It was distressful night sleep for Sameer. The sleep was unwelcoming to settle on him. He was in bed for more than two hours and turned sides on the comfortable cushion bed several times in those hours.

He skipped the dinner the very night, not because of lack of money or appetite. He entered the late night food joint but couldn’t order the meal and awkwardly walked out. The cashier looked up and down. Rather than booking the cab, he decided to walk all the way back home for two kilometers.

He had no expectation for the Saturday night, went to the pub alone for the first time, and spent couple hours in the pub, listening to ear blowing rock music from top charts. The ecstatic and colorful crowd packed the place, he couldn’t find a solo seat and had a mocktail standing in front of the bartender.

After spending hours surveying the crowd, bored, he walked out of the pub and started a conversation with a girl who gazed him inside the pub couple of times. After the second exchange of a sentence, she uttered a word which woke his numb mind. That’s when he realized the whole night, the feeling was ruling him. The consciousness and guilt woke up after the mind. All three heaved on him, apologized to her with remorse and waddled towards home.

Sameer couldn’t look into her eyes after the specific word in the conversation. The word palpitated his heartbeat and the walking pace. After crossing few hundred meters, he owed her one more apology but turning back was not a choice, and he walked fast to his flat. But the thought of one more apology started to haunt him. He withdrew himself like a sensitive plant after hearing the word. The word echoed in his mind like endless music player struck playing a single song.

He felt remorseful afterward. The perception and reception of the act were orthogonal.

After reaching home, he pulled a black roll of tobacco and matchbox from his left pant pocket standing on the balcony. The cigarette couldn’t reduce his anxiety.

The sleep was battling against his anguish. The anguish was in the lead. Next to join against him was the stomach. It produced rumbling noises, and he couldn’t subdue the sounds. He moved out of the bed to the kitchen, snacked on cookies and swallowed a banana, and then hit the bed. He was meditating and struggling for sleep but colonized by the anguish and remorse. He felt he has lost control of all the functional parts of the body. There was no unison between mind and heart. He became the rope in a tug of war between thought and anguish.

All he wanted was to sleep in the bed. He doesn’t want to open the windows of the room because of the consistent vehicle noise, and the wind was neither chill even at midnight.

He twisted the heavy body couple of times in the bed, and couldn’t forget the scene. The entire thirty seconds scene kept popping up in front of him. Every time the scene came up, his feelings received a thunderous blow from his consciousness. He couldn’t enumerate the number of time the scene played in his mind.

He was out of power to do anything, he tried listening to jazz and couldn’t concentrate the rhythm. After first failure to soothe, he pulled the kindle to read a novel, the novel’s scene and pub scene exchanged places. He couldn’t surpass a page, the clear language of his favorite novelist looked like a mind-bending partial derivative problem and closed the Kindle with its cover.

The pain of disdainful act showed sign of lowering intensity like monsoon set in western ghats. It spared no mercy on him. He enclosed the eyes with his left hand, and a drop of hot tear dropped on to his cheek. The scene reappeared again and again. The disdainful act held him captive for extended hours until his body gave up.

He couldn’t recollect how he fell asleep. He woke up next day late morning without a dream and rushed to the toilet to take a dump and last night scene kept haunting him.

Now that my eyes are open in the day, and the summer is approaching with intense light rays the scene was in his background but still active. The consciousness dug him but with less intensity. The grief showed was no sign of giving up.

The consciousness interrupted in his all activities of the day - be it eating food, browsing the web, listening to music, or reading an article, as if he is now slave. The slave master didn’t spare him a single minute.

It was beginning of the March and temperature was over thirty Celsius in Bangalore. The living room’s ceiling fan ran whole day, and the air was mildly hot. He stepped out of the living room and sat on the sandal color plastic chair on the balcony.

The roadway noise was manageable, and the wind was not any better outside. Everything inside and outside of him was emanating heat. And he was no more a warm person.

While seated in the balcony, a pigeon landed on the balcony iron gate. The pigeon’s neck was puffed up. After few seconds, the street pigeon started flying in circles. First, the pigeon orbited in small circles against the up drift, then enlarged the circle and picked up altitude. The pigeon flapped the wings for seconds and rested the wings in the air. His eyes couldn’t look away from the flight of the pigeon in the empty blue sky. He thought about exchanging positions for a day. It was a hot afternoon, from the look of it, the pigeon enjoyed flying high. As the pigeon disappeared, the question of free will occupied him.

The whole afternoon, the act replayed in his mind. He laid down on the bed listening to English soul and jazz music. He wasn’t trying to sleep either but was thinking about the last night disdainful act and loathing himself. His self-esteem had shattered and felt low.

There was no place to dislodge his feeling or share the pain inside him. He decided to step out in the evening and visited neighborhood park.

The crowd on the park was mobile. He strolled around the park with heavy, expressionless, unshaved face and witnessed the dogs barking, children running around, young couples smooching, families walking around, yet to be teens cycling, groups of girls and boys joyfully discussing, gangs of men walking around, runners with headphones, elders with walking sticks.

After strolling for a considerable distance, he sat down on the cement backrest bench in the park. The seat was between trees. The various birds’ chirp, songs overflow that evening. The meaning of the sound was mysterious and undecodeable.

A dog took a small nap on a cement bench next to him which he failed to notice while looking out for birds. While looking around, he stared at the sight with a broad face. The dog scene reminded him of servant sleeping in the king’s bed. The scene lasted for a minute, as soon the few other dogs growled, the brown country breed dog on the cement bench sprung out, and started barking.

The sun disappeared soon, but orange afterglow was up in the sky. Once the sun retired for the day, everyone in the park began to wind-up. As soon as darkness started to bleed in humans couldn’t sink with it. Once the sun is down, the aroma of the sand spread in the wind.

Once darkness has enveloped the night, the full moon began glowing, he took a deep breath and left the park with grief, and anguish in the mind.

He loitered the entire night watching videos and listening to music on the phone. When the last night scene appeared in front of him, he put his heavy head down, shock and frowned.

He repeated the missteps of the last night,

“I gazed at a girl in the pub multiple times, and I couldn’t converse with her inside the pub. Once she left I lost interest in the atmosphere and walked down later.”

“I saw her taking the selfie and asked do you need any help in taking the snaps?”

“While I was looking into her eyes, She replied, No, you eyeballed me many times, followed me into the pub and now you’re here?”

“I sprung back with a ‘no’. No, it’s obvious, she replied.”

“I put my head down out of shame and disdain, and raised my head apologized”, “I am so sorry, I didn’t mean to follow you”.

“I couldn’t look into her eyes, as soon as I heard it’s ok, I left the place without lifting my head up.”

After repeating the scene, he puffed the air out, shook his head sideways as a sign of misstep and covered the grey blanket to his head and closed the eyes.

Sameer hasn’t talked to a girl in past two months.