It was raining in Moscow like it rains in ‘Cherapunji’, in my five years of being in Russia I had never seen it rain like this. I was watching world series on my tv set when my phone rang and I heard a very sweet voice at the other end, “Hello!?”
“Yes, Irvene?! How’re you?” I replied adjusting myself on couch and lowering down the volume of Tv set.
“Ya know, I’m throwing a party this evening at my apartment and I want you to come down and help me with shopping”
I was really bad at shopping and bargaining, and I was equally bad at saying ‘No’ to people and if they happen to be female folks, I was a sure ‘drag along liability’. I stood up near window and looked down to find Irvene and waved to her.
In my five years here I had maintained a fairly good wardrobe, one that was envied by my friends and complimented by female folk. Surfing through suits and jackets, I finally selected ‘Black Tuxedo’ and in no time I was in it, admiring myself in mirror I picked up my wallet and headed out.
“Ah my prince, here you are, you took some time huh, but worth it I must say”, complimented Irvene on my suit.
“I’m just dressed good to walk along with you honey”, I responded to make her feel good.
We laughed our talks out and she called for a taxi. It was still raining like it would rain forever, there were dark clouds in sky, streets were flooded with water *thanks to poor sewage system*, almost every street light was starting to glow and cars had their headlights beaming with full show.
We reached a shopping complex in half an hour and she showed me a long list of things that she had to get and selected the items that I would look for and hence save time. I agreed to the idea of shopping individually, not because I wanted to save time for her but I hate to shop with girls, I mean the way they stick to things and start bargaining without caring for people around.
I was standing near this food shop waiting in queue to get plumcakes and pizza’a while she was busy in music store collecting some hip hop for evening, she waved and smiled at me, I reciprocated with the same and moved further in queue. I was excited for the evening and so was she, she was now at the chief of accounting staff and it was indeed a good reason to celebrate.
It took us good three hours to finish up with shopping and when we both met outside the complex, we had loads of bags to carry and it had grown really dark, rain was still dancing in the same fashion and it took us some time to find taxi as everyone was closing for day because of bad weather and hence dearth of cabs and when we found one it had room for just one person, so we let it go and stood there.
Irvene looked at me and her eyes told me to do something, she was feeling really helpless and didn’t want her party to be ruined just because of rain, i hugged her and told her to stay there till I rented car from across the road, I walked towards the road handing her the bags I was carrying and took off my jacket as well, I didn’t want it to get spoiled in rain, Irvene smiled at this move and took jacket as well.
It was a six lane highway and may be because of rain there was lot of water logging, I tried crossing the road twice but everytime I reached middle of it, I had to return back because of overspeeding cars and trucks, I gestured back at Irvene and waved her before preparing for my final crossing, I tried to run across and as I was about to reach the other end I was blown away by a huge truck, I couldn’t figure out anything and fell at a distance of about 35feet on the highway.
I opened my eyes and I could feel nothing but pain, I tried to move myself but I couldn’t, neither could I speak, my face was in water and gasped for air. Next I saw irvene along with police trying to move me, I don’t know my eyes were open or what, but I saw her crying and screaming, I couldn’t just say anything. In no time I was on a stretcher bed and moved in an ambulance, there was cold feeling running across my forehead and I could no longer feel anything, I could just hear doc shouting out, “Stay with me!!”, “Try to open your eyes”!
I had lost grip and sensation and I could no longer hold on to the hand which was holding me and I dropped it down to hear loud screams and SORRIES all around. I could hear people asking Irvrne about my address and some police person searching my pockets for an ID.
I was now comfortable, not because I knew I was dead but I was no longer feeling the pain and could easily move my hands and legs, I found myself without any injury and stepped down the bed to hug Irvene and tell her that I had survived death. I did that but she didn’t feel it, neither could she hear me, I looked back at the bed to find my body still lying there in a pool of blood. I was stuck at that point looking at people moving the body which was me. I tried to stop them, but every time I did that I just passed through their bodies, Irvene started to scream louder and louder and finally succumbed to unconsciousness. I walked to her and shouted close to her ear but all in vain, soon after she was rushed to hospital along with my body.
I do not know where they tok my body because once I reached hospital I stayed with irvene making sure she was fine, I asked doctor about her and he walked away without even taking slightest notice. I sat there in the waiting room like all attendants do but i was different, I was not occupying any space, a kid came and sat where I thought I was sitting and I could see him sitting through me. I moved in the ward to see irvene and she was awake and crying.
In some time, I saw all our friends gathering around the waiting area, Irvene filled in some form and went out to talk to people who had come, I was standing right with them but none of them could sense me. “Irvene we have to inform his parents” said Shreya in low tone and all of them agreed with yes, “but who will”, she added.
Irvene took out her cell phone and started dialing some numbers, I could see her, she was sobbing all the time, her hands were shaking and her legs were lifeless, she walked some yards away from all of us and started talking. Believe me it was the saddest conversation I had ever witnessed, I had never seen any moment more sad than this while alive. “Aunty, Namaste (greetings in hindi), Irvene here”. And I heard mom on the other side. “Hello sweetheart! I was just talking about you two, how are you guys?!” I could see Irvene trying hard to speak, she replied sulking in choked voice, “I have to say something aunty ji, Please be brave, I”, and before she could utter another word, mom replied, “Where is my son? Isn’t he with you?! *she was sounding anxious and worried at the same time*”
“He..um..He is no more!” she disconnected the phone and fell down on floor crying her heart out. In no time phone rang again and it was mom, I tried to pick it up but I couldn’t, she talked to my dad about all that happened and I could hear screams from the other side, it must be my mom I thought.
Akshay, one of my closest buddies arranged for the first flight tickets to Newdelhi and moved my body to nearby cold storage for dead bodies. I do not who paid for all the expenses because I stopped following my dead body and tried to be with Irvene. It was still raining like oceans were let out from skies, I looked up and stretched my arms and let out a loud cry, obviously no one heard it but it pacified me.
I saw all my friends crying and mentioning about the good and bad deeds I had done, irvene was sitting in corner sulking, sobbing and playing with ring on her finger. I sat with her for the rest of night looking at pouring clouds both from skies and her eyes, she didn’t stop even for a moment.
It was fine and sunny morning and appeared like it had never rained in Moscow, streets looked dry and fresh. We were heading towards airport in SUV which contained my body in dry ice stuffed coffin.
New Delhi, India
On our arrival, I saw many hundred people there, and among them was my dad and my sister. Irvene rushed towards her and hugged her, almost everyone was into tears there. I could see that my dad was not crying but he was sad and disturbed, he instructed few men(most of them were relatives) to unload body.
My body was carried straight to the cremation grounds without being shown to my mom, while they took my body for the final rites, I came home and found atmosphere of devastation and sadness, my mom was not responding to anything, she was like living dead, I could see tears flowing from her eyes but there was no expression on her face and she was looking at my picture. Irvene hugged her and all of them cried and wept.
I came out of house and found that my pet, a german shepherd was sitting silently as if crying and wanting to know what happened to me. I saw many people coming and going.
23hrs had passed since this had taken place and I found myself weakening a bit, I started to vanish and rushed in to see my mom and irvene. I sat on chair and vanished as the clock ticked 8pm.