He sat in isolation looking at people around him. The sounds seemed to resonate in the air. He felt a tingling sensation on his back when music flooded through the speakers. His thoughts seemed interrupted as he touched the bridge of his nose in a futile attempt soften the pinch of unfamiliar glasses. Sipping the drink with caution he regained his focus. Every person who entered the bar was caught in his gaze. He looked at them with stark observation and shifted his eyes back to the next person who walked through the door. An unconscious disappointment emerged between slightly pressed lips every time he looked back at the entrance. As if, he tallied each person against a mental description of someone he seemed too eager to meet.
While he observed these people he seemed to know more about them than he wanted to know. Good people trying to be bad. People caught in the company of the bad. Peer pressure, social obligations all became visible to his eyes. He saw women, trading off their dignity to appear little fashionable and broadminded while their inner souls cringed with disgust. Men gulping down more drinks than they can handle to reinforce their gender as if someone questioned them about it. Little scum bags killing time till they found someone who wouldn’t be able to figure out a few missing notes from their heavy wallets. Bartenders entertaining guests they didn’t care about. Everyone masked by concealing identities.
The tiny chips of mirrors on few of the walls transported him back to his school days when he was made to hold two mirrors in front of each other. He remembered the reflections, his astonishment when he looked in to the mirrors -Infinite images. His life seemed to be trapped in the illusion of these infinite images. A sadness wrapped around his heart when he recollected his ten year old self. He couldn’t identify with himself anymore and yet he could connect to everybody around him. He had been through everything these people were facing and, a lot more. He felt his hands against his face as if to register how his visage looked like. He caught his image of in one of the reflections- a harmless young man dressed like it was his first visit to the place. The image disturbed him. He shut his eyes and rubbed the back of his neck in an attempt to let go of the emotions that seem to suffocate him. The metallic object tucked at his waist touched his skin and his lips pressed again- disappointment. But this time his eyes didn’t have a shade of regret as if this disappointment was embedded to him and had become a part of his life.
He shifted the gaze to the entrance again and saw a group of girls walk in. Clam and composed he finished the drink observing each face. He followed the group as they walked and chatted with inexplicable joy and delight. Women- He sighed!
He focussed his attention on one girl in particular. He battled the pity he felt for her. He saw her move to the dance floor. He didn’t look at her directly. He caught her reflection behind his mirror image; a woman dressed in a colourful shirt and unusual green cotton trousers. Little stars hanging from delicate strings that were tied into a fashionable knot at her wrist. Beautiful flow of the curls, her hair swung around her as she danced to an incomprehensible beat. He gave an unconscious nod as if reassuring himself of something. In the next few minutes the reflection of the women fell on the floor with blood splattered across her face. The mirrors held reflections of people horrified by what had happened.
He? He disappeared into one of the infinite concealing images. The gun felt hot tucked at his waist. Lips pressed with disappointment but his eyes- no regret. His way of dealing with guilt was putting the blame on the people who hired him. As long as there was someone wanting someone else dead- it could be anyone who could become the killer. This day, this time, this life- it was him.
P.S: Written as a part of Captured Writings