A Nightmare

My feet, that’s all I could see. They were walking down a road. I couldn’t see where I was headed; there was just a rocky path. It was one of those spring days when the sun shines and the wind blows: when it was summer in the light, and winter in the shade. Still, it’s not the most pleasant feeling in the world, not knowing where you’re going, especially when that’s all you’re trying to see.

After what seemed like hours I hit a dead-end. I could finally move my neck. There’s a huge wall with a wooden door in it. I turned around to look at the path I took but I couldn’t see it; there was too much thick, black fog blocking the entire view. “This is unpleasant,” I remember thinking. It wasn’t enough to scare me witless like one would hope. I was relatively calmer than anyone would have been, but then again, I am usually oblivious to danger.

Then I saw the snake. It was a dirty purple and huge, only growing larger as it moved closer. It didn’t scare me. I reached out to it, god knows why, and without a word, it slithered up to me and sunk its fangs into my arm. It didn’t feel unnatural, but I wasn’t particularly fond of the burning sensation slowly crawling up my arm. It then slithered away.

At the same moment the huge wooden door creaked open. Without a second thought I slipped in. My arm was throbbing and the room I entered was fear imbibing, but I wasn’t scared. Far from it, I was enamoured. The cold dampness of the air was comforting to my existence, which was weird considering I’m a huge fan of warm sunny days. What I could see was more than strange. I could see two colours: black and red. The black was the darkness and the red was the blood.

As the light slowly crawled into the room, I started to recognize it. It was my home in Hyderabad, but it was nothing like I remembered. There was blood and there was the devil. The snake had already got me hallucinating, the pain had gone that bad. What scared me was how I wasn’t terrified of the creature in front of me.

He was the size of the Mountain in Game of Thrones and his charred skin was covered in blood, not unlike the entire apartment in front of me. He turned and I saw his eyes. They were an icy shade of green, not red like I had expected. I kept on staring, fascinated by his demeanor. And when he spoke a shiver of excitement ran down my spine. “Finally, you’re here,” he said in heavy rasp. All I could do was tilt my head like a perplexed dog.

He walked closer and I realized I didn’t want to run. I wanted him to egg on forward, which he did with utter grace. He look my hand in his and led me to another door. The other side was shocking, there was nothing but pale moonlight bouncing off the most beautiful flowers I had ever seen. Here, he help my hand and that was it. We swayed to song of the flowers and the wind under the largest moon I ever imagined.  We danced with fluidity I had never experienced and in what seemed to be forty years, I opened my eyes and the pain from the snake bite had vanished. There was a faint scar but I could barely see it. All I could see was the piercing green of his eyes and that was it. It ended there, in that moment and I was left in my bed wanting to know, wanting more.

Sister

It’s weird really. Growing up with this person was a nightmare of sorts. She was bossy, dominating and extremely moody which made it impossible for me to decipher how to approach her with anything half the time. There were a number of times I must have proclaimed I hated her, either screaming it to her or whispering it to myself, but I guess everyone around me knew that I was bluffing. She lived 2 hours away from me most of my life and each time I was about to see her, I was filled with an unexplained excitement (which was rather strange considering our first few hours were a combination of small talk, leg pulling and an awkward hug). I then went to live with her for two years and it was a nightmarish dream. All of a sudden I had someone to talk to about anything I wanted to (keeping her mood in mind; I wasn’t keen on getting my head bit off) and I had someone telling me all about herself. Except for the occasional irrational cat fights we did just fine.

Now it’s 5 years later and we’ve evolved into much more than big sister-little sister. Working anywhere where you lack family (and by family, I don’t mean distant uncle of your fathers second cousin, I mean Mom and Dad) can be the hardest evolution one has to go through in their 20’s. Surprisingly, we’re both going through that right now, in the same city. She’s my cousin; we have different parents, but it’s come to a point where I don’t think it makes a difference. I still call her my sister.

I’ve seen many a people crying over the years and never once have I welled-up with them (unless it’s one of my parents). I always tried being comforting although I suspect I was born with a cold kind of heart which makes it difficult for me to empathise with people. But seeing her tear-up lead to an unnatural reaction; not only did I tear-up as well, I also had an urge to protect her. This was new. She’s MY elder sister, it should be the other way around which I soon realized it was, but why was I feeling protective? Why did I want to do something to make her think it was going to get better when I had hardly felt so protective about anyone else?

The second I asked the question I also found the answer. She isn’t someone I met along the way, who I had a few drinks with and then parted with happily. She’s been around since the day I was born; we share blood. She’s inherently a part of who I am. Yes, we fought growing up, and we definitely had times we did not like each other (to say the least). But there are some bonds that grow so discretely that you don’t even realize it happened. Only in the situation of crisis do you realize how much you need her and how much she needs you. The evolution, so slow, so steady startled me at first, and then it comforted me. Everybody leaves home to work eventually, but that doesn’t mean it’s easy. Heck, it’s the exact opposite of easy. Having her around, even if it’s just on the weekends when we can actually hang out like bros (you get the feel), makes life a tad bit easier even if I won’t tell her that myself.