Afraid

He was a kid. He aint a kid actually. He was seventeen; but always spent every minute thinking about how to celebrate his eighteenth birthday; in about 20 days from then.

But, then. He was a kid. He felt like one. He felt the soft pillow next to him too addictive and couldn’t sleep without it. His teddy bear laid flat on its back next to him and he softly poked it, carefully trying not to wake it up. Its just a teddy. It wont wake up. Punch it!, he thought; but its just too much for him. He couldn’t punch his beloved teddy, his best friend since childhood. I just cant do it. He hated himself.

From his very childhood he has been brought up as a very *bayandha paiyyan. He never went out of his house after 6. He was afraid of every tree, because his friend’s mom once told him that, ghosts live and loom around in trees. He was an afraid, shaky kid. But, now, things have changed, and years have passed. But..

He tossed and rolled in his bed and when he found that he could no longer sleep; he opened his room’s door. I’m a brave guy! He said to himself as he slowly looked in both the directions. Nothing seemed suspicious. He made his move. He walked as slowly as a pregnant turtle and reached the Balcony door. He looked around. Nothing.

He slowly opened the door. Nothing. Darkness.

He heaved a sigh of relief, and closed the door behind him; and looked around the empty street. He had heard about werewolves and vampires; about ghosts and spirits looming in the very darkness that he was staring at, in the middle of the night. He checked his watch. It showed 1 am, and exactly at the same time a dog began to howl, a street away. His heart skipped a beat.

The dog is just burping! He thought. But, burping so loud? Probably it just had a mate, and not satisfied with it. I dunno, he decided. He knows that when he thinks of a ‘I dunno’ he is afraid. He didn’t like himself when he is afraid. Be brave.

Minutes passed as he stared at the cloudless night sky, the gorgeous stars sending out photons from millions of light years away. Thoughts came rushing into his mind. How foolish I am to believe in all those stupid stories. He thought. I’m no more a kid. I’m a man. There are no werewolves, no vampires. No crap to be afraid of! He said the last sentence aloud and it sent a chill through his spine. He felt good. He felt wonderful. Like a man.

He turned back carelessly unaware of the still-howling-dog the next street. As he closed the Balcony door, and entered his room merrily tossing onto his bed, he didn’t realize the sudden cease of the dog’s howl. He didn’t hear its gasp.

He didn’t know about the icy blue eyes gulping blood next to the dead dog, searching for its next prey.

*Bayandha Paiyyan – Paiyyan means boy. Bayandha means Afraid. So, a boy who is afraid of everything, even his shoe laces, or a telephone reciever. Anything.

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