Highly Commended Story - Senior Category
“The Dark Side of a Child's Mind” by Vikrant Ramesh Chand Sharma, Holy Angel Public School Almora, India, is the Highly Commended story in the senior category of the second biannual Short Story Contest 2018.
The Dark Side of a Child's Mind
This story will tell you the problems others are facing in my area but graciously I haven’t been struck off because I have been gifted with two great parents. This is the dark side of anything we see. Either we like it or not we all know that we all have a dark side deep down but we don’t have the balls to admit it. But always the pressure has a vital role. But I say that the dark side of us is a way of coping with the true reality.
It was a great day and I had gone to school for my last paper. But this time I was going with my head down because I knew that I had messed up my earlier exams. Yet this time it wasn’t my fault; I was just too much pressurized by my parents. They told me to live up to the expectations; they told me that if you wouldn’t bring good marks in exams then what face would we show to the society. It felt as if they didn’t even care about me. The exam sheet was now in front of me and I was fumbling with every question that I read. I knew all the answers but was panicked and had forgotten them all. An hour of my life was wasted again with the feel of each minute being an hour. I went straight outside my class listening to others bursting about how good their exams had been. I, still with a messed up face, went straight to the bathroom which was my place of burning marijuana and taking it. I was no drug addict but I just took it so that, only for a few hours my mind would get off the damn paper. Always on the walk to the bathroom, I made up a picture in my mind that I was getting beaten up by my parents for letting them down. I was always a brilliant child but the school system I was in, begged to differ.
I would always tell my friends that how messed up was our country. For example, we say that we are the most sacred country in the world but still, we have the second highest population. We also have teachers creating a divide amongst the students and claiming that we were donkeys if we didn’t do well in our academics. They always tell us that we insult our parents if we don’t excel in academics. The worst part is the society and type of minds we have even amongst us; even in today’s world.
Well, now it was time for me to go home as the school bell had rung. I reached home in three or four minutes as my house was near the school. I didn’t talk with anyone and went straight into my room. I opened my computer, but with guilt cause, I was always told by my parents that I was an idiot as I wasted all of my time on the computer and did not care about anyone. Mom came in and started lecturing me again. I don’t know how, but all I could hear from the lecture was literally nothing. All I could think was that even death would be better than this. A part of me wanted to kill anything that I saw and I didn’t know nothing about my other part as the first part had killed the second one. I took drugs for the first time because I failed my maths test and had got a beating for that; a pretty hard one to be precise. I had bruised for days. Well, the second time I couldn’t live without it.
I was always made a really bad face every time I was around them; the face on me was of fear. Fear of what would happen next. Would I be taken out and then kidnapped by my own parents as they show in those crime shows? Every time I would go out with them I would have the same fear and double the guilt. The guilt was there because they always talked well about others’ children though they didn’t even care for me. I was always getting the vibe that they would readily exchange anyone else’s kid with me.
It was again a great day, but I had been studying hard for around five hours. My eye sockets were getting out of their place and the area around my eyes turned dark black as if someone had hit me. My parents suddenly stepped out of their room angrily; the fear was back again. It even grew more when I saw a stick in his hand. He came straight to me saying that they worked so hard and yet I had let them down.
His stick came right at my chest; twice. It was hit with a great force and I felt like one of my bones had broken. They went away after that I took up a great struggle to go to my room. I took a wire and wrapped it around my neck. I tied it to something because I didn’t trust myself. As it was getting tight, I was feeling like my hands were made out of steel and that there was so much pressure in my head that it was going to explode. Everything seemed to disappear. I was slowly starting to faint. At that time I had decided that this was the worst way to die and no one should try it. Well, there was only one good side to it; I didn’t remember the pain of my chest bruises.
I always thought that why would people be stupid enough to take their own life but now I could understand them properly. They were going through a lot in their lives and they would choose death over this guilt filled, painful life where nobody cared about them. After two minutes of great struggle, I finally breathed my last breath. Well my life passed in front of my eyes as the people say but the weird thing was that till the last moment I had no thought about care and love; all I had was pure darkness in me. My parents found my body after an hour but they still didn’t care anything about me. When my soul went to the crime scene I checked my parents’ thoughts and saw that they were still ashamed of me and thought that they would be made fun of in the society.
Well, I am not a parenting expert, but I have to ask everyone to please give importance to their children and not to see them as burdens but to see them as their last chance to get even with the world by taking good care of them.
In reality, I was blessed with two great parents that understand me at most of the points in my life but I just want to tell everyone that a child is the best thing one is going to have so they should please take a good care of them.