The unrelenting rain crashed on the car creating a bigger thunderous effect than it actually was. The FM was playing some random music which I could in no way relate to but was still finding solace in.
The cab was full.. with an assorted mix of people from different background, different lives but doing the same work. Now heading back to their warm homes after a hard day's work. I tried reading into their minds. Some looking forward to sharing the day's mishaps with the dear ones waiting back home. Or to just reach home and top off the day with a neat whisky or maybe to follow some random updates on facebook.. but every face did speak a plan. Some hope. Something to look forward. I avoided the mirror. I knew what was in store for me and I dint need a second look to affirm to it for me.
My colleague's phone buzzed. Ecstatic, she picks the phone and whispers 'Yes baby. Will be home in 20 minutes. yes I will text you'. I look at her. she studies my quizzical look for a minute and then explains to me as to how her husband gets worried each time she is out on the night shift. How he thinks the night time isnt safe for his perfect angel. I smile. She smiles too. She takes out her phone again and as promised, texts him of our cab's location.
I decided to be brave too and venture a risk. I take out my phone and compose a text. Nothing big. Just a small two letter word. A 'Hi'. I choose his number and click on send.
Crazy instinct I must admit, but it's been an action I always regret. Each time.Every single time. As soon as it has been done. This time was no different either. I should have known better than to have been stupid. Again.
I tried racking my brains to think of one person in this whole world who would be worried if I was to inform that I was out, at night, all by myself. Would it matter to you that I was out this late?
One sure bet was my parents. But then hey, I guess I have already given them enough headache as it is. The last thing I would want them to do is sit up late at night worrying about my return. But then it was definitely a consolation to know that there are still a few extended hands to fall back into.
But you know what I mean, dont you. That's not what I was talking about. That's not the concern I am concerned about here. Day after day, when I travel back in the wee hours and the entire world is silent and where there are worried husbands, love struck boyfriends or even a attempting to be a boyfriend calling up each and every single number in my cab, I cannot help but think, where did i go wrong?
Why is there a wrong notion that I am independent? Which aspect of me shouts out to people to leave me alone. Why do I not get to be someone's princess, someone's delicate angel, someone's hearing post who gets to hear sweet nothings whispered all day and all night long? I would love to cuddle and sleep. Spoon me all night long and put me to sleep. Sing a song in my ear and wake me up in the morning. Treat me to a bar of chocolate or a bunch of flowers. Surprise me with a gift. Take me out to a park or a beach or a movie or even to your friend's party. Share the space in my couch with me, watch a noon show on tv with me, share a few laughs with me..
The blaring honking of the car jerked me out of my dream world and I look around. Our cab's been hit. Talk about everything which can go wrong and apparently it does!
A very apologetic driver turns to us and tells us that we have to find our own means to get back. Out comes all mobile phones again. The frantic better halves are already on their way to pick up their dear ones and get them transported home... away in safety.
It's 2AM. I still sit by the pavement on the road and watch as each and every single one in the cab are received by welcoming extended arms. The last one to leave, looks back at me and questions very gingerly 'Are you sure there's absolutely no one to pick you up? We could have given you a lift, but we are headed the other way you know. Really sorry'.
I give her my most charming smile and tell her that its absolutely fine. She has no idea that I am already used to this. Used to this feeling of not having expectations, of not having the right to dream and of not having a tomorrow to look forward to.
Solitude is an infection. It's gotten to me and I know its not easy to get rid of. Bear it and move on. That's the remedy my shrink suggested.
I decided to do what I always do best. Make the worst choice and hope that its for the best. I start walking to my house. It's still raining and its still past 2AM, but I know there is no one up and awake waiting to hear of my safe arrival at an empty house with an empty bed.
I wake up to the sound of an incoming text message next afternoon. 'Mobile was silent.Saw your text now'.......