I looked at my screen - a dog playing fetch. I clicked the small button on the bottom left. I scrolled down, there was a cat, snoring. I closed the window. I got up and walked out of my bay towards the pantry smiling at familiar faces, getting weird short lived abrupt contortions of facial muscles in response. I sat down on a nearby chair and looked around. There were bodies opening the fridge, peeling bananas, pouring juice, talking politics, bullshit.
I scanned the vicinity with boredom - there was a new face sitting far across. I looked at her intently as she savoured every last drop of the falling orange bar - and then her palms - when she was done with it. Midway through her 5th attempt of cleansing her hands with her spit, she noticed me, gazing. She blushed, embarrassed. I smiled. She smiled. There was something eerily familiar about her face. I had seen her somewhere - I just couldn’t recall where. I was sure we had talked. And talked long. Where was it? I drew a blank.
I looked at her again - there was no one. Where’d she go? I got up and hastily started walking in that direction and the passageways it led to. She was no where. I kept walking for minutes and minutes gazing in the passing cubicles and conference halls but she had disappeared like an apparition. Was my mind playing tricks on me? I was angry and irritated. I came back to my seat, collected my helmet, went to the nearest elevator and pressed Basement-2.
I got on my bike, clunked it in gear and sped out of the building. I kept riding for hours until I was awoken from my reverie by my jerking motorbike. I glanced at the last blinking bar of my fuel indicator thinking this was the end of my trip. Where was I? I had no idea. I slowed down towards the side of the road and stopped. I reached for my phone, it wasn’t there. Had I left it on my desk? Probably. It was okay as long as I had my wallet, right? But, of course. I searched the pockets of my jacket, there wasn’t a single penny on me apart from the half torn sodexo worth shit. But, I had my iPod. Something is better than nothing. I thought. I looked at the expanse around me and the continuous stretch of the road. The sky was grey, the wilderness mild. There was no one in sight. Not one vehicle. Come to think of it, I hadn’t seen any from quite a while, I wasn’t too sure about it though.
I plugged in my earphones and selected my default playlist, waiting for someone/something to pass while I continued walking from the direction I came - or I thought I had come - looking for a payphone. I’d find something. I thought. It wasn’t after a couple hours till the gravity of my situation dawned on me. Dusk was long past, there was a chill in the air and when I removed my earphones, I could hear distant howling of wolves. I laughed. Of course, I’d run if they came after me and if it came to it, I’d try to tear the jaws off. I knew what was to be done in theory, but reality is a different ball game. I’d never faced a wolf in my life, humans are different.
I looked ahead as far as the eye could see. Then looked back. It seemed clear to me I had landed myself in the remotest of places. The last I had checked, it was 11:43pm when my iPod had died. It had been long since then. I was walking on fumes. My throat was parched. My stomach had rumbled and rumbled but was quiet now. I could hear the heart beating inside of me. The howls were getting closer. I needed to find shelter for the night.