Home alone, I mostly stay put in one room. That’s because I am such a coward. I find solace in settling in one place rather than walking around all over and scaring myself somehow (it happens, yes). So today, when I decided to work from home and the partner bid me goodbye, I choose the bedroom to be that room.
Suddenly, I hear noises. But then again, even the jingle of pin dropping at an instance of such silence will scare me, no doubt. Perhaps it’s the wood creaking. Perhaps it’s the wind outside singing frightening tunes. Perhaps it’s the refrigerator coming alive after a deep slumber. I console myself with agreeable explanations, and let it be.
Few minutes pass, and I hear what sounds like someone stomping on the kitchen floor. And this time, no matter what I try to express, my mind doesn’t fall for the trick. I push myself out of the bed and slowly walk down, still carefully listening to every little noise that comes my way. My own footsteps startle me. Yet, I put up a brave face and tread along. Right when I reach the last stair, an orange balloon comes into sight.
WHAT???!?!? Why is there a balloon idly cruising through my living room? Is the partner back home already? Or did he plan this for when he wouldn’t be around? Why a balloon though? And that too such a creepy looking one at that? This is definitely the partner’s handiwork.
A million thoughts run through my mind most of which accuses the partner for being the brain behind this prank some way or the other. But, in spite of all the possibilities that I consider, something keeps nagging me. Every little sound that I’ve heard since morning is magnified in my mind. I wonder if any or some or all of it is part of the plan. But what plan? Isn’t there a likelihood that it’s not the partner who is behind this? Then what? I heard footsteps, although there’s no one in sight. Should I be more worried? Where is my phone? Oh, it’s in the bedroom. I run back upstairs, with the orange balloon in hand, so I can get my hands on the phone; maybe I can try calling the partner.
As soon as I am in the bedroom, my safe place, I decide against making any calls. After all, if it is the partner’s idea to petrify me, then I am too proud to let him know that it has worked. I settle back on the bed and get back to work. In between, my mind traces back the happenings and I try to think of how I can get away, should this happen again. I consider jumping off the window, in case someone comes into the room. I consider walking out of the house right away and not returning until I can get someone for company. I consider this. I consider that.
Within what seems like eternity (but only a few minutes in reality), I hear another heavy thud downstairs. This time, unlike last, I get my phone before I step out and run down the stairs. I see no one. But there’s a candle that’s been lit. The flame sways blissfully as it always does, oblivious to the agony my heart and mind is racing through. I consider the chances of me lighting the candle when I came down minutes ago, but that’s easily erased by the fact that I never keep the candle on the floor, its place is on the table.
Not being able to think clearly about what to do next, I run for the door, along with trying to call the partner. He’s unavailable. I strongly feel, once again, that this is all his doing. I am going to call 911. I shout out with the hope that if it is indeed the partner, then he will come out before I do anything drastic. Within the blink of an eye, out of nowhere, a hand grabs mine and pulls my phone out. I scream, and open the door, just as I get glimpse of the person in the house. Thankfully, there are a few people walking on the street. I summon for help, because who I saw inside isn’t the partner. One of those good people that come to my rescue is my friend’s sister. While the others are busy handing me their phone so I can call the police and/or the partner, my friend’s sister steps in and starts a conversation with the perpetrator as though he’s her long lost friend. Do you know him? I ask. Yes, she says, and assures me that he means no harm. No imminent danger? You’ve got to be kidding me! He made me think of the possibility of jumping down the bedroom window. I yell. And my heart’s still beating loudly…
…even after I wake up. I dread going downstairs now. The ten minute afternoon nap is going to cost me my peace of mind for the rest of the day. Such a nightmare. Sigh.
Happy weekend, folks!