Story Contest 2019 #2 - Highly Commended Stories »

Highly Commended Story - The Man In The Black Hoodie

“The Man In The Black Hoodie” by Amoghavarsha Bhat Tenkabail, Delhi Private School, Sharjah, UAE, is the Highly Commended story in the junior category of the second biannual Short Story Contest 2019.

Amoghavarsha Bhat, a Grade 6 student of DPS Sharjah, is a passionate writer, a voracious reader, a talented singer and a keen environmentalist. He writes articles for newspapers and websites and has won many competitions. He loves reading in all genres. He has won the UAE level music reality contest ‘Suno 1024 Junior Superstar – 2018’. He does voice over for UAE radio advertisements, has sung for radio channels (US, UAE, India) and ZEE TV Middle East. He is a regular recyclist and spreads awareness through his articles.

The Man In The Black Hoodie

The day before my exams, I was packing my pen box when I noticed that my favorite pen was missing. It was a valuable pen I had won in a singing competition. I searched all over the house, but alas, it was nowhere to be found. Then it hit me: it was stolen! But who could have stolen it? My friends in school or bus wouldn’t do it, because they are my friends from so many years. I asked my sister about the pen, but she said that she had not seen it either. After enquiring with my parents, grandparents, and friends, I arrived at a possible suspect, i.e our house cleaner, Adil. I decided to check on this problem later and concentrate on my exams as of now.

A week after the exams, my results came out, and I had got the highest marks in all the subjects and I was on cloud nine!! So, my mom decided to treat me to a movie. So, during the end of my holidays, we went to the movie “Spider-Man: Far from home”. The movie was amazing! My mind was full of Spider Man’s character as if I was him in the movie! Just as we exited the theatre, I saw a suspicious man in a black hoodie, following us. His way of walking, his mannerism and the black hoodie, overall it was very scary!! Surprisingly, I could not muster the courage to confront him. My spider man character inside me did not help!

The next day evening, my mother and I went shopping in a nearby mall, there the same man in the black hoodie appeared out of nowhere and seemed to be following us secretly yet again. I told my mom about this. But she said “My son, Amogha! It might be your imagination as you watched the spider-man movie yesterday”. I did not think so. He kept following us. On my insistence, now even my mother turned around and got a glimpse of him and then he had vanished in the crowd. I could not see that guy as well, so I breathed a sigh of relief!! We quickly hailed a taxi and reached home.

The next day evening, I was returning from school to home in the school bus. It was quite dark when the bus reached my stop. Right after I alighted the bus, I felt a hand touching my shoulders. When I turned back to see who it was, I was shocked! It was the same man in the black hoodie! I had nowhere to run and there weren’t any people around as well!! I hesitantly asked, “Who are you and why are you following me everywhere?” He removed his hoodie. And now, I realized who it was! It was none other than our house cleaner’s son, Ayaan!

He said, “Hi Amogha, you know me right?” “Yeah, I think so!” I replied. He said, “My father told that you are a very good singer. He has seen you practicing, and he likes your voice very much. I have been very interested in music since childhood but my father could not afford to send me to a music school. I want to learn music from you. I asked my father to request your family, but he hesitated to do so. Then, I decided to ask myself and I had come to your house two to three days back, but on seeing you and your parents going to the theatre, I followed you there. The next day, I saw you in the mall and followed you there as well, hoping to talk to you. But only today I could reach you and tell you this. Can you teach me music, please?” he asked. That uncovered the mystery of this hoodie man!! Phew! I was relieved to say the least!!

“Sure Ayaan, I would not mind teaching you. First let’s go to my house and then will discuss with my mom regarding this.” I replied. In my house, I told the whole incident to my mother and even she was pleasantly amused by this turn of events!! She agreed for me to teach music to Ayaan on the weekends. And you know what, the very same day, while I was taking a paper out of a drawer below my study table, I found the missing pen! It was lying underneath a pile of books in the drawer. So, at the end of the day, I learnt that, things need not be the same as they seem to be.

I realized that a poor guy need not be a thief, a scary appearance need not be necessarily threatening, and any negative situation can turn out positively in the end. So guys, be patient, look at a situations in different perspectives and most of all, don’t judge anyone based on their appearance.

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