I packed my bags, stole my father's bike keys and some money. No one talked at dinner, a few empty gazes were exchanged, the food too tasted hollow. I just wanted to puke in my plate and lick it clean again, just for some symbolism. But symbols never worked for me anyway - plus, minus, percentage, parabola, circle, they don't mean anything to me. They're some imaginary creations to further confuse man's imagination. My parents went to sleep early, probably to escape seeing my face. But I waited till I was sure that no one'd catch me. But I was wrong, I ran straight into the police officer on his night beat. Four years later, I still feel bad for what happened on that day. I should have made it and run far away from the clutches of this insensitive society. Or insensitive me, I just don't know. IIT - these three letters spelled doom for me. My parents thought I'd honor their family name by cracking the exam, but I knew long before that my shoulders couldn't carry such a huge responsibility. I tried giving subtle hints, all I got was subjective advice. I tried killing myself, but then I got to know of another person who lived inside me. He said he wouldn't die, he said that he'll fight. I asked him to come out, he said, "It's not the matter of my identity, I just don't want to be polluted. "Polluted?", I asked him? He replied in the affirmative, saying that if the outside me dies, he'll just lose his identity. But if he let himself out, the world would feast on him, he said he couldn't live without me but I could live without him. He said, without him I'd be without anything. It didn't make any sense to me, I tried asking him. By that time the Waynestrol started showing its effects, I puked bile. But I didn't die.
______________________________________________________________________________

"I'm just a bit sick, that's it. Now don't make a big fuss about it, and I'm seeing no doctor"
I heard my mom whining. I didn't exactly hear her, I was listening to the Crypts.
"Go see the doctor"
Breaking free to another land
"You'll get well..."
Jumping off windows and jumping high
"Are you even listening to me?"
Jumpin' jumpin' into the sky
"..........."
But still live in hell, still on a high.
Jumpin'
"I will cut the headphones if you don't listen to me. I wasn't like you when I was twenty, my..."
I muted. I heard the silent rush of the Yangtze in the Valley of peace. I heard the birds chirp and the leaves fall down. My heart almost seemed as if it'd pop out any moment. The Yangtze held it back. It's like getting drunk and being hammered on the stomach at the same time. She just spoke, or shouted, with her eyes blown wide and hair dropping down like sharp knives. I smiled as I swam in the Yangtze. Slap.
_____________________________________________________________________________

It looked like a steep mountain with with small rocks below. I was there at the top, and now I'm here at the bottom. I looked up, but I didn't see anything. I closed my eyes and thought about the future, small cubicles, obese people, diabetes, printers, metallic air, disease. No. It's not for me. I need this. I'm not like that guy who got placed into Google. I'm not branded. IITian, nerd, AIDS. No. I want CAT. I said, I want CAT, not a cat or a pussy. The graph. The mountain was my first score, the plains are my consequent scores. I'm like a fish outside water, I seem to be alive, while I'm dying in the insides. I started hating the thing I saw in the mirror. I screamed, I looked at that apparition wanting to lock my horns with it. I rammed my face against the mirror. I just got a bump on my forehead. I got my mom's cleaver out from the kitchen, I just hated my face. This nasty face made everyone hang their heads in shame, I fucking hate me. I looked at the mirror, and I looked at the cleaver. Yeah. I pulled back the cleaver back to my face. I thought I'd be alive, with my nose cut off and my skull broken. I could feel that blood on my face. That piece of cartilage fell on the floor. I wanted to chew it. I hope it tastes like how I wanted it to taste. Like recycled chewing gum. I looked into the mirror, my face still looked the same. No, I didn't bring back the cleaver. Deep inside, I'm still afraid. Anyway, I could've died due to the force. This is something really not worth dying for. And I looked at the mirror again. I hate that fucking guy over the other side. I'll hit him with the cleaver.
_____________________________________________________________________________

I looked at my fingers. I looked down at my toes. I decided to cut something which I'd never use. Physically handicapped, mentally retarded. I wanted to pull my teeth out. Crush them out with a hammer. No. That doesn't count. I love sucking my thumbs. My little fingers help with some symbolism and quick communication through my peers. "Dude, I got to use my little finger". "Dude, oh yeah!". Middle fingers are an absolute necessity, how else can you politely deny a person? How can one survive shoving that finger right into another persons face. "Dude, my middle finger itches". Somethings are too precious to be chopped away. My index fingers, well, I liked them. 3% reservation. It sounded catchy. I can't poke my eyes can I? I've lots more beautiful things too see. I thought of drinking acid, no, my cigarettes are enough. My ring finger. I'm not getting married anytime soon. I lit my joint, looked at my left index finger. I needed my right for my wedding ring, the left one is of no use. I took a big puff, this is it. I don't use it to abuse people. If it can give me glory, I'll cut it off. I took the cleaver, took another puff and screamed.

_____________________________________________________________________________

I've got three uneven stubs on my left hand. I can now really see through my fingers. A few keys have to be used to unlock a few doors. But, I still hate my face in the mirror. Maybe it's time to still bring back the cleaver. To crack my face just like how I cracked CAT. The Yangtze flooded my heart, boiling hot and boiling blue. The Yangtze bled my heart, like it always does. I shouldn't be alive. I should be like the Yangtze. Dead yet seem as much as lively. The Yangtze. The CAT.

_____________________________________________________________________________

Note: This is not my story. "All characters appearing in this work are fictitious. Any resemblance to real persons, living or dead, is purely coincidental."