Author’s Apology – I had my semester exams these last 2 weeks and couldn’t find time to post nor write anything new. Well, I’m back now. Here goes…
Previously – The boy keeps avoiding the fact the fact that he heard his own countdown to death. But when his father returns home, he gets the heavy, disgusting sensation.
The door opens and my dad walks in.
“TV again, Sidharth? Get up, Arun’s here,” he says and goes into the restroom.
But I do not get up. I stay there on the couch, petrified. Because there was that sensation again. That heavy, disgusting sensation.
I watched the restroom’s door, without actually seeing it. My head feels kind of heavy. Numb. Everything blurs.
“Hey Sidhdhu!” somebody says. But I don’t see the person. The only thing in this world is my heavy breathing.
And then, suddenly, it all comes back with a sharp focus.
I jump up from the couch.
“DAD!!” I yell.
I run towards the restroom.
“DAD! DAD, open the door! DAD!” I continue to yell.
“Sidh—” There’s that voice again. I recognize it as Arun’s. But I don’t turn.
“DAD, COME OUT!!”
I raise my hand, now balled into a fist, intent on banging the door. But just then the door opens.
“What the—” my dad starts. But I don’t hear any of it. I look at him, straight into his eyes. And wait. Wait for that voice which I know would come shortly.
But nothing speaks into my head. Puzzled, I look into his eyes again. He was angry, but I didn’t care. I looked into his eyes and waited. Nothing again.
I feel relieved. But it is short lived. There’s one more person here in this room.
Arun. My best friend.
I slowly turn my head towards him. He is looking at me, concern written all over his face. I look into his eyes. Nothing.
But that sensation was still there.
“Sidharth, you will answer me right now!”
“What huh? What was so urgent that it couldn’t wait until I—” He stopped. “What was so urgent?” He was still angry.
I fully understood the situation I was in right now. I quickly thought.
“They are showing that rematch of the El Clasico in TV right now,” I said.
“Did you call me, so loudly, for just that? And it couldn’t wait?”
“I thought you wouldn’t want to miss any of it,” I replied.
Arun was trying to control his laughter behind me. I couldn’t blame him. I found the situation funny myself.
My dad looked at me for another minute and then sighed. Then he turned without saying anything. He went into his bedroom and closed the door.
I looked at Arun. He looked at me. He burst out laughing. I too burst out laughing. But soon my laughter turned into tears. And I started to cry silently.
Arun was looking at me with real alarm now. He was saying something but I couldn’t hear it. I only heard the loud sobs escaping my chest.
It wasn’t until then that I realized how scared I was. I went through the whole day trying to ignore the fact that I heard the numbers yesterday.
That I heard them looking at myself.
The whole day I ran from the numbers. Ran from my reflection. Ran from the truth.
As if not facing it would make it go away.
But in the end it still came back. I still don’t understand why I felt that heavy sensation when neither my dad’s or Arun’s eyes shouted out a number. But I understood how scared I was of death. Of someone dying. Especially when it was someone close.
After facing that, I don’t know why but I felt free. I still felt scared but I also felt free.
I looked up into Arun’s eyes. So close. Alarmed. Confused. I was still crying.
My senses returned. I felt tears on my hands. Embarrassed, I quickly wipe my tears away. I hold up my hand.
“Wait,” I say, in a slightly choking voice. I stop my crying and try again. “Wait.”
“Are you all right now?” Arun asks concerned.
“Yes. Let me just wash my face.”
I get up and go to the sink. I do not look at my reflection. I quickly wash my face and dry it. Then facing the mirror, I slowly look into my eyes.
There’s that number. I was not surprised. I roughly calculated in my mind. That was roughly around 5 ¾ days. The estimation was correct.
The sensation was true. That voice is true. Those numbers are true.
I still felt scared but I knew what exactly I was scared of. And I wasn’t going to give in to it easily.
“Sidharth, you okay now?” Arun asks when I come out into the hall.
“Yeah. Sorry I broke down so suddenly.” I was still embarrassed.
He shaked his head. “What happened?”
I look into his eyes and say,
“Can you believe the impossible?”