Story: Passer By
By: Ram Prasath
Amidst that shining wood work on the window, draping curtain that looked as fresh as clothes taken out from dryer, the bright sun light that cut across through the house, a pair of human legs, if seen, hanging from above, what would be your reaction?
Absolutely no movement! One left, one right!
Suddenly I saw my hand. Moments earlier, there was a book that read on its face Alfred Hitchcock’s “Stories not for the Nervous” , in between those delicate fingers of mine, but now my fingers were bare. There was no interest in me to look out for it as I was transfixed on what I was looking at.
I cursed the owner of the house for his taste on so much of plants by the window. Those plants were narrow at the bottom with just stems but wide at the top, with strong branches and green leaves that were neatly fenced. If I were to take a closer look, I must be ready to inhale the dust on the leaves.
I had no choice. I sneezed couple of times.
I ran to the front door. It was a glittering door made of sandal wood. It shined due to extensive polishing. One can even make out the precision in polishing. That wonderful, nice door was locked from inside.
For a moment, I thought I can grip the latch and pull or can even break open the door. But, by doing so, I was also aware that, I might throw myself into troubles later as the man inside the room might have been killed. My finger prints might become a piece of cake for the local homicide detectives.
I went around the house, looking for a helping hand but to no avail. The house must be around 2000 square feet. It was definitely a Villa. There was a lawn in front which was fenced recently. The lawn looked like a young man’s shaven cheeks.
I was desperate to reach out for help. There was no soul around. The next house must have been located 50 meters away on either side. If I were to find somebody, I had to walk all the way down to the next house.
It was the month of December when the Christmas holidays fall. It was the month of December, when people go on vacation. Chances were ample for me to find no one.
“How about calling 911?” I pulled out my mobile from my leather coat. A Nokia Lumia 520. I found it already dead. I must tell you, playing video games in mobile phones at times leave you helpless. No Maps. No Bluetooth. No Internet. It is like you are awake, but your nervous system is dead.
I came back to the same window and looked inside. The same legs! No movement!
In my bright memory, I had the words of my only philosophers Alfred Hitchcock’s and Jeffrey Daumer . A dead body looks pale bluish.
I saw again. I felt relieved to find the texture of the legs, still yellow. I had read somewhere, that, blood remains warm, even after three hours of death. So I was not sure, if life has given up on him or not.I could even see silver hairs on his skin. I hoped he was alive. He might have been fighting for his life. Every micro second was important.
I ran fast, a hundred meters. The road was slippery due to rain that showered the previous night.
A middle aged man was standing by the door of his house, staring at the distant horizon, as if he was Stephen Hawkins. I stopped at his door.I was breathing heavy due to the running. I explained him the whole thing with my combat with words.
He jumped off his door, walked a couple of steps with me, stopped, and went back to his home. When he came out, he had a mobile phone in his hand. I was sure, his mobile was definitely alive.
‘Oh Jesus!! What a loss!! Nice gentleman he is. His remarkable helping tendency borrowed him lots of debts. But I never thought, he would commit suicide’ he shared on the way even though I didn’t ask him any details. We came to the window.
At the window, he froze.I leaned forward resting my palms on my knees and breathed heavily. My stomach concaved. I was sure this time; I was not sucking my gut in. My throat was dried out. I felt thirsty. But all I had at that moment was him shouting ‘It’s an Emergency. I cannot handle this all by myself’ on his phone.
I felt acids, down my stomach.
Moments later, an ambulance and a wagon of local sheriff, stopped by us. Two men dressed in white trousers and shirt jumped off the ambulance and rushed to the window, while the sheriff came to me. The Sheriff looked at me, composedly.
He stretched out his right hand into the bush and retrieved my book. I wondered how I missed to notice it thus far.
‘I hope this is yours’ he said while I took that book from him. I nodded n acceptance.
‘They will take care of the victim. Can you come with me? I need to do some paper work. This is very important’ he said.
I walked with him to his wagon. His Wagon was quite huge. He needed no ambulance as the Wagon was large enough to accommodate 5 more men. Moments later, we were on our way on the road, in his wagon.
I was in a philosophical state. Thoughts about life and death came ramming my head. If it was not me, no one could have noticed that window and the pair of legs that hung. Usually, I do not take that road to reach out my home but on that day I did. I was wondering why. Was it fate? Was it destiny? is everything predetermined?
Could this be a chaotic mathematical model? When the present determines the future, but the approximate present does not approximately determine the future. I saved him today, but, what for? What is going to happen in continuation to my saving him from death? I must now, be a point in a recurrence plot. What could be the next point in the plot? How does the present contribute to the chaotic mathematical model? That morning, I was nowhere in the mathematical model and now, I was. What has happened in between was nothing but something deterministic.
‘You have almost saved someone from death today. You are the man. I really appreciate that.’ The sheriff was conveying his share of complements as the wagon entered the hospital. The hospital looked a bit unusual. I was trying to make out, what was unusual in it. I was rather looking forward to find out the next recurrence point in the chaotic mathematical model.
Two men came running to the wagon. I was about to ask them to wait for the ambulance where they can find the victim.
They opened the door of the wagon, grabbed me in their strong arms and dragged me out. Their hands were rough. One of the guys caught my lower jaw and pressed either sides of my oral cavity. I had to open my mouth.
‘Hey! What are you doing’ I shouted but they didn’t seem to listen.
Finally, I heard it from the Sheriff.
‘Take him. I would need a medical report with the exact name of his mental disorder’