Lie To Me
Lie To Me9 mins 1.1K 9 mins 1.1K
“The figure pushed him away, forcing his body against the glass door. It shattered and broke into pieces as his body fell on it. He struggled to get up, his body wounded. But the figure showed no mercy. It stamped his body and with one final blow of iron rod, it killed ...”
Aashiya woke up from the dream. She was shivering as she tried to make sense of what’s real and what’s not. Her nightmares seemed so realistic that it would take some time for her to come back to senses. She wept as she recalled the horrors. Nightmares have been a routine to her now but this one shocked her none the less.
“A man in his sixties. Who would want to kill him? Was it for robbery? What is wrong with this world?”
She walked across her room to her brother. He was watching the news as she entered.
“Another nightmare?” he said as he looked at her. She nodded as she hugged him.
“You can’t let these things bother you anymore. They are not real. Haven’t we walked over the solution before?” her brother said.
“I know. But these nightmares just don’t stop. I have to witness all these horrific things. And I end up feeling terrified and guilty. I feel like I should do something to make these things stop. But that just doesn’t happen. I am in some corner, too coward to make a move as I watch it happen," Aashiya said.
“It’s okay. It’s just a dream," her brother consoled her.
“What terrifies me is that’s where the world is heading to. Everyone is an extremist.”
“What do you mean by that?” her brother asked.
“The other day I met a person. You know how I keep nagging strangers that amaze me about what they want to do with their life and silly questions like that. So I asked him too and he said his only dream is to help others achieve their dream. How pure and selfless is that thought? On one side there are people like him. And on the other side every day in the newspaper we read a story of murder and rape and so many similar horrors. In the nightmare, the strange figure murdered an old man. What could that person possibly would have done wrong? The figure smashed him against the glass door and then hit him with the iron rod. How can someone have so much negativity in their mind to carry out such an act? And why do I have to witness it? Why can’t I just have a peaceful sleep?” Aashiya cried.
“Hold on. Hold on. Maybe we know where it’s coming from," he said and unmuted the TV. “The old man story that you told me, it’s being covered on the TV. An old businessman was murdered exactly the same way as you mentioned two nights back," he said.
“I don’t understand what you mean. I mean how could I see exactly the same," Aashiya asked.
“Arey, you possibly heard the story sometimes on the TV. And you ended up seeing in your dreams. Do you see the link now?” he said.
“Hmm," she said.
“See Aashiya. You have had a tough childhood. But now you are safe. There is nothing in this world that can harm you. Your big brother is always there to save you. And besides, that old man was a paedophile. He had locked up 5 girls and would sedate them. And would do things you don’t want to know about. So think of these nightmares as an end to such horrible people. Okay?”
“Yeah,” she said.
“Are you tired of my whining and crying, brother?” she asked herself. “No. Never,” the answer came. Somehow she knew it to be true.
The next day she searched for the story. The old man was Mr Raichand. He was a businessman. He had adopted these 5 girls from the Hope orphanage. The same orphanage that Aashiya was adopted from. The girls were aged 5,8,9 11,13. The thought of what they might have gone through send shivers down her body. She found it harder to breathe.
I must visit these girls. I must talk to them. She thought of taking some clothes for them. She put all her clothes in a bag. “They need it more than I do," she said. She had a few new pairs. She collected all her toys for the younger ones. The bag that she had couldn’t fit everything. So she looked for another one. The only bag she could find in the storeroom was the bag she carried to this new home from the orphanage. She opened it to put the clothes. To her surprise, the bag had some stained clothes.
"Whose clothes are these?" she thought. Looked like her own but they were covered in brownish red.
"How old are these?"
Deep down below the pile of old clothes, she found something recent. It was a top she wore three nights back. But this one was covered in blood.
“How is this possible? Whose blood is that?” she said terrified.
As she looked closer, some scenes flashed in her mind. It was the same as her nightmare. But just this time it had those girls in it too. Reha, Mera, Shubha, Neha, Rucha. All from her orphanage.
"How is this possible?"
She went and searched more on the internet. On one site she found the pictures of the girls. It was them. Those were the girls the old man adopted. In another flashback, she remembered talking to Mera. It was a function at the orphanage when she met her. The old man was there with his wife and
four girls. Never did he let anyone go away from his site. Somehow she stumbled across her in the washroom. Rucha the eldest of all was crying as her mother was scolding her. “He is your father. Do you understand?” she could hear her say. Rucha’s eyes were swollen by all that crying.
Aashiya looked at her and asked her. “What is wrong?" the answers to that angered her to the core.
When did all of this happen? She couldn’t recall anything. All she could remember until the 10 mins back was that the get together was fun and she came back thinking how blessed all of them were to be adopted. She wanted the same for the remaining kids as well. And now this. How could she zone
that out? Why didn’t she do anything? Was she with them the night it happened?
So many questions and yet she was blank. She looked at those clothes again. They did not seem that old now. She looked closer. She remembered to wear one of them until four months back. She opened her journal in which she noted her nightmares. She looked for the entry that dated four months back. It was yet another horrible nightmare. She searched online. The details of the nightmare matched with the description of the murder. A similar case of a paedophile. She kept reading her nightmares, matching them with the crimes and the dresses. Everyone single one matched.
“How is this possible?” she thought to herself. “Was I a witness to every single crime and did nothing? The figure who is doing everything, do I know it?
And then she knew what needed to be done. She had decided she would never try that on herself.
The skill to read minds. Staying in the orphanage and a victim of sexual abuse, she had suffered a lot.The skills to know what’s going on in others mind was a fruit of it she thought. She always thought it was a hobby that kept her thoughts away from what she was going through in her childhood. Only once did she look into the mirror and ask something.
“Is what is the cleaner saying right? Is that what people who like other people do?”
“You are being raped. Every single day,” the voice in her mind said. She was eight years old when she first heard it and yet she could still hear it crystal clear.
The wall that she had built around her had to fall. She mustered up the courage. Looked into the mirror and asked.
Who is the figure in the nightmares?
“It’s you," she heard a voice. And suddenly she could see herself transform.
Her shoulders were not dropped down unlike always. They were straight and tight. The look on her face was bold and confident. Her eyes seemed to know courage and not fear. She could sense strength flowing through her body.
“You know why in all those dreams you never found yourself or could not see the murderer? Because you were nowhere around. You were the figure. You put end to multiple crimes.”
Who am I you asked in that sweet soft voice?
I am the person you always wanted to be. I am stronger, braver and bolder. You created me to protect you. Because a part of you is disgusted by how weak you are. A part of you always wanted to be me. And here I am. Another you. You created me when you wanted to put an end to all the weakness around. You would give me clues and slip back to the original you. The original you that you are to the rest of the world. The original you who is soft, tender, sensitive, who would never think of hurting anyone. The original you who was always pampered and loved by everyone. But somewhere deep down inside even you knew that it’s not enough. It’s not enough to survive in this world. Because this world is not made for sensitive people like you. And so you created me. And mind you. I am not a figment of your imagination. Don’t
degrade me by thinking of me like that. You very well know that I won’t take it. I will never settle for it. And yes we did all those things. All those murders, if you want to think about it that way. For me, we brought many lives to justice. So you have two choices now. Accept the reality and take us for who we are. Or think of it as another nightmare and wake up crying. Because that is what you have been doing so far. Thinking of my acts as sins. But know this, you will never get rid of me.”
“I have waited for this encounter for so long. I always wondered how you would react. I feared you will run back to your comfort zone and disregard a part of yourself. But no matter how much you hate me, I will always protect you and everyone around you. Just know that”
And with that, she transformed again. To her original self. She sat on the bed. Kept sitting there for hours.
In the evening, she collected the clothes and put them on fire in her backyard. She kept the suitcase back in her storeroom.
“I guess we have to find a way to coexist,” she said to herself.
Half of her lip, curved out a smile. Soon followed by another half.