Chapter 5

Terror washed through me.

oh no.

Right behind my reflection , I saw something. a black figure.

I blinked. Without looking at it directly, I bent down and washed my face again.

Okay, I’m fine. I’ll just look up and face whatever it is. Be it a ghost, demon or vampire.

I opened my eyes, looked up and found… no one.

I turned around and searched the whole bathroom but couldn’t see anyone except for myself.

Looks like I’m still in shock over witnessing a death. It’s possible. It can be a form of hallucination. But it felt real.

Whatever.

I went back to the kitchen and fetched my breakfast. As i was sitting on the sofa, I noticed a movement in my peripheral vision to my right. I turned my head sharply.

There was no one. But the curtain was moving and the window was closed.

“its an illusion”, I told myself.

I turned the Tv on, flipped through some random channels and stopped at the weather forecast channel. After I stuffed myself with food, I took out my phone to check out pranav’s new post on instagram.

Pranav.

The ex-boyfriend I was talking about. Was in a relationship with him for five years and he broke up with me, for further studies in a renowned university of russia. He isn’t good in studies but since he’s from a well-off family, he got in the university through his father’s connections.

But he didn’t have to break up with me. I guess he just wanted to have the single tag again.

As I was checking his profile, I found my eyes detecting some movement from behind the tv. And this time, I was sure it wasn’t an hallucination or an illusion.

A black figure was coming out.

A boy.

The boy who died in my arms yesterday.

CHAPTER 4

I woke up, crying out Vishal’s name. After yesterday’s shock, I can’t get him out of my head and don’t want to, but I can’t hold on to him longer, for it will only hurt me more.

I got out of my bed and made some herbal tea and went out to feel the early breeze on my balcony.

I sat on the chair and started to put my thoughts together about what happened yesterday.

I witnessed someone’s death, I started crushing over a watchman, right after breaking up with my boyfriend and I started dreaming about my brother again, after all these years, when I had been holding up, strong enough.

I saw someone changing shift with the night shifter watchman and I could tell who he was.

Tall, dark and cold. I don’t know why but he sometimes, gave off this cold feeling, just like yesterday when he was lost in trance. I took my last sip and went inside to get ready.

I boiled two eggs, and went for a quick shower. I can’t stand cold water on my skin, no matter what season it is. The hot water pouring out of shower, is the best medicine whenever I’m feeling down.

I pulled out my toothbrush and started brushing my teeth. I like to go in the order of shower, brush and face. As I was brushing my teeth I felt something on my right, like there was something or maybe someone. I quickly rinsed my mouth and came out of the bathroom. I felt it, it wasn’t my illusion or something.

Why is this happening after so many years? I wondered.

This happened with me a lot, after my brother’s death. I always felt someone was around me no matter where I was. I almost went crazy when I was 15 years old and told everyone that Vishal has grown up and is happy living on the other side.

Yes, that someone I always saw was my brother, ever since his death he was next to me. When I woke up, when I ate, when I danced, when I cried and everytime when I felt alone.

When I turned 16, my parents took me to a famous psychiatrist because they thought I was going insane. My father didn’t liked the idea much but my mother kept pushing him and he had no other choice left. They used to take me there in the evening. Mostly, it was my mother who took me there for my appointment and waited for 2 hours outside the room in the reception.

The psychiatrist was famous at the time and had graduated from some foreign university. His methods were working as I soon started to feel on ease and a lot more like others. I couldn’t see vishal anymore. Everyone thought it was a good sign but for me it wasn’t. I liked it when I could see vishal, it helped me to continue living but he not being next to me was like living without my soul.

I was never afraid of him but after years of separation, I have grown to fear him.

After 5 weeks of regular appointments, one day my psychiatrist talked with my mother and said that I was fine and we can stop coming but if something happens again, we may continue. After that my life was smooth without my brother in it, but yesterday’s incident has shaken me through my years of control.

I composed myself and again went inside to finish my unfinished business. I took out the face wash and squeezed it more than I should have, which landed the quantity which could have been used for atleast a week. I started to rub it on my face roughly, I can’t control speed and roughness right now, I am not in a condition where I can worry about my skin. I rinsed my face and looked at the mirror to find out two people staring back at me…

Chapter 3

“Stop it, please. Don’t disturb me, you jerk. ”

“Come on, how much are you gonna study, I’m bored.” said vishal.

“No way, tomorrow is my exam. I need to prepare for it or I’ll get bad grades and last time was already embarrassing. Now, go and play with your toys. ”

He’s going away. he’s running away. Everything is falling apart. I want to stand up and run after him and hide him in my embrace but he is gone. Everything turned dark. My home is invisible, my books faded. I’m here all alone and something, no, someone is coming for me…

“Ma’am? Ma’am, please wake up.” A sweet voice is ringing in my ears.

“Ma’am, wake up.”

The voice is so sweet and calming.

I wake up on a couch. A very expensive one, I guess.

“Where am I? What happened?”

Everything came back in pieces. I noticed Mrs. Sharma bringing me a glass of water while the handsome guy from before is standing next to me, almost lost in a trance.

What the heck is he doing here? I womdered. I thought he was his brother.

I looked at him, waiting for an explanation but he is just lost.

“You collapsed, sweetie.” said Mrs. Sharma.

“You must have been very shocked. You’ve been sleeping for 3 hours and a while ago, you were crying in your sleep and shouting a name. What was it again. Ahh! I think I’m getting old.”

“Vishal” he, the handsome guy, finally spoke after what felt like infinity.

Vishal

The name started to echo in my head. I can sense tears pooling in my eyes as all my memories are shooting back like daggers.

I should control myself. I can’t get myself carried away in front of everyone, especially Mrs. Sharma. She’s my mother’s friend and reports every single thing to her.

“Who’s he? ” I asked pointing towards the handsome guy. I knew they were aware that I’m in shock or pain that’s why they are looking at me with eyes full of consolation. I should distract them and get out of here before they asks for details related to vishal or today’s accident.

“He’s our new watchman.”

Maybe my eyes showed some shock or I looked funny that he let out a chuckle.

Mrs. Sharma noticed that I was trying to change the subject, that’s why she started to open her mouth to talk further about what happened before. I’m not a person who likes to show my concerns or broken heart to others. I feel vulnerable doing so.

I should go now.

“Sweetie, don’t think about the boy. It wasn’t your fault, it was just an accident, just move on.”, Mrs. Sharma kept talking as tears started to roll down my cheeks.

“Did you know him?”

“No, I didn’t.” I started to wipe my tears with my hands.

Oh No, what if she tells my mother about today’s accident, about the boy who died in my hands or maybe in his mother’s. My mother will be depressed and next to me before tomorrow morning.

“Don’t tell my mom about this, please.”

she nodded.

“okay, a _a _aunty” I stuttered.

“I should go now.”

“okay, I’ll take you to your apartment.”

“No, thank you but I’ll go by myself .”

“but how can you… ”

“Please, aunty. Its fine.” I just want to get away from everyone but I can’t say this aloud, it’ll be rude to someone who had been taking care of me for 2 hours.

“okay sweetie, watchman please take her to apartment no. 12, and make sure she goes inside”

I almost forgot that there was someone beside us.

“Yes ma’am.”

I thanked Mrs. Sharma for looking after me and started walking up the stairs with the handsome guy following me close behind. he isn’t saying anything, just following me like some robot.

I reached my door and turned around to thank him and say goodbye but he just turned around without even looking at me, without a word he just left and I’m here standing all alone like some idiot.

Afterall he must be tired, too, he had been busy all day, maybe.

I turned on my heels and opened the door, my door passcode is so easy that if some kid will just play with it, he’ll get access within a minute. I opened the mouth of slide and started to type my code.

0-0-0-0-0-0, “beep”, the door opened. I lived in a recently made building that’s why it has really amazing facilities.

I got inside.

I feel hungry but I’m unable to eat anything right now, I feel nauseous.

I should just hit a snooze.

I made my way towards bed, hardly changing into pajamas but cleared my make up neatly, that is a basic principle of my life. ‘Be messy’-no problem, ‘don’t bath’-no problem but ‘make up still on’, before going to bed is a problem, a huge problem.

I lay on my bed facing the ceiling and again, his face started to appear.

My brother, my little chipmunk, whom I can only remember as being little.

He passed away 11 years ago. I don’t know how it happened but there was no cause, nothing. He just died.

I took out my sleeping pills, prescribed by doctor, took one and this time, lay on my right side.

Now, all the memories from evening are coming back, that boy’s numb face, his lifeless body, his dead pulse.

My eyelids feel heavy. Finally, the pill is working.

I close my eyes.

SHE(poem)

Without any reason,

without any fault,

you called her slut

just because of a talk,

which you heard some day

on a random walk.

Do you know what happened?

or what she went through?

you just wanna pass a comment

to make the rumours outdo.

What if she commits suicide?

What if one day she decides

to put an end to her life

as there is is no one by her side.

– Pratishtha Puri

chapter 2

Mr. Newly-appointed-watchman heard a shriek and hurriedly went inside and saw Mrs. Malhotra’s son covered in blood. He called 108 and ran outside to get someone to help.he spotted someone coming and well that’s me.

“ma’am, please come with me, someone is injured.”

I am climbing all these stairs to my apartment, well my badluck is really bad. First, the elevator was broken and now this terrified person is asking for help, I just thought about ignoring him and going ahead but he won’t let go.

Hi, My name is Nisha Kukreti. I’m from Punjab and currently I’m living in Banglore to pursue my dreams. I live in the east side of the city and in this big building called “unity tower” on 12th floor and today I had a really bad day.

My boyfriend is moving to Russia to study further and wants to separate. I just don’t understand the point, we love each other,what can some 1000 kms do to that, but I’m not a pleading type so I just agreed and came home. he was a jerk anyway but he was sweet and all. I didn’t want a break up right now. huhhh!

So, I’m in this situation,now, when this stranger won’t let go.

stranger: please, come with me there’s someone bleeding inside and I’ve got a really weak stomach.

(I just want to ignore him but I can’t, I’m a medical student, afterall)

me : okay calm down, I’m coming.

I don’t know which floor it is, exactly, maybe 9th or 10th, I don’t know. I followed this really cute guy, which I’m only noticing now that he was really my type, I mean he’s cute and tall and kind of sexy. he is wearing this grey jacket just like our watchman’s and an orange t-shirt inside with a pair of distressed jeans and a pair of sneakers. His complexion is dark honey and his eyes are pitchblack and dilated when he was looking at me like a puppy asking for help. he has full lips and high bridge nose. His hair is curly, really beautiful and sexy with his cute face.

I haven’t even noticed that I am already inside the apartment, this is same as mine but this one is like how a family apartment looks like, unlike mine. I’m a really messy person and I hardly care about cleanliness. I don’t like the idea of cleaning the whole apartment by myself and waste my time doing so when I can study or watch some korean drama and stuff. My maid comes once every week for cleaning stuff and thrice a week to do dishes and laundry.

There I see them, a middle aged woman is crying like almost shrieking and she has this boy in her lap, unconscious with his hand still dripping of blood. I am going towards her almost running.

“let me see, ma’am. Please get me the first aid box.”

The woman stood, almost trembling and ran to get the box, I took his wrist in my hands and am checking his pulse.

oh my god! he’s dead, I can’t feel anything, nothing, the pulse is dead, I checked his pupils and they are lifeless, all his muscles are relaxed and he is nomore in his lifeless body. I couldn’t feel him, he was just lying there in my lap and I can’t do anything for him, this is my first encounter with death, I am sitting here shocked and I don’t know what to do, I think I am no more in this world, suddenly, I felt someone tapping my shoulder, Mrs. Malhotra is tapping me, almost shaking me as she is giving me the first aid box but I am just watching her while she’s looking at me desperately and I just can’t bring myself to tell that her son is dead and he’s cold. Suddenly, I heard something “ting tong ,ting tong” the nurse and two people with the stretcher came running towards us and the nurse came and took his body from me and is checking his pulse. She looked at me like I was some crazy or I don’t know, because I couldn’t let go of this boy. she is calmly checking his pulse and for a little moment her eyes went wide and then again normal. Now, she immediately turned towards his mother and tells her to come down and relax and sit down at some place and is asking about her BP and everything and told her calmly that her son is dead. The handsome guy came over and helped me get up.

Chapter 1

“tejas, tejas, please open the door” Mrs. Malhotra has been knocking on his son’s door for 15 minutes, now. She came to ask if he wanted to go out with her to buy some groceries but he hadn’t replied and she got worried as he is very obedient and active.

The doorbell rang and Mrs.Malhotra ran to open it.

“Hello mam, how can I hel…” the newly appointed watchman couldn’t even complete his sentence when Mrs. Malhotra literally dragged him through living room and lobby towards her son’s room.

“It’s been 15 minutes, he is not opening his door,do something or just break the door.” said Mrs.Malhotra who was almost crying, now.

“Hello sir, are you in there, please open the door or I’ll.. ” again he was interrupted by Mrs. Malhotra “I told you, he isn’t even responding, just break the door”

“Mam, he might be sleeping”said Mr. newly-appointed-watchman but Mrs. Malhotra knew that he never sleeps during this time so,she grabbed Mr. newly-appointed-watchman’s collar and said”you are breaking this door right now or I’m gonna call police.”

He felt his life and job in danger and agreed to break the door. After 7 attempts he was finally able to open the door and instantly got pushed by Mrs. Malhotra who hurriedly went inside to check. Mr. newly-appointed-watchman fell down on the floor,afterall if 90 kg woman pushes you,you can’t stand still. “what a bad day, this is too much, now. I shouldn’t have accepted this job,maybe I should have waited few more… ” his thoughts were interrupted when Mrs. Malhotra shrieked from the room, he got on his foot and went inside and saw that…