Strangers in the dark, exchanging glances

…For that, I need to be able to weave a story, I need to be a good story teller!

“Aada, is that you?”, said Roshnai waking me up from a not so deep sleep.

Being the light sleeper that I am, I mumbled “I am here, what happened?”.

I woke up to toss around on the bed so that I could hold her tight and go back to sleep. My eyes opened slightly as I turned and what I saw confused me. I was half asleep. In that mode, you can be made to believe anything. Your dreams merge with reality and you exist in a transitional state where you find it difficult to differentiate between what’s real and what isn’t. As a student of physics, I would always get baffled when the teacher would ask me to draw the diagram showing a “virtual image” of a real object from a lens/mirror combination.

I saw a battery of lights, one red, and one blue, merging with each other to form a very nice hue of purple. I got up and sat on the bed only to see it still there. Roshnai was also up and sitting on the bed by then. It was dark outside, quite dark and hot. The AC was running at full power keeping us cozy at 25 C even when the outside temperature was well in excess of 35 C. It works with a good temperature control, switching on and off at regular intervals ensuring that the temperature doesn’t go above 26-27 C at the same time ensuring it doesn’t chill our bones. But what happened next chilled not just our bones, it also froze our minds!

The moment I sat up, I saw a flash of light outside. The transformer had gone off probably, I thought, and a stray street light was reflecting into the bedroom. I sprang out of the bed and rushed to switch on the lights. It is a pity that we do not have light switches near the bed. I saw one more flash in the living room, as if somebody was clicking a photo. As I switched on the lights, I blurted “Kaun hai?”, still a bit sleepy. Eyes hadn’t yet got used to the darkness. I stepped out into the living room, looking for something. I saw, and I froze as I saw the main door was open and some of the street light was flowing into the living room. I thought, ah! That explains the stray light. Could have been a car passing by with those fancy blue LED lights. We live in a posh locality, apparently. Every second house has either a Mercedez or an Audi or a BMW. It was very likely.

“The main door is open!” I said as I walked out, “Did you forget to…”, saying that I froze! A chill went down my spine as it dawned on me that the bedroom door was wide open! There would have been no way for any stray light to enter the bedroom with the AC on, and the door closed. Not even a stray sound! I think Roshnai had already realised it a few fractions of the second earlier. That is how she was up and calling me out. She thought I had been to the kitchen to fetch some water, or grab a bite from the fridge. There are nights at a stretch when I fail to get sleep and end up tossing around the bed, or dropping things from the side table.

The bedroom door had been opened as well, and surely we had not slept with it open. Somebody had broken in!

“Roshnai! Someone is in here!” I screamed and ran to the kitchen, switching on all the lights on my way. The kitchen has another door, which opens to the backside of the house. We dry our clothes there. It was open. And so were all the windows of the kitchen. “Chor!” I screamed, “Kaun hai?” and ran to bolt the door close. I was shaken! Scared!

Roshnai was waiting in the bedroom unable to fathom what was going on. I rushed to her and told her that we had an intrusion. I picked up the curtain rod lying in the study room and quickly checked all other corners of the house to spot anything. Nothing. Whoever it was, had run away! Leaving all the doors and windows open!

I took her to the living room, closed all doors and windows, switched on all lights and sat on the sofa. We had goose pimples all over our bodies. The more we thought about what had just happened, the more we shivered. We quickly checked that all our belongings were in place and then waited desperately for daylight, taking turns to lie on each others’ laps.

And that is how I got a chance to tell a story, and also update this blog that lay dormant for more than a month! I wish it was fiction!

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