I am not Holden Caulfield. I am more together than that. Nevertheless, there is always a drought on my face. As if I have lost my way. The blood began surging up my temples. It was almost audible, it was so loud. My skull was increasingly unable to keep the noise within. I felt like a cola. I walked to the nearest parlor. They don’t keep colas anymore. They had skimmed milk and yoghurt and juices of about hundred and twenty nine kinds. But no cola. This was a place for kids may be. Then I looked around saw. Lots of kids. Toddlers, hand holders, some with honeysuckles in their mouths. This was a mistake, meeting this guy at a place that was for kids and their mommies. Gross mistake. But it was too late to change it now. And anyway, one could always go to the next floor of the mall. And drag the conversation to up there. Or to the basement garage where scores of cars are parked in abandon. Some cars have lain so much dust on them, they probably have been lying there for months. The owner has forgotten where they parked their car and gone back from a party from the pub on the roof by hailing an Uber or something. And suddenly they haven’t found their car after waking up and went looking. Tracing back their steps from last night. That would not be a passable theory though. Because the first place they would look out for would be the parking of the mall. But not if they had gone pub hopping. From one to the next to the one after that, losing count, going absolutely crazy, painting the town red and yellow and all the shades of pastel there are. And waking up like a total amnesiac. That would be a good story, yes. Definitely. I checked the time on my phone again. It was 11:37. What was keeping him so long? I texted him asking where he was. He was delayed at the hospital he said. I didn’t call because hearing his voice would give me the shivers. So I just texted. And he was at the hospital where he had come to see his grandmother who had been put on the ventilator two days ago. Somebody had sent him downstairs to the OTC medicine store to get something and he was just about catching the bus to the mall. I was at least forty five minutes away by bus. And boy! Was I secretly relieved or what? I could still pull away. Compress myself into my shelled cocoon, tell him I couldn’t wait any longer because the assistant of the ENT specialist had called. An operation had come up around 3 pm, so my appointment had been proponed to like 2 pm. Yes, that sounded true. No more sweating. No more shivering. I could lie and get away with it. He belonged to one of the water tight containers in my life. Just like everyone else. My life has lots of water tight containers, did I ever tell you? Everyone I know is in a separate one. I like no links between two characters in my world that doesn’t verify it through me. So if I lied to him, and he was a well-kept secret, I might as well get away with it. He would never find out. Except that he would get that feeling. That I didn’t want to be seen, just yet.

An Excerpt from::: A Tryst at Terminus. 

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