Thursday, June 15, 2023

killing dad

I was in my parents' apartment in Mumbai. It was late afternoon.

Dad and I were having some sort of fight. It wasn't verbal. But it wasn't physical either. It was still a fight - the feeling of being physically threatened was very strong. I thought about how I could defend myself. But there was no way I could hide from my dad or prevent him from getting to me.

I considered getting out of the apartment from the terrace, climbing over the wall and sliding down the drain pipe. The thought of doing that and falling was scary, and I was afraid dad might still get me.

I decided the best thing to do was to run away from home.

As I opened the door, mom heard me and called out from the kitchen - "take care", she said.

I left without saying a word. I had actually hoped to leave the hosue without anyone noticing, but it was obvious that plan had failed.

Just as I shut the door I realized how stupid I had been. I could have locked dad INSIDE the apartment - all I had to do was lock the gate to the terrace, take the keys with me (there were no duplicates that I know of), and lock the main door from outside. I didn't have the set of keys to lock the main door from the outside (only dad had them) but I could have pushed a rod through the latch and shut it anyway. There were even plenty of rods that would have fit, on the terrace!

In the fraction of a moment I took to contemplate my stupidity, I also realized I had not carried my motorbike keys. Another ridiculous mistake. At least I had my wallet, although in my hurry I hadn't checked if there was any money inside.

As I ran down the stairs, I thought to myself: the motorbike was out of the question. Dad would have shot me getting out of the gate. Maybe I had a chance if I silently pushed the bike out of the gate and rolled down the street before starting the engine when far enough for him not to hear it. But that was irrelevant now - I didn't have the keys!

I then thought I'd meet a similar fate if I tried to exit the building by either of the gates on foot as well - dad would see me from the terrace and shoot me.

The only way out was to jump the wall and into the next apartment compound, and then the other wall into the one after that, to get to the next street without dad being able to see me. And that's what I did.

Once on the street, I thought about what I should do next. The first thing I did was check my wallet. And my worst fear was true - it was empty. So much for being able to run away. I hadn't even eaten yet!

I noticed the queue of rickshaws parked right next to where I was. None of the drivers were about. I got into the first rickshaw in the queue. The key was in. I turned it, and surprisingly, it cranked and turned on! I have never ridden a rickshaw before, so being able to start it on the first try took me by complete surprise.

I decided to use the rickshaw to get some distance between home and myself, but as I started driving the rickshaw I realized I had absolutely no clue what I was doing. I didn't even know how to change gears or operate the brakes!

I got the rickshaw around the corner and managed to stop it. That was scary. I had better think of a better plan.

That's when I realized I was right next to uncle Dirk's apartment building. I thought I could hide out there for a bit while I considered my next move.

As I got out of the rickshaw I took the key with me, just in case I needed the rickshaw later.

I entered the gate, and right behind it, dad was there!

He was dressed in his Sunday best, and I was surprised that he had the time to dress up and get there before me, and without me even seeing him - I hadn't taken more than a couple of minutes at the most.

He grinned at me and asked if I thought I'd be able to get away from him that easily, and that too by trying to go to the most obvious hideout. I didn't answer but pushed past him into the elevator.

The elevator was a construction elevator - it had no walls and was literally strung on a few steel cables. There were no buttons to select the floor - instead there was just a lever that could be pulled up or down to go up or down (and presumably returned to the middle to stop). I pulled it up just as dad jumped on to the elevator platform.

I held on to a bar at the corner of the elevator - dad stood next to me, at the edge of the elevator, not holding anything.

I swung my right leg at his legs, which, if I had connected, would have thrown him off the elevator and tumbling to a serious injury or death.

Dad, sidestepped, grinning, and I missed his legs completely.

That's when I realized I could have killed dad if he hadn't dodged me so well.

And I woke up.

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