Duty Calls- Short story Part 1

This morning he was sitting in his jeep outside the government hospital. He had parked under a tree beside the gate, a few steps away from the bus stop where in every 5 minutes a bus came and a hoard deboarded the bus. A few went into the hospital while others rushed towards the metro station, he saw all those people but did not focus on anyone particular. He was just seeing a group of people moving from one place to another, in the distance, an auto waited for the customers in front of the gate. He thought how he is to stand right there, wondering what would happen if an ambulance was to come, or someone who had a heart attack was rushed in through the gate. He sure was unaware that he could be the reason of someone’s death and the worst part was he might not realize that and would do the same thing again.

He knew that he was losing his focus and was instead looking at people, complete strangers, auto-wallahs who came and stopped and looked for customers followed by a bus. He looked in the rearview mirror of his jeep and saw his sweaty and a tired face, then he looked at his uniform which he didn’t get time to change for three days because this investigation was sure a different and a difficult one. He looked around, checked his dying phone and decided to step out of the car and stretch and have a cup of tea. He thought he deserved a cup now, at least.

He locked the jeep and walked and told the auto-wallah to move and not obstruct the gate. He ordered tea and a cigarette, asked for a Gold Flake and lit it, a few puffs and he realized that this was stupid of him, to smoke near the hospital. Before throwing it, he took one long puff and held the smoke in while his lungs burned. He threw and squashed the cigarette under his brown shiny shoes, he wondered how come his shoes were still so clean. He had taken a few sips when he got a call on his phone, he took the call and got to know that the suspect has left the hospital and entered the metro station. He was also asked if he saw him, he took a gulp and said ‘I think I did’, he had to lie.

He threw a fifty rupee note at the chai-wallah and ran towards the metro station. At entering the stations, he saw a long queue and started wondering that the suspect could be anywhere, he could have already boarded a train. He felt useless and irritated but tried to take control of the situation by taking deep breaths. He had heard somewhere that it helped in situations like these.

He came back to the jeep and took three long breaths before finally calling his senior on the phone and telling him that he lost him in the crowd. He turned the key and the engine came to life but he stepped out of the car and went to chai-wallah and asked him for the change before finally leaving to the police station.


Note: I might write a second part of this with a different perspective very soon. Let me know your views about this. Thanks!

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