That was wonderful start dear...
Wow. This is damn interesting!! Very well written. Will this be a romance/drama or a thriller? Arnav as a ghost had me wondering about arshi's union and future. Please do update this. This will be one story I'll be eagerly looking forward to.
Chapter 2 - Intruder
1 week; Arnav was so sure this puny girl wouldn't even last 1 week. The week was not over yet; though it had been 4 days. His plan of scaring her away was yet to begin - not for the lack of his trying but for her dearth of time.
The girl would wake up at the sound of the alarm, rush to the bathroom and then come out fully dressed, pick her bag and a fruit (an apple, a banana, sometimes a carrot) and then speed out the door. At night she would come home so exhausted that she would fall on the bed, without changing her clothes and doze off immediately. The next morning, the cycle began again.
The only time when he could scare her was when she was in the bathroom. But he was no creep. He wouldn't go in the bathroom. That was her private affair and he knew better.
He had tried once or twice while she was rushing out - by slamming a door or a window when there was no wind but the girl wouldn't even take notice. He had made a loud bang by slamming the balcony door one at night. She did raise her head from the bed, let out a groan and then fell asleep again. She hadn't even cleaned the shattered pieces of the light bulb, which he had broken on her first night.
No, he had to wait, for a day when she was at home and free. He needed her attention to make her feel that something was not right in the house. He was hoping it could be done before the week ended.
Khushi exhaled a breath of relief as she got down of the cab. Friday night was here - the end of 1 working week. Between adapting at her new workplace, learning the work, running around the whole day doing errands (which was not exactly a part of her work profile but her boss said it would help her understand the work better) and adjusting to life and traffic in a new city, Khushi was drained off energy.
She hadn't eaten a home-cooked meal in so long, living off fruits or vegetables in the morning and an inexpensive street food for lunch and dinner. She would have to plan better. At this rate, she'd be sick. She also needed to clean her house. And fix those small problems - the lighting, the balcony, the paint, of which she had made a mental list.
She promised herself that she would spend the entire weekend planning for everything and executing it.
As she entered the lobby to climb up the stairs, she saw Payal watering the plants in the verandah of her ground-floor house. Khushi had not spoken or seen Payal since the day she had warned her about the house being haunted. Payal seemed like a sweet person and Khushi didn't have any friends. May be she could start with her.
"Hey," Khushi chirped. Payal turned to look at her, the watering can in her hand slightly dripping.
"Are you fine?" Payal spent no time with small talk. "You're not facing any problem?"
"None at all!" Khushi spoke with more enthusiasm than she had.
Payal kept the watering can on the floor and walked closer to Khushi. She reduced her voice to a whisper, "So there is no... ghost?"
"No!" Khushi exclaimed, "What made you think the flat was haunted?"
"The couple," Payal replied uneasily, "the last tenants, they swore there was something wrong with the house."
"And I am the current tenant telling you there is nothing wrong with the house," Khushi emphasized on the last part. "Tell you what, why don't you come over day after tomorrow, on Sunday, for lunch? I haven't cooked something in so long and it would be a good chance for you to see that what I am saying is true."
Payal looked unsure, "I haven't been in the house since a year... Mom also doesn't go in, though she says she doesn't believe in ghosts."
"Come on Sunday and see for yourself." Khushi assured her as she bid her goodnight.
She entered the flat and saw the mess that she had made over the week. Tomorrow, she promised herself, tomorrow morning I'll start cleaning up.
She threw her bag on a chair in the drawing room, and lied on her bed. Sleep dawned on her in a few moments.
True to her word Khushi woke up on Saturday morning ready to execute everything on her to-do list. She bought fresh fruits and vegetables and groceries so that she could prepare her meals at home. She put on her headphones, plugged to her phone and turned on some music. With music blaring in her ears, she started the household chores.
This was his chance; Arnav rubbed his palms in glee. The girl was wiping the floor with a mop and bucket, yelling some song and moving to the beat. He shook his head at her - she was weird. For the past 5 days he had seen her do nothing but sleep and today she was bursting with energy.
He flicked his finger and the earphones unplugged from her mobile. She stopped moving and took out her phone from the pocket of her jeans. Shrugging, she re-plugged the earphones.
Arnav then focused on the bucket of dirty water and with a flick of his wrist, he spilled the entire contents on the floor that she had just cleaned.
She was a few feet away from the bucket. On hearing the splash, she turned around, and narrowed her eyes. Instead of being a little suspicious, as Arnav had hoped, she made an "argh!" sound, called herself clumsy and started cleaning up the mess.
Why didn't see suspect anything? A bucket filled with water drops on it's own and she thinks she had something to do with it?
Arnav always started with small steps. He didn't want to scare anyone to death. He just wanted them to leave without causing them any injury. Slow and steady was more effective - first a window banging here, a piece of utensil dropping there - just to make his victim wary. Then when the victim was a bit spooked, he'd up the game a scary noise or creating cold spots, or shadows.
This process didn't give Arnav any joy. He'd sometimes feel bad when he looked at his victims, but he couldn't stop. For some reason, he was trapped in these 4 walls of the apartment. He couldn't get out. To live in a small-enclosed place with humans was not a piece of cake. His only respite was the balcony, which let him see the world outside. It was also a curse because he could see, but never venture out.
Khushi laid out the most expensive utensil that she owned on the table - a pair of crystal glasses. There were patterns inscribed on the lower part with a curvy handle. It belonged to her mother, it was the only thing she could keep, the rest of her parents stuff was either mortgaged or sold by her aunt. Khushi didn't despise her aunt for that. She reasoned that how was her aunt to raise a toddler without any additional income? Somehow her aunt had missed the glasses or maybe she thought they were not valuable enough. Khushi had sneaked them off from the storage a few years later and ever since, she had held on to them.
And tomorrow, she'd be hosting her 1st meal in her new house. It was a special occasion for her. She carefully placed the cups on the table, running her finger over the patterns. It was an object through which she felt a connection to her long gone parents.
She was fidgeting in a kitchen shelf for presentable cutlery when she heard a smash. Turning around frantically, she saw both the cups on the floor broken.
A "no" escaped from her lips. She ran to the spot where the broken glass lay. She picked up a shard and slowly shook her head. "No...no..." her voice choked and tears filled up her eyes.
How did this happen! She remembered she had kept the cups in the middle of the table, surrounded by other stuff. None of the other stuff had been disturbed. It was almost like someone had lifted the cups and thrown them on the floor.
She wiped her tears, which were freely flowing now.
It just a cup, Khushi consoled herself. But she knew it was more. The only tangible asset of her parents was now shattered in pieces in her new home where she lived alone, in a new city where she knew no one.
Suddenly she felt lonely, more than ever.
Arnav stood above the kneeling girl who was examining the broken glass. He was not expecting that reaction. He had carefully picked up the 2 glasses because of the way she was admiring them. He knew they're special and that'd get her attention.
He had ensured that nothing else on the table was disturbed so that when she would examine how the glass broke, she'd find it widely suspicious. But instead of anything remotely close to fear, she started crying.
Why was she crying? Did he do something wrong? Seeing her, on the floor, picking up each shard carefully and collecting it in a pile, made his doubt his action.
He knelt down, to where she was sitting, till he was face to face with her. She was wiping her eyes but tears kept forming.
He pressed his lips before muttering, "Sorry."
At that instant, the girl looked up, straight at him. Could she hear him? Arnav felt something move inside him.
The girl, who was looking straight at him, turned her eyes left and right as if trying to see someone. Her eyebrows furrowed a bit before relaxing to their normal position. She exhaled and stood up.
If something had happened, Arnav realized, the moment was now gone.
Khushi could swear she heard something. It wasn't very clear but it definitely felt like a voice - a human voice. Or maybe she was imagining things. She reckoned she needed to get some fresh air.
2 hours later, she was back in the house. She had aimlessly walked around a market place and bought a pair of cheap plastic glasses and a new bulb for her bedroom. From her to-do list, she had done most of the work. The fixing of the rusty railing and the paint of the walls remained. She relegated the task for the next weekend.
She plopped on the sofa and closed her eyes.
Arnav looked at the exhausted girl. She was so energetic the entire day cleaning and setting up the house. After he had broken those cups, it was almost like he had shattered her enthusiasm as well. Maybe the cups were more valuable than he had thought.
He could bang a door and wake her up, he pondered, or shatter a window pane this time. That would get her attention.
He contemplated for a while, observing her stir slightly on the sofa. She looked so peaceful; for some reason he didn't want to disturb her.
There was 1 day left for the week to be over, he concluded. He still had time. Setting the deadline to evict her was silly but it did give him some entertainment, made the game interesting.
Although, if he was keeping score, he knew he was failing miserably.
Tomorrow, he promised himself, tomorrow he would succeed. He was powerful and had played this game a couple of times now. Tomorrow he would drive her out.
Tonight he let her sleep.
--------Edited by ErisedWitch45 - 2 years ago
Topic started by ErisedWitch45
Last replied by Eccentrica