It was a sunny Friday morning and the sun had cast its net all around the cold bustling land warming it up in the process. There was chatter on the streets and screaming children in the neighbourhood. It was one of those days when the weather was neither too warm nor too cold, the kind of days when you don’t notice the weather at all. Despite the bliss knocking at her window, a young woman had no time to admire it.
Arya’s phone was buzzing. While arranging the cutlery, she quickly glanced at her phone to check the caller’s name but the call was from an unknown number. She thought that it must be for some insurance offer. She wondered for a moment if it would be worth it to get an insurance to stop this flood of calls. The idea seemed to appeal to her until she realised that she might still get inundated. Her phone was still buzzing. She looked up at the clock and laughed at the misery of the people who have to call and offer insurance policies to people so early in the day. The day had barely begun and she had no inclination to hear the monotonous yacking on the other end.
The phone stopped buzzing but before she could thank God, it rang again. She glanced at the screen and saw that it was the same number. Surely, this could not be an insurance offer. It had to be something else. She picked up the phone with a slight hesitation. A voice in her head told her that something was wrong.
The voice on the other side spoke hurriedly, “Hello?”
Arya’s fears began to grow, “Hello, who’s this?”
“Ma’am, your husband has had an accident. He is…”
Arya went numb as if a bolt of lightning had passed through the call and hit her. She could hear the voice on the other side speak but her ears did not process anything.
“Please get here as soon as possible”.
The forks and spoons in her hand dropped to the floor. She was about to join them but she grabbed a hold of herself. Suddenly the blissful morning had acquired a solemn undertone. A young woman’s husband was caught in the sun’s net.
When she reached the hospital, she saw a worried Trisha standing near the receptionist’s desk.
Arya flung at her with questions, “What is going on, Trisha? What are you doing here?”
Trisha burst out crying, “Oh Arya, it’s such a terrible day. Karan and Sameer have had an accident. They…”
Arya grabbed her arms and shook her hard, “What? How?”
Trisha continued crying, “I don’t know, Arya. I don’t know. I only arrived here a few minutes ago.”
The lady at the counter interrupted them, “Third floor — to the right.”
On reaching the floor, they found Karan coming out of the treatment room. They helped him sit down on a seat before bombarding him with questions.
Karan explained, “I don’t know what happened. We missed our bus to work. So we decided to take a cab. We had not gone too far and were just having a conversation when suddenly a truck rammed into us. I don’t remember much after that except that even Sameer and the cab driver were badly injured. I think I lost consciousness immediately after and when I woke up I found myself here. I got off lightly I believe. I cannot thank God enough.”
Trisha hugged him tightly, “Oh Karan, I am so glad to know that you are okay.”
Arya stood there with her heart in her mouth, “What about Sameer? Where is he?”
Before Karan could say something, a doctor approached him, “Excuse me, I need to speak to you about your friend.”
“Yes, doctor. How is he? This is Arya, Sameer’s wife.”
Arya’s heart started beating heavily, “What happened, doctor? How is Sameer?”
The doctor turned to Arya, “I am sorry ma’am. We tried our best but we could not save him. He had lost a lot of blood before he arrived here.”
This time Arya did drop to the floor as her senses deserted her. She could faintly hear Trisha and Karan scream her name but what she could hear loud and clear now were the last words Sameer spoke to her before leaving home for work this morning — I hope today isn’t a long day, Arya. I really hope so.