Anusha sat thinking. She felt exhausted, both mentally and physically. It wasn’t like her to get drunk. She tried to mentally slap herself awake, but Vodka won over logical reasoning. She was with a complete stranger, whose car she had just damaged who was driving like a racer on the deserted highway. She hadn’t even bothered to ask his name. The sober Anusha would have probably slapped him for driving like a maniac. If only she had been sober, it wouldn’t have come to this. He braked suddenly, pulling her out of the million thoughts that was zig -zagging inside her head.
“Why the hell did you stop the car now?” she shouted. Her slurring had reduced considerably. The shock of the sudden break must have reduced the numbing effect of the alcohol.
“Open your eyes! Can’t you see a child sitting here in the middle of the road? You are too drunk to even see your own hand. Just don’t get down, I’ll go take a look and be back” he shouted back, removing his seat belt.
A small child, wearing a pink frock was lying smack in the middle of the road on her side. Her face was turned away from the car. The road was pitch black barring the light from the headlight of the car. He walked slowly with caution and touched her hand. Her hands felt Ice cold and he jerked his hand back.
Fear gripped him as he realized the child might be dead. Just as he was about to turn her to see her face, she sat up with a start and turned to face him. Her hair shone against the yellow head light and she had a perfect bob cut. Her face was round and chubby with dimples on both cheeks. She had blue eyes and rosy lips. Though her skin looked very pale, she reminded him of the girl from the nursery rhyme.
“Hi, who are you and what are you doing here?” he asked. He found it rather odd that her dress wasn’t soiled in spite of her lying down on the road. Anusha had walked down out of curiosity and crouched next to him.
The child smiled at both of them.
“I’m Rita. I used to live in an orphanage until I was adopted. I lost my way when my new dad and mom took me to the amusement park” she replied in a small voice and looked very mournful.
“Okay, but why are you lying down here on this road? Do you know where your parents live? I can take you there.” he replied. He had this insane urge to hug the child and take her home. He never liked kids, but this girl seemed so sweet. He felt Anusha shaking his arm vigorously. He swatted her off without looking at her. Nothing felt important than looking at the sweet child in front of him. He wanted to carry her home. She looked way too beautiful and sweet.
“I don’t know” said the child and began crying.
“Okay, Okay, relax, I will take you to my home” he replied. He felt Anusha now slapping him harder and harder on his arm.
He looked up from the child’s face to see his wife standing in front of him along with another man, the man who died colliding with his wife’s car. Then he looked down again at the child’s face. His nostrils felt hot and he collapsed.
The newspaper headlines the next day read, “Business man killed in a car crash, unidentified body of a woman also found”