Tuesday, October 31, 2006

In the Interlude

It was one of those cold, windy, rainy nights in the city, and she was walking along a dark road. A lost soul, questioning herself uncontrollably on destiny's games, completely unaware of the rain drops trickling down her cheeks, and soaking her clothes. It was her tears that blended with the darkness around her, causing cracks in her already low confidence, like cracks in an old wall...
But she had no answers. And the rain continued to pelt her. Many moments later, her legs gave way, and she collapsed along the sidewalk.
None of the passerbys noticed this silhoutte against the backdrop, lying lifeless, fighting with the desires of herself and the reality.
In this world, who stops for a stranger anyways?

I finished serving my duty at the hospital, and was looking forward to going home to rest. It had been a tiring day, dealing with the family of the deceased baby, and all I really needed was some time to reflect on what went wrong. The thought of the mother giving up her child began to haunt me, and I didn't realise I had wandered off in the wrong direction, until I saw a figure, barely noticeable in the bad weather.
"A young mother?" I thought to myself... "perhaps not. Just a homeless person." But it was one of those moments where your instincts fire up, and mine definitely did.
I quietly walked upto her, and sat by her side. I noticed the laces of her shoes were undone and were mixed with mud. "Did she trip?".

"Hi... are you alright?" A simple silence, that seemed almost deafening against the beating rain. I placed my umbrella next to me. "Listen... it's getting cold. It's not safe either. You need to go indoors. Did you hurt yourself? Are you tired? Should I call a cab?"
She finally shifted, turned around and faced me. "Oh Lord...what a sad face.." In that brief instant, I saw her inside, on her face. Every single emotion she was feeling was painted by the streaking tears on her face, a face not much older than mine.
"Can you help me? Can you answer my questions?", she asked.
"Uh...I can try. But first, let's get warm."
I escorted her to a nearby shade, and the blasting heat from sewers below warmed us up in no time.
"They took everything away from me... I lost everything in hours. Everything that I had worked hard and saved up in so many years...", she began.
"Why did it have to be me? I don't have an address to my name anymore. In a matter of hours I ended up on the street. My worst fear, in all these years just came true... how am I going to live?"
I realised she was a victim of some fraud. I couldn't do much to help her. She was scared, lost, and confused. I had to get home. It had been such a long time, and I have an early day tomorrow. She'll find a way. Something, someone should be able to help her. The city offers lots of programs.

"You know what- I don't know what happened with you, and why. But all I can say is...you'll be fine. In this life, you don't need a whole lot to survive, and sometimes, you learn that the hard way. But once you learn it, everything falls into place. Just don't hesitate to ask for help. Good night!"
And I walked away.

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