He Stayed.

They seldom built little palace with pillows, cushions and rugs. Soft pillows made perfect seatings while the hard ones served strong pillars for the blankets and bed sheets sheltered as a roof, glooming the insides of their perfect palace and withering away anything that wasn’t their world.

They played, sang, fought, danced and remained there the entire day until their mother called them for their food breaks. They made their little burrow everyday with different architecture and played scary games. Ted scared little April with goofy voices and high pitched shouts when she slept in a corner rolled around the pillows and her teddy. “I am here, where are you hiding? I’ll get you April,” he always said with a witch laughter and queer voice.

He always walked making loud noises with his feet and humming weird tunes and laughed loudly by the window amidst the soothing silence of night and chirps of crickets, grasshoppers and bees. He liked spending time alone by himself. But he wasn’t like that few months ago; he turned into something their parents feared as ‘mentally ill’. But, something was going to change this summer for the two and it sure did.

April has been couched up in her bed for the whole day now, that’s where she spends her holidays and there sits a huge fluffy brown teddy in place of the highly planned palaces they once built. April was glaring at the teddy with stunned face when a voice, deep in its emotion and playful in its vocal quivered April as she saw the teddy move back and forth. “I will get you April.” It was Ted. “Where are you hiding sweet girl?” he whispered, timidly. April quickly crawled under her bedsheet and wet the bed with her sobs until her mother showed up.

“What is it dear?” She asked taking her by the arms and brushing her messy hair. “Tedd…it’s Teddd,” she stuttered. “Oh dear, he isn’t here. I know you miss him but he isn’t going to come to us darling! God has him and he is happy there. Go back to sleep,” said her mother and left, keeping the door ajar.

Loud voices of footsteps. Humming of the songs and thud, closed the door.

What did I say about not telling mom, April?” said the irked voice. “I didn’t mean to….I didn’t mean to tell her Ted!” said April almost collapsing to the ground. “But you did honey, didn’t you?” anger filled the voice but almost immediately broke off with a cry. “I didn’t wanted to go to the asylum, I told mamma! Don’t leave me there, papa! I begged him. I asked him if I could play with you!” The voice broke off with heavy sobbing. “I’m alone here and no one to play with! I miss you and mamma and papa. No one ever sees or talks to me. It’s dark in here, like the rooms in the asylum!” said Ted with fear on his face. Sitting in the lap of the brown teddy now, he looked at April. She knew that look. His head tilted weirdly to his right, a simper on his pale face and playful joy in his eyes. “Tedd…please don’t..I…,” the voice broke off.

A loud scream, a stroke of jet black light and there stood April, laughing hopelessly looking around the room and touching every first thing she could see, the peanut butter stained bed sheet, the posters stuck up to the cupboard and the window which was frigid with the last night’s snow fall. She moved around making heavy noises with her foot, and humming the last song she heard on the radio and sniffed around for the smell of old wood in the room and fresh lemons from her clothes. She went around the window again, and looking outside like she hadn’t been there for years and with a frivolous chuckle she hummed..

Mamma pappa April Me!

I told them, I would be free!

Mamma pappa April Me!

No one can get to me!

I will play and wander spree!”

And that night, she rambled all over the house, hopping and jumping. She did that every night until one day, when April was found lying on the floor with her eyes stunned, lips pale and heart dead.


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