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Monday, 17 December 2012

Fair chances


As the car moved another inch forward I groaned inwardly. The short fifteen hour journey felt extremely tiring to my well rested body. The cars jammed on the single road, as every other person tried to take the lead; the result was obviously havoc. I tapped my foot constantly on the car floor while my friend calmly smoked a cigarette behind the wheel; I coughed hard deliberately, wanting to make a point. But to my utter annoyance he just shrugged and hit the button that automatically rolled my window down. I looked at him, disgusted as I the clean air wafted through the car. I had come to hate these little rolls of nicotine people relied so much one, they did no good other than leaving the person delusional; that on it’s on had another history, of course.
I wasn’t intent on lecturing my friend with my already infuriated mood so I turned my head towards the window, letting out a shaky breath. I looked on to the next car in the glow of the setting sun. A sole figure in the back seat turned its head towards the window. Her eyes were closed as if in deep slumber but her eyebrows furrowed as if the sensation of pain was teasing her, yet, there was so much peace on that face. It was so simple and ordinary that I could have glimpsed of it in a crowd and not look back but right now, it put me on the edge.
I shook my head and looked down as my mobile flashed. A text message, another one. I placed the phone face down on the dash board and put my feet up next to it. I looked back at the girl in the next car. How could one be at peace with pain? The thought bothered me but the face relieved me, it was ordinarily distinctive. I frowned to myself, what was I thinking? But I was drawn to the face again. I imagined getting to know her, befriending her and chatting with her, laughing at a memory…
As the cars edged closer side by side, her eyes opened partially and looked deeply into mine, in that moment I felt something I had never felt before, a jolt, a connection. We held each other’s gaze for a long moment, till her eyes fell closed again. Maybe she was dreaming, maybe I was dreaming. My friend jolted the car forward violently, over taking as he turned in for the airport. I didn’t bother looking back to look for her car, what good would it do? Strangers. Was I delusional without drugging myself?
I rarely thought about her as I said good bye to my friend and got in for immigration and all. Was it possible to feel something yet never be able to know that person? My mind was clogged with old memories as I went through the bag and security checks, memories I thought I had lost somewhere. I still held on to them, I guess, even after all this time. I gave the flight attendant my boarding pass. I was one of the last ones so she smiled and led the way to my seat. The window seat was already taken by someone who had their head turned towards the window. I stuffed by hand carry in the compartments over the seats and sat down next to the lady in the woolly shawl.
The flight attendant arrived again at my side with a glass of water and some pain killers.
‘Ma’am?’ she whispered and the lady next to me turned her face. I felt a jolt in my nerves as our eyes met, the girl from the next car. It’s not delusional; there are always chances to be taken. 

14 comments:

  1. I do that a lot...stare at other people I mean.In cars,in buses,in trains and in tiny little slum homes we just drive by.
    They look so mystery filled,like they've got stories filled in them just like the lady in your story...that was lovely M!

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    1. It's amazing how so many stories, relating to so many people, run past us everyday!
      Thank you, Talitha! :)

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  2. It can be a little fun to look at people and imagine what you could do together, who you could become. When you get that feeling for real though, don't take it for granted, some things really are meant to be, and some chances can and will be taken.

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    1. You are right, sometimes we've got to take what fate throws at us, even if it doesn't seems much because you never know how much that is. Thank you, Mark!

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  3. I'm afraid to believe this is real... :-)
    nice story...

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    1. That's the beauty of fiction, you can believe it's real! Thanks Vimal!

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    1. Thank you! And thanks, for stopping by, hope to see you back again. :)

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  5. Loved it, your writes are jst so captivating!

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  6. One word: amazing!
    Once I saw this old guy's face, before I could have taken in any of his features, he saw me looking at his and he was like, "kee vaikhda hai kaakay?" =P

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    1. That literally made me laugh out loud! :P
      Thank you very much! :D

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  7. Beautiful writing, Momina. My mind just somehow connected the 'stare part' of your story to one of Paulo Coelho's books: Aleph. If, by any chance, you've read that book, you'd know what I'm talking about.

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    1. Thank you, Yusra. I have not read it yet but I am still overwhelmed that you'd relate me to Paulo Coehlo! Thank you!

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