The Darkness Within

It was 8 'o' clock in the evening. The rains were pouring down the city and Ahnay had to extend his stay in Kanan's house. Ahnay and Kanan, two second year lads, had agreed for a group study out of the fear of the exams that were due next week. Anhay, a cheerful, chirpy, and dramatic chap agreed to this only because he knew that Kanan would not study unless he was forced to.

"The rain is just not stopping Kanan!" said Ahnay, in his characteristic innocent voice.

"Haan baba, it will stop soon. Stay calm na?" said Kanan in his soothing, heavy manly voice.

Anhay rolled his eyes as if he were expecting that answer, followed by Kanan's smirk.

Kanan, Kanan Dwivedi to be precise, was a young Brahmin lad, born and brought up in a Brahmin family just like that of Anhay's. Kanan had the most gracious smile in this world, smirky and brief. Not just that, he was what one could call “fit”. He has abs and large biceps with the janeu around his torso, which enhanced his beauty and made girls drool when he played rugby. From within, he was a jovial, down to earth, chick magnet (as graded by others, to which Anhay strongly disagreed).

"Come on yaar Kanan, I'm so, so, so done with this baarish now, aise kaise chalega yaar?", said Anhay, which indicated that Kanan had to stop speaking and let Anhay throw his tantrums.

Kanan never understood Anhay but liked how he turned into a child in his presence. A nineteen-year-old boy with the mind of a ten year old, Anhay, an average bodied boy was of the kind who could light up any room with his smile and gift of gab that made him fit for diplomacy. He preferred wine over beer, books over party and Shakespeare over modern literature - the perfect diplomat. He also had an uncanny gift/curse - possessiveness.

Anhay was getting restless and started throwing tantrums. Kanan sat on the sofa and smiled at the way Anhay moved from one place to another, continuously blabbering.

"What are you smiling at, eh?" said Anhay angrily, (which people close to Anhay thought looked like a cute puppy face).

"I was just saying that shanti se sit down and tell me what is getting you so irritated. You think you look angry and mean, but you just look like a small hassled puppy. Come, sit aaram se and tell me." said Kanan, trying not to smile too much.

"Uff, rehne do Kanan, do you want to eat something? I’ll make tea and some bhajji," said Ahnay starkly.

"Do I have a choice?" asked Kanan with his usual smirky smile.

"Nahi'', replied Anhay, blushing. Though his "Nahi '' would mean nothing to the people who weren’t as close, Kanan knew exactly the intensity and emotion behind that four letter word because of the look in the Anhay's warm, light brown eyes, which shone like pools of honey in the sun, that never lied.

Anhay went inside the kitchen and Kanan sat back, watching his rugby match which he otherwise couldn't watch around Anhay in because well, he didn't like any sport and the TV remote was solely controlled by him and Kanan had no say in it. So, why not enjoy his absence!

Amidst the rains and the game coupled with the faint smell of bhajji and tea filling in the room, a sudden darkness enveloped the entire city. There was a complete blackout due to the heavy rains.

The very moment darkness hovered over Kanan's bungalow, he rushed to the kitchen and yelled, "ANHAY DON'T MOVE, I'M COMING!". Anhay was terrified of the dark. His dark past and any physical darkness, made him panic and lose control to the extent of not being able to even speak.

Grabbing a torch, Kanan rushed to the kitchen.

"Anhay where the fuck are you, calm down okay, I’m right here. Just, just stay wherever you are, don't move." said a visibly concerned Kanan. He flashed the torch all over the kitchen and stopped at a distant corner only to find Anhay sitting there, crouching, like a scared baby with tears pouring down his face.

"Hey, come here Anhay. It's alright. It's safe now. No one is going to hurt you" said Kanan in the calmest tone he possibly could have. Anhay stood up shakily, rushed over and gripped Kanan. A sense of relief ran through Kanan's body as Anhay held him tighter with every passing second. He knew that Anhay felt the safest in his arms.

"Hey bub, you alright?" asked Kanan.

The response was a pin drop silence and a loosened grip from Anhay's side over his T-shirt. Kanan realized that Anhay had fainted out of sheer fright. He quickly picked Anhay up and took him to the bedroom, gently laying him on the bed and climbing in next to him. Wrapping him safely in the blanket, Kanan kissed Anhay on his forehead and muttered, "You are safe, baby boy" and went back to thinking, "What was darker? This rainy night or Anhay's haunting past?" Clearly, there was something he did not know. Something big.

Author ~ Abeer Tiwari

Editor ~ Suryakshi Surve

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