One week had passed and then a month. Work had kept Jacob so busy that he never got the time to think about the woman in his head or the woman on the outside. All he did was work, go home and crash. Food, his ever favorite thing also came second to work. Well, after all work was all he wanted in life. This was the dream, to live alone, work and earn plenty of money. He was right on track.
Except that now the sights of New York didn’t excite him. The tall buildings weren’t so majestic anymore, the hustle-bustle made him crib and don’t even get started about the rats. Everything that he hated about Butte, he somehow found the same number of things, if not more, to hate in New York. Life again came to standstill; it came to a point where he seemed to detest what he was doing. And he had no idea why. He tried to sleep over it and not think about it, but sleep rarely came. And if it did, he dreamt of the woman he encountered on the first day at work. Only he’d never seen her again in real life.
Worse, maybe he has. But he’d be so terribly busy with ‘work’ that he never gave her a second glance.
“He should have”, tries to coax the woman in his head.
But Jacob had gotten extremely good at ignoring her. So much so that her voice didn’t even fall on his ears anymore. But one day it did, and how!
A new book on his table, Jacob was assigned to read it by midnight and there was a narration the following morning. Taking the manuscript in his hand the first thing he cribbed about was its weight. This is going to take forever, he said to himself.
However the first page, rather the first line got him hooked. A simple line, it said –
Why are you in a hurry? Where do you have to go after you’re finished with this book? Is there someone home who’s waiting for you? Or you have some hobby to pursue? Or is it just that you’ve to answer the voice in your head and read the story all over again?
This was the strangest start to a book he ever read. A series of questions that seemed so relevant to him as though it were written for him. What followed was a whole day of being glued to his desk as the book questioned his very core, his reason for leaving Butte, his relationship for his father, his hatred for lazy people, his love for his mother and even the voice in his head. But it also answered in one last page, the closing page of the book.
For my mother, who walked into the sunset as the story ended. And for the man whom she walked over for.
Strange, Jacob thought. This would usually be in the start of any book. It was strange to find it here. And what was even stranger was the author’s name. J.J. Authors who are starting out are always eager for their full name to grace the cover of their book. And here was an author with an exceptional book and just initials to go by. More than anything Jacob was now interested in meeting the author and knowing his story. He knew that this book would change his life.
“She will change your life. She is what you’ve been waiting for”, said the woman in his head.
And this time he couldn’t ignore her voice.