He was trying hard to get some sleep. It was late at night and he had been tossing around in bed for more than an hour. Frustrated as he was, he lay in bedstaring at the ceiling fan. There was no light in the room but an occasional flash from a distant flickering street light. He looked around and felt as if everything was fast asleep in the room- his jacket on hanger, chair in one corner of the room andiron board in middle of the room. He closed his eyes and tried to sleep again.
There was no sleep in his eyes tonight. He opened his eyes and looked around again. The jacket, the chair, and the iron board- everything was mocking him. And then he noticed a shadow near the other end of his bed. The street light flickered again and he saw someone sitting on his bed. He was stunned. He couldn't move. He tried to shout but couldn't for he was choked. He just kept lying there, staring at the shadow. When thestreet lightflickered again, he noticed that it was a lady, an old lady. She was sitting stooped with her headdown and her hair on her face and shoulders. She was wearing a white gown.
"Aaaaaaaaa...Aaaaaaaaa..Aaaaaa", he shouted. Heshouted again butit did not change anything. The old lady didn't move. She was still as if she was dead. He started quivering. He tried to pull his quilt over him but there was no quilt, no sheet. He gave a loud shriek when herealized he had no clothes on him. He was naked. He gathered himself with some courage to one corner of the bed. Hesat with his hands around his legs and is head buriedbetween theknees. Overwhelmed with shock and fear, he started crying.
When he lifted his head he found himself sitting next to the lady. Before he could move, the lady- without turning her head- lifted her hand and gentlypatted on hishead. All the fear disappeared and all of a sudden he felt light and dizzy. Next moment he was lyingin bed with his head on the lap of the old lady. He noticed her hands were wrinkled and rough. Her clothes were ragged and soiled. Though he didn't dare to look at her face but he could feel that she was very old and sad but calm.
As she touched his head,he felt his heart filled with remorse. He felt as if it was his fault. He wanted to speak but his throat was choked with tears. Hewept for sometimeand startedsobbing uncontrollably. His tears had wet her gown when she leaned forward and whispered in his ear, "It is not too late."
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