In a psychiatrist’s room, Ani was sleeping on the couch and talking to the doctor,” I am scared to sleep because of that nightmare that’s been haunting me since I am five years old. I try not to sleep but as my body exhausts for hours I fall asleep involuntarily. That’s when I see her. I don’t know when I saw her initially but the first memory I have was when I am 5. I always love to sleep between my parents. In the middle of the night, I woke up and saw that my mom wasn’t besides me but I could see her from the door that she is drinking water in the kitchen. So, I slept back and turned towards my dad to hold him. Somehow, I couldn’t feel him with my hands so I turned to my mom and that’s when I saw her. She was laying besides me and I could see only one of her eyes. I got up and try to see who’s sleeping there. Half of her face was burnt and she was looking right into me with her one eye. I started shouting for my mom and that’s when I really woke up from the sleep. When I woke up my mom is in the kitchen drinking water and my dad was hugging me tight asking me what’s wrong?

From that day, I see her pretty much every day. She just stares at me right into my eyes and I wake up from my sleep. As I grow up, I still get the same dream.” Doctor asked Ani,” What does she do in your dream other than watching you?” Ani: “Sometimes I feel like she is trying to convey a message. When I was 12, she pointed to the cycle in the living room and told me to wear helmet. That was the first time ever I could hear her speaking to me. But the next day when I was on bike, I met with an accident. Luckily, I wasn’t seriously injured. During that time, I saw her during day times too. I could see her when I was sleeping during day times. She was just sitting beside me and staring me”

Doctor:” If she tried to help you, then why are you still scared of her?” Ani:” I could sometimes see insects on her burnt face, it disgusts me to see her face and scare the hell out of me even after seeing her for few years.” Doctor:” If you have been seeing her for years, is there a reason why you came to a doctor now?” Ani: “I met Riya recently at my work place. I fell in love with her the moment I saw and asked her out on date. Luckily everything worked out and we are engaged now. But Since I met Riya I started seeing her more often. I could feel that she is trying to tell me something and I couldn’t live my life peacefully. The first time I spent a night with Riya, I saw half of her face with insects and that caused me a panic attack. Since then every time when I spend a night with Riya, I could see the insects on her body growing more. Its as if the insects are eating her. “

Doctor :” Did you ever try to communicate with her?” Ani: “No” Doctor:” If you have seen her for ages why can’t you call her a ghost? Does that term scare you? “. Ani:” It just never occurred to me that she might be a ghost. Do u think she is a ghost doctor?” Doctor: “No I don’t impose it but many people just assume that they are seeing a ghost if they see someone as the one you describe.”

After talking to the doctor, Ani came out and started walking to his car. While he was walking, he saw an old beggar approaching him. He was looking for some money in the purse but the beggar started holding Ani calling “Siva, are you alive? Your mom came looking for you and you both didn’t return back. Your wife sold all the properties and she left the village.” Ani didn’t understand what the beggar was saying. He told him that he has mistaken him for someone else. But the beggar started searching his bag and took out an old pic. Ani was shocked to see the picture. In the picture he could see her sitting on the chair and him behind her with Riya on the side.

Ani took the beggar home, fed him and provided him a room to sleep. In the evening beggar started telling Ani,” I am Reddy, I used to live besides your house. Your mom, Sita was such a sweet person and she brought you up as a single mom. Your mom and you are really close to each other that you would never do anything she disapproves. One day you brought a girl home saying that you love her and your mom just accepted her as she is. Everything was fine until your wife plotted to kill you to get all your properties. She hired people to kill you while you are coming back from work and your mom heard this conversation by mistake. She ran for you to meet you at work but none of you returned. And no one heard anything about you people. No one could prove that your wife has done something to you. Later she sold all your properties and left home. But people said she died soon after.”

Ani took Reddy to an old age home and went back home. That night he slept willingly to meet her. When he saw her in the dream, he tried to communicate with her, “Mom” and after he uttered that one word, he could see all the insects fading away. He can now see her clearly and he could also see her tears welling up from her one eye. He asked her “Mom, what happened?” She started telling him that by the time she met him on the road he was almost dead. When she tried to stop the people beating him, she was hit and that she was burnt alive along with him. She said to Ani, “I never left this world waiting for you. And when I saw you, I never left your side. I know I scared you but I didn’t have a choice as I want to protect you from everything as I couldn’t do in your previous life. I am afraid fate is rerunning again and I don’t want you to be burnt in it again.”

5 years later.

Ani came to the doctor again.” It’s been years I have seen her; I think she found peace.” Doctor: “Ani, what exactly happened after you spoke to her. You never told me what happened.” Ani:” When I woke up, I was in happy tears. I then started seeing Riya without any attraction and I found out that she was a cheat. I happily broke up with her and filed a case on her at police station with the proofs I have.”

While Ani was leaving the doctor room with a smile, Doctor called out saying, “Ani, I think your mom has protected you as always and I don’t think she left you.” Ani just smiled and started walking. While he was walking his hand was pulled by a small girl and she said, ’Take care, there’s water on tiles’. Ani thanked her and asked her name and she said “Sita….”

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