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Sri Vaishnavi Lakkaraju



Sri Vaishnavi Lakkaraju


The Boy Of Light And Darkness

The Boy Of Light And Darkness

5 mins

I’m sitting on the long flat ledge above my window, swinging my legs and watching the sunrise, when a sudden flash of gold along the corner of my vision prompts me to look down.

The backside of our house is where the window of my room is situated and it faces the public park. A jogging track runs all along the inside of the park’s fence. This early in the morning, the park is usually empty except for one or two people, but usually, no one notices me up on the ledge.

Today, however, is different. A boy who looks around the same age as I am is staring up at me curiously. The golden flash I saw was caused by his bright mop of hair, turned golden by the rays of the rising sun. Said rays also shine across his face, highlighting his perfect features and green, green eyes. “Hello,” he calls out to me. “Is it normal for people here to sit on window ledges, creepily spying on unsuspecting passersby?,” he asks with a mischevious grin. “If it is, then I like this town.”

I stare at him dumbfounded. Whatever I expected his reaction to be, it certainly wasn’t this. “So you won’t tell on me?” I ask stupidly. Mom would totally freak out if she found out about all the exits I’d left myself (self-built rope ladder leading to the roof and one to the park down below). To this, the boy says, still grinning,” It hadn’t struck me, but I could if you wanted me to.”

 “No, no, don’t,” I say, and then, trying to distract him, I ask, ”You’re not from around here, are you?”

“I come from far, far away. From a fairytale land you may have not even have heard of. In fact, I am the main part of the fairytale itself, which I suppose you could guess by looking at me.”

“Oh, and I suppose you consider yourself the Prince Charming of the story?,” I ask, playing along.

“Actually, I’m the villain in mine,” he says, and that bright-as-the-ever-burning-sun energy of his dims a little with this statement.

“Come on, don’t be like that,” I say, clambering down the rope ladder to the grass beside the jogging track on which the Boy is standing.

“Thank you for descending from your throne. Tilting my head that way was hurting my neck,” he says, smiling once again.

“Now tell me the reason you said you were a villain,” I demand, recognising his method of deflecting the topic as similar to mine. “You don’t actually look like one.”

“Oh really? And how do you suppose villains look?” he asks, and then with mock concern,” I hope you haven’t met one. Other than me, of course.” And again, for some unknown reason, the lightness in his voice fades into something dark.

He is the sky at the time when the first sunrays meet the darkness of night. I’m going to call him Sunset, at least in my mind, since he’ll probably tell me his name is Evil Wizard if I asked him.

He starts walking along the track, and I follow him. I don’t know why, when I could just walk away at any moment. And, mom is going to pop in to check on me, like she does every morning. She has a suspicion that I’ll run away in the middle of the night, someday. How funny. The most I do is sneak out to the park for a walk. That does not warrant suspicion of that sort. Anyway, I probably feel like following Sunset is because of his bright energy. He has this cheeky grin on his face like there’s a trick he’s played on someone that only he knows about and is waiting to see the outcome. But behind his cheerful demeanour, there’s a darkness that can only be caused by losing someone, like the ghosts of his past still haunt him, but he’s trying hard to cover it up. I should know. My twin, Winter died when we were fourteen, and that tore out a chunk of my heart, which is still healing. I recognise that pain in him, and I want to fix him. Winter was as cheerful as him, and quite the joker. His grin reminds me of her. I know a boy I’m attracted to reminding me of my sister is weird, but whatever. I guess I’m drawn to troublemakers.

“You look sad. What’s wrong?” Sunset asks. “I feel incomplete without my sister, my twin. She was named Winter, but she was all warmth and happiness. She was the center of attention, always outshining everyone else. When I lost her, I couldn’t fill in the space left by her. My parents treat me like I’m not enough, and at the same time expect too much from me. Everything reminds me of her – our room, our school, her friends who by extension became mine. And now, you remind me of her too.”

He gives me a sad smile.” You can shine as bright as the sun, Summer.” And I have to turn away to hide my tears at a relative stranger’s trust in me. By the time I realise he knew my name, when I had never told him, and turn around, he’s gone.

I turn desperately to an old lady walking right behind me. “Did you see where the boy walking next to me went?” I ask her.

“Are you all right, love?” she asks. “You were walking alone all this while.

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