Dhammika sleeps tonight.
When Dhammika was sixteen he slept the sleep of the brave. The sleep of those unburden by guilt, a teenager who had a hard day of school and play, Dhammika slept.
But come the magic hour, the hour after midnight, when even the moon hides her face in shame of the pitch-blackness to come, the man would come. As dark as the dark night, the mans shiny silhouette Dhammika would see, peering into his bedroom, uninvited yet.
It’s the eyes and teeth that would bother Dhammika. Those perfectly oval pair of red piercing eyes and the perfect white gleaming teeth grinning at him from the dark. He checks around him carefully to ensure this is not a dream. No he’s wide-awake and the man waits.
No less than three seconds have passed, for Dhammika it’s like a year.
Roaring and jumping out of bed in the direction of the man, he trips heavily on his own bed sheet and lands flat on his face. Hard against the finely polished, smooth, cold, and unrelenting cement floor.
Everyone’s up, lights are switched on, concerned voices ring out.
Ruefully Dhammika realises he has a badly swollen lip.
The man is gone, replaced instead by familiar faces, reassuring.
“When I was much younger the family had taken a pilgrimage to Kataragama. Residence to his Lord Skanda the great Kataragama Deviyo. At the rest house I had run ahead of the family and entered our rooms first. Imagine the shock of my family when I emerged with a Kavum sweetmeat in my hand. When asked who gave it to me I had said ‘the sadhu in the room’. Immediate investigation revealed that the rooms had been thoroughly cleaned and checked. Nothing or no one could be left behind. So within seconds the family had taken me to Lord Skanda’s temple to pay homage to his greatness. Fiction? As far as I know for I don’t remember anything, and my whole family has conspired to narrate this story to me, it’s true.”
The man in the dark Dhammika remembers vividly. The same man who followed him to the US. Bigger than ever. Even here in the UK.
Then one day Dhammika realised that the man in the dark is he.
As long as Dhammika stays in that dark, it’s ok! Once in awhile he still takes a little spin. He has to you know.
Sometimes Dhammika is an insensitive Bastard. No one knows why no?