Character Interrogation: Nishanth
Name: Nishanth Kumar
Genre: Mystery-thriller (something resembling a noir, taking place in the modern day)
Hi, Timothy. I know it's been a while. I haven't been here for you, and you won't come into my room and play with me like you used to. That's fine. That's your choice. I respect that.
I don't wanna sound selfish-- I really don't-- but things aren't the way they used to be anymore. It's not you, it's me. People have found out about you because I was never careful enough to keep our secret.
I don't know why I brought my journal to school; maybe I was just bored, maybe talking to you was starting to attract attention. Okay, I guess you know the real reason. I needed time to work on my stories. Home never gave me that opportunity, not after Mom started leafing through my bookshelves and trying to find something that could convince Dad to send me to that mental hospital she's always talking about. I'm not crazy. I just like writing because you liked it when you could still do it. I like it because it feels like your thoughts and your words are flowing from my hand. It's the only way I can still communicate with you without having anyone outside hear us together.
But two weeks ago, Timothy, I made a mistake. I stopped thinking about you. I stopped realizing I was writing for you. Call it the self-absorption that comes with age, but I began to make our words about me. These new stories weren't fiction. They were about me, and my broken house, and Mom's fights with Dad, and you. You, right from the day we met at kindergarten and bonded over our love for Superman and banana cinnamon oatmeal.
My mistake was putting your name in my writing. My mistake was thinking that...I had, well, moved on from you. The more Mom and Dad talked about "growing up" and "being your own man" and "responsibilities," the less I felt like I could continue to be friends with someone that no one else could see. Even if we didn't like our classmates back then because of the way they treated us, I feel that the difference was that you just seemed to flat-out hate them while I always had a shred of curiosity on why they seemed to be so nice around everyone else.
That curiosity grew until I couldn't take it anymore. I began to spend more time observing them than I talked to you. They seemed like totally different people when I wasn't around. Their friend circles ranged from quiet jocks to talkative bookworms, devoid of any real labels in a conversation. Their smiles felt infectious, even if I didn't know what they were talking about. They felt...alive.
I don't know, I guess I just wanted something in that. I love you, and you're obviously greater than any of them ever will be, but we had spent our entire lives talking to each other. I knew too much about you. Our conversations started the same way, ended the same way, and after a while, I could predict what you'd say to me the same way you could predict what I'd say to you.
I left you to talk to them. To see if I could understand and feel what made them so interestingly happy. I started to actually put effort into dressing up. I tried talking to them more often when we worked together in group projects. Even if I sucked at small talk with them, I liked to think I did a pretty good job at attempting to be friends with someone other than you.
I guess I just crossed the line at some point.
They ransacked my bag one day, and found the journal. Found my stories. Found your name. "Timothy Costella" spread like wildfire around the school. The people I had tried so hard to befriend stopped thinking I was a lunatic and finally started calling me one. They found on article with your photo on the internet. They told me you had died with your parents that day. They tried to hammer it into my skull, as if they knew you better than I did. As if they hadn't seen you cry on my shoulder the day we brought you home.
I could barely stand it when I heard it from them, but when my parents continued it, trying to show me photos of your body in the car crash, I had reached my limit. I hit Mom. For the first time in her life, she just stood there. No raising her hand, no screaming at me, nothing. Not that I stayed to see what she would've done anyway.
I'm writing this at a cafe far enough from home before I head to meet you. Weirdly, I don't hate Mom. Or Dad. Or anyone at school. Or the drunk driver that started all of this. This moment in time is my punishment. It's my punishment for being stupid enough to think that anyone could give me more happiness on this planet than you.
And I don't want to hide anymore.
The bridge in the article no longer has the heavy traffic your car fell victim to, but it does lie over a river fast and deep enough to carry me to you.
I don't want to live on a planet that can't accept you any more than it can accept me.
Oh, I can do this
We are sad...we saw sad cats draw sad, red, great, seeded, faded, dreaded, dressed streets.
He left when she returned, falling for who she could've been than what she became.
confused, insecure and lonely people unwilling to accept the seemingly shallow simplicity of their realities.