Home Sweet Home
'Happy birthday!' So many questions started revolving around my fully conscious mind. To start with, was it really my birthday? I thought so, because every year on this date my parents came to the prison to wish me happy birthday. Not that I went to them when they came here, but I would get the news that "Your parents are here for your birthday". So I guessed it should have been my birthday.
Next, I was 24 years old! If I stood in front of the mirror, which I rarely did, I would look like I was in my thirties with all these long beard and the rough face. As much as I was allowed to work out in the jail, I was not allowed to shave. Whenever the beard grew very long and nasty, I was allowed to cut a bit, but not clean-shaven. I had even forgotten how I looked without these beards. I had cared least in all these years about how I looked. Hardly had I looked at any mirror, I didn't even bother to look myself at any glass or anything that could show my face.
And now the most disturbing question - HAPPY birthday?? Why I would be happy about it, when I didn't feel like it's my birthday. I could see they were happy but it did not make any difference to me. How would it matter?
"Let's go, we have a celebration party at home - Just you, me, your mom and your sister." My dad said snapping me out of my disturbance and led me to a car, in which they had come probably.
I looked at him bewildered. I didn't want any party, any celebration. I was not happy for this, why celebrate? And in all these years they must have understood very clearly that how I didn't like outsiders. In my cell, also I used to talk very less to my inmate. I had always kept it to myself. I didn't like to talk to people, because I just CAN'T REMEMBER anything.
My anger was rising, but then I made my fist tight and tried to control my anger. Why should I get angry on these poor innocent people? I had shown enough of my anger on them.
So, we were going to have a celebration. I had to accept to the fact that I had a family and I needed to accept them. Back there in prison, I did not have to care a little about if I had anybody out there, anybody about who I should care. But now that I was freed from the jail, I might think about it as I knew this was my family, whether I agreed or not.
Well, was I skipping something, something was missing. Yes "your sister". My sister - I had a sister. God! Why couldn't I remember anything? It was killing me from inside. I did not know I had to deal with so many things after coming out of the jail. How old my sister would be, she was younger to me or elder to me. How would she look? Hardly had I met any girl in the last six years; I could count I think. There was a journalist, who had come for a documentation film. There would be some visitors, but I had not seen much as I never came to the visiting area. However, so I did have a sister. Did I have a girlfriend? I guessed I was not married, because if I were 24 years old and I was living in this prison for six years, so I must have been in there when I was 18. I didn't think I could have married before that.
I had not spoken a word from the time I came out of the gate till now. We had already reached the car. My dad opened the driver door and got into it. My mom went to sit in the passenger seat leaving me no other option than to take the back seat. And I was happy for that, I would have the whole back seat to me. But then my mom started coming out of the car because my dad told her "Take the back seat, allow my son to sit with me today." She was more than happy to do that, but I did not want it.
I was not yet ready to speak anything, so I just let it be. She took the back seat and I took the front seat. My dad started the car engine and I just kept looking at the gear, the hand break, the music player. It looked like an old car. How could I remember the car parts? Why did not I forget all these things? I had just forgotten people, incidents and things related to me and others.
I wondered whether I knew how to drive. May be I knew, and I was pretty sure I knew driving, when I could think how to take a left when there came a left turn. I could feel my hands on the steering and moving it vigorously to move the car to left. From somewhere a sudden pain went through my brain like some thunder or lightning. It came fast and left fast, leaving me in a daze. What was that? I was all sweaty now; my father stopped the car immediately as they saw me like this.
"What happened? Are you alright?" My mom was almost in the front seat putting a hand on my shoulder and carrying a very worried look on her face. I looked at her; her tiny face just looked older seeing me in this pain. Then I spoke the first few words to them, "Nothing, Just my head started to spin." I repented why I said the truth. I was bombarded with a hell lot of questions. "Where does it pain? Do you need a doctor? Do you need this balm or that medicine? Do you want to take rest?" I was irritated now.
"Stop it. Stop it. Stop it." I shouted very badly. "It's nothing. Just leave it." I continued with the same tempo. Hurt was clear on their faces. I cursed myself again. I had decided not to upset them, but I just could not help it. I had to learn to control my anger.
"I am sorry." My mom said in breaking voice. Oh, it was pathetic. They were trying to help me, I scolded back at them and now she was saying sorry. My dad's face was like - I couldn't even describe how much pain you could find out in his face. I did not know what to tell now, how to console them. Moreover, I did not want to console them. I knew I was wrong, but I could not build up sympathy for them. Well I had to act normal at least. I couldn't keep on giving them this bad behavior. I tried to tell, but a "sorry" seemed the hardest thing to come out of my mouth.
"It's okay, let's drive home." I could manage to tell this much only. And believe me, this small sentence lightened up their faces. It was a bit obvious actually. They had not got anything from me, other than wrath, harsh words, bad behavior and silence. This was the first time I was speaking like this to them. So they were happy. I nodded and the drive to home continued.
I was looking through the window, taking in the view of everything that came in front of my eyes. The electric poles, the trees, the fields, people playing in the field, some distant wind meals, some people walking on the road - they all just passed like nobody knew me and they didn't bother to know me. I was not able to see their faces because of the speed of the car. Nothing looked similar or familiar. Everything looked like I was into an altogether new world. We had already traveled for some half an hour, but nothing came to my mind. Nothing would look like I had any memory with them.
Then there was a signal and our car stopped right there. There were so many people in their cars and some buses waiting for the signal to get free. There was a school bus containing lot of kids in that. They were least bothered about if anybody was around or anybody watching them. They were laughing, talking, fighting and doing everything possible in that bus. I wondered, I was not allowed to do anything back there in the jail and my cell was like one third of this bus. You could say, a little bigger than this car. May be this was what freedom looked like.
I looked at the people around; nobody was paying attention to me, as if I did not exist. Some were looking into their watch, probably they were getting late. Then I realized that I had no watch. It was okay, the car showed the time in front of me. Once the signal was free, my dad turned the car to right and after driving for hardly 2 to 3 minutes, he entered into a relatively narrower street.
Some shades started moving in front of my eyes as if I were watching some drawing on which there had been layers of dust from years. Nothing was clear, my vision was getting blurry. It was like the view in front of me was changing in every alternate second. I again felt some pain in my head and closed my eyes tight. I had to make sure that my parents didn't know about it, or they would get worried again.
After some seconds of keeping my eyes closed, the pain had reduced and I opened my eyes. Everything looked normal; there were no more images in front of my eyes. It was again normal and unfamiliar. Finally our car pulled up at a driveway of some house and by that time I had started feeling very weird. A very unusual feeling had engulfed me. I could not understand what was happening to me. It was not the pain; it was something I couldn't even describe. I was like, I was afraid to touch anything. As if I knew something more than what I should know. Probably I belonged to this house, someday, so only I had this feeling.
Before I could continue to feel that way, I found my mom standing next to me with a huge grin plastered to her face.
"Welcome home honey." She said continuing to smile. Soon my dad joined us and I went ahead. The same creepy feeling continued to grow inside me again. My dad put his hand in his pocket and took out the key. As soon as he was able to open the door, I looked through the door inside the house.
"So this is my home, where I used to live." My mind was not yet ready to believe it. Anyway I had to accept. I went inside and saw a very nice house. This looked small from outside, but inside it was a very nice one. It gave me a warm feeling, which was quite unusual to me. The whole house was decorated like some birthday party, the one which I had once seen in the TV in the jail. I paid attention to each and everything that came in front of my eyes. I was in a dilemma, whether I should be admiring the beauty of the decoration or I should give attention to this weird feeling which was growing inside me. I looked at everything, the couch, the TV, the windows, the staircase, the kitchen - but still couldn't remember anything.
I was going to get inside the kitchen when I felt I was being watched. I looked where I was thinking a person was standing.
There she stood, she was a girl of around 20, very fair in color, really beautiful, curly brown hair. She must be my sister then, I looked at my mother and she nodded and gave me an acknowledging look which meant she was my sister. She was wearing a tight jean and a t-shirt. From this distance I was not able to mark the color of her eyes properly, but it was mostly brown I guess. But what I could clearly see in her eyes was - rage and anger. No doubt - all the hatred was exactly for me only. Before I could think anything more or talk to her, she turned on her heels and went inside a room, which was probably her room. The door of the room was slammed shut right after she went in and that just proved how she wanted to show her anger towards me.
I was getting afraid now. I meant what and all I had to deal with.
@Ams Kingston - Right, we could be prison writing buddies. I just hope we never end up in prison. Just Kidding. Thanks for reading and commenting.
@Soul Searcher - If you see at one place he says. "Now I know, but I don't remember." He has been violent in the starting and not so friendly. I hope you have gathered that much. So even if the story will reveal it, it's just that he has forgotten what was told to him.
@Anshita - Thanks. Please keep reading and commenting.
@XXscenegurlXx - Thank you so much. Let me warn you, his past is very bad. So... be patient.
@Karen P - Thank you. I agree, it must be frustrating to not remember anything, let's see how he remembers or not.
@Sweetie - I am searching for some photo. As soon as I find it, I will post it.
@Shivani - Thank you, please keep commenting.
@Mahak - Thank you so much, it feels nice to see a comment from you.