Dark Night

I always considered my city to be safe. Let me be more specific, I always thought that my city was safe for women

Living with my wife and two daughters coupled with a job that involved a fair bit of travel, this was quite comforting

It must have been one of those tiring days at work. I came back mentally exhausted after a grueling day’s work at the office. I was looking forward to the company of my wife and kids within the comfort of our home.

As I was nearing my home, I glanced at my watch…. 8.00 pm. It was winter time and was getting dark quite soon anyway.

I parked my car and dashed inside my house to remove my shoes, tie, and parked myself on my favorite place… the recliner.

I asked my wife about the whereabouts of my daughter and she replied that she had gone to the nearby supermarket to pick up some stuff. The supermarket must be about a Kilometer and a half from my house. A good evening walk I thought. The road leading from the supermarket to our house was a series of lanes and by lanes and no street lights all along. A couple of shops especially a Baskin Robbins shop enroute used to be the lone lighted spot along the way. But something that evening made me feel a bit uncomfortable. That  feeling was not usual. I wanted her to be back soon. Fathers are always possessive about their daughters.

As if my intuition was not wrong, barely had I finished my coffee, I got a call on my mobile, I checked it was my daughter on the other side.

I picked the call. I could hear her voice in panic. Dad I am in trouble..

What happned? I asked.

With a quivering voice, she said she is being stalked. She said she was  fearing for her life….

Oh God! The normally cheerful child and would not have called without reason. I asked her to explain. She said, the road was pitch dark. She could only hear the rustle of the leaves behind her and once when she turned the noise stopped. In the darkness she could just see the eyes for a split second. Then she started walking fast. The rustle grew faster. She could not talk further … I could feel the tension and panic in her

Panic gripped me too. I always felt the city to be safe, so was our neighbourhood. I could never imagine such a thing occurring in this place. I started sweating. No time to waste. I picked up my car keys and dashed out. On the way I called her again and asked her to run to that Baskin Robbins shop which we were familiar. She said it was still quite far and as I hung up I could almost feel her shrieking….

The drive should not take more than 5 minutes, but seemed to be never ending. I drove through the road, which I thought she would have taken and almost reached the supermarket. No sight of her. If I catch that guy I will kill him, get him hanged. The thoughts raged in me

I turned and drove back. The street was pitch dark, only the feeble head light of my car provided some light. I stopped on the way to check if she was nearby. What if the guy had gagged her? Or worse still held her by a knife or gun. I was drenched in sweat when I could not see any sign of anything moving in that place.

I drove further up and was nearing the Baskin Robbins outlet.  I just veered into the parking lot.

My thought was to first call the cops and report the matter. I just got down from the car and peered into the shop only to find her standing there all shaken up

I was thankful that she was there, but had to report the matter anyhow.

I led her out of the outlet and asked her to describe what she saw.   She could only describe the two shining eyes and nothing more.

After all how much more can you see of a black cat in the dark!!!

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