Lessons Unlearned

It’s one of those times. At these moments, as one walked through these crowd, time seemed to stand still. And before long, a lane, lined with trees, sprung up and the shadow, of a ghost who won’t die, stood waiting. One ceased walking and sighed.

This is going to be a long walk. The shadow turned around. Let’s go. One step at a time.

One pulled one’s jacket tighter. We walked side by side in silence.

The tenth step, eleventh, and twelfth, one finally spoke, “I hate people. These people. Even those whom you thought were different. They just take advantage of you.”

One scoffed bitterly. “I know, I know. It’s a universal truth that people let you down. By the end of the day, you are on your own.”

It’s one of those times when one felt as if one was being pulled in opposite directions by some invisible strings. One felt that one had to step back and reassess one’s position in this grand scheme of the universe. One needed to appraise one’s ties and relations to these people, whose time and space crossed one’s, and whether one should invest emotionally to these ties and alliances or detach oneself.

One could feel the shadow smiled silently. Idiot!

One stopped and turned to the shadow. “I know. I have never learned the lessons.”

No. You willingly unlearn them. Because you don’t want to hate them. And now, you are mad at yourself because of it.

“So it’s my fault, now!”

One stomped away feeling annoyed, leaving him behind. His words stung as there was truth in them. It was one’s own fault for thinking and assuming that things would be this or that way. One should have known better. One let out a sigh and a couple of stronger expletives.

He laughed.

“What?” One wondered.

So this is why you would rather talk to ghosts and shadows.

One stared at him for a moment, enjoying the glint in his eyes and shook one’s head. One joined in laughing.

We walked again in silence until we reached the last tree. The shadow stopped. Till we meet again.

One nodded. We shook hands.

Out of nowhere, people materialised and noises took the foreground. Time started flowing again. One still found oneself on one’s own, although this time with a faint smile that would linger for sometime.


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