“WAKE UP! Are you okay? What happened?” I heard baba jan’s voice in a distance and now becoming more and more clearer as I opened my eyes and got familiar with the surrounding, “Are you okay? Do you want some water?” baba jan stormed me with questions and I wanted to answer but my throat was dry and trying to speak made me cough. The very instant electricity came illuminating the area in dull colors around and the incident sprang back to mind, I pushed baba aside and went to the railing looked down and saw the empty street just as it had been I looked around for the piece of shirt but couldn’t find it. Troubled! I made my way back in and collapsed on the bed; maybe the final thesis work was getting on my nerves and I was hallucinating. NO? But the scene was so real, so vivid how can it be my mind playing tricks on me?
I woke up at 3’o clock again and looked out the window, the moon peeking from behind the clouds and coloring everything in shades of grey and black. In the distant corner I heard a rickshaw approaching and the silent hum turns into a cacophony like a hundred demons being resurrected from hell to spawn evil on earth. I switched on my laptop and played one of my favorite beats by Dio that always helps me calm. I need to think over the events that happened earlier and produce a logical explanation or go mad with the figments of my imagination. So let’s see where did it all begin? I’ve been meeting Talha since the past 3 days. He lived in apartments that are a little down south to from where our apartment building was and I did find it strange for a 12 year old to venture out this far at night but kids these days…and so me and Talha talked. I wish his father wasn’t too hard on the kid, beating up his mother and him so ruthlessly AND THAT SCAR! The scar he showed me yesterday was horrifying to look at. I tried following the track of scenarios rather than focusing on what had just happened some hours ago before me but it was getting harder not to concentrate at it and my stomach tightened and my heart accelerated. That building had been empty for as long as I knew it then where had Talha come from? He said he and his parents lived in the house “forever” or as he put it “we never left” but the rumor was that it had been ages since someone inhabited the place. I tried sleeping again but rather ended up wasting time online talking to people who I would never meet just to get my mind off this matter and finally did pass out around 5.
“DON’T! Talha turn away from the corner! DON’T! TALHA!” Broken bones and splattered in blood he had jumped from the roof of our apartment and all I was able to get in my hands was his shirt, still in that blood and broken neck he looked at me and smiled. I remember screaming and shouting for people to come, I remember him lying on the cold ground down below, his shirt half torn in my hand and me with distant visions and blur; fainting.
*Beep* *Beep* I heard my phone ringing and got up my heart still beating furiously and sweat beads on my forehead I picked up and heard Zain on the other end “uth ja harami! Thesis le k uni ponch” (get up bastard! Bring the thesis to university) and with a tired groan I hung up. My body ached. I made my way out of bed and got dressed with my dream still orbiting in my mind. Yesterday occurrence was now haunting me in my dream and like a weigh on my sub conscious it ruled.
“How many roti’s do you want me to make you?” asked ama but I said I’ll have tea and a piece of toast during breakfast I happened to ask baba if any new family came to live in the south apartments B block because Talha clarified moments before he jumped where he lived but baba said after the incident nobody dared to step a foot. A couple did come some 6 years ago after it but left in a week as they claimed to hear noises and see strange images. “What incident baba?” and something I hadn’t known before unfolded itself to me “There lived once a family husband, wife and son in that building. The husband drank, didn’t work and abused his wife and kid, till one day she poisoned the husband and hanged herself and the child.” The grip on my stomach tightened again and I asked “how old was the child? Did you know his name? When did this happen?” a flood of questions came pouring and baba jan said “his name was Talha, he was 12 when we moved here and you were 5 so I guess you don’t remember much of him but he used to come visit sometimes.” I felt as if I was going to puke but refrained and with heavy footsteps made my way back to my room, collapsing on my bed till it all sank in.