(Continued from my previous post…)
Embarrassment, Frustration, Loneliness, and noise of the crowd, all were making it harder for me to sleep. I was feeling sleepy, and my eyes were becoming heavy, but I was not able to sleep. My friend “A” noticed it and he tried appropriately to divert my attention from all negative thoughts. He stated with our old school time memories, and talks about our gang, and yes, it was soothing and calming. Those old golden memories and friends, brought me back to normal mood and helped me forget about the negative feelings I was occupied with a while ago.
I tried different poses to catch the sleep, and different ways by cuddling my pillow to make me comfortable and “home-like” feel just like my roomie does it to me, but nothing worked. I was still feeling uneasy, and alienated. I had no option except to spend time in talking to “A” if I can’t sleep. Thanks God, he was here with me tonight. Slowly we covered a whole variety of topics. Our discussion started from past memories of School-life, and then slowly progressed through marriages of some of our friends in our Gang, and then covering my job, my office politics and environment, Delhi vs our city and then we moved on to the entertainment section, i.e. the movies I watched recently and the horror movies and the Ghosts. As the time passed, more and more people were asleep, including the kids who were making noise earlier, and our discussion was taking a turn from light and entertaining to real life horror stories.
Horror movies, and supernaturals, have always fascinated me, and had been a constant source of curiosity for me, but it does not mean that I am not afraid of these things. This is actually a manifestation of my fears to this unknown things that keeps me intrigued and curious about these things. I don’t know if Ghosts are just part of fiction, or if they really exists, and I never really wanted to know. I am happy in making my beliefs stronger that Ghosts don’t exists really, because it safe guards me. But when I saw a few news articles and documentaries aired on renowned TV channels like Discovery TV, Zee News etc., which somehow emphasized on existence of third world, (after death), I am inclined to say that such reputed channels which spend a lot of money in research of articles and verifying the authenticity of it, cannot just put fictions as contents on their channel for sake of TRP. So yes, I do accept that I am in “non-denial” of such supernatural forces.
As most of the people in the room were now asleep except one or two at the rear end, there was a growing silence. In order to not to disturb others, we had to communicate in Whispering mode. These abnormal whisper talks were making our Ghostly-talks more horrifying. I was getting terrified, and wanted to shut-up “A” from his non-sense, real-life Ghosts experiences he collected from various source. But, Ah ! That was the irony. I am a… Man, a grown-up Man ! Who ought to be brave, non-fearing creature of the Almighty. How could I be afraid of such non-existent entities called the Ghosts, and such fiction stories, especially among a huge gathering of relatives and friends around me?
Thanks God, we were laying at the corner of the room, hence automatically covered from two sides by the walls from where no Ghosts could enter. With his creative (I would like to admire his creativity assuming these all Ghosts stories were fake, and part of fiction, just to be on safer side) style of story telling, and superb supernatural experiences with Ghosts, I was now really terrified and badly needed an escape.
I tried to change the topic but “A” was in full mood to not to show any mercy on me. I believe, my fears were coming obvious from my facial expressions as his story contents were getting more and more disturbing to me with each twist in his story-line which were eventually reflecting from my un-intentional facial expressions or my attempts to deviate him from this topic.
While completing his incident from the Ghost story, to make it more lively, he imitated the act and grabbed my hand in his hand and kept it holding tightly. Phew ! It was initially a fear, but soon I was feeling better. His holding my hand in his hand was giving me a kind of assurance that I needed the most at that moment. The assurance that I was not all alone in that “Jungle” where the main character of his story, a boy like me, of my age, was struggling among Ghosts. Fearing that he may leave me once again, all alone in that jungle, I too closed grip of my hand on his hand so that he did not pull out his hand. He didn’t.
He paused his story. Looked at me. Covered my hand between both his hands, and asked, “Are you scared?” and gave me a mischievous smiling look.
Coming back to my senses on this sudden attack on my “Manly integrity”, I refused to be afraid of anything. He said, “But then why are you sweating … see your forehead and why are your hands so cold?”
He had caught me red-handed through my body-symptoms, which I was miserably failing to hide now. The truth had prevailed. But my ego was not allowing me to admit it. I pulled my hand off his hands, and said, “That’s because I am feeling a little bit cold and bored of your non-sense stories. I am also feeling sleepy now and just want to sleep”. We both knew what the truth was. He smiled, and took my hand back in his hand and said, “OK Baba ! I just asked if you were alright. It is not that too cold in this room with so many people stuffed in this room. Look at me, I am just wearing a vest unlike you who is covered in T-shirt. It is actually pretty warm here.” I wanted to hold his hand to avoid any direct interaction with any of his “Story Ghosts” so I did not resist him holding my hand again. My fears were so high at the end of this part of his Ghostly-real life experiences of some Mr. XUZ (whose experiences he was sharing with me as a story) that I actually wanted to go for pee, but I couldn’t dare to go all alone in the dark, outside the hall. I definitely could not ask for any help from him to accompany me to the loo. It was better for me to close my eyes and try for a sleep.
Shock and fears, may make one forget one’s miseries. His horror story made me momentarily forget about my roomie, and the fact how much I was missing him and about my embarrassments a little while ago. All I could feel now was his Ghosts surrounding me, his hand holding mine, and a little pressure in my gall-bladder to get relieved of. I closed my eyes, and slowly went into dreamland. I remember I was still holding his hand in my hand and he was caressing my hand in his firm-grip, with his thumb. That was quite soothing and calming me down. Before closing my eyes, I remember him laying on his bed on my left, on a side-pose, facing me. He was resting his head on his right hand and was using it as a pillow, and was looking at my face, with a mild smile.
When I woke up next (early) morning, the scene was something like photo given below, we both were sleeping together in a very objectionable and awkward position. We were so close to each-other that it was hard to make a difference between Love-making and sleeping pose. I am not aware, if we might have even kissed each other accidentally (or intentionally).
I did not notice it during night when we actually ran so close to each other as I was accustomed to sleep in so touchy-touchy closeness with my roomie. But I believed “A” was not in similar situation. Or… was he?
It was not a good indication for anyone in the room who might have noticed our physical intimacy. People might draw many conclusions in their creative minds and from their vast experiences. Conclusions … about me, or about him,… or about us ! That was a dangerous situation to give rise to gossips and rumors.
After opening my eyes, when I got back to my senses, I noticed he was still holding my hand from my wrist, as if he did not want to let me go. As if, he was assuring me to be there to support me, if I needed. The room was still silent and it was still dark outside, that means, probably I woke up before anyone else in the room to relieve myself from increasing pressure and need to pee. I turned my face around to have a look on the situation, and was relieved to find that my guess was correct. The wall clock was showing 3:25 AM and everyone in the room was asleep.
I tried to take my wrist off his grip very gently, without disturbing his sleep, and within a second of my attempt to do that, I noticed that he opened his eyes and was smiling back. That made me think, if he was all awake, this extreme closeness could be a deliberate act of “A”? We were catching each other’s breaths and I now think, it was quite possible that our lips might have touched when I was asleep. At least the pose we were lying in, was perfect for this to happen. No one had to make an attempt to kiss other. We were almost in kissing mode.
“A” and I have had a good understanding since beginning. We had been close-friends. I like him a little more than some of the other buddies in our gang. But that’s more or less same for me with every other friend in our gang. More I receive the love, more I feel attached and more attention is automatically diverted to that person. This was reciprocated automatically as per the universal law of action and reaction. So, intensity of my attention and affection for friends in our gang kept floating based upon the dynamics of the gang. It might be a case that I could not see “A”‘s feelings for me in this context earlier because I was not aware of this perspective before meeting my Roomie. There were no explicit signs of this from”A” too. I too was, in a kid-zone, during my school life, who was unable to understand a difference between “Love” and “Friendship”, especially between same sex people and now I have matured enough to differentiate between various kinds of “touch” and feelings. My interaction with roomie made me understand this difference. He was the one who brought me out of the kid-zone to “mature” content zone.
I probably might have asked him to accompany me outside the room to the loo, but now, I was hesitant. I went all alone, and came back, and then placed our pillow between us to avoid any similar situation now. I tried to maintain the safe distance also but there was not enough room available. This time, I turned away from him and slept on my side opposite to “A”.
I was feeling doubly down at emotional front. First, and most importantly, my roomie had rejected me. He did not accept my apologies for misconduct. He did not pick my call. Neither did he return my call later. I was expecting him to be here with me on weekend, but he did not come. I was now sure, it was a deliberate act of my Roomie. It never happened that he failed to return my calls.
Second issue was due to “A”. I was feeling a bit down, and slightly guilty too. Guilty of what… I could not understand. Probably, on being so rude to him. He was a good friend to me, and I was being forced (somehow due to my own misconceptions probably) to stay away from him. I was losing my buddy… “A”… and losing a friend has always been painful to me.
Next day, I was quite dull and lethargic. Although it was the beginning of the Pujan ceremony and most of the guests had already arrived in the morning, but my mood was off. My dearest and the most awaited Guest had not arrived. Next day also, all my friends joined us back and helped me in settling things down and making necessary arrangements of Pujan as per the directions from my Father and Pandit ji (the Priest). My eyes kept scanning the main entrance, the crowd was joining us in chunks, but my “Guest” was missing in the crowd.
By the noon, I lost all my patience, as there were no positive signs of him joining me now. His given deadline to join me was all past and all the trains from Delhi to my city would have reached by now. I was all misty eyed. My friends and everyone who saw me, got worried. My mom, my friend “A”, and all others who saw me started asking me again and again, if I was alright, and if everything was fine with me.I had to make an excuse of headache to hide from the crowd. I was feeling down, lonely and wanted to lock myself in my room and cry. I was regretting my selfishness and my wrong doing to my roomie. I was also regretting to having hurt the feelings of “A” last night.
I did not wish to talk to anyone. But the problem was that no one was ready to leave me all alone. I was getting desperate to get in touch with my darling roomie and the problem was that I was unable to share my problem with anyone.
I skipped the breakfast and then did not take anything in lunch that day. I was not feeling like taking anything. At around 3:00 PM a kid came to my room and said, “Bhaiya, your Mom is calling you in her room downstairs, Now !!”. I had ignored her last two calls by saying that I have headache and want to take some rest. This time her message had stricter tone. “Okay, I am coming.”, I replied to the messenger kid.
After 5 minutes, I headed to my mom’s room.When I entered the room, I was surprised to see my roomie sitting on couch in front of my parents, holding a glass of Fanta (Orange Flavor), and talking to my parents. Seeing me entering the room, he passed a smile and then took a sip from his glass. I was speechless. I looked at my Parents, and then looked again at him. There was still the same smile on his cute face.
(To be continued…)