My story

I am going to narrate you all today a story which has left me stunned and speechless. It has shaken my belief system. I am at loss of what to believe and what not to.
But not taking you much time I will start my story. I reach my office everyday travelling through metro train and then walking the last 10 minutes through a busy street and then reach my office.
I know there is nothing new or different in what I said above, but what if I told you there was something weird started happening with me from last 2 months? Something of which I came to know only 10 days back. In other words I discovered it late.
This street which I walk through is full of small but decorative shops. With shining glasses and an attendant smiling at the doorstep. Some days later I noticed that only one shop had an attendant in front of it. The shop owners normally attracted the customers for rest of the shops. Occasionally they had help hired in any festive season. This fact made me notice the particular shop, often because it was not any festive season nor any particular time of the month, which called for celebration.
Many days passed in this way. Me getting curious about the shop and it’s attendant and him following me through his eyes, till I reach the office building.
Once I was crossing the market while returning from office. It was 5.30 p.m. In the evening when I crossed the shop and this time I don’t know how but I was on the shop’s side of the road. So just with the kids curiosity, in front of a toy shop, I let my eyes take a flying notice of what was in there. Though I couldnot see anything properly but registered the subtle head gesture of the attendant. He slightly bowed his head towards one side and gave a fleeting smile as if gesturing to come and have a look inside and will find what what I am looking for. I don’t know why but I felt uneasy.
I started walking fast to get away from there. And then literally started running. That night I was so scared that couldnot sleep. I asked Mammaa to give me company. We both sat in the living room. I layed my head in her lap and she was moving her fingers in my hair. She tried to talk me to sleep. But as I closed my eyes I saw the glimpse of his face. There was nothing to be scared of, in his face but some feeling which was associated with him, was weird because I couldnot sort out what? Why I was feeling this way. I told Mammaa about the whole incident. She smiled and said “I don’t find anything weird or unusual in it. Why are you freaking out for nothing?” Late that night when somehow my eyes felt heavy with sleep, I hugged her and slept on the couch.
Next day when I boarded the train to office, I saw a lady who has a shop in the same street. So enquired her about the shop. It seemed that she couldn’t recognise the shop I was talking about. So the little chat was ended on a friendly note. While walking in the street I had no courage to lift my eyes up and see the shop. Digging my eyesight into the road, down, I kept on walking in a fast pace and once reaching the office building, released a sigh! While returning I kept on my side of the road and was careful not to cross the road.
Now it was a routine that I slept with Mammaa ’cause I was affraid of being alone. In the morning Mammaa asked if she can come with me as she had to go to aunt’s place that day and while returning she can join me and it will be good that she can also look the shop and the attendant. May be she can deal with the matter and I will be okay, I agreed. At 6.00 p.m. that evening she mat me at the gate of office building. We started walking, towards the metro station,in the street. She was telling me about her day at aunt’s place. I half heartedly was listening and suddenly I pointed my finger unnoticeable from under my hand bag,towards the shop. While Mammaa could take a look at it, we crossed the shop. So she asked me to stop there and went back to enquire. But there was nothing to look for. She came back puzzled, thinking may be she went to the wrong shop. Well back home, that night, we both were discussing the evening’s incident. But I think there was some misunderstanding between us. I was talking about one shop and she was explaining about another. Well this is how the dinner was over and we prepared for the next day.
Next day was my bestie’s birthday and she was interested in antiques. So I thought of buying something for her on the way home. Next thing in the morning I called other friends of the group and planned a surprise party. Everyone was to reach at the venue by 5.00 p.m. So to be on time the next day, I applied for early off in advance. And finished my work including some extra for compensating the next day’s work. In evening when I was in the street I was looking at the shops, where I can find the gift for my friend. Suddenly I noticed that attendant of that shop was not there. So I tip toed to it for taking the advantage of the chance. Peeping through the dark glasses of the shop, I could only make our there were some big and glittering objects were placed on racks and on the floor.
My curiosity leaded me to something which sort of destroyed me. I opened the door and entered. And to my surprise it was a antique shop. I started looking for some appropriate gift for my friend. When suddenly my hand thrashed a photo frame. Before it could touch the floor I caught it and placed it in place. It was made of ornate. But it looked as if someone has took out the picture from it recently as the marks were fresh. Well placing it on place I moved forward in search of another gift and was wondering where the shopkeeper was and where through attendant gone. While engrossed in my thoughts, I reached a wooden cupboard with beautiful carving. I stood still in front of it and thinking where did I see it before and when? But couldnot make out. I could feel a strong connection to it but what sort of or how that was a mystery. Then suddenly a candle stand 7 silver was handed over to me! Thinking the shopkeeper must have come I took it and was taking a close look when something caught my attention, and I lifted up my gaze from the candles and and rested it on a familiar face. I was dumbstruck. I was so horrified that ran away from the shop. Later I noticed the candle stand was in my hand. I turned to see if he was coming for me but there was nothing. I had no guts to return to that shop so brought it home and told Mammaa everything. She said that next day the first thing in the morning I should go and return it. But seeing me so reluctant, she scolded me and warned me to return it or pay the price.
Next day I asked Mammaa a favour of returning it back to the shop and left for office. In the evening at 5.00 my friend called me from the gate of office building. We both went on her scooty to the venue. Enjoyed the party and returned home at 9.00 p.m. My friend, whose birthday it was came to drop me. And as it was late I asked her to stay back and I wanted to discuss with her the incidents. Meanwhile I asked Mammaa about the candle stand. She handed me back the silver piece. Saying that she couldnot find the shop, though she asked each of the shops. I was frustrated at this answer so threw it on the bed and broke down in front of my friend. Then told her the whole story. Next day was Saturday and our offices were off, so she said she will accompany me to the street shop and we both will return it and talk to the person and close the matter.
Next day I was so nervous and cold that my hands and legs were shaking. Well somehow my friend talked me to come along to the shop. We walked through the street in tensed mood and then I stopped in front of a shop. My friend asked me what was the reason? I didn’t say anything just stared at her face and then back at the shop. She followed my gaze but couldn’t see anything. When she told me the same I exclaimed and understood, why the lady from the street in the train was not getting me and why Mammaa was confused two times! Then I was horrified why I was only seeing the shop and the mysterious attendant cum shopkeeper?
As my friend was with me, I gathered courage, hold her hand and started to walk towards the shop. I told her to be with me no matter how much weird it looks she should stay by my side. In there it was all clean and some earthy scent was filled. It was evoking some feelings but I couldnot name them, what? I kept on moving slowly, dragging my friend along. The photo frame from other day was hung beside the wooden cupboard and this time it had a photo in it. One was semi visible the other was only a haze. From it I could make out that the man in the photo was the shop owner but the other person was not clear so I don’t know who it was? The cupboard had a mark on its left door, some sort of initials. I touched it and traced the length and breadth of it. I don’t know why but had sudden urge to open it and examine whatever is in there. It was a feeling like someone finds their long list belongings after a long time and have that impulse to go through it to satisfy themselves that everything is ok and in place. I pulled the door and was utterly disappointed to find it empty. As if I was expecting it to be stuffed with dresses and ornaments.
I was little distressed and it showed on my face. In the photo frame I saw the owner’s reflection smiling with some sort of tenderness and it was the first time I noticed that he was good looking, handsome man of my age. He had deep, brown and big smiling eyes. There was something in his eyes and smile this time that didn’t scare but puzzled me. I retreated from there and my friend was continuously asking me “what happened?” I had no answer. We came home and I exhaustedly I fell down on a sofa and closed my eyes. My friend sat beside me. Confused and tensed, herself. But none of us told Mammaa about it. She offered to stay back.
Tomorrow we will go there again. She will meet me after her office and then again the quest will start.

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