Cross-Cut

Harshita.

5th post.

I was at Sainsbury’s two days ago. To be exact, I was at the fruit and vegetable section admiring the way they had stacked them up. Strictly speaking, I wasn’t admiring it, I was just wondering how come the entire section looked like the rainbow from a distance. Maybe that was the whole point.

Just as it would happen at other times, I got a sudden sixth sense that someone was watching me. I looked up. The place was almost empty as it was closing time. I saw a lady holding her baby in one hand and browsing through the tomatoes with the other. Looking across the aisle I noticed a guy in a black hoodie. His blurry eyes were the only body parts showing but then vanished behind the bangs of his front hair, when he bobbed his head down the moment I looked. There were two other couples roaming around the store. “Weird,” I thought. I quickly grabbed some broccoli, hot pepper, peas and onions, and paced down the aisle to the counter.The cashier basically looked like he was chewing the cud. I tried not to pay attention and shoved my veggies towards him. As I stood there waiting, I felt a gentle tap on my shoulder from behind. On turning around I found the guy in the hoodie holding up some onions to me. I realized I had dropped some of mine on the way. “Oh, thank you so much!” I smiled at him, trying to find his eyes because he was covered up head-to-toe. He didn’t say anything, just nodded and walked away. 


Well, that was awkward. But I was too exhausted to even think how to react, so I simply ignored him when he left. After ten minutes, I paid the bill and stepped out of Sainsbury’s, headed straight home. Unlike the store, the roads were quite packed with traffic. It was a little late too so I mentally prepared a lame excuse for my sister, who was behaving more like an annoying police these days. I reached the traffic lights and waited for them to turn red so that I could cross the road. Meanwhile I typed on my phone, “Got stuck in a project. Just bought some stuff for dinner so that you would be less mad at me. Will reach home soon,” and hit ‘send’. Few seconds later, my screen flashed with Jade’s reply, “Project? Is that really the best you can come up with? Don’t get lost, you duck.” Sure, so much love and every time in the form of sarcasm, I thought and smiled.

I saw the lights turn red so started walking across the road while checking my e-mails. Just when I opened one of those offering a job, there was a bright flash of headlights on the side of my face. I barely turned my head to look when I saw a huge truck headed right at me. The loud blare of the horn was all I could sense. I blocked my face and thought I’d get out of the way by taking a giant leap to the front but it was too late. It all passed in a second. A sudden cold surge of fear flowed through my body like electricity. I remember the feeling of being squished into the arms of death when my state of mind was frozen. I couldn’t hear anything but could feel my lungs stretching out because I was screaming so hard. Around three seconds later, I found my body under a great amount of force, as if I was crushed to the bone. But I couldn’t see anything because my eyes were sealed so tight. I lost balance and fell down.

Finally, I felt like I could open them. “What the…” As soon as I did, I found someone with both their arms wrapped around me. The crushing force I felt was actually this person hugging me with a deadly grip, as we lay on the grass. It was horrifying! I pushed the person away from me and guess what? It was the hoodie-guy. I screamed again, confused and scared. The guy stood up and gave me his hand.

“NO! Who are you? What the hell happened? Am I dead? Are you a ghost? Where is the road, where am I?”

He came a little closer to me, brushing aside the hair falling over his eyes. They were a piercing icy blue. For a second I thought this was a dream. But it wasn’t. “Say something! Stop staring at me!” I yelled again, instead of thanking him for saving my life. He helped me up and put me back on my feet.

Just then I realized that I was in the parking space in front of my house. I was damn sure that this place was around three miles from the road I was on, five seconds ago. The guy still stood in silence. That’s when it occurred to me. “Di… di… did we just teleport? Is that what you did?” I asked him, unable to believe myself. His silence was killing me and I was scared of him too now. He simply stood there, hands folded, watching me writhe in confusion, not saying a single word. He slowly backed up, turned away and left.

My head was pounding but I somehow managed to make it to the door of my house. Jade opened the door as soon as I rang the bell. I almost fainted on top of her but she grabbed me on time. Obviously she was confused and worried to see me like this. We both went to my room and she sat me down on my bed. “Next time you reach home late and this drunk, I’ll give you a wedgie for sure,” she said after I told her everything. “I’m not drunk! I knew you’d never believe me! I’m not crazy!” I defended myself like a five year old. Jade rolled her eyes at me, “Whatever. No more excuses. You know very well that the city streets aren’t safe at night. I hope there won’t be a next time.” She stood up and left my room. I watched her walk away and thought to myself, “I hope so too.”

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