On time...

He stood on the platform waiting for the train to arrive, an insignificant part of a huge crowd…

He hated that, not the crowd, but the feeling of being insignificant. He had always thought of himself as the saviour. He prided himself in being the avenger, a name he had given himself. He liked it. The Avenger. He had once heard it while sitting in a coffee shop. Then it had not mattered much to him. But as he grew and realized his true potential and his hidden powers, it all came back to him…

His thoughts were rudely interrupted by the fog horn, which he considered to be too loud. He thought of delivering a powerful zee-ray beam and reduce it to ashes but decided otherwise, after all he had to reach home. His family was waiting for dinner. He pushed and elbowed his way in and found a suitable seat. He checked his bag and threw it over on the luggage rack and returned to his seat.

It was already taken.

He smiled at the man, his smile conveying too many emotions all at once. The man sitting on the seat smiled back, as if to say ‘Sorry buddy, but you know the rule here: finders keepers, losers weepers.’ He understood, but what he couldn’t understand was the extent to which his tolerance had gone in the past couple of years. Ever since he had joined the S.H.A. (The Super Heroes Anonymous) to escape from the glitterati, things had slowly changed…

The initial days at the SHA were very good. They mainly consisted of discussing his prowess with his fellow mates at the office. The regular medical check-ups and the therapies that he had undergone to keep his super-human powers under control had been exhaustive. They had drained him of his energy. But he took it all bravely, like true super-human that he was. Pretty soon he had his powers in control and the nurse too.

He had fallen for her the very first day. He remembered it vividly.He had walked through those large wooden doors taking in the enormity of the place, and at the same time feeling intimidated by it. He was caught unawares by the nurse carrying a tray of medicines. It was bound to happen. They crashed and the instant he looked into those large hazel eyes, he knew that they were made for each other. It seemed like an eternity before he could finally muster up courage to say,

“Sorry, I was not looking. Can we go out for a coffee?”

“That was the fastest pick-up I have ever seen. What do you do, race cars in a grand prix?”

He realised his mistake and immediately sought out to rectify it, hoping over and over again that it wasn’t too late…

“No, I mean… I wanted to make up for my clumsiness and I thought I owed you one. And, er…, You are quite beautiful, I couldn’t take my eyes off you for one second. WHAT AM I SAYING?”

She just laughed and moved ahead. Probably, she was accustomed to people becoming tongue-tied by her beauty. Probably, she thought of him as another addition to a long list. And him? He was still cursing himself for having lost a glorious opportunity. She stopped and turned and said:

“My duty ends at six. If you are still around, meet me at Pete’s, I think I’d like that coffee.”

He was so happy, he flew. He flew all around the place and finally came to a stop when, out of the blue, someone yelled, “All right, all right, you can come down now.” He realised that he had been the very thing he wanted to control and evidently, this was not the place to do it. He near-damned ordered his mind to stop and came down on to terra firma. He looked at his watch. It was four. He still had an hour to finish his work and meet her at Pete’s. He rushed up things and by the time he was finished, the sun was on his way down…

He looked at his watch. The passenger in (his) seat was reluctant to move. Or may be he had super-glue stuck to his behind. His legs were not aching, they never could. A superhero’s legs never ached. He just wanted to sit and think in peace. It was difficult to exercise control on one’s thoughts standing in a moving train and the person in front leaning on him. He just wanted to sit so that nobody could interrupt his thoughts… He just wanted to relax – his mind more than his body.

To be continued…

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