Can you see me?

Hi there reader! This idea has been in my mind for a long time now, finally found the time to write it. I am thinking of extending this story adding more chapters, see where it goes. It is my first real attempt at writing a story beyond one chapter. This is the first, please have a read and let me know how you feel. Suggestions/comments/criticisms are welcome 🙂

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The dark clouds hung ominously above the sleepy little town. Nothing about that town was remarkable, regular people, regular stories, tiny pubs, nothing out-of-place except the man in the black jacket.

He wandered aimlessly on the streets. He clearly did not fit in with the regular crowd of the town. To begin with, his clothes were casual but stylish, he had the looks of a movie star and more importantly he was roaming aimlessly on the streets in the middle of the day, when others were busy in their tiny offices. He did look rather cconspicuous, but somehow no one seemed to notice him at all.

He quietly ducked into a pub on the corner of a street. The lights were red and purple, mimicking the sky outside, the seats were red and plush, light music played in the background, it was a fairly big place, comfortable, inviting.There were barely a few people inside, except the bartender, couple of waiters, a drunk man passed out on a table, and one girl sitting on a bar stool, sipping soda and typing something fiercely on her laptop.

He slumped onto the stool next to the girl, barely noticing her. That was his spot in the pub, always had been. Everyday he went there around 11 am and sat on the same stool, reading. Reading all sorts of books, historical fiction, science books, articles in scientific magazines, classic novels and what not. Nobody seemed to take any notice of him. The bartender attempted to wake up the drunk man and the waiters in one corner stood watching a match on the tv set.

The girl sitting next to him kept eyeing him from the corner of her eye. Why wouldn’t she? He did look rather out-of-place. There was a sort of dark vibe around him, no other way to put it. Late twenty’s,black leather jacket, coupled with a crisp white shirt, a locket of some sort, probably with a picture inside, dark curls hanging over his forehead, his eyes like coal, jet black, like staring into a hypnotizing abyss. He was well-built, with a strong jaw and a pale complexion, nobody in this town looked like that. His face had a look of detachment, exasperation and wistfulness, nevertheless still alluring.

image

Jake

He saw the girl looking at him, again. He looked flabbergasted. The girl was about early twenty’s, but dressed like some librarian. Blue turtle neck, her brown hair left loose, hanging over her shoulders, framing her pretty but serene face, her nails chipped off due to biting perhaps, no make up, no jewellery. She looked rather solemn for a girl her age. Her laptop screen read “The perpetual dilemma”

image

Emma Grayson

Just when realisation finally set in, the man’s eyes widened in horror. The girl muttered quickly ” I am so sorry, I didn’t mean to freak you out. I didn’t mean to stare, it’s just that I have never seen you here before, and I’ve lived here all my life and I am pretty sure I know everybody here. Are you new?” She was clearly embarrassed for being caught staring. Half blushing, she stared nervously at her hands. Waiting for what felt like an eternity for a response.This was very unlike her, chatting up strangers in a pub. She was quiet reserved.

“You can see me?” Asked the man,incredulously , in a voice so low that it was almost inaudible.

“Umm, yes. Why wouldn’t I?” the girl giggled nervously and somewhat freaked out by now.

“Waiter!” the man yelled at the top of his voice, still staring at the girl, eyes wide in horror, The waiters oblivious to any noise, continued watching the game. He did the same thing with the bartender, no response.

The girl was dazed by now.She called the bartender too, he responded in a heartbeat. She had to order another soda for the sake of it. By this point, both of them were looking at each other with the look of pure bewilderment.

The girl was scared beyond imagination at the weirdness of the situation and quickly threw a couple of dollars on the cash counter and ran out gathering her coat and her laptop. The man followed her in a heartbeat, running after her. He caught her hand from behind,she turned around in shock and yelled for help. But to her dismay there was no one around. The man steadied her once with his firm grip and uttered in a clear crisp voice ” Please wait. I do not mean any harm to you. I urge you to give me one chance to explain myself. I swear I won’t hurt you.I am leaving your hand now, please don’t run away.” He stepped back, eyeing her cautiously.

The girl inarticulate by now, stepped back too. The writer inside her took over and prevented her from running away. Curiosity triumphs survival she thought darkly. Somewhere inside her heart, she knew he wouldn’t hurt her. He didn’t seem the type, even though he had been acting like a madman.But she stayed. “Talk.Fast” she barked out.

“There is no way easy way to put this.” He sighed. “You may not believe a word of what I am saying, or think of me as a lunatic, you are free to do so. But in all my sanity and honesty, I shall tell you the truth. The rest is up to you. I have been blessed, err, cursed to be invisible for all eternity, I think. The last time someone saw me or spoke to me was 5 years ago. Ever since then, no one has had any contact with me whatsoever. I have tried everything to get out of this situation, nothing worked. Ever since then, I had given up hope of having human contact again. But then today, you saw me. I don’t know how or I don’t know why, but you did. Now I don’t believe in fate, Kismet, destiny, but this, it means something. You must be meant to help me out in someway. Please believe me when I say every word I have told you is the truth.” he sighed loudly,looking at her expectantly.

The silence rang loudly in their ears. The girl’s face showed several shades of emotions all at once, horror, disbelief, fear, contemplation.

“Are you a ghost? Vampire?” She managed to whisper. Petrified.

“No. God no.Human, compeltely human.” he assured.

“What is your name?”

 

“Jake” he smiled a crooked smile that made her heart stop for a second. Little did she know that this was his first smile in over half a decade.

“Look, I believe you, but I cannot help you.I am sorry.” she aplogised sincerely.

It began to pour suddenly. He stood there drenched watching her fading figure run away from him. As he stood there hands on his knees, his first tear in over half a decade rolled down on the street, mingling with the rainwater. He bent down to pick up an id card “Emma Grayson” it read.

 

 

Copyright(C) 2016 Sneha Pathak [Rights reserved]

 

 

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