Incosequential incidents seem like a push to topple me off the cliff.
My mother took me for a short drive today.
She had to withdraw money from the ATM. She opened the door of the car. My mother got down. At the same time, a motorbike zoomed past.
My heart fell off the cliff. “MUMMAA!!” I screamed.
Except that the “scream” was only in my head and my voice had been so soft, she didn’t even hear me. She simply shut the car door and walked on ro the ATM.
Nothing had happened. It was only a motorbike going past a car.
But my heart was beating wildly. My stomach was knotted in fear. I noticed my eyes were moist. The car was suffocating. I began to wonder how many people died of suffocation every year.
Then I saw the security guard sitting close by. I wondered how much money he guarded and how much he got for guarding it.
We were on my favourite road. It’s actually a bridge. She asked me if I wanted to stop there and have ice cream or just look down at the river as I often did. I heard her but forgot to respond.
I was thinking about the man who had jumped from there just a month back. As we neared the end of the bridge, she asked again.
I told her to keep driving.
My mother had to go to a store and make some payments. I stayed in the car.
It was dark and the lane was deserted except two people sitting at a distance and the car with tinted glasses parked just in front of me.
Suddenly there was a bang. My heart jumped off the cliff, again. I saw a man swaggering past with a steel water bottle in his hand, which had probably hit my car.
He was walking very slowly. My heart was beating wildly. My stomach was knotted in fear again. I frantically twisted and bent to lock all four doors. How could I forget doing that?
The man, his back towards me, had stopped beside that big, black car and was pulling out his phone.
I then noticed that my window was half open. I hurriedly began to look for the car keys so I could close it, all the while anxious about how much time my mother was taking. I realised she had taken the keys along.
The man was now talking on the phone. I sank lower in my seat. I was wondering if I would still be visible if he looked in my direction. Then I began wondering how difficult it is to break a car lock. …
when suddenly there were two successive knocks.
I jumped on my seat with a gasp. This time, it was quite audible. It was my mother. I unlocked the door. She herself got scared looking at my expression. Then smiled and said, “Dreaming all the time!”
I saw that man wave to those two men who were in the distance and walk over to hug them.
On my way back, I had to squint because of the headlights more often than earlier. The horns seemed too harsh and loud.
It was exhausting. So many lights, sounds, people, and possibilities..
I don’t even want to see the outside world.
My bed is calm, welcoming and comfortable.
It feels like I have taken the jump and I’m lying peacefully at the bottom. It’s here that I want to stay..