11| It's A Question For Another Day

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19th August 2017

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19th August 2017

P R E E T I

"Let's sit down here and wait for the rain to stop", I suggested and sat down on a chair. Juleka nodded her head in agreement and sat down on another chair, right next to me.

We were stuck. It was raining heavily so I pulled Juleka into a music shop. We were also separated from our group because when we were about to cross the street, the signal turned red. We tried calling them up but the network was down.

"So, what do you think of my brother?", Juleka asked.

"W-what?", I asked utterly confused as to why she asked me this question, out of the blue.

"What do you think of Luka?", she asked again and raised an eyebrow.

Why did I have to stutter?

I mentally facepalmed at my own stupidity.

"He's nice. I think he loves to crack jokes since he does that all the time. But when there are too many people in one room then, Luka stays silent. I don't know why though", I said whilst my eyebrows furrowed at the last sentence. There was something that always bothered him. The way his behaviour used to change from the jokester kind of guy to the silent one was quite odd.

Juleka heaved a heavy sigh. I looked at her and she started speaking in a low, sad tone.

"Luka wasn't the silent type before, at all. Cracking jokes, making sarcastic comments and pranking me or Mom was something he did often along with Dad. After... Dad passed away, he just... stopped. No jokes, no pranks. He started being so quite that often people forgot he was there in the room. He was always there for me and Mom whenever any of us had a mental breakdown. The most disturbing thing that happened was that, neither Mom nor I ever saw him cry. Luka shed a few tears at the funeral and that was all he did. He used to lock himself up in his room saying that he wanted to practise a few notes on his guitar. Sometimes, I pressed my ear to the door of his room thinking that I might hear him sobbing, alone but I only got silence as an answer."

Juleka brought her knees closer to her chest and placed her chin on top of it.

"Things got back to normal after Christmas. He started joking around and having fun. Though he kept his mouth shut if we were in a conversation with our relatives. Luka shrugged it off and said that he just wanted to act mature and not crave attention like a five-year-old baby. How mature can you be at the age of ten?", Juleka asked the rhetorical question and looked at me.

Occlumency.

Luka's good at doing that. Just like he has the gift of empathy and can read people's emotions like an open book, he can also hide his own emotions and shut people out whenever he wants. But that's not healthy at all. Keeping your emotions locked up in a bottle isn't okay. One day that bottle would break and he wouldn't be able to control himself or his emotions anymore.

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