I knew him – The first sequel to ‘At a glance’

I knew him – The first sequel to ‘At a glance’

This is the first sequel to At a glance. If you haven’t read that, click here.
I hope you’ll give this a read.

I knew him

It was almost seven in the morning, when a mixture of anxiety, fear and wrath pushed me into a state of petrifying bafflement about what had really happened at Belle’ Pepper. Who could it be? Who could have done such an awfully hideous thing? My mind pointed towards Tanish, who was capable of committing such a ghastly crime and had every reason to wreak vengeance on me. However, there was a voice speaking to my puzzled mind that it could not be him.
“How are you?” my mother asked with a visage that reflected her consternation.
“I do not know. But, what happened at Belle’ Pepper?” I said and endeavoured to get up, but, a rush of anguish refrained me from doing so.
“You’re suffering from Visual Hallucinations again,” she stated.
“Ma, how can I fantasize everything? Someone pinned me against a tiled wall, and hit my head with something sturdy. How can I just imagine such atrocious, malevolent situations in my head and then get these wounds for real?” I was too replete of rage to say anything serenely.
“I am not sure about this. Your doctor said that either you have hallucinated everything and hit yourself, or someone exceedingly homicidal had something to do with you. Please, stay at home, dear.”
“No, Ma. I cannot stay at home right now. You know that this is the last year at school, and everyone will be parting away. I cannot afford to cease making memories for some lunatic. What happened at Belle’ Pepper after I was knocked out?”
“Your friends were worried and commenced looking for you in the restaurant, when you didn’t return from the washroom. A waiter saw you lying on the floor, unconscious. They took you to a nearby hospital, from where we got you home.”
“Were any suspects caught?”
“No. You were bleeding, and before getting hold of anyone, capable of such a crime, they took you to the hospital. Your doctor said that visual hallucinations could be a possibility.”
“I was not hallucinating. How many times do I have to say this to you? Okay, I got to go to Deesha’s place. I need to get ready,” I got up with my heavy head, and attempted walking.
I grabbed my lifeless phone from my desk and poured life into that inanimate being. No sooner did the black screen showed a picture of Jack Frost, than I called Deesha.
“How are you? Could you tell me what really happened at that washroom?” Deesha answered the call.
“He is nebulous. A masked man, with brown eyes full of fury, had to do something with me. He grabbed me, scared me with a glistening knife, and hit my head, which made me pass out. However, I think I know him. His breath and his eyes resemble someone. I do not know.”
“A masked man? Are you hallucinating again?”
“How could you say this, Deesha?”
“I apologize. It sounds incredulous. But, do you think, Tanish could have asked someone to scare you?”
“I thought that it was Tanish, but then I recalled that he has green eyes. This could be a possibility that he bribed someone. I cannot believe that he would do such a thing because I could not stay in a relationship with him. What would have I done? I could not pretend anymore to be blissful with him. I didn’t want to see him melancholy and distressed and that’s the only reason why I had stayed with him for a while.”
“I know, Rea. It is okay and you didn’t do anything wrong. Being gleeful is not wrong. Stop chewing the cud and take care.”
“I am coming to your place at ten. Everyone’s still in the plan, aren’t they?”
“We had already decided that either everyone one of us will go or we’ll just let it be. Rea, you cannot come. We cannot imperil you and there is a ninety percent chance that the ghastly person is tracing you.”
“Since when did you start being omniscient? Am I this onerous?”
“You’re misconstruing me. That nefarious person can do anything.”
“I am coming. Inform the others, please.”
I tried to think who it was. I closed my eyes and recollected his breath that had mingled with mine. I could perceive that hideous mask again, and attempted to envision his face under it. Instantaneously, some moments, which I had loathed the most, flashed in front of my glittering eyes.  I was standing at the corner of an unknown parking lot, where the dim lights made the atmosphere eerie, and a freezing wind ran a shiver down my spine. My hair was messy and tied into a ponytail, and my pale face reflected no expression. A tall, lackadaisical boy of almost my age, who seemed to be exhausted, was trying to plead with me.
“Rea, I am irrevocably in love with you. You are quite aware of this indisputable fact. How could you be this awfully ruthless?” his frown seemed to be deeper than ever.
“I know, what I have done, is disbelieving. However, I could not pretend to be gleeful with you, anymore. For the sake of your bliss and sanity, I couldn’t afford to say a ‘no’ to you,” I kept my vision stuck to the ground.
“But, you love me. I know that,” his eyes were replete of rage.
“How can I expound this to you?” I had nothing more to say.
In a trice, I fell on the ground, barking my knees. I could not fathom what had just happened. My cold palm could feel the heat in my rosy cheeks that had been clouted mercilessly. For an instant, I was too petrified to be able to move. My mind had lost the potential to deal with what had come about. This unintelligible situation made me utterly crestfallen. An air of despondency filled the lugubrious ambience with wrath, misery and something unknown.
“I didn’t mean to slap you. I am so remorseful for what I have done,” he said while trying to get me up.
My mind still refused to accept this indiscernible scenario, “Just go away. Please.”
His eyes were glittering with those warm tears that longed to roll down his cheeks. Although I yearned to say something, my mouth declined to utter any word of love.
“What happened, Rea?” my mother gave a shake to my arm.
“Why? Nothing is wrong,” I replied.
“Then, why were you staring at the cupboard with your eyes wide open, and a deep frown on your small forehead, and sweating vigorously?” she asked.
I gazed at her blankly, as I didn’t have any answer to her question.
“Are you having some hallucinations?” she enquired, anxiously.
“No, Ma. Why are you doing this? How can you surmise this with such ease?” I answered, furiously.

I left the room and slammed the door which caused a horrible din. I shut my eyes and made up my mind, not to think about anything that filled this jubilant and auspicious atmosphere with distress. It was almost nine, when I washed my slothful body with the warm geyser water and a body lotion that had a soothing fragrance. As the sharp water drops hit my back, I recalled that day, when I was traumatized for the second time. However, I forced any kind of such thoughts out of my cerebrum, wore my bathrobe, and went to my wardrobe to choose some clothes to wear. Although I had decided what to wear on Panchami, I could not pick one. It was harder than I had thought it to be, to keep all those negative vibes away from me.

“Take care, please. If you feel sick at any instant, just call me. I’ll be right there,” my mother said as she kissed my forehead.
“I will,” this was all I could say.

The mellifluous sound of the Dhak erased every single memory that had pinched the thin skin of my heart. The smell of Pujo that spreads bliss, took me to an enigmatic place where nothing lasts but mere merriment and love. Out of the blue, Pujo changed everything with its simplicity.

“You’re so obdurate, Rea. I loathe you for being such a headstrong, outrageous teenager,” Deesha opened the door.
“Let me in, please, and stop being irksome.”
“If that lunatic comes here too? What will you do then? You have gone through a lot. I cannot let anything more happen to you. You look listless and pallid too” Deesha said in a low voice.
“Deesha, dear! Nothing will happen to me, ever,” I hugged her tight.
Going to her room, I saw Rachita and Prerona waiting impatiently for the others to arrive.
“Who was that pusillanimous monster?” Prerona dashed towards me to give me a hug.
“I still cannot figure out who it was,” Rachita said and kissed my cheek.
“I am totally fine. That is why I am here,” I smiled.
In no time, Saurnali and Sukarna arrived and we were off to the pandals of North Kolkata. Kumartuli Park, Ahiritala Sarbojonin Durgothshob, Telengana Sarbojonin Durgothshob, Dum Dum Park, Lake Town Adhibashi Brinda, Maniktala Chaltabagan, Ekdaliya club, Shinghi Park were on our list. The different, out of the box, brilliant themes always astounded me. Durga Ma was again successful in beguiling me with her pristine beauty and bewitching competence. The streets became full of so many exuberant people dressed in their new, splendid clothes. Durga Pujo brings everyone together, that in no way, any other occasion can do.
Rachita and Prerona were again ravenous, even after devouring two tacos, and a pizza.
“Did you seriously digest that lot, this fast?” I asked, laughing.
“You know about our supernatural powers,” Prerona laughed.

We went down the street from one pandal, to get into our car. While we were singing some obtuse Bollywood songs, and laughing to tears, watching Rachita’s steps to those tunes, I saw something. I saw someone.
I didn’t know if I was hallucinating, however, I saw him again. It was him. At a moment, I could see his masked face, and then all of a sudden, it vanished in the crowd. I rubbed my eyes, blinked twice and pinched myself in order to be sure that I was wide awake.
“What happened? Why do you look so doleful?” Rachita asked.
“I am okay. It’s just that I think I saw him again and that made me dolorous,” I replied with my eyes still scanning the crowd.
I turned round, squeezed my eyes to see the remotest I could. But he was nowhere to be seen, anymore.
“I think, we should head home, now,” Deesha suggested.
“Okay, I am calling the driver,” Sukarna said.

As we stood at the side of the road, waiting for our car to arrive, Sukarna and Saurnali went to get a bottle of water. While I was checking Whatsapp, I got a message from an unknown number, “Look up.”
My heart was pounding so fast, that it almost got spilled out of my mouth. Was it him? I yearned to know who he was. No sooner did I get the message, than I looked up to see no one. There were some college boys chattering, standing on the other side of the road. My eyes, which were craving to see him, scanned the road again.  As I was turning my head from this side to that looking for him, the masked face appeared just in front of me on that side of the road, behind the group of boys. He was standing motionless, and I thought that this was the best opportunity to get hold of him. I didn’t know that the signal had turned red when I commenced crossing the road. I was walking fast, and my eyes were so stuck to his, that I didn’t see two cars speeding towards me. I could hear Deesha and the others screaming out my name thunderously. I had almost crossed the road, when my Adrenaline secretion didn’t help me cross the other one fourth of the road.
Hardly did I see those cars, when I stood immobile, with my fists clenched tight. It seemed like someone or something had fettered me into chains, and enervated my ability to act. A sudden screeching sound made me cover my ears with both of my hands. I didn’t know that Saurnali, who had rushed across the road, was right behind me, hugging my shoulders. I was gasping hard, when I saw that the car had not hit me by almost an inch. The one driving the car, who had earlier seemed to be placid, got out of the car, wrathfully, and said, “Are you blind? What would have happened if I had not pushed the breaks?”
I cleared my throat twice, before I could say anything.
“I am sorry,” I said while I was too busy looking for him on that side.
He had disappeared, then, as I had conjectured.
When we got into our car, Deesha screamed at me, “Are you crazy, Rea? You’re still so puerile!”
“I saw him again. What else could have I done? Why are you exacerbating this? And, you’re still so pugnacious,” I shouted.
“Crossing the road without looking at the signal? Wasn’t that expedient?”
“That was my fault. But, that was my only chance at knowing who he is.”
“It does not justify you risking your own life.”
“Okay, slay me, now. And, you don’t have to say anything to my mother. She’ll fuss about this.”

Darkness had enveloped the city, when we were on our way back home. The ecstatic city was adorned with brilliant, vibrant lights that filled everyone with exhilaration and vitality. The roads seemed to be more crowded at night, and the pandals had already allured much people to form unending lines, the ends of which couldn’t be discovered. This enticement had always shackled me into chains of entrancement. A sudden flash of memories merely destructed this intoxicating ambience and attempted its best to inject me with tribulation and venom.
Hardly did I reach home, when I hastily got out of the car and mounted up the stairs.  As one sweat drop hit the ground with a high velocity, I caught a glimpse of him on the window pane. He was standing right across the road, in front of my house. I skipped a beat, when I gathered myself and realized that he had followed me all the way to my house and could break into it, at anytime he wished to. He could do anything. I was breathing heavily and he kept a steady stare at me. My mind had ceased working when I beheld him again, in the midst of this pandemonium, and I could not take my eyes away from his masked face. It was gawky and made me think of him doing ignominious things, more gullible. His imperious and presumptuous deportment proclaimed an imminent, repulsive doing that perturbed my tranquility. Something about him was inscrutable which elevated my inquisitiveness to an inexplicable level, that couldn’t be touched. I wanted to know who he was and what he had to do with me. I still knew that I knew him. My dried up lips had the ardour to shout thunderously, asking him who he was. Regrettably, I was again stuck to the ground, dormant. I sensed him smirking at me, under his mask and walked away. Clearing my throat, I turned round to ring the bell.

“How was the day?” my father asked.
“It was bewildering. North Kolkata gives a good competition to the South,” I said in my euphoria.
“I am glad that it was,” he answered, smiling.

“We won’t be going out this night. We thought to stay home. Is it okay with you, Rea?” my mother shouted from the kitchen.
“But we do pandal hopping every Choturthi, Panchami and Shoshti. Choturthi was ruined. What are you rebuking me for? Please, don’t take away Panchami too,” I pleaded with her.
“It is not my reprehension for you. We will do so, but not today. Tomorrow, we’ll be out for the whole night, okay?” she said.
“Okay, whatever,” I trudged to my room.
No sooner did I do so, than I let myself collapse on the bed, thinking if he knew that we were not going out today. My mind declined to accept that he knew about this and that was why, he had walked away. Maybe, if he had known that my family was going out and I wasn’t, he would have stayed to haunt me. These excruciating thoughts raised my level of repugnance for that ugly person.

“Have you reached home safe?” Saurnali called.
“Yes, I have. You girls think about me so much and that is the only reason, you all are the most precious to me, and a life without you is unimaginable and harrowing,” I answered.

TO BE CONTINUED..

Have a great life.
Love,
Touchwords

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At a glance – A short story

At a glance – A short story

Here is another short story. Give it a read, please.

At a glance

It was almost the time of Durga Pujo, when I commenced hopping from South city to Forum, Acropolis to Mani square in quest of clothes, shoes and accessories to show off, during those unforgettable days of Pujo. In Kolkata, people wait restlessly for these few days because this is the time for family reunions, hangouts with friends, and mainly, beholding Ma, in different and stupendous attires, spellbound. If you’re a Bengali or if you dwell here, you can relate to what I am narrating.

Saurnali, who is animated every time I come across her, sprang up in the air, “We’ll go Pandal hopping.”
Deesha, with her beautiful, glittering eyes, asked,”Will everyone’s parents allow us to do that?”
I exclaimed, “Come on, the examinations will be over by then.”
Unlike others, we were the couple of girls who weren’t fortunate enough to take birth to lenient parents.
Prerona, who always has a joke or a way to make us laugh in the most fruitless and melancholy situation, commenced shouting thunderously, “We will make memories!”
Rachita, who was the best at making everything hilarious, cried, “I cannot wait. I will go to Rea’s house today, and sleep on the road till Choturthi.”
Sukarna, with her plump rosy cheeks, said, “I need to lose weight before the Pujo. So, I will live on veggies from today. Don’t you dare share your scrumptious food with me, because I will be lured by sirens so efficient at their jobs.”
“I will make it sure, that my mother prepares something delectable everyday. You will have no problem losing weight. I promise to you,” I laughed to tears.
“I am in, Rea,” the unintelligible Deesha smirked at Sukarna.
“You are so ruthless,” Sukarna elucidated.
“You cannot change anyone’s nature,” Saurnali laughed, hysterically.
After the half-yearly examination, Pujo came dashing toward us, as a mighty wind, making cynical creatures replete with bliss and incessant amazement. Sukarna didn’t lose weight, as we had prognosticated. However, she weighed five pounds more, which our predictions couldn’t get hold of because of her inscrutable actions.

The day after our examinations, which were detested to an inexplicable extent, everyone came to my home, to chalk out our whereabouts on Choturhti and Panchami.
“Please, everyone knock at my door, sharp at 10 AM,” I expounded with anxiety.
“Don’t consternate, we will. However, I cannot assure you about Deesha,” the solicitous Rachita said.
“Hey, don’t say that. Rea, I’ll be at your house before ten,” Deesha frowned at Rachita.
“On Panchami, it will be Deesha’s place. I don’t know Salt Lake, so, you guys have to help me out, then,” I said.
“No worries!” everyone screamed.
After the bafflement had consumed our sanity, we reached a conclusion. Our first stop will be Maddox square. Then, Shinghi Park, Tridhara, Mudiali, Shib Mandir, Deshapriya park, Babubagan etc. We yearned to make these the red letter days, because it was merely less than one year before we parted ways, carving our future and attempting to beat others in this race, which is the race for food and a better living.
Mahalya has always been one of my favourite times of the year, when at that pristine time of dawn, I lie on bed, indulged into listening to those mellifluous songs, which take me to an enigmatic world of divinity, a world devoid of abomination, impudence, and complexities of the mind. This is a place, where you can merely love and smile in the most naive way, pretending that your exasperation and distress had been erased for an instant or two, without contemplating about anything that ruins your peace of mind. I feel singular and inexorable when I rise up at dawn and stare at the unending sky, forgetting everything complicated, and attempting to live that incomprehensible moment, which cannot be elucidated in words, but can be felt in a thousand ways.

No sooner did Tritiya come, than we commenced talking over the phone about what we would wear and I made it indisputable that everyone ought to be on time. Although I knew that they were the most indolent beings alive on this planet, it felt better to expound it to myself that everything would be perfect.
Deesha called and said, “I am so excited. I want this to be perfect.”
I replied, “It will be.”
“I am really sorry to hear what happened lately with you and..”
“It is okay, Deesha. It was meant to be. I could never comprehend that he would turn out to be such a worthless person. History repeats itself. ”
“Okay, let us not spoil this. Tomorrow will be amazing.”

That night, none of us could sleep. We were restive. Hardly did the Sun reveal its glistening visage through the gargantuan clouds, when I rose and got everything ready. In the nick of time, I cut off the tag of the new clothes, and wore a bright floral printed crop top with a beautiful collar, and struggled my legs through a pair of  printed blue Levi’s jeans.
I waited quite impatiently for the clock to tick ten, and twiddled my thumbs. Out of the blue, my phone screen came to life, and I perceived the name, Tanish, floating across the gloomy screen. I was petrified for a moment, as if I had been fettered into chains by some enigmatic power of the invisible. I stared at the screen, not being able to move. After my mobile had waited impatiently for me to pick it up, it blacked out. I couldn’t fathom this unintelligible situation, when I was paralyzed by something unknown. I was not scared of him. I endeavoured to say this to myself, however, I deciphered that my lips had become immovable and my mind, debilitated. After a few minutes of solitude, I gathered myself and made it sure that I had him erased from my memory, completely. But, it was merely lying to myself, for this precise fact that I was indeed frightened of him, more than I could envision in my wildest dreams.

As soon as I saw the clock ticking ten, the bell rang making me get into a fit. To my astonishment, it was Deesha who had appeared, just in time, as she had promised. She rushed in, and hugged me so tight, that I couldn’t breathe for a second, and I was gasping hard, after closing the door.

“Aunty, what are you so busy with?” asked Deesha, hugging my mother, who was seated on the sofa, scribbling things on the paper, from behind.
“Oh, it is just some obtuse office work, that would not cease aggravating me, even in the holidays. How are you, dear?” my mother replied, having a sip of water from a bright Tupperware bottle.
“I am doing fine. Science sucks,” Deesha giggled.
“I know. But, work hard now, party then, instead of partying now, and working hard then.”
“This is exactly what my mother says, too.”
“Mother are always right! Okay, let me serve you some pasta. I bet you’re exceedingly ravenous,” my mother made way through the hall into the kitchen.

“Did he bother you?” Deesha whispered.
“Not at all. He just called me, lately.”
“Did you answer the phone?”
“Certainly not. Why shall I? The blocking system in my phone has disrupted. I will take it to the store, after the Pujo, and I’ll make it sure that he doesn’t call me again.”
“Here’s the pasta,” mother shouted from the kitchen.
“It has always been my favourite. Haven’t I asked you to build a hill of it?” Deesha replied.
My mother laughed hilariously and went back to her work.
While devouring the delectable pasta, like a monster, I said, “Satisfying your hunger, is the best thing in the world.”
Deesha nodded.

In no time, the others arrived and after listening to a few words about safety, spoken by my mother, we were off.
“Turn on the music,” Rachita said to the driver.
We were all seventeen, and none of us had a license, so, hiring a driver was the least we could do. Singing to the tunes of some comical Bollywood songs, talking about some nonsensical things, and teasing Sukarna, made the journey seem too small. I have always loved the mighty wind gushing against my face, the air in my messy hair, and the picturesque beauty of  everything that passes by.

Suddenly, that entrancing music of Dhak, pacified my craving heart. I knew that we had arrived. The atmosphere the envelopes the city during Pujo, is inexplicable. It makes you feel alive. I had my camera with me, to capture these immaculate moments, which would survive the ravages of the harsh time. The streets were full of jubilant people, who had forgotten about their misery, and had decided to feel glee in these few days. Everyone looked so beautiful. However, the poor and the downtrodden could merely see them and imagine how it would be like to be merry. The contrast always remains to be. I couldn’t let myself ponder about them, and ruin everything. Sukarna and Rachita couldn’t cope with us, while walking down the road to where the Pandal was.
“We’re fat people. Please, wait for us!” Sukarana shouted.

As I stepped into the Pandal, I was spellbound. The Daker Shaaj was glittering brilliantly. The atmosphere was divine, and I stared at the weapons, Ma had in her hands. The Trident or the Trishul, in Bengali, always filled me with an anonymous strength, and at that instant, I knew that I could do something, be someone. As a child, I adored Ganesha’s plump stomach, Kartika’s beautiful peacock, Saraswati and Laxmi’s beauty and Ma’s undefined enchantment, that had me, stupefied. I clicked pictures in different angles, and my friends made it sure that they were in it.
“Hey! I am here, Rea. Click a picture,” Rachita said showing a victory sign.
“Oh, you forgot me,” shouted Saurnali.
“Rea, focus on me,” screamed Deesha.
“I am always in the picture because of my zero figure!” laughed Sukarna.
“You don’t love me, Rea,” said Prerona.
“Oh, you all, stop! I don’t have ten hands and ten cameras. You have to do with two hands and one camera. Everyone come in the middle, right now,” I shouted.
When everyone was there, I knew that it would be the best photograph, I had ever taken.

There was an enormous ground, and we found some chairs in front of stalls and had the best conversation that made me laugh to tears.
“See that guy in that white Kurta. He looks like he is about to vomit,” Prerona pointed him out.
“Maybe, last night drinking is the cause,” Saurnali laughed and acted the way he was walking.
“I couldn’t lose weight. I am so not going to be able to do so in another two years,” Sukarna explained.
“We knew that Sukarna. We didn’t say anything because we didn’t want to hurt you,” I tried to control my laughter.
“I am famished,” Rachita exclaimed.
“We just had pasta at Rea’s place,” Deesha said.
“I think my enzymes are secreted at a faster rate,” Rachita smiled.
“Okay, let’s have ice cream,” I said.
After satisfying our hunger, we went back to the car to head towards Deshapriya Park. It was rumored that the most gargantuan Pratima, of about 40 feet, had been built. To my disappointment, it was the Pandal that was forty feet high, which had been made to look like the Durga Pratima. The real idol was below it. Although I was too crestfallen to behold that, my photography didn’t cease. My friends posing in different, unique ways wouldn’t stop me from taking pictures. The next stop was Tridhara. Then came Mudiali, Shib Mandir, Ahiri Tala, Suruchi, Babu Bagan, Naktala Udayan Sangha, Badamtala Ashar Sangha, and Jodhpur Park. Each had a different theme, and I do not know how they manage to adorn Ma and the Pandal in a different way, every year. The Pandals became so crowded with people, that we gave up standing in the line for two or three clubs. It was almost three O’clock, when we had quenched our thirst for the beauty of Ma.

“Let’s go to Hatari,” Rachita said, exhausted.
“But that’s too far from here,” Saurnali replied.
“Yes, it will be almost four, till we reach Hatari. The roads are jammed. And, I know your hunger quite well, Rachita. Then again, I have heard about a new restaurant, Belle’ Pepper which had opened up lately, here. It has got amazing reviews. I have heard that they serve scrumptious Chinese food,” I exclaimed.

“Okay, then,” Rachita answered.
Exhausted, we all went to Belle’ Pepper, and got a table quickly. I ran my finger down the menu quickly and decided what I’d order. But, when I looked up to call the waiter, I saw that everyone except Saurnali, who was going through the menu too, was drooling and staring at me. I deciphered that I had to order for them too, as they were too weary to do anything. Thank God, they didn’t consume me.
“Torino Miso soup for six, and Chicken Fried Wantons would do for the starters. For the main course, we will have Shanghai Fried Rice, Szechuan Rice Noodles, Spicy Dragon Noodles. Please, exclude anything like seafood, pork, or beef from the Dragon Noodles, as I don’t have these. For the sides, I want Chicken with red wine, Chengdu chicken, and..” I said.
“Why didn’t you order any mushroom or crab?” Rachita asked.
“Because, I do not have these, and you didn’t have the vitality to order anything,” I replied.
“Okay, then, include what I said.”
The waiter was standing clueless, what to write next.
“Okay, after Chengdu Chicken, make it Szechuan crab, and Mushroom with vegetables. For desert, we would like three Sundaes, and three brownies with vanilla ice-cream.”
“Any mock tails, ma’am?” he asked.
“Make it two Blue Lagoons, Mockmosas, and Sea breeze.”
“Thank you,” he said as he parted away.
While they were still drooling, I asked to a waiter, “Could I know where the washroom is?”
“Go straight down the hallway, turn left, and there you are,” he answered.
“Thank you so much,” I smiled and headed towards the hallway.
As I was walking, I could hear someone’s footsteps from behind. I slowed down and turned back all at once to see nobody. It was uncanny and I shivered, though it was not at all freezing. To my horror, I commenced walking fast and turned left to see the door slightly ajar. No sooner did I see it, than I pushed it wide open and shut it close. Going to the sink, I turned round the knob and washed my face well with the refreshing water. As I was rubbing my face with my handkerchief, I was astounded to see a lady in a Barkha leaving the washroom hastily. I didn’t think anyone was there. To my disgust, the lights went out. My heart was beating fast, for no reason. However, I felt that someone was there. The footsteps, that lady, and then the lights weren’t coincidental. Suddenly, the door, that had been left opened by the lady, was slammed. I switched on the flash light of my phone hurriedly. Hardly did I put it up, when I saw a man, wearing a black leather jacket. He snatched my phone, flung it across the floor, and wrapped his strong, well-built arms round me, clutching my wrists so hard that in no time, they started to ache. I tried to kick him, punch him in the face, but I had no clue what I was doing, in the dark. After struggling for some time, the lights came, and I saw the ugly reflection of his in the mirror. He had a mask over his visage, which I wanted to peel off, as soon as I could. I, then, had the courage and enough Adrenaline secretion to push him hard on the chest with my elbows. He fell down, surprised to see my strength. However, I knew that running away would be better than peeling off his mask, because he was much brawnier and Herculean than I was, and he could knock me out with ease. I rushed towards the door, to unlock it. By then, he had grabbed my hair and pushed me, malevolently to the tiled wall. As I had an immensely high momentum, I hit my head hard on the wall and for a nanosecond, I couldn’t see anything but stars. I pressed my head, and cried in agony. I could see a rush of wrath in his brown eyes, when he pinned me against the wall, grasping my wrists and placing them an inch or two away from my face. He had leaned in so close, that our breaths mingled, and as he came nearer, I turned my face away from that ruthless being’s masked face.
I was trying to catch my breath, when he left me and sat down on the floor. I didn’t have the vitality to run in the nick of time, unlock the door and get out of there without him grabbing my listless body.
“Why are you doing this?” I asked, gasping.
“Who are you?” I said, when I saw blood on my fingers that had been rubbing the back of my small head.
“I am sorry, Tanish. Please, let me go,” I cried.
I uttered the name, Tanish, though I knew it wasn’t him, because he had green eyes that could be recognized. But, this person had brown eyes, which appeared familiar. I noticed his black, straight hair, I seemed to have touched earlier. I had known his breath. At a glance, I knew that I had known him. But I couldn’t fathom who he was.
Hearing the name, he glared at me. His eyes turned red, and they looked like a volcano which was going to erupt and destruct everything. All of a sudden, he started hitting himself, slapping his face and punching his own chest.
I shouted, “Stop! Please.”
The unpredictable masked figure took out a sharp, glistening knife from his jacket and stared at me and I could see a crooked smile under his mask.
I knew that I had to get out of there. I dashed to the door, unlocked it and ran with all the energy that was left in me.

Suddenly, someone hit my head with a rod, and everything blacked out.
The last thing I heard was, “You know me.”

TO BE CONTINUED MAYBE…

Have a great life.
Love,
Touchwords

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