A Walk To Remember

Harshita.

3rd post. 3rd short fiction.

The Sun rose in the West.

It was partially eclipsed by the charcoal gray clouds skudded across the beautiful sky. The clouds became heavier as the raindrops lifted from the Earth into the air. The city lights looked dim and overpowered, by the bright flashes of lightning that illuminated the sky and the city, alike. Each streak of light struck its way back into the clouds, creating echoes of brontide all around.

I was wide awake and watching the show of lights through the glass window on the ceiling over my bed. It was overwhelmingly strange because it was as if time was moving backwards, except me! I hurried out of my bed, put on a raincoat and boots, and stepped outside with my transparent umbrella – the only one I had. 

The moment I did so, I felt tiny drops of water racing up against my boots, then my jeans and finally all the way up into the sky. Only then did it dawn on me that the umbrella was of no use and I’d have to get drenched anyway. So I folded it and put it away in my backpack. As I walked through the lonely street, I looked up again. It seemed that the rain was falling up into the sky. I didn’t bother to check the time until I realized that I really should. After a bit of effort to block the drops of water, I looked down at my watch. I saw the hands ticking backwards! Time was turning back indeed. It was 5:30pm then, and the minute-hand was making its way up to 5pm. “This is the most incredible time of my life!” I thought to myself. I couldn’t stop looking up because such miracles didn’t happen often.

What I saw next simply took my breath away. A great ring of rainbow encircled the entire sky. I remembered seeing the exact same thing from an airplane as I looked down at the clouds when I was younger. But the ‘rain-ring’, perhaps, that I saw on that surreal day was formed much closer to the ground. But it lasted for only a few moments before it faded off completely.

I did nothing else for the rest of the time but walk and look around in every possible direction, baffled by everything I laid my eyes on. Soon after that, I got tired and fell asleep under a tree. By the time it was noon, the rain had stopped; leaving behind a fresh smell of petrichor. I realized I had fallen asleep in a park near my home itself. I tried to rub the sleep off of my eyes and get up. But I soon remembered what had been happening before I fell asleep. At once, I was wide awake again and I looked around myself, thinking that the time warp had stopped too. 

But I was wrong. Mild gusts of wind blew the dry fallen leaves around. These leaves lifted from the grass and flew back up to merge with the branches over my head. It was absolutely amazing to watch, so I spent the next few hours there. I headed towards home by 7am. As I entered my room and took off my backpack, boots and raincoat absent-mindedly, I thought about all the things I witnessed that day. 

I had no explanation for it – scientific or religious whatsoever. But it was like a fictional story I would be writing down on paper, trying to capture every detail of the surreal experience I had. It was not a dream, but better than that. 

I looked out through the window one more time and realized it was getting dark. It was around 4am. I wrapped myself up in the blanket. The glass window on the ceiling kept me awake for a while. The Sun set in the East as I dozed off to sleep with a lot of memories to keep.

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