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Amatullah Padghawala

Thriller


4.2  

Amatullah Padghawala

Thriller


The Parallel Universe

The Parallel Universe

7 mins 25K 7 mins 25K

“Another Lazy Monday morning. Ohh! How I hate Mondays!” exclaimed Dorothy as she awoke from her beauty sleep which was disturbed by the pesky alarm clock that lay beside her. For about five minutes she stared at the window that provided a beautiful landscape. “How I wish, I was inanimate just like the tree.” Said Dorothy as she slowly and steadily moved out of the bed and brushed her teeth. “I feel so cream crackered. Should I skip work today?” saying so, she checked the calendar which marked the date of the important meeting with international clients. “Oh good Lord, this meeting is today. I must reach there early.” Saying so, she opened the wardrobe and repeated the phrase which all girls do. “I have nothinnnggg to wear.” After five minutes of scanning the clothes, she finally chose her white shirt and black trousers. Quickly, she rolled her hair into a bun, wore white studs, packed all her stuff, and left the house.


Dorothy’s office was a ten-minute walk from her house. Just to describe her location, Dorothy lived in New York in a rental apartment. She originally resided in Ontario, Canada but since her workplace was quite distant, she chose to shift near it. Her parents, Frank and Lucy Roberts would often visit her and Dorothy would complain regarding her stressful life to them. They would advise her to remain calm and keep going. “Hard workers always succeed.” Mr. Roberts would say. “Your hard work today, will ensure a beautiful future tomorrow.”


Coming to the present, Dorothy was sleepily walking on the street when she realized that the entire street was empty. Not a single person ‘adorned’ the streets. However, she didn’t think much about it and reached the office only to find it shut. She was left baffled. “Why in the world is the office shut on a working day? Even if the sudden decision was taken, then why didn’t my boss inform me?” thought Dorothy. Nevertheless, having no choice in hand, she decided to head back home. As she reached home, a note rested on the living room sofa. “I shall now enjoy your life.” It said. Dorothy was confused as to what this meant. She threw the note in the trash and looked out the window.


She saw Anna, steadily approaching her apartment. “Why would Anna wish for a rendezvous with me? After all, she despises me so much.” The doorbell rang. Dorothy though didn’t wish to open the door to her but still did so, as she wanted answers to the weird things happening around. As soon as Dorothy opened the door, Anna flung her arms around Dorothy and embraced her dearly! 

“How are you, Dorothy? I missed you so much. I just couldn’t wait to see you so I decided to make an impromptu visit. I hope you don’t mind.” 

Dorothy couldn’t believe her eyes. Her mouth swung open in shock as she scrutinized Anna. She was tongue-tied and her eyes seemed to have frozen on Anna. 

“What’s the matter, Dorothy? Are you okay?” inquired Anna.

Dorothy still couldn’t answer as this wasn’t possible. How could a girl who always played evil tricks on her suddenly transform into a well-wisher? Anna gave her a nudge which brought Dorothy to her senses.

 “Won’t you ask me to come in?” asked Anna with a sweet smile.

 “Oh yes, certainly. But I hope you aren’t here for executing your evil tricks.” mocked Dorothy.

 “What? Why would I do that? After all, I am your best friend. I am here because I missed you.” Said Anna. 

“This is so bizarre and uncanny.” Thought Dorothy. “By the way, why are the streets so isolated today?” inquired Dorothy.

 “You sound as if you are new to this worldwide routine. Don’t you know that Sunday is always a holiday?” replied Anna with a smirk.

 “According to the calendar, today has to be Monday. How is it a Sunday today?” thought confused Dorothy. “Hmmm! Maybe it’s actually a Sunday and I am mistaken.” 

“What thoughts are you occupied in?” asked Anna.

 “Umm… Nothing. Anyway, would you like to have something? Snacks or anything to drink?” questioned Dorothy who held hospitality to the highest regard.

 “Yes, I would love to.” 

Dorothy brought some snacks, and the two enjoyed relishing them together. They chatted for quite a long time, and then Anna took her leave. Dorothy felt quite special that day and assumed that maybe Anna wished to give up on her enmity and start anew.


The next day, she received a text from an unknown number reminding her of the important meeting with international clients. Since it flashed an unknown number on her phone she texted back, “Sorry, may I know who this is?” The other side responded, “Are you dreaming Dorothy? I am your boss. Hope you remember that you are working.” Dorothy was flabbergasted. How is this possible? How didn’t her boss’s number exist in her contact list? Anyway, considering the meeting, she didn’t ponder much upon it and left.


At the office, the meeting with clients was a huge success. She decided to approach her best friend Christina to share her happiness, as she usually did. However, when she walked casually towards her, Christina ignored her. Dorothy wasn’t expecting this. 

However, she caught up with her and inquired, “What’s the problem, Christina? Why are you avoiding me?”

 “You are speaking to me as if I am your dear friend. Have you forgotten that we are enemies?” 

Dorothy could now figure things out. Everything was happening in the topsy turvy way. It was as if, Anna impersonated Christina whereas Christina transformed to Anna. Dorothy also observed that her strict boss, who regularly discouraged her, had suddenly become amiable and understanding. Things had taken a reverse turn. Dorothy started to enjoy this life which welcomed compassionate people, unlike her regular villainous life.


Once at home, she was surprised by the presence of her parents eagerly waiting for her. Dorothy rushed to hug her mother. However, Mrs. Roberts didn’t hug her back. Instead, she asked Dorothy to back off and stop behaving like a child. Dorothy couldn’t believe this at all. 

“Mother would never speak to me like this.” Recollected Dorothy. 

Also, her dad wore a frowning expression and said, “We are here to inform you that if your performance in the office continues to remain poor then we shall get you married.” 

Dorothy was even more puzzled. “My performance in the office is way too good. I received multiple laurels to my credit. Why is Dad saying this?” thought Dorothy. 

Without waiting for a response, Dorothy’s parents stormed out of the house without even giving her a farewell kiss! Her parents too had changed.


Then she could put the pieces together. Maybe, she was in a different world. Each of the people existing here had a doppelganger in another world. It could also be the reason that the phone numbers of her close ones and colleagues didn’t exist. Dorothy had heard about the parallel universe and assumed that probably she was a part of it now. 

“Since everything is happening the reverse way, this has to be the parallel universe.” 

Then, she frantically searched for that note in the trash. When she got hold of it, she could understand the words in it carefully. 

“The author of this note is most probably, my doppelganger and currently, she is in my world,” speculated Dorothy.


“Wake up, Dorothy darling. You are getting late for work.” 

Dorothy, then slowly opened her eyes to find her mom by her bedside. Dorothy heaved a sigh of relief after acknowledging the fact that the entire episode was planned by her neurons! 

“Ugh! What an unpleasant dream to have seen!” sighed Dorothy.

“Move out of your dreams baby and freshen up! I’ll keep your breakfast ready.” Beamed Mrs. Roberts. 

Dorothy nodded in approval and shot out of the bed. As she was slipping on her flip flops, she noticed a piece of paper near the lamp. She quickly unfolded it. It said, “You are lucky to have returned.” 

This note blossomed a dire confusion in Dorothy’s head, “Was my trip to the parallel universe, a dream or reality?” 

To this day, the mystery remains unsolved. The mere thought of it haunts Dorothy and she has regularly made it a routine to thank Jesus for her safety.


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