A popular sad song played somewhere close while I stood looking at my crumpled body. My neck had broken, someone said. I agreed. It was a nasty fall; a wrinkled man announced. I agreed again.
She came running towards me and ran through me towards the crowd. The crowd made way for her. Breathless, shocked, and dazed, she looked at my dead body and broke down. The crowd feigned sympathy and enquired suspiciously about my fall. With great difficulty, she managed – He…he..fell off the balcony while taking our..selfie!
Her words came as an embarrassment to my detached self. Did people die like this? I mean, just like this? Being murdered was far better than death by foolishness. There was no drama, no twisted plot, not even some fancy-sounding sickness, just a stupid accident!
If only I could get sucked back in that body! It was a nice, healthy body filled with joy and energy just a couple of minutes back.
But the next moment, I just lay there like an empty reddish-white sack. But wait, who was I – that body or this? It was all so confusing or a bad dream, perhaps?
Someone in the crowd suggested it could be a suicide or murder. I looked at the speaker and recognized my neighbor – Mr. Crocs! His eyes looked even more prominent now as I hovered near him. “Do not look for cheap thrills Mr., it was just a foolish accident,” I whispered hoping to be heard. I didn’t want any more troubles for her.
Soon after, sirens wailed and men in uniforms appeared. They began their investigation and reaffirmed the truth – I had slipped off the balcony from my third-floor apartment while posing for a selfie with my girlfriend. Legalities ensued. Later, my parents and well-wishers arranged a funeral service at the famous Cross Point Church in my small town in the US, where solemn speakers took turns to speak about me in superlatives.
Before death, I never knew I was such a great son, boyfriend, brother, friend, colleague, neighbor. I remembered the same set of people calling me names at different times in my life. They had all changed opinions quite quickly! It felt nice listening to them. I was going to heaven, perhaps?
After my burial, I expected angels to descend and escort me to heaven. But nothing happened. Or was the Devil planning to claim me? I thought of my sins and considered myself quite eligible for hell. But he also didn’t show up. Death confused me. No God, No Devil. No Heaven, No Hell! Did religious talks and holy books contain nothing but a series of concocted tales? Were godmen lying all this while? I was the same person minus the body and its demands. Death did not bring answers. I said goodbye to my 27-year-old body with a broken neck and decided to go back to my apartment.
Back in the apartment, my parents sat holding hands. They looked older than I had seen them last. It was heartbreaking to see them in such a pathetic state. I heard sobs in the bedroom. My girlfriend was there. I wanted to reach out to her, to connect somehow.
However, things were different. I was stuck in an unknown dimension, from where I could watch but couldn’t communicate. My cell phone beeped. I saw – 3k likes on my Facebook obituary. Now, this was something that pepped up things a bit.
After a few days of untold misery, my parents flew back to Arizona and I watched her pack. She was moving out of our apartment. Memories came flooding back of those amazing days we had spent together, of nights filled with passionate love and bitter-sweet quarrels. I thought of a life not lived, tasks unfinished and wishes unfulfilled, and mourned my sudden death. The angst that followed was worse than my fall. I was miserable but stuck to the place where I had spent the most beautiful time of my short-lived life – Apartment No. 326.
Someone who had a bad sense of timing played the haunting song again as I watched my girlfriend go, forever!
A period of gloom filled my consciousness after she left. But I tried to adjust to my new status. I noticed there were various dimensions in our space. Sometimes, I watched shadows float by. I tried to communicate but none answered. It was unbearably lonely, but I did not want to move on. I was just not ready yet. Occasionally, some unusual sounds or sights would scare me and I would retreat to the furniture less bedroom. Later, an incident led me to believe that I was very creepy! And the residents of the Apartment Complex had named me – The Ghost Named Bond. (To be contd…)