Lonely Afternoons

Note: If you cannot stand meaningless posts, then you must stop right now! 🙂 You have been warned!

I decided to defeat my fears today. As I peeped in from the kitchen window, I could hear my tormentor’s voice over the din of the cars from below. How could I miss it? His was the voice that I was scared of since time immemorial. Those red eyes, how often had I hoped that I wouldn’t spot them when moving in the house alone in the afternoon? But they’d find me. Yes, he always knew when I was alone, and when it was likely that I would step into the kitchen.

Sometimes he’d wait for me there, and then take to his flight, like a ninja assassin ready to strike at the slightest move of the target. At other times, I would deliberately make noises and be ready with my arms to attack him. But today, alone, I decided, it was enough; I’d had enough of these mind games. My tormentor was worse than a person; he didn’t even need words to rattle the bones off me.

I took two tentative steps towards the kitchen, knowing for sure, he’d be there waiting for me. Like those numerous times when I was alone in the house, unarmed and scared. I mentally marked his usual spots, and the way I would tackle him at each one. With a steely grip on the stick, and a mental framework which I hoped was strong enough to face him, I decided to step in. Sure as hell, he was there, at his usual spot. On the kitchen counter.

I don’t really remember when was the first time I saw him there, staring like I had stepped into his home. Claiming my food and my space for him. But yes, he was there for as long as I could remember. Once I even came close to removing him from the kitchen, failed at the last step. He wouldn’t budge. With talons of steel, and a stare that’s burn the best soul, he’d remained the subject of my nightmares. Often I’d see him wait for me, like a stalker marking his obsession. Other times he’d just wait for me, knowing that sooner or later I would be there, to face him.

The evil soul that he was, he didn’t need anything that I possessed. But somehow, taking away my mental peace gave him some sort of sadistic pleasure. Be assured, he not so much as ever touched me, or harmed me physically; but often made it clear that if he chose to, I’d stand no chance. My fear fuelled from the fact that he was the one in control; he was the one who decided what I would look like that day. A bruised enemy, or a forsaken one.

As I walked into the kitchen, staring at him, his red pupils looking back at me; I thought of the numerous times my family had come to my rescue. None being scared of him as much as I was. How knowing that they would come to my rescue, my tormentor chose the time carefully. He always knew! And what did I know about him? Nothing apart from the fact that he was my tormentor.

I should have pushed those thoughts out of my head then, but I didn’t. Suddenly, my mind didn’t seem so strong when I saw him sitting there unperturbed. Seemingly undisturbed by the change in me, or did I change at all?

I spread my hands in front of me, my palms stretching out as if to push him away.

“Shoo!” I said.

He looked at me.

What was I thinking? Would that scare him!? HIM? Uncertain, but desperate, I tried again.

“Shoo?”

He sat there, clearly not bothered about what  I was doing. His legs tucked neatly under his body, his vajrasan would have made my mom proud.

Realising that it was again a one sided battle, he stretched his legs out, as though readying them for action. I stepped back. He stood as I moved back towards the kitchen door. He steadied his body bit by bit as I moved steadily into the hallway.

Whooooosh!

I knew the devil had taken his flight now, but then.

Twaaaaaaaaang!

He’d just landed closer to the door, as though challenging me to come get him. I knew I had lost the battle then. Something I should have realised long back. By now, whatever Jhaansi ki Rani feelings I had in me, were long abandoned, I just wanted him to leave. I’d curl up in peace then.

Just then; the bell rung. And he heard it too, I am sure. He came to the kitchen door, gave me a look that chided me. Obviously, the battle was not over. He was not done yet. As I moved tentatively to open the door, he opened his wings and flew out from the window. Knowing the exact spot where he wouldn’t get stuck, and knowing that I was still an easy prey for him.

And me? Well, I guess there is always a tomorrow to face my tormentor and kick him out of my life. Till then, I guess reinforcing the window grills with an anti-pigeon wire mesh would be wise.
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