He lies motionless inside the graveyard, frozen in fear, surrounded by the cement slabs housing the dead. The cemetery wore a deserted look as his eyeballs popped out, moving right and left, silently praying that a human soul would come to save his life. The dashing ladies’ man that he once was has been struck over night and now dons the avatar of a frail creature.
Shivering to death in his white tee and paralyzed as fear run down the spine, he slowly turns his neck at the deserted graveyard as no soul-human and otherwise, could be heard from afar. It rained heavily. Not a single whisper broke the night’s silence but dogs ferociously barking to the faceless night. The clock struck midnight.
The powerful engine of the Yamaha bike steered to life, exploding into a thundering noise like his persona, girls swooning to his Don Juan charm. The hot wheels, coated by metallic steel rolled like magnetic thunder as he sat straight on the leather cushion and riding like the King of heart, swirling and dangling in the air, wearing his black blazer.
The bike zoomed past the multiplexes on the wide street as he approached the traffic signal and iconic building everyone marveled at for its sheer delight. He spotted a tall shadow and slowed a bit to cast a glance. Thanking his stars, he smiled, “Another catch at this odd hour past midnight.” He stopped his super hot engine in front of her.
An oval faced woman, dressed in a long white skirt and jet black hair falling on her shoulders smiled to the biker. An unexplained power captured his senses and body, which drew him towards her like magnet. Her angelic smile captured his imagination and nothing on earth could let go of this opportunity to hold her hand. They remained silent for a while and the intensity in their eyes did all the talking.
Finally, she looked straight into his eyes and coyly asked, “Hi! My car broke down and I remained stuck in this rain on the deserted streets for three hours. Can you drop me home, please? My mom would be worried.” He gallantly removed his black jacket which he made her wear as she sat on the back seat on the bike, zooming past the green Maruti car.
She indicated an alley where a huge mango tree stood, giving shade to an equally big but old, colonial wooden Christian house, beautifully made of corrugated tin roof. She kissed him on his cheek. On the way back, he realized that the black jacket was missing but was too late to make a u-turn.
Two days later:
He excitedly rode his bike towards her house to take back the black jacket and another excuse to ask the mysterious woman for a date. What he was going to see would blow him mind. He was hit by thunder and wondered whether he missed the address in his excitement. He looked around only to realize it’s the same alley! He pushed open the decrepit gate and walked towards the house. His head was spinning and felt that he was about to crash on the floor as he tried to recollect what happened yesterday. The huge colonial house that stood tall suddenly disappeared to be replaced by an abandoned two-piece house, roof dangling in the air, supported by damp and moldy wall.
He was greeted by a wrinkled face, 60-year-old woman in a disheveled state, giving him cold stares. “Yes!” she menacingly asked. “I came here to take back my black jacket which the girl forgot to give me back. Where is she? ” he tried to peek inside the house.
“Girl..jacket…who?” she angrily asked.
“The night before, a girl, wearing a long white skirt was standing on the street and took a lift with me on the bike,” he blurted out.
“I mean, the girl whom I dropped at this place, yesterday.”
The old lady received a shock and asked him to enter the house. His eyes popped at the sight of the angelic smile and standing tall on the photo frame, hanging on the wall.
” This girl,” he excitedly pointed at her picture.
She calmly replied, “She is my daughter. But, how is that possible? She died in a car explosion ten years back on her way to attend her best friend’s wedding at the church. ”
She burst into tears, “If you don’t believe me, you will find her at the graveyard. Her name is Diana Fernando.”
He rushed to the graveyard and frantically looked for Diana Fernando. His jacket was hanging at the gravestone, scribbled with ‘In Loving Memory of Diana Fernando’.
His body lay cold on the ground and his face looked fresh, wearing the expression of a smile, at the graveyard. He breathed his last during the wee hours in the night as Diana held his hand to her world.
Disclaimer: I claim no originality to this story which was first narrated to me during my teens. Of course, the only claim to originality is the way I interpreted the story and sketched the characters.