The sudden cold wind on a hot summer evening made me shiver from head to toe. Looking around I saw Lisa silently knitting and busy humming a song. My mind travelled to our college days.
Lisa and I met at the college canteen . I was completing my masters on public health and she was a language student. We instantly clicked and our bond became stronger as the years passed.
Forward to six years , I had lost contact with her nearly two years ago. One day while walking to the Starbucks near my office I saw a small kid run towards me . I smiled, well I always loved kids. I turned around to find his parents and loh ! I found Lisa! A happily married woman she was and I couldn’t be more happier for her.
After exchanging phone numbers and promising to meet each other we parted our ways. This time we did meet. She invited me to her house to meet her husband and mother in law. Well that was the summer evening I would never forget. The old vintage style house with a chimney and a beautiful garden . I had always loved vintage styled houses. But being a busy human with a demanding work I had a small apartment in the heart of the town.
The evening went well and her mother in law was really quite all the while. I wondered why she scrutinized me. Her husband and child were pleasant to talk to. But well, there did come a time I was left alone with the woman. I was dreading to talk to her though. Lisa was busy setting the table and her husband was in the garden with their son.
“You are a bad luck for my family”, said the woman. I looked at her surprised to hear the blunt truth from her. Indeed I have been a bad luck for many . Another reason why I tried my hands in medicine. When I was young the children of my age always avoided me. They said I was followed by a gruesome looking old man. They never played with me. One night my mother was very sick . My father and I tried our best to give her comfort. Finally father decided to call a priest. As soon as he entered the room he shouted at me, pulled me out of the room, and shut the door on my face. I started crying, I was only 10 then !
That summer evening I felt a strange coldness, and my mother passed away at night. Had this happened once, I would have thought it was a mere coincidence. The priest wouldn’t allow me to enter the church and there was a rumor that I was the devil’s incarnation. I lost my faith in God soon. The following summer, my father passed away under the exact circumstances . A distant aunt of my took me as her adopted her though I spent my life in hostels.
Few years after my graduation when I returned , she too died on one summer evening. Well that was the day I realized I was a bad luck. To get rid of it I did social works, tried to help others as much as I could, but I knew one thing , I was indeed a bad luck who brought death.
I looked at Lisa’s mother in law again. “I know I am a bad luck ” I said.
She spoke in a low voice, “Get out of my house “.
I didn’t need another response . The last thing I wanted was a death. But while the drive home I felt a familiar cold which made me shiver. As soon as I reached home I got a call from Lisa. The call I was dreading the most. Yes her mother had collapsed as soon as I left. I knew this was the end, so without any choice I drove back to their house only to find the woman in her last stage. As soon as I entered the room she shouted “Get out get out ! Stay away from my family “.
A cold sweat ran down my neck . Lisa ‘s husband was out for his night shift. Her son was sleeping and she was knitting. Who was the person now I thought. Suddenly i heard her son shout! We ran towards his room to find him talking over his sleep. Lisa checked his temperature which turned out to be very very high. We called the doctor and her husband. Bit I knew, no one, no one can stop this. Or maybe someone can .
Steeping silently on Lisa ‘s backyard I looked at the moon. It was summer and yet I felt no warmth. I knew the devil as all called it was with me. I knelt down and said, “Not this time. All my life I have witnessed many lives that you took away. But not this one, not the small boy! Take my life instead. Yes I want to give my life , take my soul! But leave the child alone . Please “. Tears rolled down my cheeks. Suddenly I collapsed.
I don’t remember when but I heard Lisa silently crying beside me. It was afternoon and my throat did hurt bad. I muttered water, and asked her about her son. She said he was absolutely fine. According to her it was a miracle. I smiled. I told her to give me a pen and a paper, for I knew the least time I had, I had to utilize it. That evening as the whole family surrounded me, the strange cold feeling covered me . I didn’t flinch this time. Instead I smiled. I saw the face which had haunted many and made me bad luck for many. That night I embraced my long time companion.
The letter I left , I had asked Lisa to burn every single of my belongings so that I may never return to this material world. But she being she, did nothing as such. Hence if any such summer evening you feel a strange cold remember, it might be “The last summer evening ” but of course I will be waiting for you .