The windows were tall, the drapes a little too long that they crumpled while touching the ground. He lay in bed, eyes shut. A drop of sweat trickled down his temple. The building’s air conditioning was in no way helping the sultry weather and the air vent rattled as it took heavy ragged breaths. The 6 PM sunlight shone bright against the dusty glass panes. A slight warm breeze shook the drapes a little, allowing a thin stream of light to enter through the crack, onto his face.
He grudgingly opened his eyes and stared blankly at the ceiling, slightly disoriented. Sleeping had made him forget the very uncomfortable events of that morning, but now it hung over him like a dark cloud again. He sat up in bed and loosened the tie around his neck. It was suffocating. He stood up clumsily and walked to the window, tripping on the knotted bunch of wires near his bed as he did so. His hands found the drapes and pulled them aside letting the warm sooty air greet him. He peered outside. Everything and everyone looked like tiny beetles from the seventh floor. People rushed past each other without a second glance. The evening had just begun in Mumbai and the vendors were prepping their stalls, waiting to sell hot savouries. Office goers would stop to have a quick bite before they headed to their night shifts. Students returning from classes would group together and relish snacks. This city never stopped even for a moment.
He walked to his fridge and looked inside. There wasn’t anything except a beer. He took a sip and let the coolness ease his parched throat. It was getting darker now. He searched under the messy sheets for his phone. It was close to 8 o clock. He didn’t bother to check the numerous messages and calls from his colleagues. They would stop anyway once they knew he’d quit.
He opened his contacts and searched for the number that was always saved, but never dialed. His palms grew sweaty as he pressed dial with uncertainty. The call was answered after a ring, and a shaky voice said,
A tear ran down his cheek as he tried to search for a voice within him that he’d hidden all these years.
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