I woke up. I was sweating.
“What is this place? Whose bed is this? Is there anyone except me?” I was slightly frightened and shocked. I was never a big fan of shocks.
I got up from the bed and tried to find answers. I had been to this place earlier but could not remember where it was. The place was dark and I could hardly see anything. I tried to find the lights but could not find anything. And then I stumbled against something and fall. I was both happy and terrified, happy as there was another person except me and terrified as I had no idea if that person was my friend or foe.
My search for the lights continued and could finally find the switches. I switched the lights on. The room was full of lights but only red coloured. It made the place creepier and more chilling. I could finally have a proper look of the room. There was the bed where I was lying before, a chair and a desk with some papers and pen, some crushed and crumbled papers all around and an uncannily huge mirror. It was more than twice my size. And there was the other person who was lying down with his face facing the ground. His face was covered by a large brown bag. There was no way that I could see his face. His whole body looked wet and the red colour of the room made me feel that it was blood.
I don’t know why but I suddenly picked up a crumbled paper near my feet. There was something written on it which I could not make any meaning. My troubled mind could only realize that it was some story or poem written by a young, raw brain. But the thing which struck me the most was the handwriting, I was so acquainted to it once. It was the handwriting of some young kid I used to know. I was great friend with him but then one day he left me without even informing me. I still could not find where and why he went away. He was much younger than me and I never paid much heed to his disappearance in my busy schedule but even now when I was alone and take a walk down the memory lane, I pretty much think about him a lot.
I was staring at the mirror when I finally came back to reality from the thoughts of that boy. There was something on my face and my hands which was still unseen to me. I looked at the mirror closely and was shocked, horrified; I could not even breathe properly. I looked at the other person in the room who has still not moved a bit and that sent chills down my spine. I tried to find a way out of the room but all I could find was four walls, which all looked like painted red.
There was blood of my hands, still fresh and red.
Had I murdered the other person in the room?
I tried to remember how I ended up at that place, I could remember nothing. It was like I have forgotten most of my past and present and my future looks so grim and eerie. All I could remember about myself was my family, my name, my education and that I was a successful money grabber at a MNC. The more I tried to find answers about me ending up at this not-so unknown place, there was a piercing pain inside my head, as if it would burst. But I had to find the answers. The intention to escape these horrors was subdued by my quest to find the answers.
I went near the man and slowly turned him around. I jumped away from him and hit my head against the bloody walls. There were stab marks all over the body and there was a mark of rope around his neck. He was both stabbed and strangled by a noose. How can be a death more dismaying, more alarming! How brutal was the person who had killed him, the level of torture the dead man endured was worrying!
I tried to see his face and did not have the courage to do so. The pain was so intense that I thought my head could burst open anytime now and that fragments of brain and blood would be splattered all over the place. My death would be such a sad and insignificant event; nobody would know why and how I died. People wouldn’t even get a chance to shed a tear, not that I want people to shed tears on my death but I would have gotten to know what people really thought about me and how many cared for me, besides my family. I suddenly remembered that as a kid I used to dream that I would make some name and fame by making big in the fields of literature and that people would reminisce me forever before getting caught in the web of money grabbing.
I tried to think if I had killed that person. Then I thought how could I. I was a pathetic, spiritless regular person who worked in the MNC to earn shitload of money to have a materialistic life but was never happy in his life. How could that person have the courage, determination, spine to kill someone? He was not allowed to get angry, emotional, intolerant, loud voiced. He was basically the yes man to his peers and disrespected by his juniors. All he had was his family and money.
There were still more shocks to come.
I finally accumulated some nerve to look at his face. It had become a need for me, as if my whole existence depended on the revealing of that dead man’s character. My head would erupt anytime soon and at least I would have the peace of knowing who was the last person I was with before I died. My inconsequential death would have some meaning. I went near his cold body and removed the bag, rather tore it open brutally. I found that my destiny had continued to play the rude games with me. I was not sure what pleasure was it getting to torment me in my last few moments but I was helpless, powerless, weak.
The dead body was mine. Well at least it looked like me.
I pinched myself, it pained. I hit the wall, it pained. I scratched myself, it pained. I tried to shout, I could hear my voice. I tried to stop my breathing my covering my nose and mouth, I felt suffocated.
I was alive.
But I had to find the true identity of that person. I always knew that I had no twin brother. My parents would never lie to me, there was no reason to lie. I tried to find answers, I searched his whole body, his pockets. All I could find was more such crumbled papers with either poems or stories written in them. I was frustrated, I was irritated.
I looked closely at him, he definitely looked like me. The only difference between him and me was those tattoos, his body was full of them and mine had none. There were basically some things written all over his body. There was also something etched on his forehead but it was hard to read it although perhaps that was the only tattoo curved in English, the rests were in some other languages. I thought if I could decipher their meanings, I might be able to find his identity.
In his right hand, it was written rêver (French), in his left hand was written traum (German), in his chest was written somnium (Latin), in his neck crossing the noose marks was written sognare (Italian), in his right cheek was written мечта (Russian), in his left cheek was written sonhe (Portuguese).
I looked closely at what was tattooed on his forehead. It read DREAMS.
I woke up again covered up in sweat, in my own bed.