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Riya Ann

Abstract


4.2  

Riya Ann

Abstract


Between Sides

Between Sides

10 mins 33.7K 10 mins 33.7K

Between Sides


This happened to me one time around five or six years ago. It was Christmas time and I had come home from my college hostel. The travelling had really tired me out, since I can't remember how exactly I got home or what I did after I reached. I must have plunked straight down onto the bed and slept for eighteen hours straight since it was morning when I woke up. The birds chirping outside my window spread a nice little calm through the house. Which was weird because my home was NEVER calm, or quiet, or sane. Because I lived in a joint family in a house with my grandparents, their four children, their spouses and their ten children. Now you understand.
Well that day was quiet, and looking around I found no one in the house. All the rooms were empty!! But considering that this was a miracle I craved for every day, I wasn't displeased. I lazed around for a while in my pajamas watching normal TV, not cartoon network or the discovery channel like I would be forced to watch when my huge family was around. But hearing no sound for about two and a half hours, I realized something was up... Maybe they were all hiding to surprise me, but I discarded THAT idea soon enough... my family wasn't able to keep the noise down at funerals, let alone a surprise party for one of their own. Maybe they had gone away on a trip and forgotten me, like in the home alone movie. Yes, that was the most probable explanation. So I walked around, peeking into all the rooms... Looking at all the disarray, which was normal.
I do not know what led me to the attic, but behind a box of old toys that nobody was young enough to play with anymore, I found this door. I had never seen it before, it was a small wood door, same as the paneling on the wall. Now as a kid in a joint family who had played hide and seek when they were a child, then again when they were a teenager with a woeful little cousin who threatened to cry if you didn't play, then again as a college student whose grades were being discussed by the family, it would be an understatement to say I was surprised that I hadn't noticed the door before. And it looked like it had been used recently. Maybe my mum knew where it led to, but being as she was a thousand kilometers away on a beach, or a resort, or a camping trip, I didn't know which, it would be rather difficult to ask. Wouldn’t you say?
So I moved over the boxes, and grabbed the handle of the door and pulled. And nothing... It wouldn't budge. So I looked through the stuff in the attic and found a crowbar, still no avail. My eyes fell on the toys and in my desperation, I grabbed the plastic key in that we used to pretend could open the door to fantasy land, more about that later. But weirdly enough, the door swung open. I stood stock still, and pinched my arm to check if I was dreaming. No change, other than that it hurt like hell, ouch!! I walked through the door into a room flooded with light from the open window. As my eyes slowly adjusted to the light I saw that the room was exactly like the attic, with way less boxes. The sound birds and children laughing assaulted my ears. I waked over to the window and looked out. Two stories below a group of children playing, you guessed it right, hide and seek... among them a little one in red frock caught my eye instantly. I had seen my childhood pics you see, and that kid looked astonishingly like me, so much so, that I went on a pinching spree and hurt myself so bad that I screamed at the top of my lungs. Sure now that no matter what my blue and black arm was hinting that this was dream I turned back to the room.
I noted that there was a bed in the middle of the room, now my dream mind was getting creative. Who would make someone sleep in the attic? It's the scariest place in the world, except my dark future. My mind lauded itself for making a joke in a situation like this, but if you didn't find it funny, I just watched a 15 year younger version of myself for God's sake!
I walked down the attic stairs and they didn't creak, which was something the stairs have been doing since I was seven or eight. The nearest room was the one in which my sister and I slept, so this was the decider. Grabbing the handle I pulled the door open. Inside was what I was looking for, my family, give or take a few members. Only, they were a few decades younger than I'd seen them yesterday. They were crowded around a bassinet from which an excessive wailing was heard. My elder sister, now a little girl of three was jumping up and down, trying to peek into the bassinet at the new visitor. In the bassinet itself was a little bundle of towels through which I could just about see a tiny face and large eyes, me. I let out a shout of surprise and dejection but nobody even moved a muscle (was I invisible?) Ever wondered how you looked as a newborn? Well it isn’t pretty. With large eyes that covered pretty much half my teeny red face, and the constant wailing, I could be the newborn of a rat or a crafted carrot for all you knew. But what was wonderful to see was the reaction of others. My grandfather, with hardly any gray hairs that I was accustomed to seeing, clapped his hands in delight, grandma had tears in her eyes, dad just looked at me like he couldn't get enough. Best of all was the look on my mother as she took me into her arms and tried to put me back to sleep (good luck there). Well I couldn't help it, there were some tears in my eyes, not only because I got to see this but also because, well, have you seen yourself as a baby? No? Yeah that's what any sane person would say , and I had successfully gone and lost my mind.
I walked out of the room and tried another, my little cousin's room, she was better looking as a kid as far as I remembered, and maybe that'd cheer me up. But surprise again, the room in front of me was a classroom, my first day at school and guess what? I was crying, AGAIN. I looked on as my friends helped me put on my bag and huge water bottle and run crying after my dad and sister. 'Ha! In your face Miss Mary John', I shouted. 'Trying to get me to sit down in a place for about 3 hours! I do what I please, which was going home crying, apparently.' She seemed not to notice that a grownup was standing in front of her, shouting.
I decided to try my luck in the next room, and as I opened the door I was greeted with a very faint beeping. I saw me trying to walk, taking one tiny step after another, falling and then trying again and again, while my family cheered on. Was the beeping some inducing music that they used to play to get kids to walk?
As I exited the room, a couple of kids ran past me in the corridor and I heard a voice counting '11... 12...13...’ from somewhere below. Ah yes, the familiar old game. And being neither fast, nor smart I ended up being the denner (that's what we used to call the one who had to 'seek' the hidden ones) most times. The kids didn't seem to mind the beeping much either.
So I wandered from room to room, and every time I opened a room a new memory would set itself in place. So I saw my whole past life in half a dozen rooms in the little wood house I called home. I watched me ride a bicycle, play cards, cry when I got only a 'b-' in an exam. In each memory the beeping sounded louder than in the last, accompanied by the sound of footsteps. Were there people following me that I couldn't see, like how the people in the rooms couldn't see me? Was the future me, watching me look at my past?? Deep, isn’t it? Apparently crazy version of me didn't change my mental capacity much.
Now I could hear voices too, strange voices that sounded nothing like my family. So the possibility that I was dreaming and about to be woken up by my mum was out.
And then it happened. I hit a dead end. I looked in a room and found. Nothing. No memories, no people, not even a piece of furniture. Just white walls staring blankly back at me. Same thing happened in the next room, and the next and the next. And the corridors too, had fallen silent.
Had I run out of memories? No, that was not possible, I hadn't yet watched myself get kicked out of class for the first time. I hadn't seen myself having a mental breakdown, I hadn't seen myself falling in love, I knew I had more memories than this crazy house was leading me to believe. What had happened? The beeping and the whispering had increased but where were the people? My house had a dozen rooms and finding 11 of them empty, I headed for the last, the guest room and grabbed the handle..
The familiar rhythm of the beeping met my ears as I walked in. The room looked vaguely familiar, but I didn't know from where, like something you saw in a dream. Another crowd was gathered and about 6 people in green gowns were frantically working away at something and I could see blood, a LOT of blood. Surgeons! Aha!
Whoever was on the table wasn't likely to survive. The doctors were frantic, and the two head surgeons worked with full concentration, while the others handed them the stuff they asked for as quickly as humanly possible. A couple of nurses standing on the side whispered to each other incessantly.
I remembered now, where this memory came from, where I had seen this room before and what was going to happen. And sure enough, the beeping hit a crescendo and I could feel my heart racing. I was falling. Falling through time and space. Falling away from everything I'd known. Away from life itself. I was going to see the end now, the 'other side'. With a thud I hit the bottom and everything went dark.
Bright light met my eyes once again when I opened them next. A number of strange faces in white coats were looking down on me. Angels?? If this WAS the 'other side' they needed to be taught a thing or two about staring at the newcomers. One of them approached closer to my bed and flashed light into my eyes, then he checked my heart rate. Now this was plain rude. I had half a mind to ask him to leave me alone. But before I could speak he pointed first at me, then at himself saying 'can you hear me?' as if I were deaf.
I opened my mouth to reply but unable to get any coherent sound out of it I just nodded. 'A Christmas miracle people' he said looking around. Then he turned back to me and continued, 'you see, you've been in a coma for the last five years...'
Finis

 


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