Mother was unhappy.
The house was in a dilapidated condition. There was wild growth all-around and the tree in the backyard was too dominating for her comfort.
‘Don’t you fret, I would get some help and everything would be shipshape in a few hours.’ Father loved the place; he had spent fifteen years of his childhood in this house.
Things changed, dramatically, but not in a few hours; it took more than three weeks for a real turnaround of things and surroundings.
I loved the countryside and my favourite haunt was the backyard and the huge tree in the backyard and the dry well beyond the backyard. But I had no friends and the school was closed for summer holidays.
One day, while rambling near the well, I tripped on something. I felt it was a snake. I jumped instinctively and stumbled into the well. But surprisingly I didn’t hit the bottom.
Someone had providentially clutched my arm and pulled me out. It was an old man who had saved me. I was badly shaken and it took me some time to regain my composure.
‘You couldn’t have survived the fall,’ the old man said in a very pleasant voice.
‘Sir, who are you?’ I recalled that no one was around when I had tripped into the well.
‘I am your grandfather,’ he said, smilingly.
‘Grandfather? But?’ My eyes bulged out in amazement.
‘You were told that I had passed away before you were born.’
‘And that’s the truth. I am not alive.’
‘Are you a……a ghost?’ I stepped back slowly and asked in fearful voice.
‘Yes, but you need not be scared of me. You have no friends here and I too am lonely. We can be friends. I know many stories……… and sometimes we can walk around, together. It’s a beautiful countryside.’
I felt he was a kind, affectionate old man. We became friends.
Mother soon began to suspect that I was up to something; I was spending a lot of time away from home. Actually I had begun to like my grandfather. He was very caring and he truly loved me. He had told me many funny stories about his childhood and about my father and his younger brother who was settled abroad. We also loved to go on long walks.
One day mother confronted me and forced me to confess the truth.
‘What did you say? You meet your grandfather, everyday?’ she shrieked in a terrifying voice. She refused to hear any explanation; instead she locked me in my room and promptly surrounded herself with ghostbusters of all types.
I was asleep when the grandfather came, ‘I think it was wrong of me to befriend you. I have put you in a tight corner.’
‘If you are a ghost then you must have some unearthly powers, all ghosts have some magical, weird powers…….can’t you handle this situation.’
‘My boy, we ghosts are wretched beings. All those horrifying stories you have heard about us are just figments of imagination of crooked people like these ghostbusters and silly women like your mother.’
‘I think time has come for us to say good bye to each other or a nightmare will begin for you. I can’t see you being mistreated by these idiots; it will break my heart.’
I knew he was sad and perhaps he was crying. I felt deeply annoyed with my mother.
You can read earlier stories here