In the middle of the night

As the darkness loomed over his head

And threatened to consume his sanity

He stared in wonder mulled in confusion

Detached from the world, lost in thought.

His eyes went dull, got lynched with red

And the angel and devil sat cross legged

Next to his shoulders

Fighting an everlasting and undebatable fight

Wondering exactly when his smile went awry.

The angel spread its wings and the hallow on its head

A kind little cupid, mouth-filled with bread

Resembling his own younger self

The rattled angel went on about the atrocities

Enforced upon it by this unfair unkind mankind.

He listened with rapt attention

Silencing the devil as it attempted interruption

Beaten, threatened and tortured

The angel shivered in trepidation

Whether inability to fulfil expectations made this mess.

His mind went back to years of solitude

Still couldn’t believe if the class topper was the most hated

What was the point

When high marks attracted hatred in class

When low marks attracted hatred at home.

He spent the next hour in bed

Searching for some peace of mind

Oblivious to the fact

A piece of this peace was left behind

In stories untold of the child’s mind.

The clock ticked seconds away

And the devil picked his nails away

Waiting for its turn

To unleash the hours and days and months

Worth of lost self-esteem all on this lost soul.

As the angel ended its sorrowful monologue

And he came out of his dazed and distracted past

With lingering remains of insanity

The little red riding devil began its complaints

Spreading out the scroll of lists in style.

It first began with reasons to stop whining

And complaining about under-achieving

The things he never found or received

Because life is too short to make excuses

When you could’ve worked harder and planned smarter.

Then it began to burst in anger

Enumerating the things he missed out in life

Always wanting more

When he had all he could ask for

And drew for him the fine line between want and need.

As dear little mister devil chitter-chattered his way

All through the thousand and one complaints

He was left wondering

If he had ever anything worthwhile whatsoever

Or was it all a blinding illusion of want and need.

The devil, he realized, was his present self

It knocked some sense in his naïve childish brain

But not without

Lamenting on his flaws and furrowing on his faults

And adding some cracks on the canvas of his soul.

Still wondering if it was a good idea at all

To bring his angel and his devil hand in hand

In the same place

He closed his eyes and shut his mind

Too tired to continue listening to his tormenting brain.