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Fear! - Shamik Dhar (India)

 


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FEAR!

-         Shamik Dhar (India)



When I was about eight years old, my father forced me to go with him to the funeral of a friend of his that I didn't know. I had unwillingly relented. We were living at Nainital at that time. At that tender age, I was more intent to play games than to go and visit a funeral. I loathed it but had to listen to my father. It was a clear morning, when we got there. We had parked our car outside the cemetery. The cemetery had a narrow gravelled pathway and on both sides of the pathway. It was dotted with Cedar, Spruce, Cypress and Miranda trees which acted as a canopy for the underlying graves. We had walked along the path towards the congregation where the ceremony was to take place. I stayed in a corner beside a Cypress tree waiting for the time to pass and then again was peeping at the proceedings of the ceremony to check if it was over.

Then suddenly, a man approached me from behind and said, “Enjoy life boy, be happy because time flies, look at me now, I didn't enjoy life!”

It was a weird stray comment from a stranger. Then he passed his hand over my head and his hands kissed my hair and then he left as mysteriously as he had arrived.

My father, before leaving, forced me to say goodbye to the dead person. “When I looked in the coffin, I was startled that the man who was talking to me when I was standing beneath the Cypress tree was the same man in the Coffin.” I was petrified and yet when my father asked, “You ok!” I had answered, “Yes!”

Although, I had sweaty palms, I didn’t have the courage to tell him about the incident. After all it was broad day light and I didn’t want to make myself the laughing stock. Silently I had suffered unable to tell anyone of this incident. For several years later, when my father passed away, I went to the same cemetery. After his burial, as we were walking towards my car, with my mother beside me. Then again, I saw the man. The man who was my father's friend, whom they had buried at the cemetery when I had visited this place years ago, was walking out of the crowd and walked towards me. The stress and everything got to me and I fainted petrified. When I came around, I didn’t find the dead man, and the first words that I had uttered was, “The man in the coffin!” “Yes, that was your father, Johnny!” replied my mom. “No not him, I saw one of my father’s dead friends!” The shock is tremendous, I guess!” replied my mom and stared at my girlfriend Joanna. I had not elaborated after that. Neither did they ask me anything regarding this anymore. I was not able to sleep properly and had repeated nightmares. I was terrified of being alone. I didn't turn off the light at night and had several other turmoil which almost wrecked me psychologically. I always wanted to know, “Why me? “Later on, I was forced to visit many psychologists at the behest and insistence of my mother and girlfriend. Though they said, “There is no issues with me!” This process went on for two decades. Then I discovered something incredible that changed my life, completely. That dead idiot had an identical twin brother.  

 

 

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