I am not able to sleep. As I pull my blankets to the chin and close my eyes, as I enter the unconscious state and my muscles try to relax, I run out of breath. I wake up, panting, gasping as much air as I can. I can’t help but as I try to sleep, I end up like this. It’s been three days and I have not slept for a single minute. I will visit a doctor today. Hope it works.
The doctor says that I am suffering with Obstructive Sleep Apnea.
OSA is a state in which the person is not able to breathe while sleeping, and it lasts for 20 to 40 seconds. I read its symptoms another day, they include snoring loudly at night. I am not going on any night stays for now.
These medicines do not work and it’s been a week now. I am afraid to even close my eyes for more than five seconds. I am on caffeine, taking some pills that let me stay awake at night. I paint, read, but as I feel sleepy and close my eyes, I wake up panting–out of breath. The other day, I saw blue bruises around my neck. I have not told anyone about it. Most of the time people don’t even believe me now.
I feel tired all the time. Sleep deprived, I can’t concentrate on anything. Those bruises are still there and my back hurts a bit. I feel someone’s presence in my room; maybe I am a little sick and that’s why my mind is forced to think all of this. Never mind, I am good at staying up, lately.
The doctor thinks that I am making things up; he wants me to meet a psychiatrist.
Ahh! This is horrifying, I felt like someone was trying to choke me. This isn’t some disease. My neck hurts, there are new blue marks on my neck. I don’t know what to do. Help me please! My eyes are swollen. I feel someone is watching over me all the time, I feel someone’s breath over my neck. I want to run but I can’t. I am tired. This isn’t right. Everything hurts.
I met a priest on my way back home. The priest wants me to visit him. I told him that I don’t believe in god. He says he knows I need him, he knows I am hurt.
I went to him. He seems to know everything and wants to help me. He says some unnatural being has possessed me, I don’t know if I should believe him or not. He is asking the authorities to perform some spiritual practice of evicting spiritual entities from my body, known as exorcism. I tell him, I just want to be normal again.
The priest is dead. No one knows the reason of his death. He was my only hope. I am afraid, I am alone again.
The oxygen mask is of no use, I still can’t breathe. These doctors think that they are helping me, but they aren’t. They don’t understand, someone grabbed me, pulled me to the window and threw me out of it. I did not attempt suicide. I am not mad. I saw him that day, red eyes, black burnt face, he was there, he pulled me, and he has been here every night since then. They don’t believe me. I wish they did. Those bruises-his hands-my neck, I am scared.
Everything is messed up, hospital feels like a haunted villa, everything is dark here, the temperature is going down, the air is not soothing and there is an eerie silence in the room. I try calling the nurse, I can’t speak.
He is there, I see him, standing there, laughing as I lay here helpless. I can’t scream, I just can’t do anything. I ask him, what does he want?
He wants me to tell everyone that he exists; he wants me to write about him, write what he did and what he can do. He wants me to die; wants the world to know that he has returned.
Why me, I ask. Who can describe it better than a writer, he says. I write as he feeds over my body. I die as I immortalise him.
~ Zafar | Edited by Nandini
Image source: flickr.com