It was at dawn that I usually take my 5 km walk. It was on one such fine morning that I saw the sun rise in the west. I live at 220 B Baker Street. 221 B was supposedly the house of the legendary amateur detective Sherlock Holmes. Though such a house does not exist, thousands of people throng the neighborhood to see the street where the greatest fictitious investigator of all time is supposed to have lived. Even today, every day thousand of letters come to the Post Office, where I have been working for the past four years, addressed to Mr. Sherlock Holmes. Every day, at six in the morning I leave for my walk, taking the route from Baker Street to Central London and on my way back, I stop by the banks of the Thames to catch the complete beauty of the rising sun.
Four years, six months and three days ago, I met the most beautiful woman I had ever seen. 1920, March 17, was just another day in my life. I started the day with my usual walk at 5 30 AM. Walking by the Thames, I reduced the pace of my walk and eventually came to a complete stop. I stood there looking at the orange glow, waiting for the sun to rise. “Excuse Me!”, I heard a voice nearby. –>Turning around, I saw a face like none I had seen before. A woman of such extraordinary beauty that even on a cold spring morning, beads of perspiration break from your forehead and a strange swishing sensation swoops over you. The next words she uttered I could not hear. She gave me a smile and uttered a few more words, of which I was able to catch only the last two, “…Thank you!”.
I blinked a few times and when I came back to my senses, I saw the woman fading away into the distance. I turned around and saw the sun had already risen. It was the first time in a long time that I had missed the sunrise. I slowly walked home missing fatal accidents three times. All I could do was think about what she had told me and why I could not hear what she had said. Even at work that day, I could only think about her and kept seeing her face all around me.
The next day, I left home at 5 30 and waited for her at the same place as yesterday. I waited for almost an hour before walking home dejectedly. I followed the same routine for a week before giving up. I slowly got over her thoughts but could never forget her completely. Her face is something I could never forget in my life.
After a few months, I got my first promotion and I was on cloud nine. The workload increased and I had to move my walks to the evenings. I felt sad that I could no longer see the sunrise. Instead, I tried to catch the sunset every evening at dusk. Every time you look at the setting sun, you are spell bound by its beauty. The orange rays of the sun fading into white rays of the moon and the stars, is truly a remarkable sight.
November 17, Eight months after the day I saw her for the first time, when I was walking along the banks of the river Thames, I saw the face that I had been searching for eight months. Thinking my mind was playing tricks on me as usual, I just shook my head to clear it of any thoughts of her. I opened my eyes and saw myself gazing into those eyes. “OHH!”, such beautiful eyes. That smile, I recognized it instantly. This time I gathered up my courage and started talking to her. “What is your name?”, she asked. I answered, “Adam Lewis Burton”. I realized she had forgotten the conversation we had had before or rather she had had with me I suppose. We chatted for a few minutes when she looked at her watch and I understood that she was in a hurry to leave. I politely said good-bye feeling happy that I was able to meet her again.
It was on my way home that I realized that I had never asked her, her name. I was so preoccupied in answering whatever she asked me that I had completely forgotten my manners. Mad at myself, I entered my house and sat down on my couch. Looking out at the clouded skies outside I wondered where she lived and what her name was. Once again, I tried to meet her again by going on the same routine for almost a year. I never saw her again.
It has been four years since that day. I loved her. It was love at first sight. Her voice, her eyes, her smile, her hair, her lips, I remember everything as if it was only yesterday. Today, I am married to Juliana with one child, my boy Jason! Though I have no regrets, there is not a day that goes by that I do not think of her. Sometimes, I lay awake at night dreaming about that winter evening when I saw her for the second time in my life, not knowing that it would be the last as well. In my dreams, I see her standing in front of the rising sun. It is only after a few minutes that I realize that she is actually standing on the west bank of the Thames. The Sun rising in the west is something that will never happen and me meeting her again is just the same I think.
All these four years, I have yearned for that one moment when I will meet her again. I guess the sun has to rise in the west, like in my dreams, for me to see her again. Someday, I hope! Whatever her name maybe, to me she will always be THE WOMAN – The Most Beautiful Woman I had ever seen! March 17 and November 17. A morning and an evening to remember. Two days I will never forget. Two days I wish I could live again!
– Prashant (Dracus)