“Taxi!” I hailed. However, in vain. I knew I should have left the party earlier. It is going to be 3 soon and it was freezing. The sky looked beautiful, the stars twinkling in the night sky looked absolutely stunning. This time of the day was my favourite. Not a single person to be seen on the roads. The silence so intense that the sound of a pin drop could be heard like a gunshot.However, one down side of this time was that it was nearly impossible for me to find a taxi. Several attempts later, a taxi arrived. I entered the taxi as soon as possible, glad knowing my body was going to remain warm for the rest of the night. As soon as I sat, I noticed a man in the car and immediately went “Oh great! I don’t want to share a cab”. I stepped out but then realised that at this time it was going to be impossible to find a cab, and God knows how long I would have to wait to find a new cab. Reluctantly, I re-entered the car. Upon entering I noticed the man. Black hair, light green eyes, clean shaven. He easily looked like he was in his 25s. His body, lean but not too lean. He sat with his back completely straight which made me self-conscious about my posture. He was an attractive young man. However, when we exchanged a slight glance at each other I noticed how bloodshot his eyes were. I chose to ignore his presence and as discreetly as possible put my hand in my bag and took my pepper spray and hid it in my pocket. At this point, I was getting worried about my safety, so to distract myself I rolled up the windows and saw the mist form on the window. I placed my head against the window and used my finger to doodle on the window. I took out my earphones from my bag and was about to connect them to my phone when to my disappointment, my phone had died. I began looking at the window when I saw the taxi driver constantly stare at me. I knew it. The driver along with the young man would rape me and if I were lucky, he would let me survive. I stared back at him and as soon as I did, he averted his gaze. Beads of perspiration started dripping down his face.
My entire body began shaking and I started moving my leg first front and then back to calm my nerves, when suddenly, my leg touched something and I let out a high-pitched shriek. The taxi came to a sudden halt. We were going at eighty kilometres per hour and the sudden stop nearly flung me off my seat. I screamed “Are you out of your mind!? What the hell were you thinking? You could have got us killed?”. The look the young man gave me startled the living daylights out of me. As soon as she saw me in the car, I thought she wouldn’t enter but she did. She was beautiful. She had long jet-black hair that fell till her back. Her eyes were hazel brown. Her posture was rather poor and I saw her trying to adjust it in a very unsubtle manner. I immediately stepped out of the car with Vincent. The driver along with the young man immediately stepped out of the car. Did the man possibly know the driver? I was starting to get nervous. I tried to see what my leg could have possibly touched. I bent my hand down and touched something thick and liquid in substance. I lifted my hand thinking it was probably juice and was going to wipe it on my jeans when I froze. My hands were red. Blood red. It felt like someone had pressed the pause button on my life. I stared at my hands for I don’t know how long until the sound of a dog howling broke the silence. I don’t know what overcame me, but I had to see whose body it was. I bent down, when I received the shock of my life. It was the young man’s body. I went blank. My heart stopped beating for a minute and I was not able to process what was going on with me. Then, to my horror the driver along with the young man immediately entered the cab and began driving. I wiped the blood of my hands as discreetly as possible. My face broke into a sweat, my heart was beating at a rapid pace and my hands could not stop shaking. I was having a panic attack. I couldn’t breathe. I couldn’t even call anyone because my phone was dead.I saw her panic-stricken face and wondered whether she knew what happened. Even if she did, she was able to keep her calm rather well. I applaud her for the effort.There was still half an hour left and each minute left like it was going on forever. Finally, I reached home. I paid him the money when the young man looked at me and said “This was a great trip; I really enjoyed your presence” and gave me a very handsome smile. I wasn’t able to bring myself to smile at him. I rushed to my way home, the way I rushed you would think I was in a marathon with Usain Bolt. I took a mental note of the car number. The very next day, I entered the police station and they took down my statement. A few weeks later, I got news that they had found the driver’s body. The driver’s name was Vincent and called me in to identify him. They then took me to the morgue to confirm whether the dead body matched the driver’s body. They showed me the body and my senses went numb. Had the young man killed the driver? Did he avenge himself because the driver had killed him? A thousand questions flooded through my mind. “You know, you can just ask me the questions that are going through your mind”, I heard him say. I looked to my left and found him grinning at me while I stood there frozen.
Author: Sanjana Pillai