Jump out of your skin
By Priyangwada Perera
Ceylon Today Features
Little Sanu walked into her brother’s room. Her brother Srimal was seated in front of the computer. “Ayya, are you busy?” she asked. Her brother was her favourite companion and she always looked forward to the day she could enjoy his company.
“Hmmm”, Srimal said without even looking at Sanu. His eyes were on the computer. “What are you watching? Is it something so interesting that you cannot pause?” she asked. “Hmm..yes. Yes. I am sorry, sis. I have to watch this today or else I will not have any time in the coming week,” he turned his head briefly and told Sanu.
Sanu’s face fell. “Oh, I was hoping you would be free to play with me, but now that you are watching a movie, I can join you too. That is even better,” she said and walked closer to her brother. But Srimal was not pleased. “Nangi, that is not the wisest of moves. I do not think you should be watching this movie with me,” he replied after pausing the movie he was watching. Sanu was visibly disappointed.
“Why? Are you watching something that is not good for children to watch? That is really bad. Amma and Thaththa are going to be terribly disappointed if they get to know this. You are also still a child,” Sanu the smart one replied.
“No way, Sanu. Are you crazy? I am not watching anything that is not good for children. You know very well that I would never do such a thing. I might have my faults but I am honest all the time,” he said almost offended. Srimal started off again, “Listen Sanu, the reason I do not encourage you to watch this movie is that I am pretty sure this will make you jump out of your skin!” he said. The next thing Srimal heard was a loud squealing of Sanu. With that, his sister ran out of the room. Srimal was somewhat puzzled about that squeal and the running away because there was no reason for her to have squealed like that and run away. However, he was too interested in what he was watching to worry about a squeaky little sister of his.
After a little while he heard both his mother and his sister outside his room. He paused the movie and just then both of them entered his room. His mother spoke, “Srimal, what happened here? What is your sister talking about?” A puzzled Srimal wondered what the matter was. But his mother had a hint of a smile on her face. “Your sister said that you told her if she were to watch this movie, she would jump out of her skin. She got scared that if it might happen to her, it might also happen to you.” Srimal could not help but laugh. Her sister was standing close, with her eyes wide open. Srimal giggled. Their mother looked at both of them.
“Sanu, ayya has not jumped out of this skin, right? Are you happy now?” mother asked Sanu with a broad bright smile. “Darling, ayya is perfectly fine. When he said that you might ‘jump out of your skin’ he did not mean it in the real sense. Not like how you see in your Tom and Jerry or Tweety Bird cartoons. It means that you will get scared. He was watching something scary. He knows you are no fan of horror and ghost movies. We still remember the last time where you refused to go to bed alone. So, he knew watching the movie would result in the same. ‘You might jump out of your skin means you will get extremely scared. So, he saved you from that,” she explained kindly.
“Oh dear, that is so funny. I actually saw ayya jump out of his skin,” she laughed so hard that Srimal had to bring her a glass of water. Their mother let them solve it on their own and left to look into her cooking.