Namrata looked outside at the passing scenes from the Auto, as she hailed home. She was staring into space. She was just not able to figure out that enigma who called himself the Giant Eagle… nor could she figure out herself.
She had always been the epitome of self-control. She had literally lived alone all her life… only taking up responsibilities for her folks. It was never difficult for her to fend off unwanted attention from guys or ignore someone. Actually there were rarely such occurrences. She had been so busy making ends meet; she never had time to even think in that direction. In fact she had never been so physically attracted to someone before. Her parents were strict with their upbringing of her, where even talking to boys was considered taboo. She remembered having an animated conversation with her classmate in school and her father had seen them talking. She had received such a tongue lashing from him that day, she had promised never to talk to boys again, without his permission. She was only in class 5th.
But eventually her father had been very busy in his so-called investment business; he never had time to even care. Though she did speak with boys, the fear of repercussions from her father was always present at the back of her mind, even after he was long gone.
She sighed as she got back to the present. She didn’t want to go home. Her emotions were going bonkers. Every time she closed her eyes she saw him… felt him. She felt like sharing everything with him… She had a strange feeling of comfort when she was with him. She knew she shouldn’t but… somehow she trusted him.
She didn’t know with whom she could talk to about this. Her mother was in no position to advise her for last six years. Even if she was she wouldn’t have agreed with whatever Namrata had done… In fact her pre accident mother would have strongly detested it so would her father. He would have brought the house down or maybe thrown her out of the house…disowned her. But then she never would have been at the event that evening or slogging for every penny if he were alive… she would have pursued her higher studies and started a good paying job…
Alas, If wishes were horses… She had stopped thinking about it ever since she had seen the list of her father’s debts after his death. She probably would have had to work early regardless of him being there, considering the debt that had been piling up.
Namrata had a favourite spot in a local café which she frequented whenever she needed solitude away from her home or work. It belonged to her childhood friend Sanjana and her parents. Sanjana was abroad pursuing her further studies but Namrata was always welcome there. Sanjana’s parents knew about her situation though she hadn’t revealed anything even to Sanjana. They had told her to visit whenever she wanted. Pooja aunty, Sanjana’s mom, prepared the most amazing Pizza with never thought of toppings. Business at the café was roaring. They always offered pizza to Namrata whenever she visited. She always declined but many times Pooja aunty would make her eat. She would then sit in the corner-most booth for single occupants and stare out at the passing vehicles. Once she felt better she would head home.
Today too, she reflexly stopped the auto outside Sanjana’s café. She absentmindedly, paid the amount asked and walked into the café. She walked towards her usual seat totally unmindful of her surroundings. Pooja aunty waved to her but she barely noticed. Even the fragrance of her favourite latte was not able to elevate her mood. The café was filling with college students and there was chaos everywhere. But Namrata kept looking out of the window totally blocking everything else. She didn’t even notice Pooja Auny keeping a cup in front of her, till she touched her shoulder. Namrata startled and looked at Aunty. “Um… thank you aunty… I needed this.”
“Everything alright Namu?” She asked
“Yea Aunty… all okay. Did Sanjana call yesterday?” she tried changing the topic.
“Yes she did. She was asking about you. She will call you next week. She is busy with her exams” Pooja Aunty said. She then went to attend to her work.
Namrata heaved a sigh of relief. She didn’t want to discuss the events in her life off late with anyone right now. She was still lost in thought when she heard her phone beep. She thought it was her office trying to reach her or tell her about tomorrow. But when she checked it was a message from an unknown number.
My little sparrow
Note this address. See you at 7PM tonight.
-Your Giant Eagle
P.S. Go to Park Femina shop located behind your office lane. There’s a kept a package for you. Take it.
Namrata’s heart was galloping. With trembling hands she typed back,
Immediately her phone beeped again.
You will come… see ya…
She was teary… what was happening to her? A stranger had forced himself into her life… rather she had willingly let him into her life. Looking at his audacity… she should have been angry. But… she was not. She liked it. What would that make her look like?
But last night had been liberating… she had felt free like a bird… like a little sparrow?? She shuddered. Even today in his arms she had felt alleviated… spent…
She slowly got up from her seat and walked towards her home.
She was going to meet him…
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