'If I was you, I'd read something chirpier child' he said sarcastically.
She looked up to see if that was meant for her and she saw the grandpa like person addressing his words right at her. She smiled and remembered the good old don't talk to strangers thing and continued to read her favourite book of all times.
'Child, its rude to ignore your elders and honestly, why read something so tragic?' he asked as if it was his business.
'Excuse me, but it is none of your business what I'm reading uncle.' she said sternly. He seemed sad with what she said but it didn't look like he was offended.
'See child, I had a grand daughter just like you. And I know you won't believe this but that was her favourite book. She always imagined that she'd have someone like Romeo for herself. Sadly she did and it all ended tragically.' he spoke undeterred by her rudeness.
She stared at him with a quizzical expression, unable to say anything she just mumbled a hmmm.
'Do you want to know what happened to her child?' he asked sweetly.
She was disgusted that everyone else in the compartment was fast asleep, why did she have to listen to him and his stories, didn't he have anything else to do. Already annoyed by his constant interruption she gave him a whatever look. But he seemed to be immune to the meanness.
'Perhaps you don't want to. But I'd like to tell you, lest you be hurt in life. You remind me of her, a lot and I somehow feel I should tell you this.' he mumbled.
'Her name was Ana, she was seventeen something when she first started believing in love, it was that time that she was completely obsessed with Romeo and Juliet. Let alone Romeo and Juliet, she was obsessed with any romance and was a total believer of princes and happy endings.' he said looking devastated, as if he'd lost someone he valued a lot.
'I'm so sorry for your loss' she said feeling bad for her behaviour. She regretted whatever she'd said to him, but the damage was done.
'She and I were close, I was her favourite gramps as she said. She shared everything with me and I told her stories from my time and how I fell in love with her granny. One fine day she told me she'd found her prince charming, I was delighted and asked to meet him.' he said softly.
Before I could mumble something rather stupid he cut me and began narrating once again.
'I really shouldn't have met him, I wouldn't have had to go through this pain. He was indeed a prince, in heart and looks. He was perfect for her. She was pampered and loved and I prayed that their relationship lasted forever. I guess God didn't hear my prayers. She was killed, on the railway track for her carelessness. And he killed himself because...you know.' he said breaking down.
'Please don't cry, I'm so sorry...but...' I tried consoling him.
'She was reading that very book, her favourite scene. She didn't see the train coming and it ran over her. Her body was grotesque, I've had nightmares since then.' he said
'I wouldn't read while crossing a railway track' she said carefully looking at him.
'Child, I hope you wouldn't. I just told you this story because I see her somewhere in you.'
'I'm sorry uncle, I was so rude to you.' she said apologetically.
'Its okay, promise me you won't be careless with the life God has gifted you with. You are more important than a story in a book, remember that. Anything else for that matter.' he said carefully staring at me right into the eyes.
''I promise' I said wondering why I was talking to this stranger. The train came to a halt and it was time to go. I got down and waved at him one last time and began to walk. He'd told me this completely depressing and tragic story and spoiled my reading time.' she thought to herself and put the story behind her and walked, not giving it another thought.
5 years later.
'Bye Jubbie' she said and left the house. As she was walking in the path she was thinking about how blissfully perfect her life was and how lucky she was, to have such a perfect husband.
She was out to go shopping and have her girl day. Mani's and Pedi's and a pampering session for herself, after all she was up all night the whole week taking care of her four month year old baby. She had a long way to walk and she'd forgotten her ipod at home, so she pulled out her book and began reading. She was reading Harry Potter for the billionth time and yet it was interesting.
Suddenly she heard horns and people screaming. She turned around to see a car come across heading for her direction. She wanted to move, everyone was screaming and hurling 'MOVE! GET OUT OF THE WAY! at her but nothing seemed to work. Her brain froze and it felt like she was glued to that spot. Flashes of the uncle on the train came to her. Of his grand daughter's story, but she remained thinking. The driver lost control and hit her...almost. She heard the car come to a halt right before her. It was inches away from her and then she felt woozy and fell to the ground. The last thing she remembered was seeing uncle holding her hand and whispering, 'Wake up! Wake up...child!'
4 months later.
She woke up with a start. She could hear whispered noises around her. She felt a stinging pain in her head, it was throbbing. Slowly and gently she opened her eyes. The first thing that hit her were the green curtains. Damn, she was at the hospital and she knew those green curtains! The first face she saw was uncle's.
'Hi child.' he said.
'Hi uncle, i thought about you. I don't remember what happened...I was..' I started speaking fast.
'Relax. I've a lot to tell you.' he began as usual.
He seemed like a particularly good story teller and spun his words with a magical spinning wheel. He put everything down so carefully and sweetly so as to not hurt me.
'You were crossing the road and the car almost hit you. I was in that car, headed to a book reading. You weren't injured physically but the doctors say, you went into a state of traumatic shock. You've been in coma for four months. He came and visited you. I contacted him, but he hasn't come in two months. Luam is here with me, and currently he's fast asleep at my house.'
'What? Jubbie left me? But uncle...he loved me...and he loved Luam.' she said crying...unable to hold herself together.
'I know. I know. I saw the way he looked at you. But something happened and he's vanished, no contact.' he said.
'Er...uncle are you sure? And thanks a ton for saving my life. I was so stupid, I took no heed of your worthy advice.'
'Its okay child, go look for him, but not now. Rest.'
2 months later.
She had recovered completely from the traumatic shock and now she lived with her child Luam all alone in their bungalow. Uncle paid them a visit once a week, after all he was an author and book signing events and reading took all of his time. Uncle had appeared as a genie or a guardian angel in her life. She owed her life to him. Jubbie never returned, and no matter how much she tried contacting him, he'd left no trace behind.
She opened the door and was astonished to find Jubbie standing there. She walked outside, instead of calling him in.
'And you seemed to want to turn up after such a long time Jubbie? What's the special occasion?' she asked bitterly.
'I'm sorry, but I didn't know what to do. She made me leave you.' he said shamefully.
'Oh, so you were cheating on me?' she asked casually.
'I said I'm sorry, she made me. I don't know what I was thinking. You deserve better than me.' he said
'Oh please, don't give me that. So damn lame Jubbie. You don't deserve to stand here. You left me when I needed you the most.'
'I came to invite you for my marriage.' he said nonchalantly.
'We're not even divorced.' she said looking at him astounded.
'We are. I have so many blank papers with your sign on them. How stupid you were.'
'I don't even know who you are any more. Get out.' she screamed.
'Bye. I don't think I'm sorry anymore, your not even hot!' he said and walked off.
Just like that she realized how wrong she was about things. The people who you trust the most in life seem to be least trust worthy and those you don't even give a thought about, care the most for you. She'd made some big mistakes in her life but she decided that it was never too late, and she was going to make her life perfect. She had a beautiful baby and a great guardian angel, she could make things right.
And she did.