Stranger in Lincoln
It was the beginning of February and snowstorm lashed the state of Nebraska. Amid this cruel weather, the capital of the state, Lincoln, welcomed a new immigrant. He was just 15 years in age but, walked with utmost confidence. Standing 5’7”, he was a lean and thin fellow but his hooded face and mysterious appearance contradicted his build-up.
His hands were wrapped around his jacket (not because of cold but to ensure safety of something he was hiding inside his jacket) and his hasty steps merely fueled the suspicion he had already aroused. His face was not so clearly visible, but you could tell that he was good looking. He looked suspiciously at every passerby and they returned him the favor by staring back at him. He was perhaps, setting his feet first time in this city, but made no signs of his unfamiliarity. He was afraid that someone was stalking him and kept on turning back repeatedly.
“Hey! Taxi!” He called out for a cab and demanded whether the cabbie could give him a ride to the police headquarters.
It shook the cabbie, he of course, was no criminal. But the idea of going to cops, was just horrible for a drunkard like him. He was about to refuse when the stranger sensed his uneasiness.
“And I need you to wait for me till I come back. You will help me around this city and I will pay you whatever you demand,” the stranger continued, this time appealing to his greed.
The proposal helped the cabbie overcome his reluctance. After all, it was the deal of his dreams, to get hired for the whole day and that too at whatever cost he demanded, so he finally agreed.
What happened inside the headquarters, the cabbie had no idea. But after two hours of waiting, stranger finally showed up.
“Take me to the best school in the city,” he demanded the cabbie, who, given his hirer’s looks, had started to doubt him.
“Barnett and trustees, that’s the best school around here, But it’s on the other side of town,” the cabbie lied.
He knowingly said so, although, the school was less than 15 minutes ride from there. He was planning to drive the longer way, so that he could clarify his doubts about the stranger.
“No problem, drop me there and remember, you need to wait until I come back. I have to find an accommodation for me,” commanded the stranger.
“Don’t worry! Sir, I know a landlord myself, his name is Paul Lane. If only, you will be willing to live in a rented house,” cabbie replied, trying to begin a conversation.
“That’s so nice of you, I will be happy to accept any accommodation as long as it is neat, well kept and most importantly solitary. I am a private investigator and I need to concentrate on my work so, I need to be left alone. But now, we need to be quick, I have to file for admission in the school and get some rest,” the stranger said faking some signs of exhaustion.
“That’s enough talking! Let’s get working!” The stranger replied angrily, decimating cabbie’s advances, who couldn’t reconcile his hirer’s age with his profession of being an investigator.
They finally arrived at Barnett’s. He went straight to the principle’s cabin and talked at length for another hour or so. Cabbie, even this time had no idea what was going on. The stranger’s hideous ways were only fueling his conjectures about him.
© 2017 Rishav K Singh. All rights reserved.