the scene is dissolving in front of me. i am losing focus. oh wait, its coming back. people are zooming in and zooming out. someone's prodding the figure, checking his limp hand. that seems like a futile gesture, considering the pool of blood near it. but probably that is not a giveaway good enough for these people. the smile on his face should give them a clue then. when else can a person look so truly happy, when not dead? funny things these people are doing.
the body is lying slumped against wall. there is nothing left. the buzz of people is louder than the buzz of flies settling over everything, and frankly more irritating. people are moving about, clueless. they certainly have no idea what to do. that explains all the pulse checking and police calling. i am watching it, from the dark corner of the street. no one can see me, i guess. thats why no one's come to ask me any questions so far. its not even a secluded street though, a perfectly busy part of the city. a bit too busy, actually. i had watched as people went past him, not realizing anything. i had seen the blood drip out of him, one drop at a time, his face becoming happier with each losing drop. i was watching him, just not moving past him. i was in no hurry, you see. does that make me worse than them? maybe it does. but i did notice him looking at me significantly, and smiling, acknowledging my unmoving posture, and if i am not wrong, appreciating it. this is what he wanted, i guess, someone to watch him and i was giving him just that. would others make a fuss out of it? shit.
the crowd is getting bigger. more curious clueless faces are joining the previous ones. people are peering over each other, asking in hushed tones. i am losing focus again. i think i should leave. i think i can hear a siren in distance. maybe police is finally here. huh, that will disperse the crowd at last. i need to get out of here. but i cant. the scene is captivating. afterall, i have stuck out with him so far. besides, its not everyday you discover a dead body around this place, he is dead, isnt he? may be on the brink of it. its not like its a place full of sad people. perfectly happy people inhabit this part of the world, people who have nothing to complain about life, who have friends to turn to, who have money to turn to those friends with, who have a lover (or more) to lust after their body and a false sense of security that is called love. he was always the odd one out. i had often met him on strange corners of streets, in the most unexpected places- outside of a coffee shop, on a passing by bus, once or twice right outside his home too. some i remember, some i dont. i wonder how many did he remember. should i have asked? is it too late now?
the place is getting quieter. thats odd. more people have thronged the place now. but its getting less noisy. it feels nice though. but i have a weird feeling in me. my arm feels like someone just touched it but there is no one here. my arm looks smooth, undamaged skin is shining with pale luminisence in the artificial illumination of street lamps, it looks ghostly but i have to say it looks nice. that soap is good. i cant be smiling. whats wrong with me?! there is a dead guy lying ten feet from me! he is dead, right?
people in white clothes and bored expressions are putting the guy on a stretcher. oh the siren was an ambulance. police didnt get on time here. okay now i am officially smirking. the guy is stirring a little, he is definitely on end of it. his eyes are flickering a little. he is opening his eyes a little. shit, he is looking at me and.... smiling. uh oh.
for the earnestness in the crowd that had gathered, they are definitely in no hurry. they are deciding on some technicalities. he is still looking at me. okay, time for me to go. i step back a little, averting my gaze. with every step, the sound of siren is dimming a little, the scene is becoming a bit more black. thats better.one turn and i'd reach the other end of the road. i can still see the guy, his eyes are still on me but the sirens, the lights, the people, they all seem to be in background from here. this is much better. but i feel weird. its nice, but weird.
i turn and look at the guy. he is still looking at me. i guess i have no choice but to return his gaze.
-should i come back? is it worth it? do you want me to come back?
- do you want to come back?
- its not a matter of what i want, its a matter of what has to be done. you know i will come back if you ask me to.
- you'll again become the reflection on the glass if i ask you to come back?
- then no. dont come back. i dont want to go back to that place that is everything i hate? the people, the loud noises, the flooding lights? i dont deserve it. you dont deserve it.
- if you say so. are you sure there is no reason good enough for me to come back? i could, if you had some unfinished business you had to tend to.
- hahaha, i brushed my teeth and changed into a nice clean underwear before settling under that lamp post there. i cleared my browser history on my laptop. i have no unfinished business left.
- and goodbyes?
- what else do you think i am doing right now?
- am i the only one you wanted to say goodbye to?
- you are the only one i didnt want to say goodbye to. but like they say, no pain no gain. no blood, not a stud.
- hahahaha fair enough, stud. so i take it, this is it then.
and with that, the guy is closing his eyes. his 'yes' has cleared things up for me. this is the beginning of my walk into the lonely night. with each step, the edges of my horizon are burning up a little more. i hear the door slam shut, finally. i am one step away from the darkness, or is it the light? its an abyss to me. my last step and somewhere behind a closed door, a guy is closing his eyes finally.
DISCLAIMER: if you are reading this, that means you have made it so far. anyways, to avoid being caught in plagiarism, i think i should give due credit to my friend Scooter who came up with the awesome punchline "no pain, no gain. no blood, not a stud" although it was on a totally different subject :)