Sumit Vanjani

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Sumit Vanjani

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4 mins 11.5K 4 mins 11.5K

It was the intervening night of Friday and a Saturday. Nikita sat up in bed and looked around. All was quiet. She did not have the habit of switching on a night lamp when sleeping. Lazily she wore her slippers and walked to the kitchen to fetch a drink of water. She put on the light and grabbed a bottle full of water. She drank a sip and placed it back at the kitchen counter. Rubbing her eyes, she checked the time – 3 AM. Still thirsty, she reached for the bottle again, and to her surprise found it empty. Her mind was not alert. Where did the water go? There was no trace of a spill anywhere.

“Ah, maybe I was still half asleep”, she said to herself as she filled the bottle again and quenched her thirst.

“Tomorrow is Saturday!” She loved weekends, well most people loved weekends. It was time to go and sleep again, and go back to dreamland. She pulled the sheets, covered her head and went back to sleep.

“Trrrring!”, she was woken up by the loud sound of her alarm clock announcing nine o’clock. Instinctively, she pressed the snooze button and tried to extend her slumber by ten minutes.

After a couple of successful snooze attempts, she woke up, stretched her arms and stepped out of bed. Something felt amiss. She realized that she was not wearing anything at all.  Puzzled, she looked under the sheets and found her shorts and t shirt, and put them on. As she applied paste on her toothbrush, she wondered if she had involuntarily undone her clothing in sleep. She had no memory of undressing in the early hours of the morning anyway.

She washed her face and went about fixing her breakfast.

“It’s the usual today”, she said to herself. She prepared coffee, and put milk into a bowl of muesli.

“My kind of breakfast”, she grinned, taking the first sip of coffee.

“Gosh!”, she spat out the coffee, realizing that it was salty. This was not a dream. She was wide awake and recalled having put a couple of spoons of sugar in her coffee.

“Where did the salt come from?”

Nikita was scared. Human beings are conditioned to believe that science should be able to convincingly explain all phenomena around us.

As she sunk herself on the sofa, she wondered.

“This morning the water in the bottle suddenly disappeared. My clothes were not on me when I woke up. My morning coffee turned salty.”

 “Maybe I am still not fully awake; I need a shower.”

She undressed.

“I am slim, I have a flat stomach and curves in the right places.” She observed herself in front of the mirror and smiled as she switched on the shower.

She let the cold water work its magic on her. Humming her favorite tune, she applied soap. No sooner had she done that than the water flow reduced to a trickle and then to a drop.

“Gosh, I cannot even open my eyes, I have soap all over my face.”

She groped for her towel and wiped her face dry.

“Fortunately I had filled a bucket.”

Having completed her bath, she wiped herself dry and wore her favorite pair of blue jeans and teamed it with a black top. Her hands were shivering throughout.

She had heard that people have had strange experiences but had never imagined she would have one herself.

She lay down and covered herself with a sheet, trembling and crying.

“Nikita, Nikita !!”

She heard her name being called, softly, and then louder, even louder.

Still trembling she looked around and realized that it was her phone. The ringtone had been changed. The new ringtone was her name being called out repeatedly.

She grabbed her phone and checked who the caller was.

She swallowed hard, still shivering. The phone screen flashed, “Death calling.”

Consumed with fear she answered the phone.

“You will die in the next 5 minutes.”

She hung up, removed the battery of her phone and flung it out of the window immediately.

“I feel breathless”, she gasped as she ran to the balcony to get fresh air.

She could hear her heartbeat. Her clothes were soaked in sweat. She looked down. From nine floors above, everything on the street below looked tiny, absolutely miniscule.

“Nikita!”

She recognized the voice. She saw a young man in the balcony. Tears rolled down his cheeks. He seemed to wear old and tattered clothes. It was evident that he had not shaved for a long time.

“Rahul, you died last year.”

“Yes.”

“Bye Nikita”

People gathered around the lifeless body. The sound of an ambulance rent the air.

Rahul smiled for the first time in one year.


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