Hello Stranger – Short Story
By: Faiqa Ahmad
Life is very unpredictable. Things start to come your way when you are busy in handling other aspects of life or when you are focusing on other important matters. We all have experienced such confusion, where we go like “hey! That is not what I am looking for or better, ready for”.
On one fine extremely cold winter night, Neha was rushing through the gardens and the mighty trees towards the comfort of her room. The wind was silent but seemed somehow different as if it was talking to her. The moon too was peeking from behind the trees guiding her on her way to the building. The building where she lived stood more upright as if guarding her and ready to protect her if something went wrong. To Neha, who has always been a keen observer of her surroundings, all of this looked a little strange, and like something that has been sketched right out of a romantic novel or a dream – the trees, moon, and the message in the air.
Without taking further notice, she entered her hostel’s building. Wrapping the shawl more protectively around her she turned the corner, stepped into the corridor and there stood he…Coming to an abrupt stop Neha stared hard at the guy who was clad in a blue jeans and black shirt. “It does not make any sense”, Neha whispered. “The gates are closed and they won’t let anyone in at night let alone a boy.”
Neha thought while looking at this guy who was also staring at her. But instead of fearing him and running away in the opposite direction, Neha started moving towards him. He seemed somewhat familiar to her; he had the same face, the same features, and that same beautiful smile.
“Oh My God! It’s him”, Neha said breathlessly.
Neha woke up to the sound of the alarm which was ringing even louder this morning. Her dream and its occupant have left even before she have had a chance to utter a single word. This wasn’t the first time that Neha has dreamt about Raj (she has given this name to the mysterious guy of her dreams). She rubbed her forehead trying to massage the trance-like feeling away.
“Hey! You look pale, is everything ok dear?” Sania asked worriedly.
Sania was Neha’s best friend. Both of them had been in the same school before – occasionally talking to each other, but they really became good friends in college. Sania was also her roommate and was aware of the strange dreams Neha kept having.
“I saw him again”. Neha told her.
“Did he say anything to you?” Sania asked while she sat on her bed facing Neha.
“No, he just stood there and smiled at me and then I woke up”, Neha said angrily.
“This is so bizarre! It’s not that I am afraid of this person, which believe me anybody would be in my place.” She pushed her hair behind her ears. “It’s just that I feel this connection with him it’s like I have known him for so many years”. Neha said sadly.
“I want to solve this weird puzzle I am stuck in but I don’t know how to”. She all but cried.
“I have told you what I think about this scenario”. Sania reminded her.
“Is this true then?” Neha asked her best friend.
“Yes Honey”. Sania said coming towards Neha and putting her arm around her shoulders.
“I think the two of you are connected. You know how they say that time is just an illusion that we have put limitations on things by confining them to different eras. I believe that everything is taking place simultaneously, the past, the present and the future. Maybe your souls are connected to one another, because there is definitely a connection between the two of you”. Sania said softly, putting her hand on her Neha’s hand.“You have always been very intuitive and I think this is why you are catching all these signs about someone you knew before … in another time”, Sania continued.
Neha nodded and tried to come in terms of the fact that maybe Raj existed in a totally different time. A world that is far, far away from the world she belonged to, and she had no idea where his world started and where it ended, but she wished they could leave all of this for a little while, fly past the boundaries and be with each other when their worlds have gone to sleep.