It was late evening; the weather was cloudy and seemed like it was about to rain. I was coming back from the office and saw an accident; the traffic lights were not working properly. An SUV had collided with a Sedan and both of them were damaged. People started running towards the cars and the whole traffic came to a standstill. For a few minutes it was a complete silence. No sound of honking nor people yelling. I ran toward the Sedan and found two girls inside, unconscious and with blood oozing from their heads. I along with few people tried to force open the door but it was difficult; it was jammed. When I noticed that there were quite a few people to look after the Sedan, I ran towards the other car.
Inside the SUV, we saw an aged man and he was also unconscious. We somehow unbuckled him and succeeded to pull him out. The paleness on his face got our attention. He was not breathing. People kept calling for ambulance but it was taking a lot of time. One of the guys near the SUV said that he was a doctor. The doctor checked the pupils and declared that the pulse couldn’t be felt and the man should be rushed to hospital. For the first time in my life I was next to a man who was slipping away way fast. I felt saving those two lives who had a better chance. Suddenly the Sedan had smoke coming out of the hood and it was not stopping. The entire road was congested and there was a large crowd surrounding the scene.
People started to move away from the Sedan, they thought it would catch fire due to the leaking oil and smoke. They kept saying that those girls are now already dead, even if there’s a possibility to save them it will be too late. People saw me running towards the Sedan and started calling me senseless when I broke the windows. I believed that there would be a chance to heave them out. But without any additional help it was not possible. I asked for help but they told me to wait for the ambulance to come.
With no hope I leaned through the window and unbuckled them. It was difficult. While I was trying to haul one of the girls, I saw flames coming out of hood. I literally could smell the thick vapours of petrol and feel the intense heat. It was a frightening moment. I couldn’t think of anything else. People were shouting and suddenly a woman from the other side leaned in and said, “We have to do it fast or else we’ll die with them.” Looking at her shockingly, all the thoughts vanished. Except one. Who is she?
We both unbuckled the girls and I couldn’t believe that she heaved the girl swiftly. The next minute it started to rain, the fire which was approaching us slowed down. I hauled the girl out and we both took them away from the car. She started to check their pulse and said, “We might lose them in couple of minutes if the ambulance does not come on time.” We heard the sirens and saw the ambulance approaching. The policemen started to clear the traffic and the ambulance crew took hold of the injured. In all that commotion I realised that all my files which I was carrying were nowhere to be seen.
I had left them on road in hurry. While searching for it, the lady came by and said, “Is there anything else where I can offer my help.” Well, I lost my words again. Confused with words I misplace them in my sentence and said, “Thanks for helping, it would be not possible if you were not there.”
Let me describe her, first of all, she looked beautiful in the rain. She had a dusky face with a bright soul reflecting in her light eyes and actions. Yes, how can I forget? She was stronger than me.
She smiled and said, “Well, wherever destiny takes us, we can’t stop being ourselves.” Facing down at the spot where I left my files, I said, “My files and few presentations are lost now and it’s raining. It is a big loss I am facing and I don’t know what will happen tomorrow.” She looked at me and replied, “We just went through a lot and I hope when you share the incident with your boss, it should not be supressed” and added, “Why not grab something to eat and let’s call it a day.”
Being frustrated and helpless, I thought why not. Let’s give it a try and see where it takes me. “Sure! It’s raining cats and dogs. Let’s go to a restaurant and get something to eat.” We crossed the road and saw a small restaurant. I ask her “Have you been here?”. While adjusting her hair bun she replies, “no, but let’s give it a try before we catch a cold” Agreeing with her, we went inside and took our seats at the table.
The moment we sat, I said, “I am sorry, I don’t know your name. My name is Jai. The waiter came by and asked for an order. She said, “A glass of water for now, ask Jai.”. “A sandwich with a coke.” I replied to the waiter. While looking at us he said, “Are you the guys who helped the girls in the accident?” We both said yes and he tells us to wait for him. When he left, she said, “Anika”. “Pardon me?” I said. She replies, “My name is Anika and the food you ordered looks like a 7th grade child’s food. No offence!” Laughingly I say, “you are not the first Anika to say it, there was one in my school who used to taunt me”. After gossiping about our present life, I asked her, “Why aren’t you eating anything”. “Well today is my fast. Every Tuesday is.” Looking at her, I said, “but it was your idea, how come we are here then?” She tries to look away, took a deep breath and said, “Do you recognise me jai?”
Looking confused, I replied, “I don’t recognise you, we met for the first time while we helped the girls” and suddenly, a thought passed by and I stopped in between. I stared in her eyes and it reminded of my childhood friend, Anika. Whom I loved but never confessed. I just stood up and she gave a smile and said, “Yes I am Anika, jai. This was my idea.” I was awestruck and my mind was filling up with questions. The bright lights of the restaurant became dim and sound of honking of cars started to fade away. I collapsed at the spot and hit my head at the table.
I opened my eyes and I was in a hospital. I could see Anika sitting beside me. “What happened to me?” I asked her. She gave a smile and replied, “You went in a shock when you recognised me and the corner of table hit your head.” And she holds my hand and said, “It’s going to be okay; I am still here.” When I saw her holding our hands, I said, “Stay, always.” She knew what I meant and deep down we thought, “Childhood love never dies.”