The dose of empathy in a man

Dilshan jolted out in the dark, from his sleep, on his bed. His entire body was soaked in sweat; fingernails were trembling, fiddling around the glass of water on the nightstand. Since five nights, the same thing was happening to him at night, so he was in utter distress.

“What am I going to do?” he was mumbling to himself.

He knew the mysterious person was going to walk across his window in a while, as it was recurring for the past five nights. How he came to witness him was, first he heard the footsteps from the left fence of his house; and then he walked into the middle of the garden towards the driveway, and remained walking up and down on the driveway for a little long, and lingered in the garden for another brief moment. Dilshan never looked out of the window, because he was almost frozen with dismay on the bed, that it was hard for him to walk to the window and open it. But he could hear the noises the outsider made.

After about fifteen minutes, while the intruder was reaching the right side of the garden, he walked across the window of Dilshan’s bedroom, turning into a silhouette.

The intruder was tall and well-built, with a little tummy stuck out. Because of the tummy and his lean figure, he resembled a famished, disfigured ostrich. He always wore a cap and he kept a sickle in his right hand. When Dilshan had got to see him every night, the sight gave him a shrill current through his spine, and then he felt like if someone was strangling him with a strong force. As the stranger went out of sight, and even the slightest noise became inaudible, still it was a long time before he could regain his consciousness back. As soon as he came into his senses, he felt like throwing up, neither over the experience he had to face, nor because he was a coward, but since he had lots of sleepless nights and was tedious and insomniac at its best.

“How many more nights do I have to wake up in the middle of the night to get scared the hell out of me?” bawled he into the void space, feeling as if the dark sprawled around him was a big back eye starring at him from a grand abyss.

Next afternoon, he was at a table served with two hot burgers along with French fries, with a friend of his Sports Club, Shanuka, at a deserted restaurant. The smoky air inside the restaurant gave gloomy vibes to both of them.

Dilshan unveiled the entire story in front of Shanuka, exposing himself to the vulnerability of his friend’s judgment. Shanuka was confused for a while and then he raised a question.

“Do you mean he walks into Mr.Perera’s house?”

“Yes, that’s where he gets when he jumps over the right side of my fence.”

“But they have CCTV cameras fixed in every direction, right?”

“Yes, I think so.”

“Okay, I will contact them and see. You go home now.”

That day in the evening, Dilshan received a call from Shanuka and he confirmed that there was nothing suspicious found in the CCTV footages.

The friends’ conversations ended but not Dilshan’s nightmare. Everyday he witnessed the same thing recurring.

But Shanuka has forgot the incident completely till one evening after three weeks. There he was at the Sports club once again with the usual group.

“Where’s Dilshan ?

“He did not come from a long time. He is a lunatic, I think.” Ruwan responded.

“Why do you say so?” Shanuka hastened to ask back.

“Since past two, three weeks, he was calling us, telling wierd things like he sees someone walking in his garden at night, then he enters the neighboring house and stabs the neighbor of his, or shoots him with a pistol.” Ruwan responded.

“He called all five of us. At first we took it for serious. But then we thought he was so rudely pranking us at midnight. But then we made some calls, and there were no crimes reported. So we just let him be.”

“When did he last call?” He was furious about the people in front of him who deserved to be loathed, and guilty of the mistake he had done.

“About four days ago.”

Shanuka ran to his car and reached Dilshan’s facade in the shortest time he could. He rang the door bell. He leaned against the door-jamb for a while. There was no answer from the inside. Shanuka put all his strength together and forced the door. The door-latch broke and in a second he was inside.

An unbearable odor came from somewhere. He searched everywhere and found his friend’s decomposing body dangling from a beam.

Had one human paid heed, another one could have been saved.

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