I don’t like strangers

Tonight I am alone. It is raining hard. The storm in my heart rages outside also. I am sitting at the table with the windows open. Every other minute, a drop or two of water wets a piece of paper set in front of me. At the same time, the wind rushing in from the open windows makes it flutter as well. The rain, I feel, has done something to my heart, for it has a rapturous as well as a ponderous feeling at the same time. I sigh and begin to darken that piece of paper with ink. Rat- a tat- tat. I’m alert, and as soon as I realize that this was a knock on the door and not the rain, the mark of ink is dabbed with a drop of rain. Laughing, my thoughts return to the knock.

Oh, how I hate these silly vagabonds, one of the reasons being that I am thankfully somewhat acutely alive to the existence of their uncanny demeanor. I really do hate strangers! And I do remember what my mother told me about them. I open the door and observe a man asking me for something to imbibe and eat. I feel fear, but no, he’s the one begging, the one to come knocking at my door. I am the one in command here. The true master. I give him a few sandwiches which were already kept in the refrigerator. He starts talking while eating, but I really did not desire any speech with him, for I find it rude, when someone talks with his mouth full. He says something about the weather, yes, very morbid today. Very untamed.

After a cup of tea, he is still here. We stare at each other for a moment, the food has finished but he is still here. I suddenly feel a clammy suspicion. A few drops of rain touch my face after striking a nearby window. They take my fears away. Lovely tea. Thank you; it’s a special family recipe.

I am once again at the table, watching that same piece of paper become wet and then dry as it flutters in the air. This way, it stays forever alive, never to get destroyed. Remain the same, distinguished paper (due to the ink mark). The stranger I believe is somewhere in the house. Lying dead. He was really getting a bit irritating, and later he was screaming like a mad man. Maybe I should have told him that the family recipe included rat poison, lots of it!

Ahh…but like I said, I don’t like strangers……..

Rohan Malhotra