Friday, 17 May
Shruti unlocked the door to her house. Silence reigned the dark hall, indicating her parents and sister had long fallen asleep.
This day had been no different than the rest of the week; work late shifts, get exhausted and not get any credit for the job. Sighing, she splayed down on the sofa and closed her eyes letting the warmth of the sofa engulf her and frustration, anger and despair seep out. But before she could finally lay in bed and put a fullstop to the day, she got up from the sofa, bathed in cold water and sat in front of the TV with whatever was left in the name of dinner her mom had made.
Just like the rest of the week tonight too, teleshopping ads were being shown on TV. But she didn’t mind. She just needed some random noise to fill in the silence while she chewed on the cold leftovers and wished for a better life.
1: 05 am
She had finished her food and was washing the plate while the satisfaction of finally getting some sleep leisurely crawled over her body, rising from her toes and reaching her tired dark brown eyes.
Finally, she was lying next to Akruti, her younger sister, ready to be lost in the dark chasm and hope to wake up to a better tomorrow where she was not a waste of space.
A feeble whisper reached her ears. It was enough to evacuate her out of her deep realm. Involuntarily, she stood up and walked out of the room, reaching the unilluminated hall; stopping only at the wooden door.
Her trance was broken by a sudden knock on the door. She looked around, unable to establish a link between the series of events that could explain how she got here. Someone knocked at the door again and pulled her right out of her thoughts.
She opened the door and her facial muscles twisted into a frown on seeing no one outside.
There was a knock on the door, she was certain of it.
Reluctantly she took a step back to close the door, only to be stopped midway by the sight of a small cardboard box lying on the doormat. A crumpled piece of paper was all it contained. She smoothed it out, enough to be able to read the smudged words; possibly scribbled with red fountain pen ink.
Her throat went dry as sand. What she read hit her like a hostile cold gust of wind in the dead of the moonless night.
A shiver ran down from her head to her toes, raising every single hair on its way. She frantically tore it into a hundred pieces and threw them away along with the box.
The dark hall didn’t feel safe anymore. The darkness seemed fatal and the walls appeared to come closer, ready to kill her off.
Hastily, she closed the door and sprinted towards the stairs that led to her bedroom.
“Om namah shivay. Om namah shivay. Om namah shivay..." She chanted as she ran, believing that if she stopped even for a second, it will prove to be the death of her.
“Om namah shivay. Om nama..”