“Climb up,” my friend whispered and nudged me during my recent visit to home. It was 11;00PM. Cold air blew rushing past us. Winter sky is jewelled with countless stars and blanched in moonlight.
“I can’t” I whispered wrapping towel around my neck tighter. “Don’t be coward,” he sneered at me. The word, ‘coward’ stung my heart like as if hit by shaft. It made me want prove him, that I was as brave as any other young men.
I took a deep breath, looked around and looked at the window. I pretended to study the surounding to buy little more time. My heart was beating like drum in the district Tshechu.My friend looked at me curiously. “There is one peg on the wall,’’ he informed. With shaky hand, I put my right leg on the peg and crawled up the wall towards window holding from some protuding stones of the wall.
After a minute which seemed like year, I got hold of window sill and slowly slided open the window. Suddenly, I felt house shaking. I thought it was another earthquake. “Is it earthquake?’’ I whispered down to my friend. “Don’t be a fool,” he said confused.However on closer scrutinisation, I found I was trembling all over. My heart was filled with thrilled fear mingled with unknown excitement.
I wanted to climb down but I couldn’t. I didn’t want my childhood friend to brand me coward. Slowly, I crawled into window, remembering every advice given by my friend. According to him, girl was supposed to be there and parents were supposed to be sleeping at outer room.
I groped my way and found the bed of girl. Slowly, inch by inch, I pulled blanket and finally got under warmth of blanket. The girl moaned in sleep, probably my cold body was taking away warmth. “Are you …” girl whispered. I couldn’t get the last word. I strained my ear near her face and asked, “what did you say?’’ “Are you Sonam.” “who the hell is Sonam?’’ I thought. Still I said, “yes’’
“ Where have you gone yesterday. I miss you” I didn’t know what to anwer. “I was with friend, I miss you too’’ I bluffed. Pretending to be other person is very difficult. Slowly, she turned towards me.I was filled with anticipation. She felt my face with her hand, then my hair and moustache. “you are not Sonam,’’ she declared. “I am,’’ I said trying to hold her. “no, you are not,’’ she said groping for kerosinelamp. Then she struck the matches. “who is it Zamin?’’ her mother called from other room. “mastong, ebi mo la ( I don’t know)” she replied.
Father and father woke up and came to daughter’s room. “Zhifi bu bilo mala( not letting us to sleep),’’ mother cursed. “Ji Godchona, tshing fodpa kongmey( I will beat till back broke),” father muttered. By now, lamp was lit. I wish I could disappear but I couldn’t. I covered my face with palm of two hands but how long? Father seemed to be angry. I didn’t want to end up being pulped down by his patang( sword). I let them looked at my face. After all, they were people of my village.
There was long silence as I waited ominously for eventual reaction. They looked among themselves and then at me. Suddenly, mother greeted with smile. “Kotsa cho Zhungkay hala ufa ( when did you come from thimphu?). I answered hesitantly “inning ( yesterday).’’
Ten minutes later, the girl made Bangchang. I drank as much as I could to drown my shame. After our drinks, they thought I was totally drunk and made bed for me at altar room.
You guess about rest of the night when parents gave me indirect permission.