After a tiresome day, I was going back to my home riding my bike in solitude.
It was a winter night, and the frigidity in the air was making me a little nervous. Winter chills are not just about the cold, but it also about hidden mysteries. I was unaware that one such mystery was already around me.
The iciness had also made my bike a little jolty. It seemed to resist against my command of acceleration and defy my want for speed. The engine seemed to give up against the cold resistance and then suddenly used to pump up its efforts to fight. It moved, almost dragged, as if it carried a lot of weight.
I loved to ride my bike alone, especially at night. I feel that the road sings at night. There aren’t much vehicles to disturb it. Silence is the most melodious song, it seems.
The highway was lifeless and I had to go a long way, half an hour more. So, I started to listen to the music that nature makes itself. Tires, while running naked upon the rough-textured, scurfy road, produced a melodious friction which in turn tuning in with the jumpers made a rumble-like traditional beats. And the air, making its way through and around my helmet, played flute-like soothing tunes inside my ears. The keychain was holding on to the key pierced in to my bike, but danced to the tune of this music, while making music on its own, as if it was dancing with anklets having little bells attached to it.
So, I started to sing along the sounds those winds were making. It is hardly audible on the bike when you sing, but that’s the beauty of it. We can actually sing without hearing what we are singing or shouting for that sake.
The usual city roads slowly disappeared and the surroundings were stripped of buildings and other man-made structures. Trees started to run along the road and the streetlights died. The cold air got converted into mists and was almost intolerable. And the smell in the air turned addictive.
The darkness seemed to be following me, running along with me. The music that the nature was making turned its genre to a more sensual and serious form.
I suddenly felt a warm sensation behind my ear, as if a warm breath. Instincts made me turn and see, but it was obvious— there was nothing behind me. This long tiring cold ride was giving out such false sensations to me, I consoled myself.
Further down the road, I felt that sudden warm air behind my neck again. And then again. And again. It continued in a pattern, and would repeat every seven-eight breaths of my own.
It wasn’t normal. I had looked behind several times and was constantly looking out for something, a pest or an insect or a thing stuck on my neck maybe. But my hands returned all empty, every time.
I started ignoring it. At least, I wanted to. Probably man had messed up the environment so bad that it changed every few meters, I thought.
Apart from that, my bike’s dragging ride was annoying me. Was it just the chill in the engine or the winds, I wasn’t sure.
The cold air dropped and the road stopped singing. There was no sound at all on the way. No windage, no buzzing sound and no resistance blowing my hair, nothing. As if I had walked right into a vacuum!
I had never felt such a sensation ever. It was almost horrific. It felt as if I was the only living person in that vicinity.
Suddenly, I saw a pothole in my way, I shifted my weight and expected my bike to move around it. But another weight shift happened and I went right through the pothole. The bump gave a painful ache in my back. I would usually swear in such situations. But this the other weight shift had scared me. It wasn’t me that was for sure. But who it was?
I was eagerly waiting for the familiar city roads, which were still 15 minutes away. I had lowered the speed due to past few weird occurrences.
My bike ride wasn’t pleasant anymore. I was constantly looking for something— in front of me, around me, behind me… The drag in the bike was noticeable. And the weird fall in the windage – this all was making me uncomfortable, if not dreadfully scared.
A sudden rustle ahead of me would shake me up all to my pants and I would look around in the dark trees, wondering what terrorizing creature might be preying for me there.
There was a weird smell in the air, and it wasn’t of dew filled grass or soil. Although, the shiver was probably more relatable to the cold, my mind mixed it up with pall and panic. My cautious (read terrified) self was almost at the brink of losing self-control and crying out loud.
A warm hand moved around my waist and grabbed me tightly. It was pulling me back from my abdomen area and I instantly applied brakes. My bike came to a stop, almost skidding and the back wheel lifted up for a second before falling back with a bang.
As soon as I stopped, the sensation went away and everything was normal again. But I wasn’t normal at all now. My eyes were wide open and I was unable to move at all. Just a few seconds, and my expression turned from being beaming to dreaded, more of being dead.
Nervously, I moved my shivering hand towards the rear view mirror. I wanted to see behind my back, but turning it myself didn’t seem to be a good option to my guts.
Hesitant at even moving the mirror, I gradually saw through it. From the rear view, I saw the empty road behind me. Gathering a little more courage, I moved the mirror and the area around my vicinity came into view. A little further, and the fabric of my shirt was just visible. With a deep breath, I moved it a little further and there… There it was, my back and nothing else. Nothing as I had expected. Empty backseat.
A loud noise came ahead of me. I turned and saw that a tree had just uprooted a few meters ahead of me. It had fallen on the road and its branches had covered almost whole part of the road. Its big trunk was covering the left lane, the lane which I was on. Had it been that I was driving, the tree would’ve fallen right on me.
I wasn’t sure whether to thank God for saving me from this near-hit, or whether to continue feeling this frisson as somewhere I felt that it wasn’t God who saved me.
I got off my bike, moved around it and after a few checks and calls, I finally felt relaxed. I could move the last few branches of the tree who gave out enough space for my bike to go through the right lane.
I jump-started my bike, as I was willing to just rush away from that scene. After crossing the tree, the engine again gave up and stopped in the middle of the road. I tried starting it several times, but it just wouldn’t start.
I got tired of kicking and so I took a while to regain my breath. I turned and saw that mischanced tree, and imagined what would have happen, if I had not felt that weird sensation which made me stop my bike.
In my mind, I felt that I should thank that sensation too, apart from being thankful to just God. Mentally, I thanked that entity or whatever it was for saving me from that hazard.
As soon as I did that, I felt the weight shift on my bike, and suddenly, the bike was much lighter than before. The weight shift felt as if someone just got down from my bike… But how is that even possible!
My mind was getting dizzy with these events and I wanted to get to bed as soon as it was possible. So I started the bike (which started without any problem now), and drove as fast as I could (the lag in the engine was gone too). When I got home, all the events kept flashing in my mind, and I couldn’t sleep for the whole night…
I can still remember that warm sensation around my stomach and that weight shift on my bike. Was it her, who had saved me the previous time? Did she just save me, again?
Link to previous experience: