It was a dark, gloomy and cloudy night. It might rain at any time. A widespread silence pervaded the entire outside. Rohan was alone in his study, preparing for his entrance exam. His parents were out for a business trip. They are not expected to come back before Friday. He was completely immersed in his work.
Suddenly, a loud thud came from the door. He glanced at the table clock, it was exactly 12:00 pm. Who would knock at the door this late? The neighbours should be all in their beds, lost in deep sleep. Rohan surely does live in a quite punctual neighbourhood. Usually, every light in this colony gets turned off by 10 o’ clock, except the street lights.
However, the lamp posts do not have that special privilege today, as their has been a load shedding at 8. Once the power cuts off, it doesn’t come back until two or three hours here. The night, therefore, is truly dark. He hesitated for a moment, should he open the door? He got up from his chair to take a good look outside the left window, rain has already started, and it has started with fury. Now that he is starting to think about it, robbers would not knock before entering, neither a thief or a kidnapper would strive to make their arrival evident. Opening the door should not be that big of a risk. What about the incident he read on the newspaper yesterday?
“The robbers showed an unusual tactic of pressing the doorbell. Once the landlady opened the door, they proceeded to make her senseless with chloroform…”
Was that the line? Maybe. He couldn’t help but to consider this possibility. His parents did not make a wise decision to leave him alone. But, it was an emergency, an urgent call from dad’s boss; he had told Rohan, Rohan remembered.
He is the youngest black belt in the town, at the age of fifteen, he isn’t afraid of some random robber or thief! He must tackle them. And he will tackle them, he thought. He made up his mind and murmured to himself, “Let’s do it.”
He picked up the table lamp from the table and the cricket bat from the corner. Two more loud thuds came from the door downstairs. Suddenly, a pretty obscure thought crossed his mind, what if it’s a ghost? How on earth is he supposed to tackle a ghost now, in this extremely noirish situation? The matter suddenly became too much menacing to him. No, no, ghosts don’t exist, or so does he want to believe right now. Rohan tried to be honest with himself, Neha aunty did kind of convince him of ghosts’ existence. He goes to her house every evening, she has a huge stock of ghost stories in her mind, she also cooks well. He thought of calling her, she lives just beside his home. He looked at his mobile residing in the table. Oh, dear God, the mobile has been automatically switched off, no charge left. Two more loud thuds followed.
“What’s with this situation?” He thought.
There has been a lot of talk about terrorism lately. It may also be the case that the intruder is, in fact, a terrorist. Pessimism was taking over his mind. He couldn’t gather enough mental strength to rationalize the state of things. He found himself considering the possibility of the stranger to not be a human at all, rather a dangerous mammal escaped from the zoo nearby. No, he cannot open the door, he must not. Be it a robber or a terrorist, he cannot do anything about it anyway, let them do their job. He made the choice. He got back to his study, and fell asleep some time from then.
“Rohan! Rohan!” It was Neha aunty’s voice that woke him up.
“Eh?…oh…what’s the matter, aunty?” Rohan stretched himself.
Neha aunty started to cry furiously and proceeded to hug him.
“What? What happened? What’s wrong, aunty?” Rohan was surprised.
“Oh, Rohan! Your…parents got hit by a car yesterday…doctors couldn’t do anything…one witness said that they were…knocking at this door…got irritated…backed up…and then…” She let out a scream of agony.
Rohan was too much carried away by fear yesterday, he wasn’t able to reason. He was now not able to hear anything, he felt an extremely strong thrust in his heart. He made a great effort to take a look at the calendar. Yes, the day before this was, indeed, Friday.