a table at the restaurant. "Story?" I asked.
"I have no stories, as such but.."
" Nothing", how would I have described the hidden vampirical monsters. I said nothing.
"You know, I am a fighter" she said, but this time gazing at me with sincerity of an angel. "There is nothing you can defeat, if you set your mind to it. Even your monsters hiding behind you in the daylight" And she gave me an angelic smile.
How did she come to know about it. I literally looked behind me, to which she laughed a little.
"Try this" as she withdrew her chopstick, her sword, from her tucked hair and gave it to me.
I took the sword, looking innocently at her. What would I do with it. Furthermore, her long beautiful hair distracted me. Those long hairs reminded me of Repunzel. But I kept keeping my silence.
Kill them. She said. Kill them with all of your might. You have your light. You don't need to seek the light. Light is you. You are light.
And so I took the sword and looked at them. Where is thou, you wretched, I shouted.
Hither you. Let me have your blood. Let me have your cynical laughter now. And so did I kill them. Each and everyone. Within my self. Within my silence.
I looked at her. And at her sword. And the dead bodies of the fallen demons.
Keep it with you, she said.
Excuse me to the washroom, she continued.
As she went away, her radiance oozed out of her as she went away.
Her cell phone was left abashedly on the table. A visiting card underneath it. I took the card to have a read.
It said- North eastern regional cancer institute.
I looked at her and her bleeding tear drops forming a radiantly red pathway, trailing her.
I decided to give the sword to her. She needs it more than I.
What is her name? I asked myself.
The light in me whispered - Nameless.