Author: Vaibhav Vijay
I woke up with a start, beads of sweat rolled off my forehead. Must have been a bad dream that had already faded from my memory. I looked around me. Was this…a college classroom? A quick glance at my watch told me it was 2 in the afternoon, but the class was empty. Hoping to find anybody, I ventured out into the corridors.
Empty again, though now I could hear voices in the next classroom. I pushed the door open to catch a peek of my friend Vedant and also… Ritika? Was this a movie party going on? Vedant noticed me but quickly looked away. Now I was really curious. I tried to open the door wide only to get it slammed on my face. “Get out dude.” Now I was really fuming. Feeling well betrayed, I stomped off.
I turned the corner to find 2 more familiar faces, my friends, Sania and Praveen. “Judging by your expression, you’ve already found Vedant.”, Praveen chuckled. “Looks like we’re in the same boat.”
“What are you guys doing here?”, I asked. “Same as you. Nothing else to do” Sania said with a blank face. Well at least I wasn’t alone. “Want to grab some chai?” she asked. Of course Sania wanted a cup of tea but it didn’t seem like all that bad of an idea right now. Praveen seemed to be happy to go along with that plan and so we made our way to the stairs.
We were just walking downstairs and guess who showed up, but Vedant and Ritika. I felt my mood sour once again. They pulled my attention just long enough for me to completely miss a step and have a real banana-peel slip of a fall, and land squarely on my bottom. I didn’t feel any pain. Sania and Praveen may or may not have been concerned. I couldn’t have known because I wasn’t looking at them. I was focused solely on the reactions of Vedant and Ritika.
Vedant didn’t let out a laugh, but was still somehow wearing it on his face with an amused smirk. Ritika let out the most horrifying, shrill laughter that made me want to just curl up into a ball. “I do not want to be here right now.” Everything around me started to get hazy. It only just occurred to me that the college could not be empty on a weekday at this time. There couldn’t have been a movie party in a classroom. And with that epiphany, I blacked out.
I woke up with a start, beads of sweat rolled off my forehead. Must have been a bad dream. I checked my phone. The screen read 4:00 AM. All I could recall was wanting tea. Sleep was getting harder for me. I felt like I was slowly losing sanity, locked inside a house with nobody to talk to. Completely awake at this point, I decided to make myself that cup of tea.
I sat down at the table thinking about how it had already been 4 months since I’d not engaged in a proper conversation with anyone. I took a sip of the tea; only to burn my tongue. I did feel the pain but what bothered me more was that there was nobody who could be concerned for me or even laugh at me. The world seemed to have forgotten me and that was the most terrifying thought I’d ever had. I just had to keep trudging on, with no end to my misery in sight, hoping the next day would be better.
“Can’t get out of this one.”, I sighed.