With my hands over my stomach, my mouth going dry, I opened my eyes in the darkness.
Slowly adjusting my view, the darkness got used as I see my study table and dress stand.
I'm in my room. At home!
That was a dream!
A nightmare! A very bad one.
Never it had happened before but then why now?
Blinking my eyes, cleaning the sweat over my face with a bedsheet, I gulped water down my throat from the bottle which was on my side stand.
I thought of never seeing him, then why did he come in my dream! No, it wasn't a dream! A nightmare!
I shouldn't have thought about him then I would have went to sleep directly instead of seeing his face in sleep too!
I shouldn't have helped him! No that is not my way of thinking.
Yeah he behave strangely to me but world is like that only, everyone will not be of same type.
It's not because of one person's behavior I should change my way of living.
I went back to bed but the memories of that stabbing and he looking at me was playing again and again in my head.
I didn't know when sleep over took me but then the next went superbly.
I didn't meet him.
Whenever I was out of my college or house, I kept on looking around me.
Well when you know you helped a criminal, you might risk of having police behind and even the criminals themselves to be behind you.
so no need to blame myself for thinking about it.
If all goes well, the memories will fade away.
"Oh god!" I exclaimed as I got down of my bike, being here, in front of the temple, waiting for my mom, the next day.
And that rowdy is standing there in the tea shop with his head turning towards me and passing my side and then coming back to me, catching me staring at him which made me to immediately diverted my view and turned around.
Why am I scared of him?
Is it because he is a rowdy or is it because he is intimidating?
Whatever it is, I just wish he doesn't come in front of me.
"Oii" I hear the voice behind me. I know the voice. It's his. Whoever he is calling must be in problem.
Since he started to treat me like I'm nothing, all I think is only negative!
If his thoughts go away, negativity also will go away for sure.
"Oiii" he presses and I hear his voice a bit closer than before.
Would he be calling me?
No way! What is there for him to need me again?
Well then what if my dream ... OUF ... nightmare comes true? No I shouldn't turn!
Maaa make it fast! Your daughter's life is at stake. Come fast Maaa!
"Oii! Don't you hear I'm calling you?" he says from I think few steps closer to me.
And at the entrance of the temple, I see my Maa come out of it with some other lady. Thank god she is here. I should have entered the temple and thanked the god for making me escape. But then, this unwanted rules and regulations forbidding women from entering temple during their hard times when criminals and bad omens enter it pridely. I never understood that.
But let it be, it's not because I'm changing and going inside the temple that people will change.
And moreover I have better things to do for now! That is to avoid him!
And only solution is to notify him that my mother is with me, so I called loud "Maaa" motioning my hand at my mother as I moved my bike forward.
"You arrived?" she asked but my eyes was on the bike rear view mirror to him pass his hand through his hair. "Latha! This is my daughter! Madhu! My colleague!" my Maa got my attention as I saw him turning and go back.
"Hello aunty!" plastering a fake smile.
"Hello dear!" that aunty said as I set comfortably on my bike.
"Okay Latha! See you on Monday!" my mother said as she climbed on the bike. "Let's go!" she said.
But then I turned to see what that rowdy is doing, hoping he is far from there but then he turned also at that time, reaching the tea shop and faced me as our eyes crossed for a mere second.
I couldn't put my fingers on why he wanted to meet me but then what will be that important.
"Gooo!" my mother again said as I started the bike and moved forward.
As I checked my rear view mirror, I saw his stare on us, I mean bike, me and mom as we moved with him taking sips of his drink.
"Where is your bike Maa?"
"It broke down dear and Latha proposed to drop me at home but then I told her about my habit of going to temple on Friday and she joined me."
"Sorry if you were doing something important but your Papa will be late today as he went to a client place."
"No no Maa! I was just going to go to library." But if you didn't call me I wouldn't have the need to face him! Should I say it aloud? Nope! She don't need to know as he is not going to be seeing her or they are not going to know each other.
Once back home, the evening went as always except the fact that a thought was always running my mind.
Why was he calling me?
Is he aiming to hurt me?
Should I have turned when he first called me?
But then how will I know he was calling me or not when he uses that 'Oiii' and that 'Oiii' sounds strange and make me feel things! I mean, there is no respect in that word!
All I feel is he has no manners at all!
After all, he is a ROWDY! What else can I expect from him? Nothing! Nothing can be expected from him! From that Rowdy!