Past Tense – Part 1(Experiment of Will)
An average guy with a below-average resume, “Sam,” said my father. “This is the 36th rejection you have faced from a company; I think we don’t have any more left here.” he continued. I knew that very well, and they never told me what the issue is. All they say is, “we will contact you.” My mom says my father started earning when he was 16, and here I am, 25. Getting a job is not at all difficult, but getting a job matching your passion was what I craved for.
A call brought some happiness to my family. It was a job offer. One of our tenants, we had good relations with, their daughter was working in a hospital as an assistant manager. She said that the hospital is going to need another manager, and she recommended my name. The pay is handsome, better than what others provide. She had left our house with her family two years ago; still, she remembered me and wanted me to work with her. That was my charm.
It took me around 14 hours of train travel and 2 hours in a cab to reach the place. A hospital in Noida named “Hope”. It was a multi-speciality hospital having three gates and some part still in construction. She was standing right in front of me, at entrance no. 2. Having a flashback of some part of my teenage, might be evident in this situation. Wearing her uniform, she walked towards me smiling. “There are rooms for staff in the hospital for stay, and I have already asked them to keep a room ready for you. It’s 31C, and you can freshen yourself up, take some rest and call me after that.” She said while walking with me towards the accommodation building.
After around 4 hours, I called her. She asked me to come to the reception. I have to walk straight from the exit and take the second right. “He is the guy you were talking about.” said the receptionist. I was given some forms to fill. Due to my experience, I filled 12 documents in 10 minutes. The basic pay mentioned was Rs 60,000 plus different allowances. The receptionist said my interview is scheduled after 45 minutes. By that time I can have lunch in the nearby canteen. I asked Anisha out for lunch.
Anisha has changed a lot, lost some weight, has more of a sad and pale face and talked a lot less. She answered my questions saying that it might be due to pollution and water in this city. “Working in a hospital is very different from working in any other sector. The people who come here are already stressed and on the verge of losing hope. You might feel their sorrow, pain. Try to give a hand in their mourning. But they might never believe you are doing it for real. Initially, I used to be sad all day, and slowly I started to adjust by becoming more emotionless, not much engaging. It’s a different life here, from the outside world.” These words by her were the only important part of our conversation, rest all was remembering our childhood. They postponed the interview, as seniors were busy, and I was selected on a provisional basis and asked to start work from tomorrow.
As she said, working in the hospital was different. My part of the work was to check if there is any communication error in the various departments and make sure everything goes smoothly. On my first day, I was given the dermatology department, as there were fewer sub-departments there than in other places. In between, I used to see people in pain, suffering, confused emotion. They were running from one place to another. Helping them was also an essential duty for my conscience. Anisha accompanied me to most of the places so that I will be familiar. She was doing it, in so much hurry as if there was no tomorrow. I had to carry a notebook and make notes of all the places. My first working day lasted for more than 10 hours, but she said, don’t worry, it is just for today.
After having dinner, she came to drop me at my room. While at that gate, I looked into her eyes. She held my hand and said, “take care, good night.”
Sending me butterflies in my stomach, she went to her room, which was on the fourth floor. I felt like my life was now setting itself up. I had a proper job, probably a girl who is in the same field of work.
It was early morning, and I heard some noise outside. I looked out through my window; there was an ambulance standing there. People surrounded a dead body, which was lying in what I assume was a pool of blood. Someone from staff jumped from the building. I wore my jeans from the last day and rushed down to see who was it. A moment of complete blackout struck me, realising it was ‘Anisha’.
The following two days were difficult, explaining to her and my parents what happened. Her parents didn’t attend her last rites; it was weird.
My father asked me to come back while I was looking at the piece of paper, which she might have put in my jeans, that night. I found it in my pockets after she died. It read –
“I am sorry, I had no choice. If you want to escape this fate, find the one who ran from here seven years ago. That person can only help you. I tried a lot to look for him, but my time was over. And don’t try to run. They will find you! They are running an experiment called “Past Tense“. Find our favourite place in my room.”
To Be Continued…
Written by Satyam Kumar Tiwari
This is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places and incidents either are products of the author’s imagination or are used fictitiously. Any resemblance to actual events or locales or persons, living or dead, is entirely coincidental.
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