Lost in The Echoes
I dared to look below me. Just beyond the jutting edge, waves dashed against the cliff. One wrong step, and straight into oblivion. However, none of my nerves appeared to get worked up. None of my senses were alerted.
The only things I felt right then, were great joy and a heartbreaking agony that comes as the price for it. I laughed a loud, bitter laugh and continued laughing until I coughed up blood.
Surprisingly enough, I heard the oblivion laughing back. Was it mocking me too? Was it chuckling at my fate?
I shook from head to toe in anger and remorse and looked around me. Just inky darkness. Were those its eyes? No, it must be the overdose of champagne taking its grip over me gradually.
Unsure of myself, I shouted into the darkness, “Who are you?”
“You,” came the reply. It was a somewhat amplified and prolonged version of my own question. I stumbled.
“So you are mocking my fate too?”
“My fate too,” the oblivion resonated with an agreeable sigh.
The moon overhead cast a ghastly, silver glow on everything around, except for me. The moon was choosing sides too. Somehow, in this inky darkness, the ocean looked like a carpet of black, liquid velvet with white ripples. At this point of time, I regretted my poetic fancies.
“Have you been betrayed by life too?” I asked again.
“Betrayed by life too,” came a somewhat dejected reply.
“Do you have to keep repeating everything?” I shouted, with a slight tinge of irritation.
I managed to cough up blood again.
“So you don’t have a mind of your own?” I mocked. This time, there was a deathly silence. I assumed that this reverberating me was fed up of me, just like everyone else. But there it was again. Slow, but sure. A prolonged, and even more dejected version of myself.
“Mind of my own.”
“Ah, then you feel that I shouldn’t die.”
“Shouldn’t die!” The answer came faster this time and with much more conviction. I couldn’t help grinning.
‘No. This is just a trap,’ said my inner voice.
“I don’t believe you.” I snapped back at the darkness.
“Believe you,” it retaliated, with a strange desperation.
The moon quickly hid behind the clouds. Was it my imagination? Had the ocean really started dashing against the cliff harder?
‘No, you can’t be fooled again,’ said my inner voice. However, a strange kind of power surged through my veins. A new vigour spread its roots into my blood. Despite myself, I couldn’t help believing the unseen.
I closed my eyes and felt the coolness of the breeze against my nostrils. I took a couple of steps backward.
As I looked on, the moon abandoned its abstruse hideout and smiled, all silver. It illuminated nothing all around. Except me.
I continued retracing my steps and abruptly turned back. I don’t know whether it was the champagne or my poetic fancies, but I felt the inky oblivion blinking its eyes at me.
~ Swatilekha Roy | Edited by Afreen Zeb