Bang! An explosion and I woke up, drenched in cold sweat. I was breathing heavily and had a bad headache. The world seemed to be spinning. Feeling my forehead, I felt a slight bulge. What had happened? The darkness around felt nauseating with the smell of alcohol and traces of smoke. Did I had it too much last night? I tried hard to recall, but the darkness, eerie silence and sound of dripping water in the leaking tap did not let me concentrate. Damn, leaking tap. I again forgot to close it. I vowed that it won’t happen again. When I opened my eyes it was pitch dark around and I had to grope around to settle myself down.
My hand touched something cold. Water bottle! I gulped water. My throat seemed parched with thirst and water soothed me a bit. My sleepy eyes got adjusted a bit to the darkness. Why was it so bloody dark? Did I not leave the bathroom light on? May be there was no power.
Five minutes of heavy breathing and few more sips of water brought some of my senses back. I remembered my meeting with her. It was a good meeting. We started off on a cold start, but soon struck a chord. It was a short conversation, but she agreed. I was happy and partied with my friends. Couple of beers and few puffs of cigarette later we had a great time with no worries about tomorrow. After all she had said yes. My forehead twitched. Damn, what happened? Oh yes, after last few of my friends left, envying at my luck and I closed the door, I turned and stumbled on the beer carton. The pain of hitting the edge of the table came rushing back in that recall of the moment. I remembered how I struggled to get up and crashed on my bed with the impact of the hit along with the cocktail of emotions which surged out of my drunken state and my joy of meeting her.
Water bottle was empty and I was still thirsty. I struggled to find my way in the darkness to reach the light switch. The light brought back the unspeakable horrors committed around in my room. My heart was racing. I remembered one of the friends had commented - "You never know till the last minute." I panicked. What if she changes her mind? What will I do?
It was 6 AM by now.
I slowly walked towards the door. I made sure to move the carton to the side with a kick and opened the door. "Saab jhaadu laye ke nahi?" - she asked. (Did you get the broom Sir?) Kantabai did keep her promise to come from next day.
My faith in God was instantly reaffirmed.