Stairs and stares

Light was streaming in through a different angle when I got up. It was an uncomfortable but long sleep. From the direction amber glints got in and occupied space around, I understood I have slept for long late into the afternoon and it might be early evening now. Did the bell for evening chai ring?

Where did everyone in room 11 disappear? My room is notorious for its guffaws, noises and people. Now hardly anyone is around and no one woke me up.

When I stepped out, the first thing I noticed was a puddle of vomit on the stairs. A slight but not-so-horrible stench was coming out and I clapped my nose immediately. I walked down through its side. A man’s powerful voice from somewhere down was becoming louder.

“You are a barren homeless alcoholic!”, the man said.

“I am your wretched wife. I am the asshole who slept with you. I am the idiot who believed you. I am your battered …something something…”, a woman’s voice. Her weep interspersed with sniffs. The fury and haplessness in her voice. Her deep sigh.

When I got down, I could see two black figures. One pointing finger at another and other pushing the feminine figure. Were they wearing black clothes? Or were they shadows? I looked around to see the real people…none. Hostel was ridiculously empty.

And then the expected happened.The figures turned. A slow, frightening turn. And gazed at me over their shoulders. Did I see them properly? I don’t know. I gasped, caught hold of something behind, faltered and ran. With all my might, with all my will, with all my consciousness I ran upstairs.

The puddle had turned red now. And I stepped on it,slipped and fell. A drop of vomit (or blood) made a click, blum sound and fell on my cheek. I woke up. I sighed a long sigh. That was a dream.Aftermath of reading Girl on the Train.


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