It was late midnight. My car had broken down all of a sudden; I was stranded at the strange place, all alone. With each passing minute, my hope to get some assistance was wavering like the intermittent road light that was illuminating the spooky street.
I tried to contact my co-workers, but, the absence of network in my mobile phone clearly amplified my helplessness. Suddenly I saw a pair of headlights approaching from my left. The Audi to which they belonged came to an abrupt halt beside me.
As the window glass lowered, a pale sight of a man in his late fifties became visible.
“Do you need lift, madam?” he asked.
I took a while to respond. The incidents of unknown men seeking carnal pleasures from helpless women were not unknown to me, and also the possibility of paedophile couldn’t be discarded. But, with no other alternative available, my urge to reach hotel as soon as possible, overwhelmed my suspicious nature, and I nodded.
His face beamed and his eyes widened. He unlocked the door, and I stepped in cautiously.
“Where do you want to go?” he inquired in similar unnaturally kind tone.
“Not far from here, if you could just drop me by Hotel Jubilanta.”
He pressed the accelerator and the luxurious car zoomed ahead. I couldn’t help but notice that though he faced ahead, he kept on looking at my bodice from the corner of the eyes. I fumbled with my one-piece and vainly tried to stretch it below my knee.
“You look very beautiful.”
No wonder, I thought, my notion of ‘all men are dogs‘, time and again proves itself. But, I sealed my lips, for this cheap man had given me lift in my need.
He turned towards me and continued conversationally, “So, are you new to the town?”
“Oh yes, I am here on a business trip. My colleagues will be awaiting my return at the hotel.” I purposely laid stress on the latter sentence to strongly convey it to him that I, though it may seem, am not alone. So, if you plan on doing something, beware!
“Oh, and may I know your name?”
This sudden change of topic took me by surprise.
“Sakshi” I lied. He had no reason to know Aishwarya was my real name.
With a smug smile stuck on his face, he continued to drive the rest of the journey, in silence. I didn’t complain. To while my time, I took a piece of old newspaper lying ahead. I was about to read it, but he turned right and the hotel came in view.
The car stopped in front of the gate. It was time to formally express gratitude.
“Thank you so much for your help, uncle!” Though you were so cheap with your stares and remarks.
His smiled diminished upon hearing ‘uncle’.
“I’m not your uncle, sweetheart!”
I hurriedly got off the car and looked back once only to find those longing eyes gazing at me.
Still clutching the newspaper, I raced towards the hotel, savoring my rescue from the sleaziness of that cranky old man.
Read Chapter 2 on next page.