by Kapil
Published on: Oct 29, 2004
Type: Short Stories

We stay in a hostel, with personalities ranging from real genius to absolute duffer.
But ever since I entered this room, I have seen a unique person in Jimmy. We stay in the same room. He is a typical, confused, happy-go-lucky kind of teenager, who stays away from his parents.
Jimmy is a victim of emotional boundaries set for himself, by himself. I know this because I have observed him for one year now. He lives two lives. One, when he is with other people and friends. In this life, he is so full of enthusiasm and vigour of youth. He is an excellent painter. Sometimes it seems that the brightness of his personality is reflected in the bright colours on his canvas. He tries to find happiness in very small things in life. He is a sincere student as far as studies are concerned. Always stays in the top five. But when it comes to girls, he somehow keeps a low profile. Though he likes to have girlfriends, he does not have the guts to approach them. In short, Jimmy is everything a typical, confused, happy-go-lucky kind of teenager should be.
The second life is the one Jimmy shares with me, in our room. In this life, he's quite a laid back person. He dreams, he cries, he laments over his mistakes. He hides emotions from other friends, but opens up in front of me. He finds it too difficult to keep up with the pace of his studies. He liked a girl, who, not aware of Jimmy's emotions for her, chose another guy. He started keeping secrets from his parents.
Slowly, Jimmy developed a habit to give up on the situations that he faced. His emotions won and his never-say-die attitude lost. "Life is not as simple as it appears on happy human faces," he once told me. I have been a patient listener to his stories, which sometimes are so painful that he literally weeps in my laps and then goes to sleep. Sometimes he sighs in his sleep, while sometimes he smiles like a newborn. I have seen him develop dark circles around his eyes. I have seen pimples erupt lavishly on his face at exam time. I have seen his painting grow pale. The Jimmy that I know has decided to surrender himself to the clutches of destiny.
Jimmy was diagnosed as a schizophrenic. It's a common psychiatric disease. I don't know why, but whenever Jimmy spoke to me, our neighbours used to eavesdrop. They somehow didn't like Jimmy talking to me, making faces and having fights with me. But I am innocent. I haven't harmed anyone, nor am I responsible for Jimmy's disease. I am just his pillow. I thought I was his best friend.

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