Praveen Yadav | May 30, 2021 | 0
DREAM WALKER – Chapter 2: Monsieur!
A tall blonde man in a grey coat was walking down a busy intersection of Feli-City. He donned a grey Fedora and was carrying a blue briefcase along with him and glided through the swarms of people bustling around the lively city. Feli-City was one of the best cities to be in at night. Although its daylight hours are quite spectacular on their own, the night life of this city stood out the most. Bars, restaurants, pubs, cafes, squares, stores, you name it! In spite of all these attractive places stirring the interests of everyone around him, the man kept walking without giving anyone or anything a second glance. Everyone around was rushing to some place indoors to relieve themselves from the crisp and cold winter of Feli-City, which were quite unforgiving at times, but the man kept walking at a not so rushed pace, his shoes monotonously tapping against the pavement.
He took out a cigarette from his coat pocket and lit it and placed it between his lips. “Not that bad”, he said as he turned at a corner and entered a less populated neighbourhood. It was common knowledge that although this neighbourhood was also a part of Feli-City, the city of happiness, yet, people mostly avoided it because of its shadiness and unpredictability. Moreover, ever since reports of mugging and assault were received, people even avoided the outskirts of this area. The blonde man took out his phone and looked at the location he was supposed to reach. He was already attracting glances from the people around, which was not something an average Feli-City dweller did. Heck one could claim that their senses had gone extinct because of the environment they were used to.
He passed a few people on his way, who didn’t restrict themselves to glances and were staring at him, but the blonde didn’t pay them any mind. He stopped underneath a lamp-post and took a long drag of his cigarette and looked around. He saw two men approaching him. He looked behind him and saw two more pacing casually in his direction. He looked around and then, a little hastily, went inside an alleyway.
The men followed the tall blonde and found him waiting at the end of the alleyway. It was a dead end. One of them, with a blue sweatshirt and khaki sweatpants walked upto him, while the others weren’t far behind. “You lost your way, Monsieur?“, he sniggered with his hands in his pocket, as he looked into the green eyes of the blonde. “I’m not lost, but this place sure is. I can’t find it. Could you lend me a hand?”, the blonde said calmly, his voice unwavering. The guy took the smartphone and took a good look at it, “I’m sorry, Monsieur, but even I don’t know where this place is”, he said shaking his head, and then put the phone in his pocket.
“Give me my phone back”, the blonde said, his hand outstretched. “Why? That was your consultation fees. You asked me to lend you a hand, right?”, the shady guy said with a smirk and cracked his knuckles, while one of the guys behind him took out a short, silvery object from his rear jeans pocket. “Relax, Jake, we won’t need that for Snow White here”, another guy said in a mocking tone placing his hand on Jake’s. The blonde guy didn’t pay attention to these remarks and said, “I asked you to lend me a hand, not to spit nonsense from your mouth.” Everyone cheered loudly for the blonde. “Damn, this one’s acting tough! What will you do about it, Trevor?” The last guy spoke as everyone laughed. “You sure you just asked me to lend a hand?”, Trevor asked the blonde, his smile more vicious than ever. “Positive”, said the blonde. No sooner had the words escaped his mouth than a quick fist came crashing into his left cheekbone.
Everyone burst into a howling laughter as the blonde fell on the ground, but he managed to prevent falling flat on his stomach by using his hands to stop himself. The briefcase dropped to the ground, and much to the relief of the blonde, didn’t open up. “Was that to your satisfaction, Monsieur? Did I do it properly enough? Or should we do this one more time?” Trevor said with a vile tone, looming above the blonde. “Make sure his clothes stay intact, Trevor, or you’ll follow in Snow White’s footsteps”, Jake warned Trevor. The blonde got up and dusted his clothes. He took a look at his gloves which were torn at the site of contact with the ground. He took them off and shoved them in his pocket. He looked at the cigarette which had fallen from his mouth onto the ground and thought to himself, “I had hardly even finished half of it”, and looked at Trevor. “Man, why did you do that? Don’t you care about what will happen to my hands in this harsh winter?” The blonde said to Trevor. Trevor looked at the hands of the blonde, his palms were scratched a little. “Did I hit you too hard, Monsieur?” Looks like you lost your mind. Who cares about their hands when they’ve been hit on the…” before Trevor could finish, a massive right hand connected with the lower end of his lower jaw.
Sally was out on a long coffee break when the clock struck one in the afternoon. Lauren had thought that she would braid her hair before she visited her patients, but, since her partner was slacking around, she was stuck with most of the work and could just make her hair look neat. She decided to not make things too easy for Sally and left a note, asking her to do the remaining work, a majority of which had already been taken care of. Lauren took one last look at herself in the mirror and, feeling satisfactorily satisfied, left for the patient’s ward. Besides being very good with medicines and their compositions, Lauren was a very good surgeon. She and Sally were tasked with the analysis of the new medicines because Dr. Clementine Wilson didn’t want any “outsiders” on the project.
She made a quick round in a ward which consisted of patients who had undergone minor surgeries. She was friendly with her patients, and her patients were friendly with her. Some of them even waited eagerly for the clock to strike one in the afternoon. After she was done with the patients, she headed to the emergency ward, where patients who had undergone major surgeries or emergency surgeries were placed. Fortunately, Lauren thought, that there was just one patient in that ward. Charles Harvey, better known as Charlie, was the only patient who had undergone an emergency surgery. He had met with a road accident almost two weeks ago and was bedridden ever since. Strangely though, his body was regenerating a lot faster than an average person. He was caught very badly in the accident and it was almost a miracle that he survived. The hospital had tried getting in contact with the man who had brought Charlie in, but they never heard from him again. Charlie had a big gash just centimetres away from his heart, which was probably caused by a crumbled sheet or a piece of metal of his car. The guy was full of many holes, both small and big, but had not completely bled out. He was a mess when he had come in, but his wounds and injuries healed faster than expected, and he was now almost a completely able man again. More than that, he looked very attractive, so much, that Lauren sometimes forgot that he was her patient.
Charlie had emerald eyes and sandy hair. He also had a way with words which Lauren was attracted to, and which sometimes made even Sally stop speaking (she never stops otherwise). “I get silent because of his skills, unlike you, who stays silent because you fancy him”, Sally always said to tease Lauren. Charlie was reading a book when Lauren entered the ward. She always found him reading something whenever she visited him. “Oh my! What gives me the pleasure to see you with your hair untied?” Charlie remarked as he saw Lauren enter. Lauren tried her best not to get her face as red as her hair, but she didn’t need a mirror to tell her that she wasn’t doing a very good job at it, the burning sensation in her cheeks said it all to her. But, she did manage to keep the scarlet shade of her cheeks to a minimum. “Well, a terrible start to my day gave you this opportunity”, Lauren said, trying hard not to run a hand through her hair, while not daring to look him in the eye. “Ahh, I was hoping I could see you this way more often. Looks like I’ll have to recall my wish”, Charlie said with an innocent smile, and this time, Lauren’s cheeks turned two shades more scarlet than before. If he continued this, her face could outcolour her hair.
“Anyway”, Lauren said, making her way out of the uneasiness she almost wanted to be in, “how are your legs? You did the exercises I had suggested you?” she said with her Doctor face back on. “They’re better than before. I couldn’t move anything before, but, I can completely move my toes now and my knees also move with some difficulty, but they move”, Charlie said happily as he demonstrated the movement of his toes and his knees. He moved his toes just fine, but gave a little yelp when he moved his knees. “Take it easy, Charlie! You don’t need to rush yourself. You’re already recovering with lightning speed”, Lauren said, while helping Charlie get back in a comfortable position without causing another wave of pain to rush through his knees. “I’m sorry, Lauren, I’ll be careful”, Charlie said, more through his eyes, which had taken a sad glint in them, than his mouth.
Lauren decided to lighten up his mood, “Did you eat anything? I don’t see your lunch anywhere around”, Lauren asked. “I haven’t yet, its almost time, the nurse would be coming with my lunch”, said Charlie. “Let me help you wash your hands then”, Lauren said, and her eyes fell on Charlie’s hands. She stared at them in surprise for a second. “What happened to your knuckles, Charlie? They look bruised”, Lauren asked him. “Oh, its nothing”, Charlie said, trying to conceal his hands within the sheets. “Let me have a look at it”, Lauren said and didn’t wait for a response. “Were you punching something?”, Lauren asked looking at the disfigured flesh of his knuckles. “The wall. I was… frustrated”, Charlie said with his face drooped down. “Wasn’t punching the wall just once enough? Do you want me to mend your hands next?”, Lauren said with a worried expression on her face, something Charlie wasn’t accustomed to see. He stayed silent. “I know its hard on you to stay bedridden for this long. I think you’ve recovered quite enough to move around in a wheelchair. Just don’t do anything rash the next time. You’re nearly at the end of the tunnel”, Lauren gave Charlie a reassuring smile. The smile which eased the worries of all her patients. “Alright”, said Charlie. “And, the next time you wish to lash out on the poor walls, at least think about this harsh winter! Its cold like crazy”, Lauren said with a smile and rubbed her arms. “I did consider the winter, but I had little choice. I didn’t have my phone to keep me entertained either”, Charlie said in a hushed tone, looking away.
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