Hide And Seek – Part 13/13

A long, long time ago
Darkness and Light dwelled in Heaven
Closest friends you might ever see
Inseparable, the two of them were
Running around, jumping, playing
Spreading happiness everywhere
Always together

They were also God’s favourite children
He loved them so much
That He let the world be their playground
But He also gave them some duties
He asked them
To keep the playground clean and safe
To keep it intact
To not let any harm come to it
All they had to do was keep the balance
Of Light and Darkness
In every corner of the world

One ill-fated day
While leisuring with Darkness
Light forgot all about her duties
A portion of the universe
Was left unattended
It began to rot
And soon it withered
Withered beyond recovery

When Light realised her folly
Fear gripped her heart
Afraid that God might punish her
For neglecting her duty
For letting harm come to the universe
Darkness was worried for his friend too

Light trembled, “What do I do? What have I done? How can I be so careless? What will happen of me? How would I defend myself?”

Darkness said, “I think you should admit to the truth. Go ahead, and own up. It is scary and difficult but it will be the right thing to do.”

“Oh no, I can’t. I just can’t,” cried Light. “What if He stops loving me for what I did? What if He doesn’t let us play together anymore?”

“Whatever He may decide, it will be right,” answered Darkness. “But we must also do what is right. You must speak to Him before it is too late.”

Light decided not to disclose the truth supposing that God may never find out about it

When God summoned the two for an explanation
Light did not utter a single word
She stood still
But her heart was shaking

Darkness looked at Light and realised
That she was too scared to do anything
He decided to lie for her
Lie something, anything
He knew God would catch him
But something had to be done
He was about to say something when…

“It is my fault,” Light spoke. “There is no excuse for it. I let harm come to our playground. I was negligent. You may punish me as you deem fit.” She turned and looked at Darkness with tears filling her eyes. Darkness looked back at her with a faint smile, reassuring her that she had done the right thing.

And God gave His verdict

“You have been negligent, but you have also been brave enough to own up to it. I could restore that portion of the world but I wouldn’t. That is your punishment. The good part is that it is your only punishment. I forgive you. You may play together again. The playground is still yours and open and vast. Go and play. The playground is yours and it will forever be yours. It will be whatever you make of it.”

Light and Darkness looked at each other in jubilation. Darkness ran away from the spot, “Catch me if you can.” Chasing his tail, Light said, “I will. I will.”

And they have been playing Hide and Seek ever since, but Light has never been able to catch Darkness yet. Whenever she comes close to catching him, he disappears.

Hide And Seek – Part 12/13

The boy could do nothing but watch as his skin slowly turned golden with light emanating from each pore.

The room, that had only just encountered Light, was now glowing, burning like a star.

The boy wanted to cry, not because he was in pain, but because he didn’t know what was happening to him. He didn’t know whether it was right or wrong, good or bad, true or not. All he knew was that he was helpless and had no powers to control anything that was happening to him or to the things around him.

He wanted to cry — wanted to cry but no tear came to his eyes. A little voice though, did reach his ears asking him to be calm and patient. Where did that voice come from? He didn’t have a clue. Probably from his heart. But he listened to it nevertheless. He dropped all his fears, confusion and thoughts on the floor, and let the situation take him over. He stood there, in the middle of the room, with arms wide open, with closed eyes, and with lips that broke a smile.

The window shattered first and all the shreds evaporated in the magical air. The door cracked and flew a thousand miles away. Next, the roof disappeared in the sky, while the floor was swallowed by the earth. Slowly, in bits and pieces, the room vanished leaving behind no trace of either itself or the things inside. All that was left was an open, green field wrapped in an enchanting twilight.

Hide And Seek – Part 11/13

“A hole in my heart? Impossible. I am certain that you drove him away. He feared you. He warned me not to let you in but I didn’t listen to him. Now he’s gone. I don’t think he will ever come back. I’ve lost a friend. And what have I gained? Nothing. Just a moment of brightness, a flicker of light, a temporary taste of paradise. This is not what I want. I want my friend back. Bring him back to me. I want to play Hide and Seek with him.”

“I’ll bring him back, but before that let us play hide and seek. I will bring him back only if you are able to catch me. Fair enough?”

“What if I am not able to catch you? What more will you take away from me?”

“Then you’d be left with neither me nor Darkness. Are you willing to play this game with me? Or are you afraid, just like your friend?”

“Play, I will.”

“Very well then. Close your eyes and hold my hand.”

“Hold your hand? You are supposed to hide while I count till ten. Have you not played this game before?”

Without further warning, she took his hand in hers and headed straight for his heart, passing through his skin, blood and bones

Hide And Seek – Part 10/13

She asked, “So where is Darkness, your friend, hiding?”

“I keep him in my pocket,” the boy answered

“How about I go inside your pocket, say hello to your friend, and break the curse?”

“No, no, no, no, no, no, …”

“Why is that?”

“I don’t know. I am scared. What if something happens?”

“That’s what happens when you stick around Darkness for so long. He is a great friend but he teaches you a lot of other things like fear…”

“But even if you go inside my pocket, Darkness will disappear; just like it has disappeared from this little room. This room had never known what it is like to be lit. Now if Darkness ever comes back, this room will loathe him. It will never be the same again. Things have changed.”

She smiled, “That’s what I am here for.”

“It is not easy to accept change even if it is for your own good…”

Without waiting another second, she jumped right inside his pocket and caused the boy tremendous panic. But just as quickly as she went in, she came out.

“Stop screaming, little boy. You’ve been duped.”

“Duped? What do you mean?” The little boy asked, recollecting his breath.

“Darkness does not dwell in your pocket.”

“That just could not be. He told me he stays there. I’ve seen him there. Surely he must have disappeared at the sight of you. Where else could he be?”

“He dwells in your heart,” she said

“My heart?”

“Yes, in a little hole in your heart.”

Hide And Seek – Part 9/13

“Why is my friend, Darkness, so afraid of you?” asked the little boy

And Light said —
“A long, long time ago
Darkness used to dwell in Heaven
And Light was his closest friend
They were inseparable
Running around, jumping, playing
Spreading happiness everywhere
Always together

“They were also God’s favourite children
He loved them so much
That He let the world be their playground
But He also gave them some duties
He asked them
To keep the playground intact
To not let any harm come to it
All they had to do
Was to travel to every corner of the world

“One ill-fated day
While leisuring with Darkness
Light forgot all about her duties
A portion of the universe
Was left unattended
It began to rot
And soon it withered
Withered beyond recovery

“When God summoned the two
For an explanation
Light stood still
Without uttering a single word
Fear gripped her heart
Fearing the worst for Light
Darkness lied to God to save her

“But God knew the truth
And He was furious beyond words
Furious with Light
For neglecting her duties
And not owning up to her fault
And furious with Darkness for lying

“God punished them for their defiance
He let them have the playground
But cursed them such that they can never be together
Wherever there be Darkness, there will be no Light
And wherever there be Light, there will be no Darkness
It was a playground still
But they could not play together anymore

“God took away Darkness’s legs
And let him abound the universe
Cursing his heart with a fear of Light
He let Light keep her limbs
But cursed her such that
Wherever she will go
She will wipe out her best friend

“And that is why your friend, Darkness, is afraid of me.”

“So you and him could never be together? But surely God cannot be so cruel. He must have given you a way to break the curse too.”

“He did. The only way we can break the curse is by being together.”

“But that is what the curse forbids you from doing…”

Light merely smiled, “I know.”

Hide And Seek – Part 8/13

He waited impatiently
He couldn’t tell
If eight seconds had passed
Or eight hours
Or eight lifetimes

Darkness kept tugging inside his pocket
Asking him to withdraw
Withdraw from the insanity

The boy stood firm
With Hope by his side

But Hope didn’t stay for long
Through the same open window
She flew out

The boy closed the window
Tightly shut this time
So that nothing more could fly in
And nothing more could fly out

“You’re unforgivable,” gloated Darkness.
The boy said nothing in reply

He turned around to go back
To his little corner on the floor
But something unusual caught his eye
Something bright

It was Light

Hide And Seek – Part 7/13

The boy stood half a step away from the window
Half afraid, half excited
Half regretful, half hopeful

A few minutes passed
But he could not decide what to do
He was so eager to see Light again
Feel her brightness again
But something was holding him back
He had always been loyal to his friend
This would tantamount to his first act of defiance
Would he be seen as a disloyal friend?
Would their friendship ever remain the same?
What if Light doesn’t come back?
He would have lost both of them then
He pondered more

A few more minutes passed

He asked his heart
And, in an instant,
It was clear to him
As if his mind was always made up
He opened up the window
To let Light in

But no Light flew in
Darkness was relieved
The boy was disappointed

Before Darkness could come out
And dance about
He shut him in his pocket
And closed his eyes
And tried to picture her
Her face — he was too blinded to see it
Her voice — yes, he remembered that
It was the only thing of hers left with him

In front of him
For the first time
Was an open window
Displaying all the beauties of the world
Yet he stood there
With his eyes closed
Trying to picture something more beautiful

Hide And Seek – Part 6/13

Long after she had gone
The boy kept staring at the window
Quietly, regretfully
Biting his lip to keep the anguish within
Anguish at having let go of something
So beautiful and mystic
Darkness, on the other hand,
Was supremely glad
Having seen Light’s tail fly out the window

“Will she ever come back?” the boy asked

“Don’t keep staring there. It’s over.” Darkness replied

The boy spoke nothing. He did not even react to Darkness’ words, almost as if he didn’t hear them

“Quit staring at the window. No more of this drama now.” Darkness urged

Defiantly, the boy got up and headed for the window

Hide And Seek – Part 5/13

It took me thousand of years to be born
Another 8 minutes and 20 seconds
To get to you
From the place where I was born
To the place where we now stand
Only to light up your heart
Only to bright up your path
Without asking anything in return
Without expecting anything from you
Yet you ask me to leave

I will grant you your wish
I will take my leave now
Never to bother you again
Never to intrude again
But if you wish, just for once
To see me again
To let me help you
All you have to do is open up the door
Crack the window a little
And you will find me here
I will be here

Hide And Seek – Part 4/14

She stood there looking at him
Startled by his question
Wondering if he was joking
His frightened manners spoke otherwise
As he sat in a corner
Hiding his face between his knees
She wondered if she did something
To frighten him so
Should she have knocked first?
She had never knocked before

Darkness, from his pocket, whispered
“Tell her to leave. Now.”
With a mumble and a fumble
The boy uttered, “Go.”
With his finger pointing towards the door
His face still planted between his knees
She became still, more puzzled
She wanted to laugh

When his words had no effect
He repeated them
Firmly and bolder this time

“Go away,” he said

Her cheer disappeared
She looked at him closely and realised
He had meant what he had said