Tuesday, November 06, 2012
They had all been inside the room for about an hour now. Their conical lamp stood lit in the corner diffusing its red light leaving most of the room in shadows. Dinner for five it was supposed to be, but the festivities hadn’t begun yet. The fifth guest hadn’t arrived yet. The four inside were playing 29. They were playing 29 but their ears pricked up for any sound of the arrival of Sal. Pitter-patter of the footsteps of a dog out on the metallic steps outside result in a collective jerk and lurching towards the door. Everyone was waiting desperately for Sal. They could hear Mr. Mallik, the owner of the flat next door paced up and down the corridor. Sal hadn’t arrived yet.
The evening was balmy. Sweat dropped down Sal’s arm. He was walking up and down the road. The road leading to his safe haven was lit with flickering street lights. Neighbourhood dogs recognized Sal and howled and skipped in his way. Sal staggered towards the door on top of the metallic stairs. The day in office had been long and tiring. The boss was mad, the pretty receptionist pregnant, the egg noodles he had had for lunch had been extra salty. Sal walked up the steep slope to the house, suddenly feeling thirsty. There will be water and more at the house, but the road has started looking steeper and tougher to walk on. Sal took a deep breath and ran up the last few steps.
Sal stood in front of the door. He fumbled in his pocket. He opened the door and entered the flat. “Am Home!” He shouted. Everything looked exactly the same. The kitchen was immaculate. The fridge stocked with beer and cucumber-spinach juice. He poured himself a glass of beer and searched for the remote of the A.C.
Sal entered the living space with the remote in one hand and a glass in the other. But he didn't need the remote. The living room was chilled with the A.C on at full blast. Sal looked around the room. The lamp was switched on. The cards lay littered on the carpet. The glass dropped from his hands. And he ran out of the house. The dogs had been waiting for him. They ran on with him. “It was an accident! I did not kill them!” he screamed as he ran.