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  • Writer's pictureanjali mohapatra

Rock, Paper ,Scissors

Updated: Oct 14, 2021

A weird feeling stifled me inside. I didn't know why. At last, I decided to stroll around the seashore to redeem my pain within. Slowly I moved towards the white shining sand where the white foam of waves dissipated. Keeping a little distance from other visitors, I sat there. Resting my chin on my knees, hands wrapped around my legs, I gazed at the continuous waves that overtook each other.

For few seconds, I closed my eyes. Suddenly I felt a warm touch on the back of my shoulder. I cocked my head slightly, and screamed, ‘Oh my God! Annu, you! How come you are here, when?! You took fifteen days' leave. How is it so short? Everything ok?’

She giggled out and hugged me tightly. ‘Yes, yes. Short journey. I missed you too much. I thought I would take long leave after our exam. Now you got it?’ She was giggling at the same pace.

‘Hey, come on. Let’s start with rock, paper, scissors, ok. We’ll play those games we use to play,’ she pulled my hand consistently.

‘Ok, ok, wait a minute, Annu. Relax, yaar!’

I looked around if we were being watched. But she didn't care.

‘I’ll count first, ok.’ Rock, paper, scissors. Again and again, she repeated and most of the time we ended up matched. I felt as if she was unusually overwhelmed with joy. Holding my fist she dragged me to stand. ‘Um, move,’ she held me tightly and whirled around.

‘Stop, stop, Annu. Others are laughing, they are watching us, yaar! Embarrassing, we are not kids, Annu. We are grown-up, second-year students.’

‘So what? We can also enjoy our childhood play,’ again she burst into laughter.

‘Are you kidding! Just sit down, we can chat,’ I pulled her hand and both of us sat relaxing our legs.

We chatted, laughed, gossiped so many things. Suddenly I noticed an elderly lady coming closer to us. She stood beside me and another side was Annu.

She spoke softly, ‘Hi! What's your name dear?’

I looked up at her face. My one eye squinted, brows about to join, stuttered, ‘Me? Why auntie? Know me?’

‘Um, no. I don't know you, beta. But for about half an hour I am watching you. I felt, um, some...... Are you ok?’

I grinned at her, and said, ‘Yeah, auntie. I’m fine. Spending time with my best friend.’

‘Friend?! Which friend, dear? I have seen you are babbling around, playing rock, paper gesturing your hand to no one, whirling round and round on your own. Are you upset for any reason? Can I help you?’

Startling dead I looked at her face. ‘What?! Am I crazy? Why should I do that? My friend is with me and sitting next to me.’ I turned my face to the other side. No one was there. Annu was not there. I screamed aloud, ‘Annu. Annu, don't hide, come on dear!’ When silence lingered, I grunted harshly, ‘Annu, no kidding yaar. Show off yourself.’

The sudden beep of my mobile scared me to death. I couldn't catch my breath. Numbed, shocked, I stared at auntie then at my mobile phone. My hand shivered to pick up the phone. I looked at the light flashed on my phone. There was a message from Annu,‘Sorry yaar. I missed you so much! I’ll meet you again.’

What…..?? Was it her ghost??

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