I saw her today, only a fleeting glance but I was sure it was her. I don't know what she was doing in the hospital.
Maybe she is a nurse.
Yes, that could be right. She always wanted to help people.
That is how we met.
I smiled. I still remember like it happened yesterday.
It was night and I was slumped at the mouth of an alley. The only source of light was at least 20 feet away from me, making it hard for anyone or even myself to see a battered and bruised body.
My battered and bruised body.
I was cornered and beaten to a pulp for winning in the ring against their fighter.
Maybe this is the end of me. There is no one out there whom I can call mine.
I let out a hollow chuckle thinking what a mess I have become. It has been a month since I came to know about the truth and my world has collapsed. I know that it will never be the same again, maybe for them but not for me.
Again, I laughed at my misery. It came out as a choked gurgle followed by a fit of cough.
Yeah! Dying seems like a good option.
Then I heard it. For a second it seemed like nothing. Everything was silent. The night seemed eerie quiet like it didn't want to be disturbed. It was giving me goosebumps. After a beat, I heard it again. Someone might have heard me.
I heard footsteps approaching me. I tried to sit but was not successful in my pathetic attempt. Seconds later I saw a light coming towards me. Only when the source of light along with the owner came to a stop, about a foot from me, I was able to actually see that my savior was a girl, if the flowy ankle-length skirt were any indication to go by. I was still not able to see her face partly because of the light and other due to my bruised eye and hazy state.
My ears were still ringing when she knelt down, our faces inches apart. Her lips were moving but I was in no condition to comprehend what she was saying. I was trying to absorb all the details of her face that I could from one eye. I felt like I knew her from somewhere.
My mind was still hay wired. I opened my mouth to speak but instead choked out on my saliva and coughed out blood. Seconds later something soft was pressed against my lips pressing gently once in a while. I looked down and saw that she was holding a handkerchief against my lips.
With some difficulty, she helped me stand up and lead us out of there. We sat on a bench that was under the streetlight. I could see her better now but that means she could also see me. All my injuries were in plain sight. I slowly looked down and took notice of my blood-stained shirt, bruised knuckles, and Wounded Knee.
I looked pathetic.
Slowly I lifted my head and met her gaze. She too had acknowledged my filthy state but instead of grimace, I found compassion in her eyes.
She lifted her hand and touched my chest. For a second my heart stopped and then it began beating at a faster rate.
What was she doing?
She remains unfazed gave me a smile and slowly withdrew her hand. It was then that I realized that she has taken out my phone. I chided myself mentally for thinking stupidly. I again made an attempt to speak but it was too in vain as I gasped and coughed.
I was bent forward with my head down still heaving when I felt soothing caress on my back. I turned my head sideways and saw that she was talking to someone on my phone. But it did not mean that she was not paying attention to me. She was gently rubbing and patting my back.
A moment later she cut the call, smiled at me and said something.
I still heard nothing.
She searched for something in her side bag and produced a couple of things. Straightening my back she moved my body in her direction.
Then she carried on with patching me up. For some time I was mesmerized by the way her hands moved over mine. She cleaned and bandaged them. Next, she took care of my wounded knee. She tore away my already torn jeans with help of scissor and patched that up too. She cleaned my face and applied a band-aid. When she was done with it she put everything again in her bag and held my hand.
I sat motionlessly. Not flinching when she used disinfectant or crying out in pain. My body felt numb. I have gained some control over my mind and senses. I could make out the sound of cat mewing somewhere nearby. I could feel the heat coming from where our hands were joined.
She was silent but it was comfortable. Something was nagging at the back of my mind telling me that I have seen her, but where I still could not figure out.
The Trans was broken when I heard rumbling of a car. I turned and saw a familiar car approaching us. It stopped a little ahead of us from inside climbed out a man.
She had called him!
He walked and stood in front of me. I can clearly see the disappointment in his eyes along with sorrow. I averted my gaze and stared at the ground.
She released my hand and stood up. I stood up too and without any exchange of words silently made my way towards the open door of the car. I slide inside and shut the door.
A moment later someone knocked at the window. I lowered it and saw that it was the same girl standing there. She lowered herself a little and uttered some words ever so softly.
What she said to me dragged my mind out of the deranged state.
With that she smiled and turned away, leaving me with her words and voice ringing in my head.
What happened next was blurred.
Dad taking me home, a proper examination by our family doctor, Mom's tears soaked face on seeing my condition, their hushed conversation.
The next morning when I woke up, I felt like I was hit by a storm.
My body ached everywhere.
Dad gave me a long lecture and told me that he would be taking me out of college and sending me somewhere else.
And then I remembered the girl too.
I have also heard about her. I have seen her numerous times. She was as a matter of fact in my class. How I didn't remember her last night was beyond me. Her words kept echoing in my mind. She made me think clearly and her words helped me to make my decision.
But today when I saw her something seemed off. She was looking alright little pale but good.
But her eyes, they were filled with sadness. Hurt. Pain.
I don't know what happened to her. When we were in college she was like a bright star. Always shining and spreading warmth where ever she went. She had a heart of gold. She was sweet. Caring. Lovable. Humble.
She was polite to everyone. Her helping nature and easy-going personality could win each and every heart.
Even the mean girls of our college were good to her, that strongly she affected others. Her presence was enough to turn a hostile environment to a cheerful one in seconds.
I remember she had a boyfriend. They were together in the last two years of college. I don't know if they got married or not.
But who could leave a girl like her?
Only a fool!
On seeing her today, I wanted to talk to her. But don't know how to approach her.
I don't even know if she remembers me or not.
I cannot blame her for not remembering me as who would remember a beaten up guy that they helped a long way back. My face was bruised so she couldn't recognize me then and certainly not now.
But I will never forget her. She was the reason that I was able to cope up with my condition. She doesn't even know how much she has helped me. I still remember her words, her only words to me. They were my strength. Still, are.
"Value this life that God has given you. Not everyone is lucky enough to live."
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