Saturday, February 5, 2011

Hit and Run

Sharath was driving back home. He lived far away from the city. To go to his house, one has to cross a long remote street which had no houses except for a cremation ground. He was so tired that most of the time he was not aware where he was driving. Only when he reached that street did he get back to his senses. Just a month ago, there was a major accident that killed a young woman. After that, there have been many car accidents at the same place. Rumor has it that the lady appears in front of the cars causing accidents.

Sharath became fully alert now. He had the same feeling everytime when he had to cross that street. Being a psychiatrist, he never believed in such stories. But even then, everytime he crossed that street he had a eerie feeling that could not be described in words. He shrugged of the feeling and started concentrating on driving.

Just when his car came by the spot where the accidents happen, some woman emerged waving her hand at the car. It was like she just appeared out of nowhere. Sharath went pale for a moment. He did not know what to do. He had been travelling for many days and not even once had this happened. He pinched himself hard to verify he was not dreaming. The pain was so real that he could not deny the scene that unfolded before him. He looked around if anyone else was there. But the area was so calm and silent except for the buzzing sound of insects.

The courage he had few minutes ago vanished into thin air. The woman was still waving her hands at him, asking him to stop. He slowed down his car a bit. As his car neared the woman, his heart was throbbing with fear and anxiety. He thought his heart would just explode any time. His mind was thinking of various reasons why a woman could be waiting in the middle of a steet.

"May be she is some genuine lady who needs a lift"

"May be she lost her way in search of some address"

"May be she was kidnapped by some one and is running away"

"May be she is some crazy woman escaped from asylum"

"May be she is a member of some robbery gang"

"May be she is a ghost"

The last reason felt more appropriate at that moment. Just when his car neared the woman, he changed his mind and picked up speed. The woman who did not expect this, quickly came in front of the car to block him. Sharath who did not predict this, turned the steering wheel immediately to the left to prevent hitting the woman. But he was too late. He hit the woman and just when he turned left, he noticed an open manhole. He applied break immediately, but his car lost balance, dashed on a nearby tree and he was knocked unconcious.

When he woke up, he realized that he was in the same position. He saw the time. It felt so long, but it was only 5 minutes since the accident. He came out of the car and checked the woman. She was injured very badly and was crying for help in a weak voice. He was not sure about what to do next. He was in a state of shock. He knew this was just the start. The worst was yet to come. His clinic would be closed for good. His entire life would be ruined. He felt totally lost. He was in a whirlpool of emotions. He started to run crying uncontrollably. He ran and ran until his legs could carry him. He stopped only when he had no more energy to cry or run. He suddenly felt the urge to go to his house. He felt like his house was the only safe place left for him. He went home, lied in his sofa and dozed off.

When he woke up, it was morning. He thought the police would come anytime to arrest him. He wondered why they had not come yet. He thought for a while and decided to check in the newspaper. The newspaper was already thrown into his house. He opened and turned each page with so much anxiety. His eyes searched desparately for any news about the accident. At the sixth page he found it. With pounding heart, he started to read.

"Yet another car accident was reported at the early hours today in the infamous Balaji street, Pallavan nagar, Chennai. A woman aged 23 was admitted in the hospital with severe internal injuries. An unidentified man was found dead inside the car. If anyone have any details about him (photo below) please inform at your nearby police station"