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25 Apr 2011

Lorna Jane's Evening Walk

She knew she had to do it. Self-motivation was not an easy thing and she had pushed it for over 6 months. Struggling to find another excuse today, she finally opened the door to the garage and looked at the shiny blue bike. She could not remember the key to the number lock. There was an excuse lying right there, waiting to be picked up and relished. She refused to give in. She called her husband and after a couple of tries, managed to unlock the bike. Lights, helmet, computer, all found easily enough. All she had to do was fill air in the tyres and take off. Easy peasy. Excitement built up. Eagerly, she fixed the little floor pump in and started pumping away. After 10 minutes of trying, she knew she had to give up. It was harder to give up than it was to find motivation.

Refusing to let that bog her down and having decided to get some fresh air anyway, she decided to go for a walk around the neighbourhood. It was another long overdue activity she had in mind. Atleast that will get done today, she thought. She started off with one particular street that had always intrigued her. As she kept walking, admiring the beautiful houses and taking a couple of pictures, her spirits lifted. She entered one street, exited at the end and entered the next. By the end of the third, she could not do it anymore. It was too depressing. The occasional sounds of music of laughter, the family in the balcony, the smell of home-cooked roast was too much to handle. 

She had stayed in the locality for nearly a year and did not know a single person there. She wished she knew all the people in all these houses or atleast more than half of them. She wished she had friends whose houses she could just drop in for a coffee or dinner. People she could spend time with on a lonely evening. She tried to remember what it was she loved about being alone. It was hard to reason while she missed a companion so terribly. It was getting dark and with not much to see on the dim-lit streets, she headed home. 

As she unlocked the door, she looked at the time. It was not even 6! When she was outside, walking, it had seemed like it was late. Now, inside the house, she knew the evening had barely begun. If she was in any one of those houses, sharing a tea or biscuit and having a conversation, it would have felt early. If she was outside, drinking or hanging out with a gang, it would have been early. Exploring the neighbourhood alone and wishing she was part of all the fun and together things around her, it felt different. 

She tried to focus her mind on other things. How had she missed all those lovely houses in the last few months? It seemed strange that all the streets around hers had a few lovely houses whereas her street seemed to be boring with only apartments. Maybe it was because she was too familiar with the street, subconsciously. Walking along those paths, she had been sure that she would have made friends with the residents if she lived in one of those places. As she took quick strides along the pathway to her apartment, she realized that it was not so. She had not made friends with neighbours in her own apartment, let alone anybody in the other houses on the street. There were a few houses with fun and laughter that she often heard.

She looked out the glass doors of her apartment to the quaint house at the back, with the soft yellow lights. She felt better. The light in that house had been her substitute for companionship. When the owners had been away for 2 days and the lights had not come on, she had been upset. Like a 10 year old whose parents had gone on a holiday. She had sulked and stared at the house, willing for them to come back. She had rejoiced when the lights came back on. It might be different people now, there were no babies playing on weekends and the lights were on till late. That was ok. It was the soft yellow light that was her friend, the people had not even known she existed. 

"I am going to be fine. It is going to be fine", she thought, and went to the kitchen to make dinner. 

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