He saw the sleeping woman along with her daughter.
12 noon. June. Ugly weather.
Like others, he moved ahead. But that voice, the inner voice, that echoes in his brain like shrieks, didn’t let him move.
He had to come back from a mile.
He stopped his car.
Who is looking at him?
He called the woman. Why is she here? Why not at home?
The typical questions people with homes ask people without homes.
She told a typical story. A story such people usually tell. Liars. Lazy.
He gave her money and requested her to go where she lives. Then more money. He requested her to not do that to her daughter. She asked for a lift to a nearby stop.
All this happened because of a three year old daughter of hers. Or his.
That little girl. Playing around her sleeping mother. Clenched his heart. His moves. His time. His whole day.
His whole life.
And during all this, he didn’t dare look at the young girl. He couldn’t. He tried to look in the rearview mirror, but he was not that brave. He was a coward after all.
He remembers the whole episode. The words. The scene. The area. The temperature. The embarrassment. The time.
He remembers the feeling of being well-off equalizing the feeling of a sinner.
He remembers when the two worlds collide.
But he doesn’t remember the face of the protagonist of this episode. He couldn’t.
He is a coward.
He was afraid of seeing “her” instead of “her”.