Eyes – A Short Story

Completing office work, I was waiting for a lift. It was a busy day and I was totally drained. I took my scooter out of the parking gate and there was an unpleasant surprise waiting for me. I was welcomed by a lightening followed by a thunder. It hadn’t started raining yet and I wasn’t carrying any rain wear either. I decided to go on anyway. After I had covered half the distance, it started raining. Soon it started pouring down and in a few minutes, I got drenched. Around the corner when I turned towards final lane to home, I saw poor kids standing under old building. Evidently I looked at one of the kids while he was looking at me. For few seconds, we looked at each other. Then I drove ahead swiftly. But till I reached home, I was thinking about his eyes. For some reason, I felt that they were wet. But after sometime, I forgot that.

Next morning, I was watching the news and as per the weather report, monsoon started perfectly on time this year. I wasn’t expecting it to come so soon or maybe I was habitual with it’s late arrival since last couple of years. My old raincoat was too tight now, so I decided to buy a new one. It is the first time that I bought something for myself from my salary.

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That day before leaving for office, I looked out of the window. It was still raining but it certainly had lost vigour of last night. I wore my rain coat and left for office. Just before office, there’s a traffic signal. I was waiting there for it to go green. Suddenly somebody tapped on my leg. I turned towards it and tried to see through drop laden screen of helmet. There was a boy with balloons in his hand. He was asking me to buy them. I immediately rejected his request as I was on the way to office. He pleaded me for some time but I made it clear to him that I was not going to buy them. He went to next car. There was a girl who bought two red balloons from him. I was looking at them. While she was paying him, he turned towards me. His sharp eyes grabbed my attention and I saw unusual spark in them. Soon signal turned green and vehicles behind me started honking. I started my scooter and reached office. Nothing special happened on that day but those eyes left a firm impression on me.
Next few days passed event less. It started pouring out regularly and everyone got used to it. In a free time, I was going through my Facebook newsfeed. I saw some of my friends doing really great. Some were unexpected achievers. Somebody bought car while someone gained success in film industry. Someone became good businessman while some went on to live in foreign countries. I was happy for all of them but all this put pressure on me. Somewhere a thought crept in my mind that how on earth I was left so behind in the world. It really saddened me. It’s difficult to concentrate in such state of mind and I decided to take a tea break.
As it was an unusual time for tea, nobody accompanied me. I went to the nearest tea stall and ordered a cup of tea. At the counter, I saw a new boy. He seemed to be a 9-10 years old. He served me a cup of tea. For a moment, I looked at him, directly into his eyes. Our eye contact broke when I touched the hot cup of tea. Unexpectedly, I started thinking about the boy. He must have left school to work here, he must have had a terrible childhood and so on. I was specifically stuck by his eyes. After finishing my tea, I put that all aside and I went back to work.

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That night, I was thinking about those kids. Thinking about all three incidents happened that week where I looked at eyes of kids and tried to read them. I thought eyes are more than just eyes, one can actually read person’s state of mind through them. Eyes are like books. All such thoughts kept coming to mind while I was laying in bed. I don’t remember at what time I slept that night, it must have been past midnight.
Next day I woke up late, stepped out of my bed and I rubbed my eyes. It was all dark in the room but clock read 9.15 am. Nothing was planned on that day anyway so I decide to do my daily chores. I was brushing my teeth and that’s when I looked into the mirror in front of me. For a moment I stuck by my eyes. I was able to see my own multiple reflections in them like one can see in a saloon because of all the mirrors. I was very much engrossed in that moment. My phone beeped and the moment broke. That must have been a message; I ignored it and washed my face.
I came out in hall which was dark. Since last week, tubelight in hall was not working. I guess the choke of the tubelight needed to be replaced. At times I had it in my mind that I need to buy it, but I forgot every time. As I was sitting there, I saw somebody standing near the curtain. I kept looking at the image but it was blur. As I turned towards TV, I saw another image…… a similar one but a bit taller. As I looked around, I saw many such images, all blurred. I sensed heaviness in air and my heartbeat rate also increased. I wasn’t sure whether to go near them or should I just run away. Nobody’s face was clear and there was total silence. They started moving towards me. I was horrified. At that moment, my eyes started searching for the balcony. As I saw it, I started running towards it. I pushed everything in my path to the door. I opened the door and sunlight hit my face. The Sun beamed in my eyes as if rays were trying to pierce them.
I stood there in the balcony for at least 15 minutes. I wasn’t ready to go inside. But I decided to enter the hall anyway. Nobody was there. I searched the entire house but I didn’t see any sign of anybody. I was bit relaxed and sat on the couch. There I saw my mobile. I remembered that it beeped some time ago while I was brushing my teeth. I picked it up. That was a message from my father. He sends me a message every day under title of ‘Life Lessons’. I read the message – ” The eye sees only what the mind is prepared to comprehend.

After reading the message, everything started to become clearer to me. Actually what I saw in those kids’ eyes was the reflection of my own mind. In first incident, when I saw the poor kid under the old building, I was all wet and hence I felt his eyes wet. I was excited to wear the raincoat which I bought from my salary. I saw similar excitement in eyes of the kid selling balloons. That day on the tea stall also, I was sad and hence I felt sadness in that kid’s eyes. And all those scary images which I saw in hall were dropped out of my own mind. That certainly was an effect of my loneliness and the darkness in the hall.
Now I realised that eyes are not books to be read, but they are invisible mirrors of our own minds.

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