4 mins

The night was deadly silent. The quietness after a heavy downpour was felt all around. Far away from the city, on the seventh floor of a luxurious apartment, the dark shadow of a man was trying to become one with the loneliness felt in the atmosphere.

Sharad came to this big city and  was initially delighted by his new job. But the work at office chased him even after he returned back home. Having spent the entire day at office, he found himself once again locked up into his room, busy attending the phone calls. Intending to breathe in some fresh air, he stepped out in his balcony. This had become kind of a routine for Sharad, who was quite lonely otherwise. The apartments where he resided, were located miles away from the city. Hence, majority of the flats remained unoccupied, except one, which had its drawing room, well lit at night.

One of such nights, he saw a lady sitting on the sofa, folding her legs up and arms tightly kept around them. Looking at the room, he could also find a man standing nearby, talking to her constantly. The woman however kept her eyes glued to the floor. The next morning, the balcony door was seen open. The woman was busy doing household work. Sharad noticed this pattern day and night. Nights with her on the sofa,  man talking to her.  And during the daytime once she was done with her work, the house went quiet.

One day, while finishing her daily chores she noticed Sharad. She immediately went inside. Sharad too went in, feeling embarrased. At the end of the week Sharad visited  the market next to the apartment.  While leisurely roaming around various vegetable vendors,  he saw that woman. She was really beautiful. He was unable to understand why he was getting so much attracted by that woman, what could be her name.. as well as her secret.! Unknowingly he was drawn into the direction where that woman was picking up vegetables carefully. The lady with veggies in her hands, found Sharad there and she fled into the other side of the road, where stood her husband, smoking a cigarette. Both Sharad and him had a brief eye contact. Her husband was frowning. Sharad left the place  and went home.

After reaching the house, fully exhausted, he thought about the whole incident. Something was surely unusual. Being inquisitive could now get dangerous, he decided not to look at that flat again. Right then, he heard a loud scream. He flung open the balcony door.  What he saw was-all the lights were switched on in the opposite flat.  Sounds of breaking and crashing were clearly heard   but no one could be seen. It started raining again and he was forced to get  inside.

The next day when he woke up, he found the flat still in the same condition. Thinking of what could have happened, he took the newspaper and read a headline grabbing all his attention. “An incident that has jolted the City’s luxurious apartments: The tension between a couple, led the wife to injure her husband brutally. According to the neighbor, the husband never allowed his wife to move out alone. He used to come  drunk late at night and asked  her a number of questions. Doubting on her, he accused her of meeting her boyfriend in the nearby market. Tired of constant tortures, she attacked him with glass and metal . The husband was admitted to a hospital where he succumbed to the injuries, since then the wife  has been absconding .

Sharad stood there, motionless. The name of that beautiful lady was Mona. He was unable to believe, he finally came to know about her name.. but under what circumstances!! His accidental meeting in the market added to the ongoing fire between the couple . In the evening, after keeping himself inside, all day long among four walls of his room,  he gathered some courage. Shivering, he went to the balcony.

‘Don’t know where that  woman could have gone.’ was the thought spinning  his head .

Once again the night was deadly silent. The quietness after a heavy downpour was felt all around. Far away from the city, on the seventh floor of a luxurious apartment, dark shadow of a man was trying to become one with the loneliness, felt in the atmosphere.


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