He with the always present twinkle in his big brown eyes bounced around his aunt, welcoming his newly arrived guest in his own special way. The aunt noticed the special twinkle of the extremely energetic, joyful kid.
“What is your name, dear?”
“Joy”, he proudly said.
After their lunch, the aunt asked, “Did you eat properly?”
“Yes, I ate this much”, Joy gestured by extending his small hands in the air to show the amount of food he had had.
“How do I believe you? Show me”
“Oh! See for yourself. Look how big my belly is.” Joy lifted up his t-shirt to show her his big belly.
She touched the soft-white skin of the little kid; her long, slender hands moved up from his stomach to his chest and lingered there for much longer than it was necessary. She crouched down and planted a soft kiss on his plump, hairless, soft cheek inhaling his scent which was full of innocence, purity and life.
“Come Joy, mommy says that it is ok if you sleep with me tonight. You have to listen to all the new interesting stories.” She tucked him inside the covers beside her.
Joy doesn’t remember when he fell asleep listening to the wonderful stories but he woke up to a nightmare. Gripped with fear he tried very hard to move so that he could run but he couldn’t, he tried very hard to shout for help but he couldn’t, he tried very hard to scream so that she would stop but she didn’t.
He just lied there like a lifeless log waiting for everything to get over, waiting for the nightmare to end, waiting for him to understand anything.
It’s hard to say when it got over; it could have been a few minutes or a couple of hours. The clock struck 2 and the noisy gong of the clock’s pendulum echoed in the house; everyone was fast asleep except for him. There wasn’t a drop of sleep in his big brown eyes; there wasn’t a drop of anything in his big brown eyes. They were dark empty pools without any sign of life in them just like his soul.
He stood there in the dimly lit bathroom in the middle of the night, staring himself in the floor length mirror, scrutinizing every minute detail of his small, petite body wondering what was wrong with him. He wasn’t the same energetic, joyful kid from this morning anymore; his ever present twinkle was nowhere to be seen. Maybe it got lost somewhere while he was playing or maybe somebody took it away intentionally.
He didn’t have any doubt over the reality of the incident, he was definitely sure that he wasn’t having a nightmare or maybe he was; it was the worst of them all. It was not about the monsters that lived under his bed or the clowns that were mentally unstable or the ghosts which used to peek from behind the curtains of his window; this time it was something else, something much vile and horrifying for anyone on this planet, let alone for a 7 year old kid who did not have any idea about what happened to him or why it happened to him or what was he supposed to do now.
He did not have a single clue!
He only knew in his gut that it wasn’t correct, it wasn’t right; he didn’t have any reason to believe so but he could feel it in his bones that it was filthy, nasty and downright evil.
He just sat there on the cold tiled floor in the middle of the night waiting for some answers, waiting for the sun to shine, waiting for the morning to come and find him his lost twinkle.
The answers didn’t come.
The sun didn’t shine bright.
The morning came but the twinkle was not found.