Sunday, October 26, 2014

Memoirs of darkness

     ( Fiction written in first person)

                "Don't worry darling, I am there in the next room" he patted my cheeks affectionately. I had urged him to keep the lights on. Darkness terrified me. Terrified was an understatement. Darkness crippled me. He reassured me, like every night. He pulled the sheets over me and before he closed the door, he gently switched the light off. I shut my eyes tightly. I could hear him sitting on his table in the other room.

                       I tried counting like he had told me to. One..two.. three.. Each count was an effort.

                     Within me, the darkness crept. I felt entangled in a web, unable to breathe, unable to move. I had no control over my limbs. Each muscle felt heavy and every reflex ceased. It was that time of the night when darkness devoured me. I could feel it slithering up my legs, panting and moving over me. It covered my mouth and left me gasping for air.

                     I could never recollect what made hurt me so much. Why my thighs ached every morning, why my body felt so sore. My dreams were vague, like murky pictures retrieved from old albums. I could never see darkness. In my mind's eye, it was a figure dark and over powering. I felt duller than the day before. I pressurized myself to remember what it looked like.

                    Father never understood. He woke me up every morning with a glass of lime. It made the headache better. When I told him about the aches, he simply gave me painkillers. When I spoke of my nightmares, I felt him pull my hair with more force than he usually does while tying my hair for school. He did not like me talking to anyone about nightmares. He told me every child has nightmares and it goes away with age. He felt that it was my imagination and if I put in positive thoughts, it would all stop.

                    I wished Mother was alive. She would not have panicked so much on seeing blood on my skirt. Father did not talk to me for days. He was embarrassed. Kathy told me that fathers don't discuss about these things. It is always the mother who talks about it. Kathy was my only friend at school. Other kids found me weird. They bullied me for being weak in studies. Kathy helped me study and in that way she was the only person I talked to other than Father. Kathy's mother was a teacher at our school.

                   Father was right. Nightmares did go with age. I did not encounter them much after I started bleeding. I felt more enthusiastic about life and sharper. I slowly began to feel more energetic and my body was turning more agile. I did not feel sore so often.

                  I began to hate milk. Father forced me to drink milk every day after dinner. He would get very cross if I skipped it. I would do it to please him earlier but milk made me feel nauseous. I began to avoid it and it resulted in argument with Father. I did not understand why he made such a huge fuss out of it. It was normal for kids my age to assert themselves. Kathy's mother told me that teenagers don't often gel well with their parents. It was just a phase and I would no longer be as close to father as I had been. It was my hormones and nothing else. I seemed to get into a fight with almost everyone except Kathy. I was no longer bullied. It gave me a strange sense of confidence.

                 One night, I fooled Father into believing that I had finished my glass of milk. I had drained it down the sink when he had gone to attend a call. I started doing it every night.

                 Just like every night, Father came to tuck me in. I heard him sitting on his desk and the tap on his keyboard. Sleep eluded me. I counted one..two.. three.. I was nearing on two hundred when I dozed off.

                I felt the darkness settle over me. The warm slithering along my legs, to my chest. I woke up with a start. I thought my muscles would not move. I forcefully kicked my leg. I heard a sharp cry. My legs had worked! I ran and switched on the light. Darkness was my father...

              My father! Oh how I had forgotten, my step Father. The respectable Doctor who had fought for my custody against my drunken biological father. The Father, who had made me drink the numbing milk for so many years and made me suffer.

              I left the home to live in another city. I never saw him again. Once a year, I got a sum of money that mother left behind. Perhaps I should have taken an action. I did not. I could not face the man who was my father by the day and darkness by the night.

             Darkness numbs me. My body becomes rigid, unable to move. Only this time, they are really nightmares..