Sameer closed his eyes and with a final heavy breath lifted his foot to step forward where there was nothing to step on. The insane ocean waves would soon wrap him in its arms and will end all the worries of this life forever.
Just as his left foot was off the cliff, a scared and faint voice reached his ears. Among the thunderous lighting sound, Sameer’s ear didn’t miss that voice.
“Please help me… Please…”
It was a voice of a terribly shaken child who was otherwise nowhere to be seen in this pitch dark night. No matter how hard Sameer tried to ignore it, it still kept coming.
“Please help me, I am lost and scared here. Please help me.”
This time voice was more clearly heard by Sameer. He could not resist taking his foot back and turned right and from the corner of his eyes, he saw someone.
It was no way one could spot any human yet Sameer saw a small boy under the flashes of lightning. He was scared and drenched in rain but his cute small eyes were begging Sameer for help.
“Please help me, I am lost and I want to go back home. Please…” Those eyes had a magical spell on Sameer who for a time being forgot that he was there to end his life.
“Where is your home?” Sameer asked without moving ahead cause that might scare the kid.
“I know the way but I am scared to walk back home alone in this dark night and thunderstorms.” The boy walked a step towards Sameer feeling assured that he is a good hearted stranger who would help. The city was still under the dark umbrella with power failure.
Sameer clenched his nose bridge to gather himself. His mind too was tormented with fear and anxiety, just like that small kid. Finally, he thought of doing this one last good deed before ending his life. After all, it was still a night.
As if reading Sameer’s mind, the boy came closer and held his hand. His tiny finger curling up the huge fingers of Sameer. They walked off the cliffs, through thick bushes in the dark with crickets chirping, taking every step carefully as hesitation in boy’s walk was still evident till they reached the road in the night.
“This way…” The boy spoke softly as they reached the road. Sameer quietly kept walking with the boy’s fingers clutched tightly to his index finger. Sameer was still battling his mental turmoil and kind of lost in his thoughts.
“Are you scared too…?” The boy asked as if speaking to himself rather than to Sameer. With no response from him, the small kid asked again.
“Are you also lost like me…?” The kid tried again to break the ice and it worked this time. Sameer looked into those innocent eyes and with a faint smile, replied.
“Yes… I am also lost, but in a different way.”
“And what’s that mean…?” The boy asked as he pointed to the turn ahead. The little boy could not withstand the silence. Sameer didn’t look at the boy and looked at the sky above with a heavy sigh.
“You are too young to understand it. It’s complicated and messy.” Sameer restrained himself from getting into the conversation.
“Ain’t it good for you…?” The boy asked with raised eyebrows. Sameer frowned at him. He couldn’t get what this kid was up to.
“I mean you can tell me what you want to. Most of things I don’t know so you would be spared from bitchy questions and I won’t be judging you.” The smile on his face made Sameer’s lips curve into a faint smile.
“Give it a shot… There’s no harm in it.” The kid shrugged his shoulder. Sameer took a deep breath looking ahead.
“Fine… My life was simple and good till I was kid. Things started turning bad when I started with my business.”
Sameer went on narrating each and every failure to the boy who was all ears and still staying quiet. The kid only spoke when he had to guide Sameer for the directions to his home. Once Sameer was done narrating, he breathed a heavy sigh but had some relief in his head.
“We all make mistakes but then, we need to learn from them. Ending a life is never an answer.” The words of the boy rattled Sameer. He looked at the kid with eyes wide open. The boy smiled and continued.
“That’s what you were about to do at cliff…? Isn’t it…?”
Sameer was jolted with the reality in the boy’s words. He couldn’t fathom how such a small, terrified kid knew this.
“Everyone can start afresh, from a scratch but with experience from previous mistakes. You too can, start may be small but at least it will lead you to better heights. Only, if you don’t give up.” The kid let go of Sameer’s hand and jumped into a puddle of water to splash the water around. The rain had stopped.
“Whenever I made a mistake, I always run to my parents and hug them tightly and tell them what I did.” He turned around to look at stunned Sameer who was still trying to comprehend what this small kid had taught him.
“Sometimes they do scold me but at least they help me out in getting out of the mess. You too should try the same.” His innocent smile vaporised Sameer’s worries.
“I’ll think over it…” After a long pause of silence, Sameer finally replied.
“Seems we have reached home.” The moment the boy spoke, electricity was restored and everything was illuminated.
Sameer was shocked to see that he was standing in front of his house. He turned to look at the boy only to find him nowhere. He was aghast and chills ran down his spine with beads of sweat running down his temple. And then, he heard the voice again.
“What are you looking for Sameer, I am the kid within you. I was also lost. But now… I think you found me and you found yourself back.” The words echoed in Sameer’s head.
The child within him had saved him today. And with a sigh of relief, Sameer promised the kid within him that he would turn a new leaf.
Written by: Hemang
Sketch: Paranj Sankdecha