The yellow car stopped at the entrance of my house and someone opened the passenger’s door without stepping out. I saw the glimpse of a brown hand, spotless edge of a white sleeve and gold cufflinks with insignia of dragons embossed on it. I waved a goodbye to them and with joyful strides set out towards the waiting car. My haversack felt empty as I laid it on the back seat. Hollowed and pulpy, as if I have dropped everything on the way. I pressed on the black leather in panic and heard a whoosh of air escaping from the half open zipper. He smiled at me and said nothing.
I looked back at them, for one last glimpse and final wave, but there was no house, no door. I saw a row of weeping willows, yellowing in the autumn sun. Beyond that was a mossy, black wall and they were sitting on it. Laughing, jeering faces. Their lips made a perfect ‘O’ and they waved their arms at me wildly, in unison. Go…just go!
The road ahead was wet and gray, undulating like a writhing, black snake. The walls at both side of the road was broken down and painted with a parched yellow color. Suddenly it rose, higher and higher as the car sped on the empty road.
‘Will we reach on time?’ I asked his rigid profile.
‘We will reach.’ His voice was ricocheting against the whirr of the engine. I tried to hold on to the edges of my seat but there was water everywhere. No safety belt, just water. Rippling, raging, rising waves and my hands just scoured at the angry bubbles without holding on to anything. The sharp and cold currents were gnawing at my fingers and I found my side of the car caving slowly into a sidewalk quagmire.
I looked at him and he was still looking ahead. Moving the steering wheel furiously, with one hand. ‘Stop.’ I said but I didn’t hear my voice. I said it again but the sound did not come out. My lips moved, gasping for air, like the mouth of a fish left out on the dry shingles. No sound came out still. I reached over to shake him, pull out the key from ignition, but he was not there. The seat was empty. The car had stopped and it was sinking into the squishy ground at my side. I opened the door of the car and swam through the yellow waters of a muddy river. The sun was beating down, scorching my skin, as I looked up at the dry vacant sky. The yellowing walls at the side of the road were turning into willows again, and I ran on the hot, dry tarmac. My feet were hurting as it hit the concrete surface. He was chasing me now. His gold cufflinks glinting in the sharp sunrays as he waved at me to stop.
I ran and ran and getting inside a bathroom locked myself in. the bathroom was freshly painted in bright pink color and a white plastic bucket was put upside down on the floor. He was sitting on the bucket removing his cuff links.
‘I can’t seem to get rid of these.’ He spoke to me and I nodded.