Running Away...


I know that I could possibly go wrong. But still, I know I have to do this. There's no one to possibly call for a help. Am all alone, in this ugly little world. I toss and turn on my bed, unable to gain sleep. The night is at my calling. Its tonight that I break off the shackles and step out. Finally, my eyes seem to droop. I hope I can refresh myself before I...

"TRINGGG TRINGGGG" the alarm buzz!

"Mom... lemme sleeeeeeeeep" I uttered incoherent words in the sleepy haze. But then, springing awake, as though a sharp shiver passed through me, I checked the time displayed on my watch :"2.00am" it shone in its fluorescent glow. Quickly I got out of the bed, slipped into my casual jeans and shirt, rolled up the sleeves, stuffed in my jacket to my already packed bag.( had been smart enough to pack my bag last night.) It had an ample supply of water, a pack of biscuits I had sneaked out of the kitchen cabinet, some clothes, my prized possession of comics, a torch and a booklet with my dad's pen and finally, about 10 pounds from my mom's new pouch! Strapping on the backpack and slipping on my sneakers, I tip toe out, out of my pretty little villa, on the suburbs of Southampton...

The breeze seems strong today, I muttered to myself. Darkness seem to gnaw at me. Yet I feel no fear. Nothing holds me back. No regrets. Finally I am away, away from the prying eyes. I walked on, brisk. The dawn seemed especially beautiful. It was the very first time I were witnessing one. Walking on, I saw the luscious green lawns, the garden park I often pass by on the way to the major hospital in Southampton. I looked at my watch. Time showed 5am. I have been walking for the past three hours I realize. My legs seemed to ache, and my throat dry. I sat down, near a tree. Leaning over the tree, I took out some water and gulped it down in sheer desire.

It seemed I had enough time to rest. Planning to catch the first bus to the city, I sat, dreaming. The birds seem to be awake, just like me. Chirping in glee, or is it mockery, I wonder? Roses seem to bloom, for I could smell the fragrance. I wonder what would have been happening , had I not left the wretched place, where none cared for me... Listening to the lullabies of nature, I slipped away into a dead slumber...

"Get up, young lady. You sure gave your folks a fright" I could hear someone say to me, in my dreams...Paying no heed, I slept on... I could feel someone shaking me up, and with all frustration I open my eyes... Lo! Where am I? My mind still in a daze... And I looked up to find two young uniform clad cops, peering at me! Amazed, I couldn't help but wonder, why are they here? And where the hell am I?

" Who are you? And whats wrong?" I manage to ask.

" Hey, running away from home ain't a nice thing to do. Now get up and come along. I shall ring up your folks to come and fetch you home " he quipped.

Beaten, disheveled, I looked on at the white British face. Despair filled me to the brim. My first day away..And lo! Am caught, pushed back to the old life. Words failed me. And i didn't want to cry. So i mustered up the courage to move on. Sitting in the police car (it had been a long time dream of mine) I couldn't make myself smile, on having my one wish come true...Well, this wasn't the way I wanted it to be, though...

"Come on along..." he said. And I walked along, timid, and sad. Being offered a comfortable chair, and a provision for breakfast, he moved on towards the telephone.. Soon, I was to be whisked off, back to my world... I lost my appetite, despite being famished... Well, the biscuits have vanished, I know. Yet I felt hungry. growing age, I suppose. I gulped down the fresh orange juice and waited, for the arrival...

"Babyyyyyy...How you got us scared! Am so glad you are okay," words of relief sprang from my dad. After profusely thanking the officer, he held my hands, leading me to the car. I smiled and waved a bye to the young cop. He was golly good actually...Offered me cookies and juice... Nice chap!

Sitting next to me in the car, he turned to look at me. I smiled rather sheepishly, I guess. He told me its the worst thing for a third grader to be doing. Running away from home! Smiling at me, he said " Alright, off you go morrow' for the little school trip of yours. Just promise me, no mischief and no more running away. You are all we got, my little one"

"Okayyyyy..I promise, dad. By the way, was it fun, hunting for me?" I ask, grinning all the way through!

"Fun?!?!? Haha...Very! Wait till you get home. Have called up your mom to make you some chocolate brownies. Now, tell me, is home that bad?"

"Wowie... brownies..." I quip, excited...

"Dad...."

"Hmmm...What is it sweetheart?"

"Cant you drive a bit faster??????? " I ask, innocent as a dove, yet mischief clouding my eyes...

"Haha...You sly little devil.. See, I did tell you, home ain't that bad..."

Laughing all the way we moved on... I guess dad is right... Maybe home doesn't seem so bad after all ;)

The special lady...

On my way back home, I saw a lady, in the bus. She seemed like a frail old lady, off to see her grandchildren or so. Her smile was genuine and her eyes were so full of expectations. Am an observer by nature. So I couldnt help, but notice her darned old saree, yet starched and well kept! Her hands were sore, yet held the strength that her eyes hid.

I found myself weaving stories about the lady stranger. She had the grace and charm of someone who has been powerful and enigmatic in her youth. She was not the feeble kind who just gave up on life, when something went wrong. Maybe she stayed alone, as suggested by her travelling alone. Or maybe she left behind her husband, for a small stay at her children's place. Either ways, she was alone. Yet she wasnt sad about it, am sure. Either a calm acceptance of the situation or else a long stint of being alone. It was either of those, I convinced myself.

I looked up at her once again. Age had beautified her grace.Her wrinkles shone of wisdom profound. Her eyes had the depth of experiences. Her grey hair added to her charm. It made her even more grand than ever. I found her hands fumble, foraging through her tiny vanity bag of the 70's. I felt curious as to what exactly was she rummaging for. And then, she held a small book, and started to sift through the pages. I found the book to be tiny black leather bound Bible. Her face seemed brilliantly lit up, a newly found light calming her. I felt strange, watching the lady in solitude.

Soon, my cellphone started to ring. And I slipped into a world of my own. After a while, I felt a hand on my shoulder. I turned and to my surprise, I found the old lady near me, smiling. Her eyes showered such warmth and I felt myself special. She smiled, her hands still on my shoulder, patting me. And said "God bless you, my child"!! Not another word, she moved away. I felt shaken, and before I could offer even a thanks, she had got down from the bus, leaving me bamboozled.

I got down and walked home, my mind still in a daze. A feeling of absolute incredulity hung itself over me. Yet I knew no feeling could be as genuine as the warmth and care, the old lady's gesture filled me with. I havent met her ever after. But somehow, the aura of her, still remains brilliantly lit, in me...

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