An inch, from heaven…
The world outside was eerily silent. The light of a full moon lit up my room as it fell through my window. A leaf blew across in the breeze. But not a soul on the street… no cats padding over the top of cars, no night guard blowing his shrill police whistle, not even the street dogs howling at the moon.
“What is it with full moons that bring out all the crazies?” Richard Castle’s voice rose in my mind. I began to imagine zombies coming from the cemetery nearby.
“Get a hold of yourself,” I said, and shook away those thoughts.
My mobile buzzed. It was Amar.
“Flunked four. They won’t understand. They’ll kill me. Better me than them. Bye.”
I jumped out of bed like I had been electrocuted. The keys on my Nokia 3110 seemed minute as I tried to type quickly, knowing full well that he wouldn’t talk. Crazy fool had an adamant phase sometimes and when went in; it was hard to pull him out.
“Don’t you dare, you moron. Their anger will subside, but only if you live. You killing yourself will kill them too.”
The tick of the clock felt heavier than it had ever been. He didn’t reply. I dialed his number. No reply. Hoping for the best, I persisted. I figured he was in that adamant phase, so I texted him again.
“Either you pick up, or I keep calling. I’m yet to get a job so I’ve all the time the world.”
Eight times I dialed, the eighth time he finally decided to grace me with his morose voice.
“Go your shove head in an ostrich hole, and leave be me.”
Tense as his situation was, I burst out laughing. And that got him cursing me some more.
“Dude, why don’t you tell your worry to go down that hole and leave you be?”
“You don’t know my parents. They put me in tuitions for flunking one subject, four will be three too many for them to live with. Their honor will be crushed, their “pride” will be pounded and their “support” will be blown to smithereens. I’m toast. Burnt, black and shot out of that toaster. I’m better dead. The cutter is waiting for me. Goodbye.”
And the fool had the nerve to hang up on me while I was saving his life! Nine, ten, eleven… the calls went on, I lost count how many. SMSes went past the free limit but I didn’t know, and I didn’t care. The grandfather clock struck the hour and I counted six. Outside, the sun was rising; and inside me, a slowly growing dread.
“Reply to my texts, you son-of-a…” I was about to curse when the mobile rang.
“Find me an ostrich hole big enough for my sorrows and we’ll see.”
“Sure. And if your parents don’t kill you, I might.”
“Square deal, bro. Now go sleep.”
I was so tired I was half asleep before my head hit the pillow. I never heard the beep, and I didn’t see the text till I woke up at noon.
“It’s good that I have a best friend like you.”
(12th December 2014)