I woke up, alone in my bed, late at night. The clock showed 2:23am. I forced myself to sleep, but the loneliness engulfed me. My lonely bed, the empty house, those hollow memories, all crept up in my mind. I tried sleeping and after several attempts of counting sheep’s and laying still, the peaceful night enveloped me and my inert body. I woke up with a strange voice. It was sad, as if someone was crying. I presumed it to be my neighbours but the noise did not stop. It grew louder each second and believe me, it was so annoying. My bedroom was empty, all the things in their places. I stood up, and noticed that my body felt so light, so flexible, so good. I walked towards my living room and the voice grew louder. I peeped there and saw a large number of people, in their whites, crying and grieving in front of a still body. MY BODY. The sight of my body wrapped up in white cloth froze me. I just stood there staring blankly towards my own self. So pale, so motionless. I saw my brother there, his wife, his children, my friends, my ex colleagues, my neighbours. All of them sad with tears in their eyes. Watching my loved ones cry, my eyes became moist. I sat next to my brother and told him that I’m here and I’m okay. But he didn’t seem to notice. It’s like he didn’t hear me. “I’m here. Can anybody hear me? Bhaiya? Listen, I’m here. I’m okay. Please don’t cry.” I said sobbing as I’d never felt this helplessness ever in my 89-year-old life. “They can’t hear you,” a voice said. I turned my head towards the source of the sweet voice and saw a child, around 16 years of age. Young and muscular and tall. He reminded me of him. “You can hear me?” I said, wiping away my tears and moving towards him. “Yes I can.” He said and gestured towards my veranda door. “Want to talk?” Leaving the gathering behind, I followed the boy towards the veranda like an obedient child, wiping away my tears and trying to regain my posture.

Categories: fiction short story