Aravind’s words sent a chill down my spine. Now I was in a dilemma whether to listen to more of his puzzling past life or cover myself with blanket and sleep. But my undying curiosity made me ask for more and he continued his story:
The Story of Aravind (continued)
As I told you before, days went by and the unusual events had not happened since my grandma’s demise. My mother and I were healing from my grandma’s sudden demise and the strange events that we had to experience before. Heavens had finally begun to show some compassion towards us and we resumed our normal life.
After my school, I joined engineering. I was enjoying my college life and my mother got a promotion at work. One night I woke up listening to the voice of my grandma. I thought I was hallucinating and tried to sleep again. But the voice of my grandma was again coming from my mom’s room. I rubbed my eyes and got off my bed to check what was happening. I walked towards my mom’s room and switched on the lights, only to see the most shocking sight of my life — “My mother is my grandmom!” My mother is talking exactly like my grandmom, and I understood that she was possessed by something strange. Instead of calling me “son,” my mother behaved exactly like my grandmom. All of the joy that I had for a few years was totally shattered by this night. I dashed to the bathroom and fetched a mug full of water and poured it on my mother’s face. Despite my attempts, my mother was completely living as my grandmom. My tears were abated only in the morning when my mother regained her consciousness. Seeing me beside, my mother asked what had happened to me and why I was crying. I explained what had happened last night and she was horrified. All she could remember was her sleeping state and nothing else.
Shifting of personalities happened at nights. My mother’s body became an arena for two personalities. I was helpless as the society, even my “friends” would see my family negatively. Furthermore, this might damage my mother’s professional life. Why should I reveal this to everyone, who turns their back even after seeing my tears? My mother might have to live the rest of her life in a mental hospital. No, I can’t lose my mother, I don’t have anybody else and I am compelled to experience this misfortune. At least the days aren’t dark-hearted as the nights.
I wasn’t fully denied the joys of life and one of them was having my breakfast in the kitchen. Seeing my mother, talking to her while enjoying mouth-watering dosa and chutney is always an unforgettable experience, which is enough to make me forget the misfortunes happening at night. One morning I was enjoying my scrummy breakfast.
I, “Mom! You should join MasterChef!”
Mom, “Haha… do you need one more dosa?”
I, “Yes, and more chutney please.”
Mom, “Don’t you have college today?”
I, “No, my classmates are not coming”
I, “They are on a college tour now”
Mom, “Why didn’t you go?”
I, “I didn’t want to, mom.”
Mom went near the kitchen table and I was waiting for the next dosa. I saw a shadow on the wall and I was confused. The bulb is on the right side wall. So the shadow of everything in the room must be on the left side(opposite to the light source). But I saw a shadow on the right side wall. There was a 3rd shadow and it was the only shadow on the same side of the light source. I was shivering and I didn’t know what to do.
I, “M..m…mom, someone else is here!”
I, “Look at my right side”
Mom screamed on seeing the third shadow and the third shadow moved quickly towards the bedroom, shaking the doors of the kitchen frantically. We glimpsed the strange thing and ran outside for our lives. We shouted for help and neighbours rushed towards us. We said to them about the thing and neighbours told us that the previous residents also had similar experiences. Mom and I never visited that haunted home again and with the help of mom’s office friends, we were able to move our things from that hell and move to another house. My mom’s personality shift also abated after moving to another house. After college, I got a high paid job as a software UI designer.
Aravind’s story was nothing I had ever known before. My mind went numb.
I, “Omg! You had been through a lot of pain, my dear friend!”
I, “I am speechless! All I can say is that I salute your willpower”
Aravind, “Thank you, Unni”
I, “I have a doubt. You had your dream job and how did you end up here? I mean this is nothing compared to your previous job, even the salary difference is huge.”
Aravind, “Because that personality shift is back some days. I had to resign my dream job as there was more night shift. I joined here so that I can visit my home anytime in case of an emergency as there is no legal contract with this company. The boss is giving me tons of work which can’t be finished in a day.”
I, “Yes, I understand.”
Aravind, “So I am planning to resign my job tomorrow.”
I, “Wow, I am also quitting my job. After I reach my home, I will call the boss and will reveal my resignation. Friend, I understand your situation in the office as I have been working here for 2 years. You won’t be able to manage your personal problems with this job.”
With teary eyes, I covered myself with the blanket. For the first time, I was praying to God at night as I was troubled and frightened.
6:00am Feb 29
After sleeping (more like a nap), I got ready to leave the office. Aravind was awake and I looked at him in awe. Anyway, I had one last question to ask. I didn’t ask it at night because the answer might ruin my mental equilibrium. Now as I was ready to leave, never to see him again in my life, I asked him that question.
I, “Aravind, I have one last question”
Aravind, “Yes, Unni”
I, “Is that thing still haunting you?”
Aravind, “Yes, it is.”