This morning, I forget to shut the window. I realize it when I’m sitting in the cab grinding my teeth to the traffic. I must look menacing cause the traffic starts to clear out. I don’t come home that night. The next morning I’m invited in my own house like a guest. There’s an unannounced, unwelcomed visitor. A rather naughty one who decides to feed on my indoor plants in the lack of easy availability of food. Can I blame him? My kitchen’s spick and span. Not a crumb, nor speck could be found even with the mercy of a magnifying glass. My sister says I got cleaning OCD. Anyone who hates rodents and roaches has a cleaning OCD, I tell her. Coming back to the ‘actual guest’, I guess he has been scheming against me – uprooting my plants, reducing the rug to shreds, getting cozy inside upholsteries, gymnastics atop curtain rods, and what not! I’m sure he thinks I’m the one to blame and has a rather creative way of expressing it.
My house isn’t mine anymore. Suddenly, I feel like a stranger in my own house. I’m walking on eggshells. I’m frustrated upon being ridiculed thus. I plan to put him behind bars. But I have no idea how. That night, I come face to face with my adversary. I had underestimated him, big time. I thought it was a baby rat. But what I see has me in a fit for hours. I’m woken up to a rather disturbing noise. The first thing that hit me was that the ceiling fan was going to fall down. Then I realized it was coming from the kitchen. As soon as I turn the lights on, he scampers. The loud thud on the floor shakes me to my core because that’s when I have a proper look of him.
I remember all of those times when I had a near-death experience. You don’t forget that easily, do you? This was closer yet. The first thing I see are his eyes. Big bulbous ones. Deep red. Mischievous. Also scary. A tail that ran longer than a foot. I could bet he was bigger than a regular rat. Having seen him now, I guess I’m just lucky he didn’t feed on my toes or fingers as I’ve heard wild rats do. He was chewing the wooden spatula hanging by the counter. I had no courage left to try any purging tactics with him having been witness to his theatrics. God alone knows what else he was capable of. I had sacrificed enough. Didn’t want to have a blood bath. I was done with.
That night, I slept with every corner of my house brightly lit. ‘Insidious’ and ‘The Conjuring’ were better nights. Never slept so tightly tucked inside the blanket. I woke up the following morning thinking I won’t let him win. Either he stays or I. And then the flash of his fang-like teeth. Those bloodshot eyes. The chaos from the battle of teeth against wood reigning. That’s it. This battle would need a strategy. I picked up the keys and was out the door in a jiffy. I could swear I heard a squeal of delight behind me as the lock clicked shut.