It was six in the morning and I was watching the sunrise. The sweet song of the birds made me smile to myself. I went to get ready for school. But then realised it was a holiday! I washed my face and had a glass of milk.
Just before I took a step out to the garden, my phone started ringing. It was from my best friend Raghavi. She asked me if I could come down to the beach to see something. As a matter of fact she added that she had a surprise for me. I was delighted and said Yes. She said we would be going around seven.
I usually like going out to have funtime on the beach. Today I didn’t know what made Raghavi suddenly think of visiting the beach. That too calling me up at six in the morning. What sounded weird was the way she was talking about it. Why did she say she had a surprise for me at the beach? I wondered what’s so special today. It was just Sunday and everybody was lazing around. What’s there to surprise me on a no special day?
I went back to the kitchen and finished my breakfast. I kept wondering what Raghavi was up to.
In no time it was already half past six.
I had my two packets of juice packed and was off to the beach. I saw Raghavi standing on the sands waving her hand towards me. I ran towards her. I asked her what was the reason behind her sudden idea of visiting the beach today.
She said nothing. She held my hand and dragged me along towards the wooded area barely 500 meters away from the beach. The wooded forest looked pretty but scary. I had heard it housed all kinds of animals and creepy crawlers!
But quite a few people visited it too maybe to gather wood or who knows what. But today I felt a bit chilly inside me. Maybe it looked all new to me or I hadn’t been here for long.
I was worried and asked her what she was up to. She whispered Youll see. God, now I felt really hollow inside me.
Just then, I bumped my leg into a rock and stumbled down. I hurt one of my foot and it bled at once. Red blob of blood jumped out of my right foot. Raghavi without uttering a word stared at my wound fascinated. What’s there to stare like that at my wound? And she was staring at the gushing blood without even trying to help.
But then magic happened! Just like you see in the fantasy movies, the wound was healed! No trace of the blood!
I couldn't believe my eyes. I even wondered if I had really hurt my leg. Raghavi and I had been friends more than a decade; but I’d never seen she do such a thing before. She was always a regular girl.
All this made me nonplussed. I couldn’t control myself and shot off questions to her.
“Raghavi, have you grown magic eyes? Are you possessed by some power? Did you drink some magic potion? Did you learn witchcraft?”
I kept asking her how and when she got the magical eyes! She just smiled and said Just be calm and follow me
How could anyone remain calm after seeing a normal human do such a thing.
I couldn't stop thinking about what just happened. How could a normal person heal something like this just by staring at it? I felt less safe and more scared now. All I wanted was to leave the wooded forest right away. I closed my eyes and followed my trusted friend like a sheep as she walked ahead as if nothing happened.
After walking over some distance, I glanced at my watch. I was shocked. It had been two hours since we entered the wooded forest and we are still walking god knows where! Those two hours flew away like 10 minutes. I wondered where she was taking me now. Home or some other strange place?
I also kept thinking if she was taking me to someplace to show me the ‘surprise’ she talked about on phone in the morning.
She stopped; stood still for a second, then Here she said, standing before a towering tree. I stared at her: What’s here to look at?.
She suddenly slapped me on my cheek. Ouch that hurt! I screamed. What time is it?'' she asked. I didn't answer but asked her angrily “Why did you slap me?”
It was at this very moment out of from nowhere I heard my mothers calm voice calling me: Wake up dear! open your eyes. See the world outside. This day is yours.
Oh, who slapped me again now? My friend or mom? “Wake up!!!”
I closed my eyes and opened not knowing what on earth was happening. When I opened my eyes again, I was in my room lying in my bed. I blinked but couldn't see clearly but all I could notice was a lady standing near my bed. Someone slapped me again and I could hear a familiar voice rising in anger say Wake up you sleepyhead!
I wiped my eyes and saw my mom standing with hands on her hip akimbo. I wondered what happened to Raghavi. My mom high toned again in an angry tone Do you know what time it is? It's nine in the morning! You’ve been sleeping like a giant.
It took me a moment to realise that I was very much at my home. Whatever happened in the forest? Was it a dream or real? I felt some slight pain on my cheek. Of Course I realised! It was my mom who slapped me for not waking, not Raghavi!
I got up and looked out the window. Mom had moved to the kitchen. Out the window I could see some birds flying overhead. I washed my face and called Raghavi .
I still thought Raghavi was with me in the forest before my Mom slapped me to wake up. Maybe it was a dream. What a mysterious dream it was. I told everything that happened in my dream to Raghavi. All I heard was her laughter.
It was nearly dusk. I still kept wondering about my strange dream.
Why did Raghavi say Here? What was she pointing at? Watching the sunset, I smiled to myself and said "Strange as strange can be.”
I felt something itching in my right leg. I couldn't just believe what I saw! The wound! I have the same wound in my leg that I had in the dream.
Oh my god! I was scarier than before. So all this was real? Did Raghavi really have magical eyes? What was that voice of my mom telling? What was there that Raghavi pointed at? Why did she slap me? What was the surprise she was to show me?
~Written by Laksha.V