I made another reluctant effort to light up the lighter. Some sparks lit up the room momentarily and darkness leaped again from the corners and behinds of those dusty photo-frames, taking over everything, victoriously. That instantaneous light was enough to reflect my frustrated half-lit face of the mirror. I threw the cigarette in the ash-tray. That faint smell of tobacco-smoke was making me more anxious. Involuntarily, I started rolling the striker-wheel of the lighter hastily and those short-living sparks kept fighting with that bossy and intimidating darkness. The flashes of things kept untidily in my room built a dramatic environment. Like they were playing peek-a-boo to cheer me up, maybe. But instead of popping out some colors, they were monochrome. Lifeless. Like that dead emotion on my face. To amuse myself, I came up with an idea. After every flash, I will change my emotion. So I started with a smile. It was a bad one but after that dark gap I tried to stretch that grin. Next one was a little better. I went through the smiles of different kind. The smile that you give to a friend, a smile you give to your parents, smile you give to the old man next-door etc. I made some weird faces and tried to imitate Jim Carrey or Mr. Bean. The fact that I was bad at making bad faces made me laugh. Then came my natural emotion. Nothingness. Void. I had to do no extra effort. After every flash, the same. Like a lake or a tree but lacking the touch of life. More like an old note stuck on the refrigerator door. Or those signboards which point towards the path nobody takes.
I looked again at the bottom of the lighter. A thin layer of gasoline trying to shape according to the orientation of the body of lighter. ‘I will let you free’, I thought to myself. So I turned the striker once and for the last time. Out of nowhere, there was a thin, flickering and almost dying flame. With my every breath it took its last. Without taking my eyes off the flame I searched for the ash-tray with other hand. I put my fingers in the tray and found the half cigarette and put it my mouth. I covered the flame and closed my eyes. My brow muscles were tensed. I took two deep breaths and puffed out the white smoke, relaxed. I threw the lighter on the floor with some gas still left in it. I was happy to meet my old friend again. Darkness, take over me!