I woke up sweating profusely. ‘Phew. It was only a dream,’ I sighed. I tossed my blanket to the wall and reached for my phone under the pillow. It was only 12:03 am. For some reason, I started having this feeling that someone was watching me. Fear crept in and my once sweaty body suddenly became chilled. My toes were literally emitting ice. I surreptitiously shoved my hand under the pillow to retrieve my worn out pair of socks. I usually wear socks while going to bed but remove them in the middle of the night and shove them under the pillow. I retrieved the socks but was too shaken up to put them on. I traced the blanket with my feet and slowly dragged it to my hands reach; careful not to make a sound.
The only sound that I could hear in the room was that of cockroaches munching on whatever was under my bed. I reached for the second pillow and tightly hugged it. I felt vulnerable and I could not call or shout for help because then, whoever was watching me would know for sure where I was lying. ‘You need to get married,’ my mind advised. “She just needs an actual bodyguard,” my inner person objected. I shook my head to get my sanity back. Whatever I was thinking was not of help.
Bang! The sound of gunshots ruptured the still air. The noise reverberated into my ears and echoed into the walls magnifying the feeling of my vulnerability. I quivered with stifled sobs and could feel icy sweat running down my spine. The second gunshot made it clear that that the perpetrators were in our compound. I silently cursed as my bladder started feeling fuller. ‘You need to get yourself a gun,’ my mind advised again with an immediate retaliation from my inner person. ‘What will she do with it? She needs an armed bodyguard.’ I covered my ears with both hands in an effort to stop listening to the two contradicting people in my system.
I could hear footsteps striding towards my house; each footstep louder than the previous. I reached for my rosary which I normally hang on my bed and clenched it. Guilt engulfed me as I tried to remember the last time I had recited it. I could hear my door creaking and it dawned on me that they had come for me. I said a simple prayer promising God not to sin ever again if He saved me from this mess.
Cold hands brought me back to my senses. ‘Boobsy, what’s up?’ my fiancé inquired. I looked at him startled and went into a daze. ‘Where had he come from? Did he not hear the gun shots? Did the robbers not see him come in?’ the trace of his fingers on my skin brought me back to reality. I tightly hugged him bearing in my mind my full bladder. ‘Did you hear the gunshots?’ I asked still trembling from fear. His face crinkled in laughter reducing it into a sputter when he saw my dirty look. He tried to stop but I could clearly see his lips curving due to the pressure of holding in laughter. I gave up and sat on the bed, clearly disappointed but still confused and afraid.
‘Boobsy, those were not gunshots. They are fireworks. Its Diwali remember.’ I stared at him bewildered not knowing whether to feel stupid or relieved. I could feel a trace of hot air cascading down my cheeks. It was actually really over. Just like that. ‘Diwali. Damn.’ I pursed my lips.