Stepping inside my room I pull up shutters hastily. I slump on the desk and retrieve the letter writing supplies my ant gifted me last Christmas. Looking at the snow only reminds me of one thing, even though the ideas have no particular relation to each other. As I muse over the memory I stare out the window, ensuring I would be able to ‘post’ this today and only today.
I gaze down at the now-blank paper and heave a long sigh as I start writing the letter.
Lately I have discovered this incongruity in myself. Evidently, I have always known this subconsciously.
To introduce myself, I would say I am an introvert, a seriously withdrawn teenager who doesn’t even speak up when necessary. Besides I am unlike all other introverted geniuses. I am positive that I am not one of those who speak less but hit the book
Getting bullied is my nature. It neither needs a trigger nor a closure. Auspiciously, it has no effect on me.
Even my friends and family know about this and they have tried to get me to stand up. Conversely, I disvalue myself as I am black, at the same time I am an Indian-American.
I am about to relate three of the most significant tales on this notion.
It was around 2000 to 2003.
Mariana, the dullest students from our arithmetic class, approached me, while I was arranging the books in my locker. She pushed me aside, then unruffled all of the books. Soon the books landed on the floor with a lurid thud. It gathered a few bystanders around us. I rehearsed Robert’s lines mentally and was about to speak up when her voice precipitously reached a high pitch.
“I think a pathetic jerk like you should be sitting somewhere in a lower class school and smoking cigarettes with cheap youths who will either grow up to be terrorists or thieves. Some can even be honorable guards.” She guffawed. Her associates nodded and joined her hoot.
She most likely got bored with me, thus she prodded my shoulder coarsely and walked past me glancing at her ‘expensive’ watch with exaggerated apprehension.
Robert reached my side in no time. He was panting. Robert and I were best friends since kindergarten and we even have the same classes as our tastes are strangely similar.
“Didn’t I advise you with my tediously earned knowledge, yesterday? I knew she would emanate again today. She actually has no proper work than disturbing reticent students and making a shit out of their reputation.” He gestured towards her then at me. Robert was one of the most brilliant students, while I was just an average student.
“I don’t think she really made a shit out of my reputation. Well, who cares?” I composed the books with Robert’s aid. He still seemed agitated as I didn’t put his data to good use.
“Don’t worry buddy, I have it in here!” I bared the list I had made while listening to him. “I might get her next time!” we hassled of towards our next class. However I never got her ‘the next time’ which meant I had potentially grieved my best friend
I was never the rich kid in school. Moreover, I was admitted in that ‘rich kid’s school’ through a sports scholarship though I was black. It was just the perfect opportunity for all the bullies there.
That’s where the first incident ends even though it isn’t the funniest story ever. The next one won’t be interesting either but it might show my folly further.
It was 2011
The Indians approached me with a smirk. As if each was aping the other.
The one on lead was a hulk with a pencil mustache on his blemished face. He seemed older than the others. The others seemed to be in their early twenties. My parents did me a great injustice by shifting to India for college, all because they were sure I wouldn’t face the same bullies here. Fortunately, my elder brother had warned me about the hulk that he had encountered in his 2nd year too. I wondered how he was still there.
“You here first time?”
I knew how it was to be beheld differently but I had to admit their English was terrible. Fortunately being an Indian- American, I had always been under super surveillance to expand my Hindi. After all, my Indian mother was my tutor. I nodded as he raised an eyebrow.
“You in our space? You say Hindi?”
I nodded once more and they exchanged spiteful glances
“You better pass with upright grades this exam, or you are out of here!” he scoffed in Hindi and walked by patting my shoulders.
I had almost forgotten about them the whole semester but once I passed with over the top marks, they reimbursed.
The hulk placed a huge slap across my cheeks. All the bystanders recoiled in shock while I just held my cheek, sneering at them. I had no idea what I had done to make him so livid.
“I passed with enough marks, I guess?” The hulk looked around and seized my collar. He hauled me over to the corner of the field as his subordinates dispersed the mob of people and came running beside him.
“You rascal, this college is for the students like me. I am famous here. I wanted you to be among my special friends too but you are a disgrace to us. You passed.”
“For example this is my 2nd time taking 2nd year. We are hopefully going to pass–” One of them shushed the boy with bristly hair, who was probably there unwillingly.
“On people’s first days I say something incongruous so as to plant fear. Due to extreme pressure they even fail at subjects they would have easily passed.” He looked about at the others awkwardly and declared. “But you, moron, didn’t!” He almost spat on me as I flinched.
2 of the guys in his pack were whispering and chuckling. Exchanging glances, they made weird faces and walked up to the hulk. They spoke into his ears and soon even beamed with malice
“Well, if you could pass ‘this’ exam, then why can’t you pass an exam posed by me? I know you can!” he patted my shoulders and smirked.
“You have to pass this night in a luxurious place. If you come out of it sufficient, I may give you a position in my group,” they all exchanged malevolent squints.
He gestured for me to follow. After almost an hour of tedious walking we reached his ‘luxurious place’. Boy was I fooled. I thought he might sham me as a servant, but never did I ever think of this place.
“This house is officially declared to be haunted for which I often bring my followers-to-be here for a trial. Even though most of them failed I guess you might win. You seem quite strong.” He squeezed my shoulders and let out another gale.
I stood dazed, in front of this building which had huge branches sprouting out of the windows along with dead plants and flowers lying. I took a deep breath and gulped noisily.
“Don’t be scared, no one has died yet, most of them have gone home dizzy while others had panic attacks and were found unconscious.” He whispered and pushed me towards the door.
I decided I would just return home as soon as they would leave the place.
Unfortunately they had the keys and they closed the door as soon as I was inside.
I was found unconscious and was admitted in the city hospital. The doctors declared that I could have died having a stroke but fortunately God saved me. The students were let free as they were the sons of the wealthy. They probably didn’t know about Nyctophobia
Next I was transferred back to America with my mother while my father remained there for his business was going good.
Now comes the third and last incident which shows that I am the dumbest creature in this whole world.
As a stupid son I followed my father’s directions and reverted to India as soon as I graduated university. I settled there with a minor job. As a great father he wanted me to do something on my own before I entered his business.
The boss suspended me for being involved in a rather dirty case of bribery. It started with one of my friends. He assured me that it would remain fun and we would stop soon but then when everything came out fresh, he just disappeared *poof* and I was the one wedged.
Unfortunately, I didn’t realize how kind my boss was for suspending me instead of firing the hell out of me, until it was too late.
“Now you can go–”He murmured and looked at the unspecified files piled on his tables and started taking each one out, construing them thoroughly and signing off quickly with a crooked brow.
He looked up at me over the round glasses and raised his bushy brows.
“Sir, I have something to say.” I cleared my throat and stood straighter. “I have no fault in this. One of my friends insisted we do this.”
He looked back at the files and gestured for me to depart. For the first time in life I went further and took the paper from my pocket which was given to me every day in order to stand up. I really needed the job, for it was the last year of work before my father would consider me ready to take care of his business. I couldn’t loose or get suspended from this job at any cost.
I looked at the paper and back at the old man. Then I cleared my throat twice and he looked up
I recited the following with no emotions.
“You son of a bitch, do you even realize how rude you have been to me–”I clasped my mouth.
I soon realized how inappropriate it was compared to the time and the context of the speech.
He suddenly looked bothered. He coughed once and then stood up shaking.
“You… you are… fired.” I stared at him, shocked at what my stupidity had brought me to. “Out…out now!” His voice boomed through the room and probably out as I saw many worried faces appearing at the end of the glass doors.
As I left the room I checked my emails. My brother left the same copy daily where he dictated the following lines
–You either stand up to people or you are a disgrace to this family and you will never be part of the damn good business –
Pressure! Pressure! Everywhere
I sign of the letter with an exhalation and roll it. Placing the letter smooth on the desk once more, I murmur a prayer under my breath
Then I fold it and seal the ends without putting it inside an envelope.
The next minute I am out of the bungalow into the cold morning. Clutching the coat tighter I pull both the muffler down around my neck and the other muffler around my skull in the shape of an oval.
The snow makes a weird noise under my feet as I make my way for a half an hour walk to the nearest library.
I wander through the library for a good ten minutes and find my favorite section. I search for the one and only shelved book where I had hidden my 5th letter and on finding it empty I place the 6th one on page 25. As I leave the library peacefully with a book clutched against my chest the burden of feeling like a ‘burden’ leaves me. After all I am now in a better position in life, no longer the bullied but a content author with enough earnings. Smiling tightly at the snow I walk up to the nearest coffee shop.
It was a 6th letter I’d addressed to no one. Even-though someone seemed to find them.