500 Metres

Discover how she crossed the dreadful 500 metres to reach safety.

The sun had bid farewell, leaving behind the darkness, combined with a vivid memory.   The way birds flew to their nests made me jealous. Mine was just 500 metres away and I idly wondered how the world would be if we could practice Disapparition! At that moment, I heard the highly pesky noise of a Royal Enfield Bullet.

I continued to wobble to my sweet shelter, you read it right, wobble. The unsteady gait was due to a horrible fracture in my right fibula or as we know it, the calf bone. So, I could not run or walk effortlessly for a few years. I was grateful that it was not worse but the relief was short-lived. That irksome Bullet noise was heard once again. Something was amiss. It didn’t feel right. For the first time, I wished there was a paan tapri there, it would have been reassuring to see more people. Haven’t you just assumed they were there in every gully?

As the noise grew louder, the pace of my heartbeats elevated. They contradicted the swiftness of my legs! “Don’t look there!” I warned myself repeatedly. Not to trust strangers, theft, rape, aren’t those the scenarios we are brainwashed with? Terrified, I kept my valuables inside my handbag. Staring straight ahead, I did the only thing I could, I helplessly kept walking.

I was only a hundred metres away from safety when the unthinkable happened. The Bullet was blocking my way. We stood on that sloppy walkway. The Bullet-guy, like some precarious villain, strutted towards me. His leather jacket and biceps evidently craved being in the twenties. Although, his salt and pepper hair gave away his age. His grubby beard reeked of cigarettes. That kept me rooted to my spot. I am sure I looked like some ancient statue!

His simple question broke the reverie of my shock, “Do you need help?”

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