This short story became SPIXer (Most popular story) on 15 Feb 2014 and won INR 500
It was 18:00 hours; I checked my watch for the 4th time. I was alone in the room which was till then, filled with a whole bunch of kids.
Kids of different age groups from third to eighth grade had gathered today for a special purpose – to fight their fears. It was a joint effort by the school and a NGO group called “Stop being Afraid, Be Bold” (SABB).
Nowadays Kids are very much practical, they are not afraid of monsters or ghosts or aliens. They are much inclined towards a specific character from a cartoon flick.
Some kids were afraid of Kalia from Chota Bheem, some were afraid of computer virus, some were afraid of piranha fishes, some were even afraid that Richard Parker from the Life of Pi might be under their beds.
I was called to talk to this crowd as to how they can get off their fears. At first I thought that it was a difficult task as these were kids who were gathered and they might not even understand, what I was talking about, but then as the time went, the entire bunch clapped and they began following what I was telling them. At the end of the session, one nerd kid asked,
“Rosh, are you not afraid of anything or anyone?”
My instincts first told me to tell the truth. But then, they were kids, they need not know my secret, so I mustered my courage and told,
“No kid, I am not afraid of anything”
“Not even ghosts or monsters or lizards”
“Not even Kalia or Richard Parker”
“Not even darkness”
I gulped down
“Enough Kids” The teacher’s voice interrupted the Q&A session.
The kids had then felt very happy, courageous and had enjoyed the session thoroughly. They took my autograph, photograph session happened and finally they left.
I picked my bag and dialed my driver’s number. He said it would take ten minutes if he has to come till the gate. So I told him, I would be there in 5.
I checked the watch. It was 18:20 . I froze.
Every person, be it Bill Gates or Barrack Obama would be afraid of something in their lives. For me, it was my stalker. All this had started when I was in my third grade and it has not stopped since then. He had a modus operandi. He always stalked me when the moon comes in the night till I slept. In the morning, he would not be there.
I had agreed to do this session because it was from 16:00 to 17:00 hours but there was a delay in the kids entering the auditorium and I was left there alone with the clock showing me my nightmarish time.
I gathered courage and stepped outside the building. It was bright everywhere with serial and fancy lights for my arrival. It gave me some strength to walk down the aisle. Something told me to look back and there he was all dark and ferocious waiting to pounce on me. He never spoke to me, never mailed me nor even wrote to me. But he kept stalking me, even to my private places which always sent a chill down my spine.
I walked fast, he walked faster.
I started to run and in 3 minutes was near my car. My driver looked at me puzzled,
“Sir, everything alright”
“Yes” I lied
“Let us go”
Before getting inside the car, I turned around and looked at him. He was gone.
Being a reputed business person, I had this fear, not that I have not confessed to anyone about this. But people normally called me mad whenever I take this subject.
They always use to say,
“Come on dude, grow up. Who will believe if you say, your own shadow stalks you”
Little Did they Know.