He checked the bridge. No. Kalo was not there. Probably he has moved on to the metro stations.
It was his eighth day out of prison. He had made up his mind. He will have to go back to the blade. He didn’t want to. But he will have to. And he needed Kalo for that.
It is tough without an accomplice. Earlier he used to work with even three. One to create rush in the crowd near the station. One to distract the mark. And one to score and hand over the loot to the first one who would disappear at the station. The last step was crucial. A small detail which stood between many broken bones.
What does it change anyway; he thought. His mother didn’t even come out. His brother was standing on the portico, hands folded. ‘She don’t want to see you,’ he said. Not that it bothered him that much. She didn’t talk to him even before he went to jail. He was dead for her long time. He went hungry most of the days. He begged. To every one at sight. Even to other well to do beggars.
But what really bothered him was the crushes. It worsened in the morning. It was as if his whole body was put inside a machine. And limbs were being squeezed through. His nose would start to run. He would run a fever. And if he don’t chase, it would get worse. He would start having diarrhoea with cramps.
Now this is what really drove him to find Kalo. He wanted to find Kalo before the next wave of nausea hit. The guard at the metro looked mean. Watching from a distance, he realised that getting into metro for a free ride is not easy. He would have to try alone to make a score in a bus or something. Then he will find Kalo. Otherwise he wont survive another wave.
He got medicine in prison. If he was rich enough, he could have got heroin itself. But he was not. So he had to take the pills given by the jail doctor. It wasn’t great. There was not much of a high. But it was enough to survive.
When he was released from prison he was given a referral letter by the prison doctor. Where he could continue getting the pills to fight off the hunger of his body. But the address was all wrong. Finally he found the place. But it had closed down.
So now he had to chase. For that he needed money. Big money. For that he needed to find Kalo. To find Kalo, he needed to keep his body and mind steady. For that he needed a score. And for that he needed a blade.
He bent over the nearest pile of waste. Pile of scrap metal, plastic, house waste. Collection of some industrious kabaadi. And he started to go through it systematically.
Photo by nicolas – نيكولس