The Sad Stranger - Part 1

What do you do if you meet a sad stranger one day?

Sitting by the seafront, it was quite normal for me to enjoy the everyday scenarios. Every morning numerous people came here for walk or yoga or some just came to breathe in some fresh air. I was one among them, I enjoyed everything, even I loved watching them, and this was life. As the wave touched the shores every time, it reminded me that I am alive.

Watch your steps, young lady! Said an old man to a girl. She simply nodded and changed her directions, it was weird, she should have apologized at least. I watched her cross several times that morning, there was something different in her, or maybe I was just obsessed with my curiosity with strangers. I finally decided to go back, it was getting late.

As I looked back at her from the other side of the road, jogging along the tracks of sea face, in white tank top and Capri, hair up in a bun, ears plugged with headphone, she had stopped for a 5 second break, gulped down some water and started again.



After that morning, it became a normal habit for me, to look for her. I was obsessed to know her story. There was something she was going through. I saw her sitting by the pavement this evening, I wanted to go and speak to her but I was hesitant to do so. She still had her earphone plugged in. I gathered some courage and just sat few meters away from her. She didn't even look at me, she was gazing at the distant star. I wonder what was she thinking of.

We sat there for several hours, until it was my time to go. A week had passed, but I still hadn't even said hello.



Hi, are you okay? I could resist as I heard her weep.
She wiped off the tear from her beautiful face, I wished I could do that.
She stood up from the bench and just walked away. I was disturbed the whole night, thinking about her.



She didn't come this morning, I waited for her for hours. I really wanted to make sure if she was okay. I watched the waves, played with the kids, spoke to the other strangers but nothing relived me. I was restless. I hoped I could see her in the evening, but I was once again disappointed. She was nowhere. I cursed myself for being a coward and not speaking to her.

The entire next week was tough for me, I kept thinking about her. I know I was being weird but I couldn't help.

And it was just when I was about to move on, I saw her again, that evening, after almost a month. She was at her favorite spot, where I last saw her.

I paced my steps towards her, only to be taken aback. She had a bottle of bear and a pair of glasses on.

I was about to turn back, but this time she stopped me.

Oh hi! She said, she was drunk. Hi, I'm Joy. I said, and she burst into laughter. She kept laughing till she had tears. I am so sorry, I never had joy in my life. And here are you, where the hell were you till now. She said and started laughing again.

Ma'am, I think you're drunk and you need to go home. I was worried for her. Oh come on! I am no ma'am, I just got fired from my job. And she laughed again. I felt a deep sympathy for her.

Oh, I am so sorry about that. But I really think you need to head home. Please, if I go home, will I be joyful? She burst into laughter. People started looking at us now. Ma'am, let me help you. Come on, get up. I held her hand, and made her stand. I am Anu. I am not ma'am, anymore. She giggled as she faintly walked her steps towards her apartment, resting her head on my shoulders.

As we reached her flat, she struggled with her purse for the keys.

Let me help you, I said and helped her open the door. I was reluctant to go inside, but she was not in a good shape.

Your parents don't stay here? I asked to lessen the tension built up in the room, as she has crashed on the couch.

That was just a some question, but there came the laughter again.

My parents! Oh my god. Do they even care I am alive. And she laughed again. I chord stuck in throat. I wished I could hug her, but that was off limits.

And all of a sudden, she started crying, this was the alcohol in her blood. I rushed to find a glass of water.

Hey, it's okay! Calm down. Everything is going to be fine. I sat by her side and offered her water. It was a matter of minutes, she was asleep. I stayed there for few moments, and putting her to rest, I left. I wondered how much pain she was in.
Published: 4/7/2017
Bouquets and Brickbats