Shina was sitting on the beach. Her orange summer dress flowed rhythmically with the breeze. She could sit there forever, with her book in her hand. The turquoise sea seemed tranquil. She thought how looks could be deceiving. She didn’t allow her mind to wander. She looked at the sky, which was cloudless a few seconds ago, was now turning grey. Seagulls drifting in the sky swiftly, trying to make it home. It is going to rain, she said to herself.
Her purse lied next to her, was like a Pandora box. Nobody knew what was inside it, as her dreams. She picked the purse and started looking for something, and hummed along with the music that she was listening.
She just realized something, her son Kabir, was playing next to her with sand- alone. “Where is Dev?”, she asked. Kabir shrugged his shoulders. She frantically started looking- she gasped for air when she saw that somebody was being pulled by the sea- slowly. She ran towards the sea, praying to god- to do some miracle. She looked around, everybody seemed to have disappeared suddenly. There was nobody in sight- She stood there, ready to face her demons. She didn’t have a choice. She had to fight, for him. Dev’s mother trusted Shina. She had to jump or else… She didn’t want to think about the repercussions. Not now… So she jumped.
Shina jumped back in time too. All the demons from the nightmares came rushing back to her once again. There was no looking back now. She had to fight the monsters, straight out of her nightmares, some stuff her nightmares were made of. Her throat choked, she couldn’t even squeak. The demons were ready to devour her, they had been waiting for years. She had counted, she always did, they were less in numbers last time. She thought about Ophelia, she always felt like Ophelia. Her life didn’t flash before her eyes, this time. She rather saw what the future would be like if she died that instant. She visioned her son sitting alone, playing with sand. She worried about how he would reach home. She also foresaw her husband standing next to her body, as if frozen in time. She saw her friends in white. Finally, she saw herself, looking over these people, and slowly drifting to another world.
She came back to the world for a second and looked at the shore and saw Kabir and Dev making a castle on the beach. A peace took over her mind and soul that instant. Shina drifted again, as demons started to close in. She surrendered. Just then a light flashed before her eyes and she was thrown back to the shore. However, demons were not done with her, not yet.
- This is a dramatic and fiction version of my own drowning experience and the nightmares which followed for years.
- Ophelia is a character in Shakespeare’s Hamlet. She drowns in a river in the drama.
(c) 2018 Priya U Bajpai
Picture courtesy: Pixabay
*The story originally appeared on women’s web.