It was raining heavily; the street lights had gone off and I was returning home from a late-night birthday party. Due to the heavy downpour of rain, the street was well-nigh de-peopled. The majority of the doors on that street were owned by the shop owners and businessmen and had long since been closed because of bitter cold and unfavourable weather. I was walking down the wet street-my feet acting as inconvenient obstacles for the fast-running streams- when I felt something serpentine close to my feet. I jumped away and looked around for something on the drenched path; a reflex action. I felt chills rising at the back of my neck and it was not because of the cold wind.

I ignored it and kept walking, apparently feeling like an utter fool. Not long after that, I heard footsteps corresponding to mine. I could not imagine someone out of their houses in such weather, but then I looked down at myself. The sound got closer and naturally, I saw a figure forming and growing bigger through the blurriness due to the curtain of rain. He was a tall man wearing an overcoat with collars turned high up which made it impossible to see his face but eyes. I did not stop but then he came to a halt right in front of me. I stopped too- though unwillingly- and looked at him with a blank expression.

“What, may I ask, are you doing in this weather and at this hour of night young lady?” he asked is a deep voice which gave a hint of concern.

“Well, I was returning home thinking I could get through this weather but that bubble of mine blew up two blocks back.”, I sighed at my foolishness to have come out despite this weather and continued, “I cannot turn back now whatsoever as I am more than halfway home.”

“You seem quite dressed up for a night like this,” he said in an interrogating way.

“I am returning from a friend’s birthday party,” I replied.

“Did you have a good time with this friend of yours?” he asked.

Something told me I was giving away too many particulars to my acquaintance but I did not feel danger there. He seemed very fatherly and from what I know of strangers, he did not seem like a bad man. I said, “Oh yes. She is my best friend. You see that is why I could not miss her birthday even if it is raining so heavily.”

“Friends always make one blithe and jubilant but they can show us meanness in them at times,” he said, his eyes seeming to have lost in his past. He continued, “Go home. It is a late hour ticking.”

He did not wait for my reply and started walking in my opposite direction. I did not expect our conversion to take this turn and I looked back to see his outline disappear but as he was approaching the street light a few feet away, the light went on and I saw him disintegrate in the air. I took a deep breath; I was not glad or anything. I was rather shocked. His body dissolved in the cold air it seemed like.

He had vanished.