The unknown As usual, I woke up in the morning only because there is work beeping inside my lap and still not ready-to-go sleep in my body. Neither Sleep nor my body are sinners.Its the Netflix shows the real culprit. How many days can a man live without sleeping? But it's my habit. My body too knows that, then why is my body not ready to accept it? Oh, there occurs a break in this habit for the past Five months of lockdown, a smile rises and sets on my lips within macro seconds. I opened my door and step to the balcony. The view from the 15 the floor of my apartment used to fill my mind but now it does nothing. Because the mind wants to see that magic again...want to see the magician who plays with light and doves to talk to me. Where he had vanished all of a sudden? Would he come back ? For me ? I looked to the opposite balcony. It's full of emptiness...the river between us flows to nowhere. Doves fly from his balcony towards me as soon as they see me. This time that balcony is empty and the doves carry no message *********************************************** "Ok Mathew, I will restructure the project by considering those points too. Shall we end the call for now….ok bye" 'Another late night meeting ended', I sighed and scroll through my Whatsapp. A long list of statuses bearing daily corona updates to dare challenges are there. A call is coming,"hello, what's at home? I'm fine...no,everything is perfect...don't be tense about me…",we talked a lot like that. But the call ended with tears in eyes and I ran to the balcony. Open sky is my place to share happiness and sadness. Tears flow and flow overcoming the calming effect of wind. I cried like that usual child who cry and cry whenever her parents is fighting,with a heart full of fear that would they end up in a divorce. I cried like that as usual, as usual as I done before many times. I really wish to talk about this to someone, but I wouldn't do it. I Am not the sort of person who shares the pain and the things in my mind to everyone. All that hidden pain feels like standing behind me and pushing to fell down from the balcony to the ground. I looked down I can barely see anything there maybe because of the height where iam or the years. Suddenly light falls on my face. I cover my eyes. It's from the opposite apartment facing my balcony. Who is at this 2am watching me,there over another apartment across a river???The usual girl fear wins over the fear to live,and I get inside my room. Sometimes sleep is the best medicine for every problem..I wake up to face another day of hurdles. But doubts are still popping up? Who is he? Is he watching me? Oh,no way… I closed my little detective brain and open my laptop. I called home but there is no change there. As usual the list of problems arise…"Mummy, you are overthinking! Your are creating yourself problem…" as usual my consoling turns out to be a fight and the call ended with the usual mocking," you broke your marriage in one month and you are teaching me to adjust,wow". I lost control of myself,feels like not able to breathe,rushed to the balcony. Tried hard to find something to change my mind but the town carries nothing only the tall buildings and a little sky. No,this time there is one another problem watching over there. No way, i'm not going inside, I want some fresh air. I stand there firmly. He tried a lot to get my attention. Atlast he begin to shout," why are you crying?" I get perplexed. If someone hears, what would they think? Someone from the opposite apartment shouting and talking to me. Without any other option I begin to respond. I said to talk without voice by using signs. I tell this through signs without any actual conversation. He may at first thought that Iam actually not able to talk. Like this we begin to talk through our sign language. At first it was difficult. It takes hours to convey a single line and forget the sadness I beared. We slowly begin to be friends. Whenever there is something serious matter to be conveyed like something to console me he would send his pigeon with a small note. I would take the note and read and it will make me smile even I have a big problem. It's the magic of words. Sometimes a word can create a earthquake or even stop it. Like this I tell him about myself, Meera's story of living in a house where there is always a fight and fear of separation to a house where I believed I would get a life. But as mummy said it lasted for only one month. Because it was not my house and no one was there for me. Now I'm living in my flat in Bangalore stuck by the lockdown doing my work from home and watching endless series. He heard everything, just smiled and wrote some two lines on a paper and sent it to me. If it's about my parents separation, it would be like this, 'broken things can't stay too long. If it's broken and still holding together without any reason then it's love. They love each other..that's y they r together till nw.so dbt wry abt them😊'. If it's about my life it would be like you are doing great, because you are living till now, even when you feel like to die. You are still living your life etc etc. Maybe because of the words he said or rather because of that belief that someone is there in this selfish world who wishes for my happiness selflessly I begin to live each moment of my life much better. There is much magic in that feeling to have someone who has no relationship with us but yet wishes good for us. This unknown neighbour is like that for me. He never disclosed anything about himself. Neither I asked about it. Believed he would tell at the right time. Time flies like that. My lockdown days become much disciplined after his entry. I began to wake up early and tried to complete as much work as fast as possible. Because the remaining time I could indulge in talking. Actually, sometimes words are not needed for having a conversation. We used the olden methods to have a conversation in the era where people live in a digital world. If some urgent work comes in between we will watch the night sky silently there on the balcony. However life had changed pretty good. I begin to live each moment of life. ********************************************* I looked into the pigeons leg hopefully, but it had no more messages. It's been 5 months since that day. He wasn't seen at all in the balcony suddenly on a day unlike other days in which we had morning tea conversations. I can't wait for two or three days,thinking that he may be busy with some work as he usually spends most of time near the windows. That made me fear. Has something happened to him? Its lockdown and there is only an allowance to go out for much necessary things. However, I managed to get out wearing all precautions. Sometimes distance are longer than we think, to meet the person i see next door I had to travel a 1.5 km with a lot of turns and turns. The real problem starts in front of his apartment. What will I say? I don't know what he is doing, which is his flat and even his name too. Someone who hears my story will surely think about me as either mad or a fool stuck in a foolish one sided love. But, I really don't know whether I love him or not and also about our relationship. Is he a friend? Or a neighbour? Or a just mere passenger of my life ? Is iam overthinking? He may have a family? He may just help me out at the utter bad times of mine as everyone else does this time to take care of others so that no one is locked in alone during this lockdown. And if we have something, am I worthy of it? These thoughts flashed through my mind, while I was staring to some unknown balcony. I hoped in vain that he may be watching me as he used to do. Because, I am sure he knows more about me than I have said. How this possible for an unknown person If he isn't watching me. Then there comes the watchman with a blue cap on his head. "Hey,girl what are you starting at,is there any plan to bomb the apartment?". Has he mocked me or passed a joke. God knows. "Something have happened to a person in this apartment. Please check out", I said in utmost fear that something has happened to him. But the watchman is not seemed to be moved by my words. " Where are you from?", he asked. "From Gloomvile" He seemed to understand the seriousness, "from Gloomvile to Blisshome you have come,so he didn't respond to your calls,right,come let's check which is his flat" "Actually, I don't know his flat. Uncle I could see him by sitting there at that 13 th floor", I said by pointing to my flat across the river. He looked at me once and asked," what's his name? I had no answer. I told him the whole story before he was able to close the gates. Maybe because it's a matter of life, he believed me and put his phone gallery open before me. After continuous scrolling he showed me a celebration picture and I tried to identify that one face,but in vain. He is not in that picture. But the watchman identified my unknown friend and asked me to stay there. After a couple of minutes an ambulance comes and my unknown friend has been taken to hospital. I freezed there for a second in the flash of events. Then the watchman uncle comes and says," I identified the person the very moment you said he is not in that picture. Besides him everyone has attended. God knows, what happened? He was seen unconscious on the floor. Thank you child, for informing us, otherwise it would have been very difficult for us" he swept his forehead and I swept my tears. He understands my feelings and consoles me," you can't accompany. The Corona scene is there,know.Everyone cannot be given permission to accompany. We will take care of the rest of the things till someone responsible comes. This is my number,you can call me if you need any information in this regard." I walked back to my Gloomville. Days passed and passed. Then heard he had attempted suicide that day he doesn't seen outside. But I couldn't believe a person who inspires me to live each moment….how could he do this to himself. Then heard that his parents took him back to kerala but to where, no one knows. He is not that much of a talking person, so information about his whereabouts is limited, so said the Watchman uncle. His words had the caring tone of advice to me to MOVE ON. But even after 5 months of his suden vanish still I wait here on my balcony feeding his pigeons waiting for his return...to know about his sudden vanishness...about his story...and why he talks to me while he donot talk much to others and yet to watch the moon together once again.
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