Right now, I am standing under a freshly showered beautiful tree, dew dropping from its leaves. I look up in the sky at the sun. Down on earth, it can see me with my friends standing all around me. They seem happy. They are chatting away with least concern of time. I can see almost everyone’s teeth; crooked, big, small and of all other sorts. Yes, I can see those braces too. I don’t know what they are telling me with those happy faces and smiling lips. I am busy admiring them, being content in capturing every single detail of this moment in the films of my memory. The only audio to this scene is what I am writing and what you are reading.
Suddenly, the scene changes. Now I am sitting on an iron bench on the footpath of an empty road. The black topped road runs down to meet the green hills. But just then, DAMN! Before I can observe enough, my body goes rigid. Something is emptying inside me. I gradually start feeling hollow. I panic. I grab onto the iron of the bench. My eyes can see, but with my energy drained, my brain can hardly analyze what I’m seeing. My ears still work but the noise of emptiness inside me is louder for me to concentrate on the external noises. I scream in my head. I feel restless inside. Then my heart aches. I finally feel something, yes, but it aches like hell. The next thing I know—BLANK! Everything goes dark. I see nothing. I hear nothing. I feel nothing.
I slowly open my eyes. I find myself lying on the same iron bench. I sit up. God knows for how long I had blanked out. I still feel hollow but no more pain. I look around. First thing I notice; the road is crowded now. No vehicles but people are walking and some are even waving at me, smiling. They too seem happy. Before I raise my hand to wave back at them, just at that very moment, a sharp pain shoots through my heart. I place my hand on where my heart lies with pain written all over my face. As if I can trace the source of pain, I look on my left immediately. My eyes meet with those of a handsomely suited guy with a briefcase in his hand who freezes just when I turn to look at him. He stares at my contorted face. I stare back at his puzzled expression, hand still clutching at my heart. After a while, he seeks to move and pain engulfs me. Still flushed with agony, I notice that he has stepped on a sticky, silver, jelly like object. His eyes still on me, he lifts his leg off the object and to my surprise, my pain leaves my body as well. His lifted foot touches the object, and my body goes numb again. In pain, I motion him to go the other way, away from that object. He does not seem to comprehend the situation altogether but seeing me in pain, he nods and walks back few steps. I feel relieved. I can finally breathe. He smiles hesitantly at me unaware of the pain he just put me through. I try to smile back at him but then, I realize, I can’t! I can’t smile. I feel uneasy. I struggle with myself but no matter how hard I try, I just can’t smile. He just watches me with his never-ending awkward smile. I give up trying at last and wave at him with a stern face. He quickly turns back and walks as fast as he can.
I sit there, on the bench, trying to figure out what just happened. Why can’t I smile? I look at the sticky silver jelly like object still lying there on the road. I wonder what it may be. I look up only to find a girl standing at the other end of the road, exactly opposite, staring at me with a sad expression on her face. I haven’t seen her before. She walks up to the object, collects it in her hand and makes her way towards me. Within few steps, she is standing in front of me, with the silver jelly like object in her hand. Then in her angelic voice, she asks me to receive it in my hands. I oblige. I am totally caught up in the moment to make any sense of the situation or question the object and her intention. As she pours it in my hand, the object starts dissolving in my hand. Inside, I feel myself being filled up again. The hollow feeling I had earlier is replaced with happy emotions; like lights are bursting inside me. Overwhelmed by the sensation, I look up at her with my jaw dropped half-open and eyes wide open. I smile. YES! I can finally smile now! I laugh like an insane one. She smiles and joins me in my rejoice too, with her melodious laughter. She then tells me to take better care of my soul and then, smiling at me for the last time, she disappears into the thin air just like that.
I sit there confused and amazed, with thousands of questions popping one by one inside my head: My soul? How did she know? Who is she? How did I lose my soul in the first place? Why couldn’t I smile back then? I am left on the bench with my questions unanswered. I am confused, utterly confused. I then wonder if the soul can get contaminated as well.