An Unseen Story

Graphic by Tejal Kawachi

Alaya was walking back to her place after a tiresome day at work. As she turned onto a street, she heard a noise from behind but found no one thereupon turning around. Shrugging her shoulders and shaking her head, she believed it to be a figment of her imagination and continued on her way. As Alaya turned onto her street, a dimly lit one with just a few houses, she was startled hearing footsteps following her but no one was there. Not thinking much of it, she entered her house hurriedly and continued with her routine. Even when she was trying hard not to think much of the sound of the footsteps, her mind continually wandered off to that very thought. After tossing and turning well into the night, she fell into a deep slumber.

When Alaya woke up the next day, she saw a bouquet of red roses and a note kept on her side table. She couldn’t think straight and picked up her mobile to call someone but suddenly she heard a voice call out her name. She panicked and started rubbing her ears. She heard the voice again and it was coming from near the side table. “Is someone there?” asked Alaya, spooked. 

A voice replied, “I am Unseen, the superhero. People can’t see me but I can see everyone and everything and fight against the wrong.” 

“But..” stammered Alaya, “what do you want from me? I have done no harm to anyone.” 

Unseen laughed and replied, “I know, love. I have come here to tell you that I like you. I have liked you since the first time I saw you.” 

A petrified Alaya said, “I have never even met you.”

“Well, my dear Alaya let me tell you a story. One day I was walking down a street when I saw a girl helping a little boy cross the road to catch up with his mother. When she turned around I was awestruck by her beauty. Not only was she beautiful, but also kind. You could say that it was love at first sight. Then I started following her everywhere but she couldn’t see me. I wanted her to look at me with that lovely smile of hers but alas, she didn’t.” Unseen paused for a moment. “Do you want to know who she is?”, he asked.

Alaya just kept staring at the empty space from where the voice came, speechless, thinking it to be a dream. When she didn’t respond, Unseen replied “It was you, Alaya. I fell in love with your kindness and beautiful smile.” She was dumbstruck and soon heard her mother’s footsteps coming towards her room.  She sighed in relief when saw her bedroom window open and the curtains flying with the wind as the bedroom door opened. Alas, the relief was only momentary as she instantly started thinking about Unseen and his confession. 

In the following days, Alaya grew conscious of the shadow following her and helping her in times of need. She started receiving cute love letters and chocolates every day. Sometimes she would even respond to the letters with a shy smile and unbeknownst to herself, started having feelings for the strange man. She wanted to talk to someone about this but knew that no one would believe her.

One day while street shopping with her friends, from the corner of her eye, Alaya saw someone staring at her from the shop glass but found no one when she turned to look properly. She went into deep thought and came out of it when her friend shook her by the arm. Over the next week, she did not sense anyone following her and became worried about Unseen. She had become used to the letters, chocolates, and most importantly the person. She realized that she had also fallen in love with him and his gestures.

After a week, a man stopped Alaya in her tracks. Alarmed, she started taking a step back to run but his hand reached out and stopped her. The man revealed himself to be Unseen and his face was partly visible. Astonished that she could see him, Alaya wondered how he was visible to her and blurted out the question — something Unseen seemed to have been prepared for. He told her that after she had seen his glimpse in the market that day, he had gone to his Guru to understand the situation. His Guru had told him, “My child you have finally found your true love who you care about. If that person would care and love you the same way then you will become visible to the world.” 

“But how would I help people if my superpower is lost?” Unseen had questioned. 

“What did he say?” Alaya asked, unable to keep the curiosity out of her voice. 

He had said to me, “Your superpower is not your invisibility but how you make use of it. You can help people in need even while being visible to them. Your strength lies in your belief and how you use it. So don’t let your invisibility overpower your inner strength. Make your good heart your power and help others.” He advised me one more thing…” continued Unseen.

“What?” Asked Alaya curiously.

“He had said to me, ‘Don’t lose the one you love just to keep the superpower. Cherish her and show her how much you care about her.’ So here I am standing in front of you,” Unseen replied with a grin, making Alaya blush. 

“Well your Guru is right, you know”, she replied before starting to walk with a skip in her steps. When she saw that Unseen was not following her, she turned around and ran towards him. Alaya held Unseen’s hand and they started walking together with smiles on their faces. Turning towards him, Alaya eagerly asked, “By the way, what is your real name?”

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