Anita was jolted awake and groped for the water jug. Her heart jumped out of her chest as a sudden scream echoed in her head. She staggered up at looked at the clock. It was 12.00 am. 

Nikhil was sleeping. ‘It was a day after a blazing row’, she sighed.

‘Nikhil, I am sorry for whatever I did’, she uttered in a low voice at the breakfast table, as Puggy was barking. 

‘Stop it Puggy’, growled Nikhil and left the house talking anxiously over the phone.

There was deafening silence. ‘He is up in arms. I should have not gone for an abortion. He knows that, I can’t take up this responsibility now. Well, live and learn. I will convince him somehow’, she consoled herself when abruptly, a boy’s face flashed in front of her and she felt her body thrown up in the air in a trice. She screamed loudly in fear and looked around and found herself on her couch. 

‘What’s happening to me? Who is that boy? I have seen him somewhere’. The shadows of thoughts manifested like smoke in the darkness.

She immediately looked for her mobile to call Nikhil and ran towards the garage, assuming that she might have left it in her car last night but was flabbergasted to see the garage empty.

Where is my car? Did I not bring it home last night? Has my memory slipped?’, her mind pestered her with questions. 

Amidst those whispers, she heard someone talking and looked up. It was Nikhil, his friend Rahul and his Aunt. Nikhil looked wretched. His eyes welled up. 

‘Why are they here? Did Nikhil tell them about my abortion?’, her mind was in turmoil. 

She tried all permutations and combinations to figure out, as to what went wrong but nobody bothered to look at her. Their silence battered her more grievously this time. The shadow of her thoughts traveled again like a drug dripped down the spiraling canals of her ears.

’ I lost, I lost Anita forever Aunty. It’s because of me she left home yesterday. I should have called her’, Nikhil cried. 

‘What’s the matter? Can anybody tell me?’, she yelled, but they all ran out at once, hearing an ambulance sound. 

There, she was startled to see her body in the ambulance when all at once the scene flashed in front of her eyes.

‘I was driving back home after speaking my heart out with Anuja, when my car hit a divider trying to save a boy and catapulted me through the air. It was a Bolt from the blue. I fell on the road motionless in a pool of blood.’ 

She observed the scene from outside her body listening to the agonizing scream from the depths of her being.

The thoughts no longer haunted her. The shadows faded away. Nikhil broke down almost trembling. She bent closer to him and declared her eternal love and walked away replacing the crimson warmth of days by a sombre shade.
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