I lie, sprawling my arms and legs on the bed. I rest my head on the worn out pillow. It has been tolerating my changing moods from time immemorial without offering any resistance. I’m alone, with no one to nudge me to pull up my socks for the impending rat race or rant about their problems and worries. I also loosen up my few strings. A wry smile appears on my face. For once, I let the tiny voice in my head scream aloud, the other voices, vanishing automatically.
My whole life flashes before me, with the voice narrating the timeline of events. First, the 5-year old self appears before me teasing me with his antics. I smile at that memory. Then I watch sadly, the 12-year old me getting bullied in school, his cries for help going unheard. I remember the time he stuttered while giving the Independence Day speech on the morning assembly. Then an incident flashes in front of me, where I had used my new-found voice in its full glory against my close friend.
I cover my face watching that, whilst counting the number of could-haves and should-haves in my jar of doubt. I wanted it to stop, but other similar instances followed and kept on playing on loop.
I introspect how far I have come whilst tracing many a step back.
“Aarav, get some vegetables from the market, no?”, I hear my mom calling out to me, the shrillness of her voice cutting through my trance. I feel the spring rising on my knee caps and dash out of the room.
My daily quota of solitude gets over.