I am being followed. The loud, thumping footsteps is on my trail and inching closer to me. No, I am not making illusions. I can sense its shadow at night fall. My heart is beating faster and plodding my steps to reach home, which seems faraway as tension grew and weakening my legs. My knee is paining and it seems that an unknown force is thwarting my effort to run. I just can’t run and I am freaking out.
Turning around to see my stalker, it seems that I am alone on this deserted road, usually filled with the crowd. How I abhor the crowd during the day? Now, I am praying to be part of the crowd, my life saver. It has suddenly disappeared but I can feel its touch on my shoulders and hear the scary footsteps behind me. I can hear the dogs barking ferociously. Yet, they watch me scampering hurriedly to my destination. I am in a fear paralysis and feel feeble. It starts again, hearing the shoes closing on my heels. I am shaking like the tree leaves.
It’s not the first time the stranger is following me at this odd hour on my way to home. It’s been a couple of days and I am too scared to say anything at home. But, today is terrible as I’ve been walking miles and still it won’t deter the unknown who is braving the winter and relentlessly following me. They don’t get tired walking or what. Right now, I am in short of breath. I stop for few seconds. I cross to the other end of the road and do a zig zag in fear. It seems that it got fed up of following me. The trick has worked. Now, I have a short distance to cover.
It’s weird how that crazy person followed me but now, it has made a u-turn and must have left. Or, it must be waiting for me with a knife near the gate. I can breathe freely for now. It’s such a relief. I suddenly feel liberated and can hear the birds chirping on the trees in the lush garden and fresh air wafting in the atmosphere. The fear is gone.
As I approach the gate, I almost yell and my heart was almost brought to a stop. This creature is still here and been walking in silence, closely monitoring my move. I leaped when I sensed his hand on my shoulder and timid footstep. I didn’t dare to look back and jump the fence in fright and dashed inside the house.
Dad was smoking his pipe when he saw me running inside. He brought a glass of water that I gulped before muttering courage to tell him what happened to me. He smiled and gently said, “Don’t worry, son. It’s your guarding angel who is protecting you on the road at night. It will never harm you. Good you are aware. Now, go to sleep and good night.”
The next day, I set foot for home at night and say a silent thank you to my guardian angel. Both the fear is gone and the footsteps has disappeared but I feel a gentle hand on my shoulder and hair.
PS: This story was narrated to me by Dad who felt he was being followed by someone when he was young during the evening when he was back from work. He told it to his uncle, who along with his aunt brought him up and one day, Dada-ji told him it’s the guarding angel protecting him. Of course, I made it into fiction and interpreted it my own way.