I woke up by the gong sound of my clock. I counted. It gonged for twelve times. It was midnight. My entire hall was filled with darkness, except for the light from my TV. I switched it off and sat on my couch where I was lying few minutes before. The show was boring I guess, that’s how I would have ended up sleeping there. I yawned and looked around my hall once again. It was pitch-dark. The door screeched a little and I heard leaves rustling. It was windy outside, I thought.
I slowly stood up from my couch to go and sleep in my bedroom. As I stood, the rug which was over me fell down. I bent down to lift my rug and then suddenly I realized that I did not have a rug when I was watching TV on the couch. Then who had wrapped this over me? I stood there frozen with horror and scanned the house where I was living alone!
Suddenly my very own home looked scary to me. I knew that someone was there apart from me. Otherwise how did this rug land on me?
I tried to see through the darkness. Everything seemed normal. I looked into my bedroom which was just opposite to the couch. I saw a shadow of someone. Was someone hiding in my bedroom? I decided to check it and I moved a step forward and then I heard a loud thud! The bedroom door which was open till then suddenly got closed.
My heart pounded loudly.
I turned and looked back at the couch. For a second, I felt that I saw someone lying over the couch. But then I realized that it was only the rug. Wait! Wasn’t the rug on the floor when I moved from the couch? How did it get back on the couch? Did I lift it and put it back there?
Suddenly I heard a woman screaming loudly. For a second, all the lights in my hall went on and I saw someone staring at me. And immediately the lights went off. In a reflex I quickly ran towards the switch board and switched everything on. But nothing happened. Was there no power? Then how did it light up just few seconds before.
There was the sound of the door screeching again. My bedroom door opened slowly. And I saw her looking at me with wide eyes standing behind the door. My heart skipped a beat. I closed my eyes in fear and when I opened she was not there.
Suddenly I felt something moving behind me. I jumped in alarm and turned to look behind. I was horrified at what I saw. Someone was lying on the couch and the rug was wrapped on them. Who was that? What was happening in my home? My mind was in a whirl.
At that time I heard footsteps from inside my bedroom. I realized that someone was running inside. But why? And more importantly, who? Suddenly there was a fierce bang on the door. I looked at the door startled. Someone was trying to bang open my bedroom door. The banging continued. And it was more forceful for each passing second. Whoever was banging was trying to come out of the bedroom and get me, I thought. I wanted to run away from my house. But I could not move my legs. They were rooted to the spot. I was paralyzed with fear. I closed my eyes and prayed that it’s all just a wild dream. But the banging continued and that deafening sound drove me crazy.
Suddenly the banging sound stopped and my house was filled with eerie silence. I opened my eyes. My bedroom door was open then. I turned around and saw the couch. There was definitely someone lying beneath that rug. But who was that? I did not have the courage to go and see who that was! I stood there silently, hoping everything to turn normal soon.
I heard a woman weeping then. The weeping sound was soft but continuous. I realized that it was coming from inside my bedroom. It must be the girl who I saw few minutes before. Why is she crying? And who is she? Is she a ghost? Of course! She must be.
Yet, I tried to muster some courage to see who was inside my bedroom and what was happening in my house. I slowly tiptoed towards my bedroom. There was no sound except for the soft weeping. With some blind dare I went further and peeped inside the room. At first I could see nothing through the darkness but when I strained my eyes a little more I could see her sitting at the corner of my bedroom, against the backdoor of my room, her face buried in her hands.
Suddenly she looked up and saw me. I was scared to death on seeing her face to face. She looked at me with red eyes. She looked dirty and her hair was a mess. She screamed loudly. I too screamed in fear. She then stood up swiftly. I feared that she was coming for me and I tried to run away from my room. But instead she was banging my backdoor again and yelled. I stopped running and looked back at her puzzled. She continuously mumbled something and banged the door without a stop. She turned and looked at me in between her banging.
My heart raced in high speed and I sweated like a pig. My hands and legs were cold. I was afraid to the core. Who was she and what was she doing? I had all those unanswered questions which strained my brain to search for answers.
Her mumbling turned slowly into weeping and then all of a sudden she started to cry loudly. And the banging got slower and slower. Then suddenly she seemed to have lost all her strength and she broke down and landed on the floor. I did not know who she was but I knew that this girl was definitely troubled in some way. So without a second thought I ran near her to help her. As I neared her, she lifted her head in a jiff. This made me jump in fear. Was she trying to get me by acting helpless?
She saw me through her tears filled eyes and cried loudly, “Please don’t do anything to me. Leave me.”
I looked at her confused. She then stood up and moved frantically away from me. I could see that she was shaking with fear. But why was she?
I tried to go near her and calm her. May be she had lost her way and had come to my house by mistake. As I moved a step forward, I heard her scream. She shouted in between her screams, “Don’t come near me. May be it was my mistake to have accepted my friend's dare and come to this haunted house at midnight, but please don’t do anything to me.”
What was she saying? I stared at her in bewilderment. May be she was some mad woman, I thought.
I definitely needed to help her. So I moved near her. Seeing me approaching, she ran towards my wardrobe and tried to hide behind it. I moved towards the wardrobe too. And that was when I saw that. I was shocked. I could not believe my eyes. I saw a person with a skull face just in front of my eyes and it was wearing a dress similar to mine. It looked back at me.
I stood there for a long minute observing it. I closed my mouth with my soft hands in fear and then I realized. The truth struck me and I could not take my eyes off my wardrobe mirror. That skull faced person was me! Then I understood the reason why that girl was afraid and why she banged the door and why she was pleading to me. All this while, I feared that a ghost was in my home. But I was the ghost!
I did not know for how long I had been dead there. I did not even want to know. Then I remembered the rug and the person lying on the couch. I immediately ran to the couch and lifted the rug. Tears welled upon my hollow skeleton eyes and I cried. It was my remains on the couch. I hugged my remains and cried my heart out.
At that time, I heard my backdoor getting opened and the footsteps of someone running out. It must be the girl. I was thankful to the girl. Had she not come there I would have never even known that I was dead. I cried again. I knew I had only me to cry for myself. To cry for my whole life where I had lived alone and died alone!