Chapter 2 : Friends forever

Welcome to the brief series, Short stories of scares. The second chapter takes you to a twisted Journey of a persons mind, where a lost relationship is rediscovered but at a heavy cost. Hope you will enjoy the read.

It was still dark outside, probably around 3.30 A.M., when Vin’s phone beeped with a tone like the croaking of an army of toads. He woke up groggy, rubbing his eyes, analyzing the surroundings, and wondering why he even used that sad ringtone for the message notifications.

He looked at his phone’s glaring screen and noticed a greenish tint, which was quite unusual to the bright white LED light. There were five messages from his very close friend Vijay with whom he has almost not spoken for a year. He thought a busy monotonous life is such a curse. It gives no time for loved ones, but somewhere he realizes the fault was the long misunderstanding between them, and he should not blame life for it.

The text messages read as:

Vijay: It’s been a long time, dear friend; I am sick. I have been diagnosed with Bipolar disorder.

Vijay: Funny right, well, I don’t even know what that means. They say that my behavior is impulsive, delusional, and hostile. Consider me being all that man!

Vijay: I am sorry, Vin, for everything. I mean, for not being around. We had great times together.

Vijay: Vin. Are you there? I am crying, man. i am so sorry. My mom’s not well; she is in hospital

Vijay: They say I have hurt her in some way. How could I do that, man. You know me right. Please, brother, talk to me.

Vin was trying to read the texts from his best friend; the words seemed blurry, he was in his room in a comfortable bed, with warm sheets, he could smell the rain from the tiny opening of the window, maybe it had rained last night, he felt cold. The dim yellow bed lamp near his bed was filling the room with eerie melancholia. Vin was unable to comprehend his environment and the texts from Vijay.

“I should call him,” Vin said to himself. He went to the message box on his phone and clicked on the call button. The phone rang in a succession of three dial tones, and then there was a voice, it sounded Grimm” Can you believe all that is happening to me? Vijay was sobbing and taking deep breaths.

Vin replied, “Hey man, it’s ok. You would be fine .Not sure what’s going wrong. I am so sorry. But how can you suffer from some weird mental sickness? It can’t be true. i don’t believe you.no it’s not possible, and please stop crying. Please“. The Moment Vin muttered those words to his old friend, he felt a sudden jolt, and he drifted from the one end of his bed to another. One of his legs was pulled rough and hard by an unknown force. On the other end, Vijay’s husky voice whispered, “Now you believe me.”

Vin was startled; the phone fell from his hand though still connected to Vijay, who was screaming on the other end “Belief in me that only you can have”, and with each second, the voice was turning in loud groans and seemed demonic, filling the gloomy room with terror.

Gripped with hysteria, such kind of fear was not familiar to him. He couldn’t move, thinking he is in a lucid dream. He tried to scream, expecting to wake up hearing the comforting voice of his mother, calling his name loud and softly saying to him, “It’s ok..” It’s just a bad dream, son”.

However, this time there was no comforting voice. This was not a dream; it was real. For the first time, Vin looked around him. There was no secure space or a comfortable bed but a stiff metal crib with a thin sheet covering him, which smelled medicines. The dim yellow light of melancholia was not from a bed lamp, but the giant street lamp’s light was filtering through the window. The room was a confinement of four walls and a thick door, and he was a captive there. There was no phone; Vin realized he called Vijay from an emergency walk talkie whose battery was dead, not sure for how long. And then he saw the walls on the side facing to him it was written in his handwriting “Believe in me.. Only you can“. His head bobbing back and forth, every inch of the wall said, “Vin, Believe in me only you can.” Vin was lying on his bed, sweaty, shivering with the cold fear, senseless rambling, “you are not real, you cannot be real. You are…this is not real “in a faint dusky tone. He remembered the rain. Then the delusion, this was his reality.

The next morning, Vin’s mother visits his attending Psychiatrist in the mental institution. The doctor explains, “We are afraid that his mental condition is deteriorating. He is displaying high-grade symptoms of bipolar disorder and Schizophrenia. Last night he was acting paranoid and consistently talking to someone called Vijay. Do you know this person, mam?”

Vin’s mom is sobbing and says, “All this started when his best friend Vijay killed himself when his mom died due to an accident. It was a horrible accident caused due to a gas leak, and Vijay blamed himself, so he took his life. My son could never bear this shock, and we thought it would get better with time, but now no treatment is helping. I am not sure why my son got so gravely ill, but all I can understand is Vijay does not wish to leave him alone even in death”. We share a relationship or a bond with a person, and in most cases, they have a form, and we see them daily, but what if a friend is shapeless and just a fabrication of your mind or like Vijay. Even after his death, the latter still seeks his friend ( Vin ) for all eternity.” That is the fate of my son, and I have to accept it.” She continues crying.

Disclaimer : This is a purely fictional story touching about sensitive topics such as mental health and self harm. My writing in anyway does not promote that, infract its a cautionary tale which tells us the importance of always surrounding ourselves with positivity and love. At the same time shows us that its very important to hold ourselves strongly when life is struck with unbearable tragedies.

9 comments

  1. Well written, Vinayak! The transition from a mundane setting to the mysterious and macabre is seamless and draws the reader into the darkness before they ever sense a change in the light. Once there we are compelled by the intrigue to stay the course and see where it leads. You touch openly and honestly on tough subjects, but in a way that makes them less taboo. A very well written story, my friend!

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    • Thanks, Brad, for reading and your insightful comment on the story. To be honest, I am still sceptical about the whole idea of this concept I am running for a week; I must say short story writing is more challenging than the usual poetry format and requires a lot of dedication and consistency. No doubt I am enjoying it but with a doubt that whether I am doing enough justice to this anthology story telling. Either ways its your support that always keeps me encourage and experiment more with my writing. Thanks a lot for that 🙏

      Like

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