Ages, after I went to a local store to get myself a packet of milk as the boy who was delivering milk, has been hospitalized. It was 6:30 in the evening and the Sun was setting on its slow pace with the clouds in its background. Maybe the Sun also wanted to see the orange beauty it formed beneath the clouds. Also, I was walking leisurely so that I could capture the scenic beauty back in my mind, just to remind them during the lonely nights, I spend alone.
It took me 14 min just to cross an 800mt road, but those 14 mins were the blissful as I would say. Soon after I asked for the milk I saw a man in his mid 20’s, lighting a cigarette with a silver-colored lighter with the initials ‘N’ written on it. His face which I saw through the fire reminded me of my old school friend “Nitin”. I remembered he used to be a bright boy, and now he might be in UK or US, completing his Master’s because that’s what he always wished for. Nitin was my bench mate when we were in class 5 and we used to eat tiffin during the class hours. I smirked a little remembering those old golden days. But why would he be here, far from his home, dressed like a rogue, uncombed hair and a tired sweaty smell coming from his body which I could smell along with the smoke of Dunhill.
Well, Dunhill still is well-known cigarette brand dominating the drugs market since the 1890’s. Don’t get me wrong, I am just a passive smoker, meaning I don’t smoke but most of the time I am surrounded by my smoker friends. As of now, I could tell most of the brand’s name with its price. But if you ask me, I would recommend, Marlboro Gold because of its advanced clove flavor formulae.
The storekeeper hadn’t turned on his evening bulbs and the sun had already set, I thought why not shout his name and take advantage of the dark. Back in my mind, I was thinking what if he won’t respond, it's ok, I will tell ‘Sorry I was calling my another friend and was not referring to you’, but what if he recognizes and responds to me, then how would I introduce myself. Should I tell him that I am a failed writer struggling on a freelancing site that hardly pays me anything? Anyways I have made my mind, I will tell him that I was a journalist who got involved in political turmoil which led me to my degradation prior to corona. That’s how I was ready to deal with my own failure.
Aligning my thoughts with clenched fists, I shouted “NITIN”.