Emily was everything to me. All my life, I wished to be with someone who could understand my perspective of life. I had a different view of looking at things and often felt people didn’t get me. Maybe this was why I had few friends as well. I either liked to be buried in my books or spend time binge watching documentaries which open our eyes to the world around us. I was a loner, but not lonely and kind of liked it. But you know after a certain stage in life, your rational mind gives way to your irrational heart. You long to be with someone special with whom you can share your life, vent out your angst, emotions and more so, someone with whom you can grow old with. I never expected I would have such thoughts, but then, life is always stranger than fiction.
In came Emily one day and life was never the same again. She was what I call a “happy accident” as I literally bumped into her car. But instead of me apologist, she started to apologize for the error in judgement in the parking lot of a mall. I was instantly taken aback by her humility and her pleasing personality. I offered to mend her car and pay for the expenses but she refused. She said its okay as such incidents happen when you are in a rush. Few days later I bumped into each other again near the same parking lot. I saw that the damage done by me to her car was still not mended. I felt bad about it and insisted for a repair. She again refused. Then suddenly I don’t know what came over, but I asked her, “since you are not allowing me to pay for your damage”, atleast let me pay for your Dinner tonight?” Instantly after saying these words I regretted my spontaneity. But to my surprise, she agreed to it.
From that night onwards, life was never the same. We exchanged our numbers, interacted quite often and couldn’t stop meeting each other. Yes, love had indeed blossomed between us and I was very much smitten by the lady with the radiant smile, a jubilant personality and someone who had a heart of gold. I was lucky to have her in my life and according to her “I was almost her soulmate”.
Then one day, we decided to go hiking as the monsoons played perfect weather to our romantic moods. I was a home bird but she had an adventurous streak in her. She loved to explore unseen locales. She opened her map and made the plans. We set off smoothly, as Emily had packed all our essentials. We were supposed to camp for two nights in a National Park which was a popular tourist destination. The first was as perfect as we had thought. Me and her in a tent, with thoughts and talks about our future. Life couldn’t have got better than this.
It was raining a bit on the 2nd day. We were walking down a slope and I had taken the lead. We were discussing about a recent movie which I did not like, She had her own views about it. We kept chatting as she was walking behind me. Suddenly I heard no response to the question I asked her. I repeated the question. No answer. I kept quite for a few seconds and called her. No answer. I turned back. She wasn’t there. I looked everywhere but couldn’t see her. I shouted aloud but to no avail. I ran everywhere but there was no sight of her. Where was Emily? In the middle of a forest, where could she go? I shouted and howled and cried and ran helter-skelter but couldn’t find her anywhere. Emily had vanished, just like that.
Shocked, flustered & devastated, I reported the incident to the police. A complaint was lodged, but nothing came out of it. My life was never the same again. I was a wreck, without her, I became a nobody. I lost the person who meant everything to me. I never went back home due to this grief and became a wanderer searching from place to place for my beloved.
2 years went by. It was the day that she had vanished. I decided to go back to the forest to look for her again. I was passing near the town which leads the tourists to the National Park. There was a restaurant just before the park. I was at the parking lot, eating a burger in my car. Suddenly, my eyes fell on someone. It was Emily. Yes. There she was walking towards the parking. I was shocked! How could this happen? Then just when I was about to leave the car and approach her, I was shocked beyond words. Walking just few steps behind her, was a person whom I could recognize. I knew this man. He had the same receding hairline, the same broad shoulders, the same height and skin tone. He wasn’t a lookalike. Infact he was just ME, in my whole entirety. I looked at him for some more time, I couldn’t believe my eyes, Yes, it was me, I had no doubt about it now. She and this guy were walking together, holding hands. How was this even possible?. I immediately ran back to my old house. It looked different and was occupied by people whom I didn’t know. Horror of horrors, I discovered that no one could recognize me in that house anymore.
A big and even more shocking revelation dawned on me that day. My Emily had never disappeared that day, Infact, I think it was ME who vanished into thin air that afternoon in the forest. Does that mean that my Emily is still searching me?