I am sharing a bizarre incident which took place when I started middle school. During the early stage, I had to walk two miles to school. Those two miles felt like a never ending road that I had to walk each way for school.

The initial few weeks of school were always my favorite. The finest part about being back to school was the smell of new books.

One pleasant afternoon in the early monsoon of 1989, as I walked back from school, I held my books against my chest. I sniffed the freshly printed paper as my mind raced with plans for when I get home; change my uniform, wash hands, eat lunch, and even read a few pages of the new books in advance. I moved on to recalling my day at school; recess, the quibbles with classmates and such. Little did I know that I was about to get some life-threatening experience up and close.

As I passed over a tiny bridge, I noticed one of my neighbors’ son approaching me. Though I rarely pay attention to people passing by, his stroll alarmed me and I found it rather fishy. His big dark eyes stared at me with rage. He held his hands behind his back and his speed increased as he drew closer. To confirm that he was coming towards me, I changed my path to a sharp right. He shifted to his left such that we were on a collision course. To be really sure of my instincts, I drew towards my left. Sure enough, he changed course to match mine. That assured me enough that he was coming for me.

I immediately turned around and ran to get to the nearest house I could find in the vicinity. I realized that screaming would not help since everyone was inside. I turned my head while running and saw that he was now running faster, and had a broken bottle in his hand. I ran for my life that noon. It dawned upon me I was probably the fastest runner in the town. Meanwhile, at home, my mom was preparing lunch and serving homemade lemonade to his mother. This incident from my childhood gives me the chills. My neighbor’s son, who must have been around twenty years old back then, chasing me with a broken bottle. The most likely outcome would have been my slaughter, had I not run fast enough.

Now, “why would he do that?” When I was about six years old; I caught him setting houses and fences on fire. He was an arsonist who inflicted this damage thrice on my family alone. He set one of our neighbors’ house on fire too. I witnessed to all the events and complained about him every single time. Eventually, he imprisoned; though bailed out immediately. He wished to abolish me since then, as I somehow stood between him and his crimes. The story of me catching him in the act, four times, is to be told, though some other day.


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