A Rainy Day!

Life was good! He had a loving wife, he was soon to be a dad, had a stable job. “I cannot wait to hold my child. I hope it’s a girl, I don’t want her mom’s beauty to go wasted on a boy!” thought Freddie. He backed out his car, a Civic, from the garage. As he backed out the car, he saw his first car, an Alto, parked in the garage. That Alto brought back some good old memories of his first job where he met Lydia.

It was the start of monsoons in Mumbai, this time it came a bit early and caught everyone by surprise. Freddie was getting out of the office early to beat the traffic jam. As he came to the parking lot and took out his car, he saw Lydia standing with an umbrella, or what was left of it after the strong winds bit on it. He had seen her in office a few times but hadn’t given it a lot of thought. But today, now, he couldn’t take his eyes off of her. He noticed in admiration that she wasn’t cursing at the rains or the winds. She just stood there, smiling. He followed her stare to see kids playing in the rain. Beauty did lie in the eyes of beholder! He decided to take a chance, a chance that would change his life. He got his car closer to her and shouted through the loud wind “HI, I am Freddie. We work in the same office”. She saw the ID card tag on his neck and smiled. “Where are you headed, I can give you a ride home” he said. She screamed her reply “I stay in Gamdevi, it might be really out of your…” he interrupted “what a coincidence, I stay nearby, in Chowpatty, please get in.” The roads were clogged and the traffic, jammed. He smiled to himself. She scolded herself for getting into this. They started talking, it was three hours till they reached her place. When she got down she smiled to herself and he scolded himself for not taking a longer route.  They started “carpooling”. It was two weeks later that she found out he lived in Adarsh nagar, the other side of Mumbai. She knew what that meant, he knew that she knew what that meant. And that’s how things got serious, good serious! “Stop dreaming, honey. Please open the door” Lydia’s voice shook him out of his sweet memories. He saw his wife standing outside the Civic with her hands supporting her back, waiting for him to open the car door. “You are getting more beautiful everyday!” said Freddie. Lydia smiled.

Lydia’s luggage was packed and kept in the car. She was going to her mom’s place in Pune for her delivery. They put on their seat belts and were on their way. It took quite some time to get out of the Mumbai traffic. The weather changed, it had started drizzling. As soon as they hit the highway, the car came alive. They had driven for half an hour, that’s when it happened. A truck on the wrong side of the road. By the time Freddie spotted it, it was too late, the wet roads were of little help. He heard a big bang and saw a bright light. It was fast and it was slow. He could see his life flash before him, but he could not turn around and look at Lydia. He found time to think about God, but he  didn’t have the time to wrap his arms around Lydia and protect both of them – Lydia and the baby.

He woke up. He saw a lady standing next to him and instinctively asked the first critical question “Oh my God! where is Lydia, baby?? Are they alright?”. The lady looked at him with a sorrowful look. Freddie summoned enough courage and spoke “Nurse, please tell me, what happened?”. She didn’t want to correct him but replied “They didn’t make it!” she continued “but that is not entirely a bad… “, Freddie was not listening, he was too full of guilt. But he realized something was odd when the nurse’s last words hit him,  “What do you mean by ‘it’s not a bad thing? It was my mistake, because of me they are dead'” and started sobbing in anger. The lady replied “Freddie, you are the one who is dead, they are well!”

Freddie was saddened and joyous!


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