Author : Pratyush Mishra

There are moments of desperation and…
There are times when I have a glimpse of who I truly am and then suddenly…

There are those moments when I can hear the White Lady walk in with the notes. She brandishes the hypodermic syringe and pats my arm… a shot and a searing Pain… I feel I won’t collapse but…

There is a little girl with bright brown eyes and head full of curls. She calls me M… but even though she is familiar I don’t recognise her.

I haven’t been able to remember the past few days. My head hurts as if huge volumes of vodka are coursing through my veins. It is that kind of headache.

I don’t remember who I am anymore.

“The drug NRo2 has been doing wonders on him. Soon you can take him home.” The man in the lab coat smiles at a group of people. He ruffles my head and walks away.
It feels like a new sensation altogether.

I look at myself in the mirror as I dress up.
They shove me gently into a car and we drive through the rustic lanes of the town. I’m sure I have seen this place before, but it somehow feels different.

The girl sits by me holding my arm softly.
I am yet to ascertain what story her gaze hides.

The house is a sprawling one.
An old man greets me at the garden and affably pats my back.

He mumbles something I can’t quite hear.
As I walk into the house, portraits of an old couple greet me. Those eyes of the old woman look strangely familiar and yet I can’t seem to know for sure if I’ve ever known her.

“This is your room”, the old man signals, smiling toothlessly.

I look around at the neatly arranged papers and desk.

There is a tall mirror in front of me.
I walk towards it and remove the curtains.
Inside the mirror I see a lanky adolescent looking confusedly back at me.

And then I remember.

The Aging Enrouter gene. NRo2, the drug, my brain child.

Now I know who the girl is. Well, I can merely grin devilishly at my reflection.

Bah! Not too old am I to spend a bit more years fooling around.