With the announcement to the passengers to sit up straight and place the tray tables in upright position, Ella recalled how she first met Narahari. It was her first year in college and she had the call from her dad that their dog had just died. While she was looking in the hallway mirror of the girls’ dorm, she noticed him behind her. He asked “Are you looking or just looking?” and she answered without hesitating, “Just looking”. She turned back with a glimpse and there was no one there. For months she never heard from him nor even thought of him again. Until one day, when she was very tired after hours of studying for the finals, she almost fell asleep in her book. She rose up from the table and headed to the bathroom to freshen up. She washed her face a couple of times with seriously cold water and when she looked up there was a familiar smile in the mirror. “Are you looking or just looking?” he asked. “Are you looking or just looking?” she answered with a question. In less than a millisecond he appeared in the room and asked “do you believe in love?” Ella started laughing. “I don’t know whether I should be answering to your question or just repeat after your question so that you won’t disappear again.” He continued to look at her as if she should be the one to know that. “OK, let me tell you the truth. I don’t know if I know whether I believe in love or not. Actually, I don’t know if love even exists. And who are you to come and appear in my room in the middle of the night and dare asking me about this? Oh, am I going to die? Do I have a brain tumor so that I can see you? Why are you even here?”
“Ella”, said Narahari. “Whatever and however I try explain to you, this is not the time and the place for it. Questions exist because you are asking them. I can only tell you that you are not dying, not for the moment and you don’t have a brain tumor.”
“Really, now you are a doctor and how …” she continued and when she turned back he wasn’t there again.
Two years have passed from graduation and those weird mirror incidents. Ella had started working. She was rewarded the employee of the season in her region and won a one week trip to Europe. She was extremely happy since she had never been there before.
Just as she was heading the hotel reception desk, she heard a cold, though voice in her ear “don’t look back and do as I say”. In seconds she was dragged into the back of a dark van with no visible windows. She was really afraid but found the courage to say “who are you, where are you taking me, what do you want, you are mistaken”. One of the fierce looking guys said “shut up or I’ll duck tape you”. After a half an hour ride, they have entered a manor house. She was released when the car stopped and they showed her the way to the house. A very old man was waiting at the door. “Is this her?” he said. “Bring her upstairs”. Ella cried “who do you think I am, who do you think you are, I will call the police”. But nobody listened nor answered her cries.
Upstairs there was a beeping signal spreading like in the hospitals. When they entered the room she saw a man was lying in the bed. When he turned his head she couldn’t believe in her eyes. He was Narahari. “But how is this possible?” she asked. Everybody in the room left and now they were alone.
“Are you real?” Ella asked. Narahari smiled. “What happened to you, where have you been, what I am doing here, how do you know I’m here?” she was like going to ask millions of questions in a row.
“I don’t have much time Ella, I wanted to see you once more” said Narahari.
“OK, if I promise not to ask tons of questions, can I ask only one more?” said Ella. He smiled.
“Do you believe in love?” asked Ella. Narahari leaned back and said “Yes, I do. Will you hold my hand and close your eyes?”
When their hands were seized and their eyes were closed, they were flying up in the clouds of the city. Ella felt very safe and warm. When they came up at the last station of the lift train, they landed on the other side of the stop.
Narahari said “Let’s wait here. They will arrive soon”.
In less than two minutes the lift train arrived at the station and the passengers took of one by one. Finally an old man with a striped shirt holding a blue bag in his hand got off the train.
Narahari pointed at the man and said “He has a wife at home, she’s very sick and she can’t get out of bed. Doctors have advised her to take fresh air every day. He is coming up to the highest point of the city twice a day, filling the blue bag with fresh air and taking it back for her to inhale it.”
Ella hugged Narahari and she started crying. “I believe in love” she said. And when she opened her eyes Narahari was gone. She took the lift train back with the old man and sat next to him. She followed the man to his way back to his home. He invited Ella inside. When she entered the house she saw a man sitting next to the old woman lying in bed. He was Narahari. He said “she doesn’t have much time”. The old man hasted the blue bag to his wife and opened the cap. She took a deep breath and said “Love is in the air”.