Would you call it a Nightmare? (2nd edition)

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I and my mariner husband have decided to watch a late night movie every day. Now that he is on his sail for the past 2 months, it has become my sole responsibility to keep up with the habit. There is another side to it. I stay alone and I have observed that the days pass by easily as I keep myself preoccupied with my work and household work alternatively. However the nights seem to be a big challenge because this is time when I feel lonely the most, which is part of our long distance relationship. There is no one to talk to if you are not feeling sleepy and you cannot control your thoughts!

Probably because of this lack of control, something strange happened last night after I finished my movie ritual. I hit the bed and as usual I was struggling with my sleep, counted till 500, finally started calling Hypnos to come and help me, when I fell asleep. Just the way I used to pray when I was a kid for a sibling. There was a reason for that as during my childhood days, I used to play all alone and on my own confined to our house. Well I tried to mix around with the kids from my block but owing to my father’s transferable job, I was always looked up on as the new kid from the block. Hence not many wanted me to join their group. This was repeated in school as well!

Coming back to me falling asleep, alright what is great about me falling asleep? Nothing, but the dream or nightmare whatever you would like to call it that was more interesting to me. I was walking through a dark corridor towards a ray of light that I could was coming from the other end of the room. Realizing this I started walking fast towards the light, but suddenly felt I cannot move any further. There was something that firmly griped me by arm and a sudden shiver ran down my body. I felt cold as if I were standing in the middle of a snow capped mountain. I turned pale, could see my hands change their color right away; started feeling light and slowly could not feel my limbs. There was a numbness that was slowly setting in.

After some time I realized that I was not even walking, but floating in the air! Oh my God! What was this? Then everything around me started getting hazy because my vision started to get blurred. In spite of all I was still moving towards to light and suddenly I was on the brighter side of this darkness. Yes everything around me was very clear visible to me and I realized that loneliness in my case could be equivalent to an empty space that has been caused with equal interval of time. It can be said in a way that most of my life I had been lonely. So much for love and marriage.

As my vision got adjusted to this sight, I could hear someone talking to me. This someone was calling my name. “Stella,” said the voice. “Come let us scare people away”. “Don’t you think it would be fun?” Hearing this I tried to understand the situation, although it was funny, at least seems now to me that my logical mind was still working. Now that I think about it, this seems to be strange – logically for sure. At that point of time it seemed to be just a voice in my head and the after effect of all the horror movies that I have watched with my beloved husband constantly during the last 3 years of our married life.

Ours was a love marriage and we technically know each other ever since we were in diapers. So it happens that I am in my apartment and this time walking in disbelief that I am possessed. I walk to the mirror and look at myself. There is nothing that has changed in me, then how can I be possessed? Thinking of this I stood there in front of the mirror for quite some time lost deep in my thoughts and trying to look for any sign that would suggest I was possessed. I saw my husband rushing from one room to another in the reflection of the mirror. This is a usual practice which is followed diligently every time he prepares to leave for his sail.

“Robert,” I called out loud, but he seemed to be so unmoved and busy with his packing that he never heard me. I went to him stood there watching him pack his things. He did not notice, not that anything was noticeable but I wanted him to look at me. Impatiently I said “look at me,” but he still did not. I cried to him this time saying “honey look I think I am p……” and he turned to me and said “no sweetheart, I know you are not pregnant.” I was taken back at this reply and did not want to say a word. However the ghost in me would not allow me to give it up so early. So he made me flip my hands in the air like a zombie, but Robert did not notice. In fact what he said I think must have offended the ghost. “I got to go tomorrow and take some rest at the same time,” Robert said very calmly. While locking his suitcase he said without even glancing at me “Can you simply shut the door and give me a wake up call in the morning.”

This hurt him badly and it was quite shocking for me that I could actually read his feelings! I suddenly wanted to help him to accomplish his desire without any reason. There was a bond that was slowly growing in between us which was disturbing yet seemed significant to me at that juncture. Voila! He took me to another lair and this time I was at my parents’ place. “Start it now,” said the voice again. “Here let me help you” it said very peacefully.

So the first person I see in the hall is my dear mother. She is the one who is too much worried about and something stops me from scaring her. I mean she is my mother, all her life she has cooked, washed, cried, helped, taught, and done everything to protect me. How can I simply scare her? “No,” the ghost replied, “you have to do it, you are the chosen one.” I was surprised to hear this. I asked impassively “Me….I am the chosen one?”

In this dilemma I felt a force moving me, rather thrusting me to move towards my mother, this probably was our relationship test. I said in a strange voice; as if there was another voice as a backup vocal; to my mother “Mom it seems I am possessed.” I knew she would look at me because all these years she had been a pillar of support; played a protective mother to me; took care of me and today was no exception.

I was standing right beside her in a white night dress and calling out to her. However to my utter dismay, she was busy watching some soap opera. She was simply glued to the television set like she does in real life. Generally after a day’s work like cooking, cleaning, going to grocery, doing the dishes, laying the table, making beds, brewing tea, doing laundry, and phew all other chores, when she is left with some time she prefers socializing with the idiot box over thankless people like us. I called out again “Mom, look at me, there is a ghost in me, I guess,” exasperatingly I shouted. To which she simply nodded her head and irritatingly told me (just the way she does in reality) “honey wait till the commercial break.” I was shocked. I knew the ghost or whatever got into me was not happy to listen to this. So he made my head turn round and round for a couple of seconds only to get her attention. But alas! We clearly failed at this. After this, what my mother said next would have hurt anyone’s sentiments let alone a ghost with a high self esteem. She said “oh shut up now don’t make such stupid noises at this critical time of the show!”

Now that our team work did not look so good, he thought it was better to move on to the next person. We were walking into my parents’ apartment. We stood at a passage that joins the living with the dining room. Both of us were happy to see my kid sister. Yes God sometimes says yes to prayers by little children. In my case it was very evident as my praying to Him definitely did not go in vain. My parents were blessed with another daughter, when I was 8 years old.

I thought, this was the time to cry for help yet wanted to help the supernatural element in my body. The ghost thought this to be a good time to scare her away. Fine picturize this situation we are walking towards each other and crossing our ways, I mundanely said “Hi,” to her. She just gave me a silent nod, was busy customarily as she was on her way to her office. I said “hey, don’t you see I am possessed?” Desperate to attract her attention I started floating in the air with my hands spread wide across in the air like we all see in most of these horror movies. She turned to me; gave me a vague look as usual; and very insipidly said “bye.” This is what she generally does if I ever go over to my parents when she is going out.

By this time the ghost was surely disheartened as if I could feel the poor creature’s heart sink down. I felt bad for him now and thought, if he really wanted to scare someone, it has to be done today. I don’t know what made me feel for him and why did I come up with such an idea? Determined I moved to an adjacent room which is my father’s study. It is a small room with two big cupboards full of books and a dark wooden table lying across with several journals scattered on it. I found my father sitting with the morning newspaper.

He is bold, the patriarch; not at all afraid of anything; a tough nut to crack; and definitely the biggest shelter that we all live under. He was busy reading the newspaper which is more important to him than anything else in the world at that time of the day. If you call him when he is reading a newspaper he will not at all respond, and not even move! He is unbothered about the whole world when he is reading his newspaper. Our timing was really bad as we caught up with him at such a time. I could not see his face as it was literally buried in the newspaper which is nothing new to me. Since I felt bad for this ghost guy, desparately I said “Dad, I am possessed” with the same backup vocals that me sound like as if two different voices were coming out of my voice box. He did not respond as expected. I was somehow interacting with my ghost buddy by then. So I told him to let me fly in the air. Here I was floating in the air again, this time I was lying on my back. I could hear the crunchy noise of the crisp paper when my feet touched it. My father calmly turned over the page, moved to a side so that the paper was out of reach of my feet and started to read again.

I remorsefully said, “Sorry I tried,” and suddenly felt the same shiver down my whole body. I felt warm and thought I lost something from me. Oh no, the ghost was out of me and it was a young man of no less than 25 or 26 years old. Believe me when I say it that he was the most handsome face that I have ever seen in a black tuxedo. The color of his white shirt almost matched his complexion and I called out to him questioningly, “Who are you?” Sadly he was in such hurry that I could see him mumbling but could not hear him clearly. So I asked “what?” He said “Mark and am leaving trying to find someone at least who would be scared of me. I don’t want to test my own credibility!” Saying so he vanished and I was left all alone once again (thinking about all my healthy relationships). Only this time detested by a ghost and that too in a dream! By the way would you consider this to be a nightmare? ©

Soumi Das Chatterjee

A writer who can communicate with people about their social relationships and guide them in the right direction with their present relationships. I do this by using story telling and give my readers a break from time by inspiring them take vacations through my travel based posts.

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