Chapter 1: 28/12/2019.
The current day had shown no signs of drizzle or a storm. It was almost bedtime when Michael was out for work when the news reporter flashed the storm’s news to astonish all. A stormy night took a sudden start, putting Michael in a big pool of confusion. After leaving Joe’s fancy office, Michael’s shoes thumbed on the pavement, splashing the rainwater on his grey trousers. Michael examined himself all through, in strong hope of at least finding a small cap or a cloth, to protect his head. The brown file titled “CONFIDENTIAL, which had Joe’s papers was used finally as a replacement for the umbrella.
The road took a sharp turn leading onto the adjoining street. Broad streets are indicators of high traffic in the area, but the road was a toom. A vehicle passed by, drenching Michael in water. Michael gave the driver a stare, but the car drove away.
Michael spotted a bus-stop, enough for him to take a haven. He pulled himself up to the stop. The stop, standing in the shelter of a huge banyan tree, was damaged on the edges. The light drizzle had soon turned into a mighty storm.
Michael remembered the warning given by the news reporter, which he saw on Joe’s TV. Michael was already wet from the pouring clouds. He rubbed his head, to push the already settled rainwater out of his skin. Hugging himself, Michael looked to the sky, in a hope to reach home soon. The clouds poured in more. Water was clogged in nearby drainage, which was the cause of the road turning into a pool, informing Michael that he can’t reach home soon now. Though the water was crystal clear, it gave Michael shivers, of being scared of insects and crawlers. He gripped the file in his hands.
Joe worked in a business corp., as a hard belief, Joe ordered Michael to bring the files to her. The files would decide her future, as they informed about a new tender to be passed on. Michael, griped the file, uttering a sorry, which was meant to Joe for letting her down. The red seal on the file had a big logo of the corp. A cold wind gushed, changing the direction of the falling droplets, but only for a little time. Michael shivered.
The rain had no bound. It could stop and pour by its own wish. Michael rubbed his arms, forgetting some heat.
Not much time, for when Michael stood, he saw a man coming towards the same public shelter. He wore a long coat, and properly ironed ochre pants, to cover his skin. Though his coat had patched from different cloths, it seemed that man ignored it. He wore a black hat too, trying to hide his face, probably covering to protect himself from the falling water.
Now, the water was ankle length, Michael knew as the man ran in the rain. The man stopped at the next corner to Michael under the shelter with his palm in the pocketed coat. He kept looking all-around, suspiciously to make sure of something, maybe a fact, of which Michael was still unaware. The stranger was a man of a weak heart. His blond hair was cut short, although having long hair was a fashion then, so they didn’t disturb his green eyes.
Michael noticed carefully that the man had reached the shelter gasping but he ignored his glare. Michael was only curious about the rain and looked at a frosh hopping happily into the water. Michael took a step back.
The man kept looking at Michael, and then, looking in his pocket. His expressions were grim. Michael had his eyes stuck on the tree above, just to be sure, it didn’t have a plan to fall on him. The man, kept his eyes buried on Michael. His eyes seemed pleading to tell Michael something… to reveal the truth.
No sooner had Michael noticed the man’s stare, he was shaken by the sharp sound of a gunshot. Michael ducked down shielding himself by the file in his hand. He trembled all through. Soon, his eyes caught on the man. The man lay on the floor, taking his last breaths. Not to tell that the target of the cruel bullet, shot from the gun, was the unknown man.
Michael, being a good human, he reached for the man. Michael kneeled down to the man, searching for a phone. The man gasped loudly. Before Michael could dial the common digits, for help, the man cried. “No, Plea- don’t call.” Michael tried to convince the man, but the man held Michael’s palm. “Here take this. Don’t give this to anyone, and- don’t even tell the police.” The man said, handing Michael a Matryoshka doll, which was to its second last piece after eight pieces. Michael pushed the doll into his small pocket, nodding to the man. For the man’s last words, he said,
“Take this- as my last wish.” The man took a long last breath, living Michael in the biggest shock of his lifetime…..