A Short Story - By Khushboo Khilwani
Usually my shift ends by 10 p.m, but today I am working late in the office and felt quite exhausted and sleepy. I glanced down at my watch while walking out of office in the parking lot, 1 a.m. It showed. As soon as I reach home, my mom is going to scream on me for working late. GOD blesses me!
Ugh! I yelled in frustration, my cell phone’s battery is gone and I can’t even call my mom. It was chilly breeze, my teeth chattering, my arms clutched my jacket tightly around me. I hurriedly got into my car and drove towards home, streets were silent and there was no rush.
An old woman stood on the street asking for lift.
“Should I give her a lift?”
Uhm…ah…eh…My mind says NO so I just surpassed by the old Lady.
I started feeling guilty and my poor heart did not permit me to leave her alone on the street, as it was too late for her to find a vehicle over there. I took a reverse and stopped my car right in front of the old lady. She was in white sari and was covered with a black old rusted blanket. Her back was curved, wrinkled face, her grey hair tied loosely and she was shivering in cold.
“Can you drop me home?” she asked in a trembling voice.
“Okay, get inside,” I nodded. She got into the car and I buckled her seatbelt.
“Child, what is your name?” She asked.
“My name is Fairy,” I replied.
“What, Dairy?” she asked again.
“It’s Fairy,” I raised my volume this time.
“Dairy, what kind of name is this?” she laughed.
“Where should I drop you,” I asked.
She did not answer at once and looked at me strangely.
“I said, you please show me the way where you want to go and I will drop you there,” I shouted.
“Left from here,” she said in a dim volume.
“All right,” I replied and took a sigh of relief as she got me correct this time, but I wanted to go right. “Never mind,” I said to myself and kept driving. On the left was an alley, dark and dusty, where I drove.
“Right from here,” she muttered and there we went into another alley.
“Is it too far?” I asked.
“What?” she asked.
“Is it too far?” I asked again.
“Take a left,” she said.
“GOD! Where am I punished?” I said annoyed.
As I took a left turn it was getting a bit smoky, there were huge trees, jackals cry, bats flying and I could not vision any residence.
At a little distance from there…
“Stop here” she said.
“Are you sure?” I confirmed.
“I can only vision a Cremation ground (Shamshaan Ghaat) from here,” I said confused.
“Yes, I live here,” she laughed and disappeared.