I was already late. I hastened my pace thinking mom would be livid. I took the turn into the next lane and saw a woman crying. She was holding something in her hands. She clutched it like it was some kind of treasure. The woman didn’t look too old to me, maybe, she was in her late thirties. She wore a shimmering white robe, and her skin was sickeningly white.
Caught in a dilemma, I approached the woman and tapped on her shoulder. She felt unreal to me as she turned around, and her gaze met mine. I felt a giant wave of energy run through my body. It felt like she had her some magnetic force. I couldn’t resist and asked her about the reason for her agony. She sighed,
“I have been roaming around on the streets for so long, with no shelter, no food. I am terribly, terribly cold. All I wish to have is a decent meal.”
Those eyes were almost hypnotising as if my body had shifted to auto-pilot mode. I removed my new denim jacket and put it around her shoulders. I led her to the nearest café. It seemed as if she knew the entire menu, and she asked for a marzipan cake without thinking twice.
I was surprised at her choice but couldn’t resist asking her,
“Isn’t it too old school…I mean…the cake?”
“I am too”, she smiled.
Our orders were served, and she ate it all in a jiffy. She left without uttering a word while I settled the check. Before leaving, she left a note and a locket on the table. I unfolded the piece of paper and found an address written on it. I thought she had forgotten the locket and I must return it.
The next morning, I left for the place following the address on the chit but reached a burnt house. The house appeared haunted, maybe I was mistaken. No, I wasn’t, I rechecked the address. I went next door to check about the resident of House No. 16.
A grumpy man appeared, and his gruff voice fell on my ears,
“House No. 16, you ask? Well, it was a tragic incident. That Julia Roberts perished in flames. She was a good soul, you know?”
I was baffled as he continued,
“It’s been over a month now. She has her grave in the cemetery just two blocks away.”
I ambled towards the cemetery and found the tombstone with the inscription, “Here lies Julia Roberts.”
By the foot of the stone, I found my jacket, neatly folded and kept.
I picked it and felt the warmth again in my heart. I breeze brushed against my face, like someone said, “Thank You.”