The raindrop falling on his vulnerable bald head found his senses to be numb. He could not listen to rain thumping his Maruti car’s roof or his two-storied house’s pipe regurgitating the muddy water from the roof into the drain.
The blaring horn from the car brought him crashing back to his senses. He realized that his throat was parched and he was obstructing the road in front of the house. He turned back and went inside. He slumped into his sofa, and found himself really tired as if he was coming back from a twenty-year long rock-climbing expedition. Pappu, their light brown labrador greeted him with unusual silence. Pappu chose to curl up in a ball next to his right foot, and closed its’ big sad eyes. Both were her equally possessive lovers, and they never got along well for long, but today they were brought together by the overwhelming emptiness.
He found the whole house to be perfectly normal. There were no glasses broken, no chairs upturned, no books thrown. Everything was as neatly kept in its own place as if she were still here spending her afternoons organizing stuff as she used to do while he took his nap.
He felt weird in his mouth as if one of his teeth had left its place, but he could not remember when it happened. Suddenly, he found his tooth in his left hand, and when he looked at it, it crumpled in front of his eyes. In horror, he put his finger on his mouth, and then he felt all of his teeth falling out one by one.
Shrugging the napping dog off his foot, he ran towards kitchen breathing heavily to get some water. Pappu didn’t like being woken up just like she hated being woken up, and he started barking at him as he chased him. When they reached kitchen, he could not believe his eyes. The dog kept barking louder, and louder. The bloody red water was flowing onto the floor from the open tap in the overfilled wash basin. Her body was there on the floor immersed into water…and then everything came crashing back to his memory. He could not take it anymore. He found himself to be falling into nothingness. His knees gave away, and his body crashed onto the flooded floor…
“Darling, are you okay?”
He woke up with a start in the dead of night in his warm bed. His wife had switched on the bedside lamp, and was looking at him in concern. She put her hands into his hair, and found his head to be wet with sweat. She grabbed a tissue paper from one of her smart pockets in their bed, and wiped off his face and dried his head. She didn’t understand why he was looking at her in shock and relief as if she just came back from death.
“Thank God, you are still alive!”
“Do you want to talk about it?”
She brought him closer and put his head on her chest. He put her arm around her, and dozed off in a few seconds. She kept looking at him, while he breathed heavily, for some time before she put off the lamp.