From childhood, Sujatha had a fascination for adventure, fantasy and sci-fi stories.
Now in her early twenties, she still loved to read books or see movies which took her off on a long flight of fancy. She could spend hours dreamily in such pursuits, unlike her smart phone peers. Though she detested conventional travels, she loved the concept of time travel.
Her parents, while happy about her not being addicted to the phone and the Net, were also a bit worried about her romantic notions on time travelling, AI etc and tried to gently wean her away towards regular studies, with limited success.
Frequently, she would relate the details of the weird dreams she started getting of late. Elves, dwarves, princes and princesses paid nocturnal visits to Sujatha in increasing frequency. While this perturbed her parents further, Varun, her younger brother would tease her, “Didn’t you see any tall handsome prince so far, instead of dwarves and other uglies?”
“Anything done in excess isn’t good,” Dad would say, “Why don’t you do a MSc in Physics now that you have graduated? Later, you can think of a Doctoral degree and then try for a career with ISRO.”
“Yes, and then the Space Research organization will send you on a time machine!” teased Varun, whom she shooed off gently.
Sujatha would just smile and walk away to her dream corner, to take up and read yet another fantasy tale.
“Yesterday I had the weirdest dream!”
Sujatha’s parents shrugged and resigned themselves to hear yet another of those graphic dreams.
“There was this man-an apparition- at the window, he was talking to me in some strange tongue which I could somehow understand. This guy was actually proposing marriage to me, saying he would take me home to his place in 2050!”
“Your dreams are becoming really weird nowadays! Better you concentrate on your studies,” admonished dad as usual, knowing his words would have little impact.
Neither Sujatha nor her parents gave much importance to her dream, but when she started seeing the same apparition almost every other day, they were a bit concerned.
“He is very persistent, says cannot return without me. Yesterday, he also said he could easily carry me off, but wouldn’t or couldn’t do it without my permission!”
Though it seemed very silly, Sujatha’s parents discussed various options like sitting with their daughter to challenge the stalker, or to inform the police. All such ideas were firmly rejected by Sujatha who laughed at the idea of informing the police.
“He is definitely not a human like us, from our times. There is no doubt he is an apparition, alien, time traveler, or whatever…And a very handsome one at that.”
Seeing the gleam in her face while defending him, Sujatha’s parents were now really worried.
Then for some reason, Sujatha’s space suitor stopped his nocturnal romance for a few days. When Varun one day teased her saying he would have found a better girl, Sujatha got upset and started weeping.
“If only I had said yes!” she sobbed, to the utter consternation of her family.
Suddenly, the door of their house flew open as though by a heavy gust of wind. Before anyone could react, a very handsome looking apparition flew in, took Sujatha in his arms and disappeared, all in the blink of an eye.