[Fiction] Friday Challenge #219 for August 5th, 2011
Am obviously a little late, but the prompt intrigued me enough to want to take a stab at it, so here goes.
All eyes turned towards me as I almost fell into room. The carpet had ripped at the entrance, thanks to our new canine friend we adopted just a month ago. I was, after all, the man of the moment and I had walked into the room bringing with me gasps. Of pin drop silence and shock.
In anticipation of celebrations, family and friends had traveled from far and wide. Including the frenemies that we, as a family could not ignore.
To give you perspective, I was getting dressed for the evening and in a moment of unbridled happiness and not waiting for further instructions on the evening’s schedule, I dart across my room and into the corridors. Hearing the voices from the larger room that we usually host people for drinks, I make my way up towards it. I didn’t find a soul on my way and I wondered at my good fortune. What are the chances of given free reign in your own home, without a man not given instructions on how to dress, walk, stand when there was company under the roof?
One makes hay while the sun shines. In this case, run untethered and unencumbered. The door was wide open and sounds of glasses clinking mixed with my Uncle’s baritone guttural laughter greeted me. My cousins were at their wildest best, and I presume they must also have an inkling on this untethered atmosphere, coz out barged two of the best dressed ones and ran the other way. Right on their heels was my older cousin, the bully. I remember being very intimidated by this guy as he was a head taller than me and was not afraid of using that height. He did not see me and had eyes on the girls. It was at this particular moment, I walked into an atmosphere of revelry and laughter, only to stifle it all in a moment. All my peers, stopped in their tracks and stared. Aunties covered their open mouths with the edges of their pallus, some mouths still stuffed with the remains of half eaten samosas. Uncles stopped mid-way through their drinks and one coughed up half of some really expensive 60’s wine.
Oblivious to the split second reaction I produced, I still had the grin on my face and beamed all around.
It was at this juncture that my cousin brother stepped in from behind me and started laughing, his normally brown face now going a deep crimson.
That was all the cue everyone else needed, and the whole room burst into loud, undisguised mirth. The kids pointed their fingers at me and laughed, the ladies chided and yet again covered their faces and mouths and laughed and the uncles guffawed.
It felt odd.
It did not seem like they were happy and laughing with me, they were laughing at me.
You see, I was naked.
Butt naked. Not a single shred of cloth covered any part of me.
My hair all tousled and unbound falling in long tendrils across my forehead and neck.
My fair chest, hairless with fat in folds and hanging loose.
My member out there in all its moderate glory.
My dimpled knees in plain view
And just like that my favorite aunt rushes forward, scoops me into her arms and around her large dupatta and sings softly “happy birthday to you, happy birthday to you” as everyone else joins in.
I had turned three years old.