Thud, thud, thud…

I woke up with a jolt hearing the loud bang on my door. With my eyes still shut, I searched for my phone. Opening my eyelids a bit, I saw the time. 2:00 am, it said. “Who the hell is it at this time?” I thought. I called out to my roommate, “Arpita, get the damn door.”

Thud, thud, thud… The door banged again.

Irritated, I yelled, “Coming.” I murmured to myself, “It must be the stupid watchman again.”

I balanced myself on the floor. I didn’t want the light to disturb my sleep so I stretched my hands forward and started walking. Somehow I managed to grab the door open and walked into the hall. I reached the main door. As I was approaching the peephole there was another loud bang on the door and it didn’t stop. I was fully awake and suspicious.

“Why isn’t Arpita waking up?” I thought.

Amidst all that noise, I slowly knelt down and looked out from the left down corner of the window. It was all dark outside which was making it difficult for me to see the person’s face. I focussed hard on the face. “Singh Sir!” I said to myself.

It was Mr Anupam Singh, my Chemistry professor. Confused, I was trying to comprehend what was he up to. He had a grave look on his face. He was wearing a heavy coat. Grazing my eyes below I saw he was wearing gloves. I still was unable to make out what brought him here this late at night.

Suddenly something glistened in the dark. To my horror, he was holding a butcher’s knife. I could hear my heart beat rising and I could feel my ears getting warm. I said to myself that it isn’t the time to be nervous but do something.

I crawled slowly towards Arpita’s room and away from the door. Once in her room, I called out to her but she wouldn’t reply. Thinking that she must be fast asleep, I called out to her repeatedly and realized that she isn’t there in the room. She must have sneaked out after I fell asleep. My fear knew no bounds.

Failing to understand the whole situation I cursed Arpita, “You have to irritate me all day long but meeting your boyfriend obviously couldn’t wait when this one particular day I needed your help.”

I moved to a corner of the room and sat quietly. Gazing towards the ceiling I began to think what must be the reason that my professor is so angry with me that he wants to kill me. “Is it because I didn’t attend his lectures?” I thought “He had once overheard me saying that his lectures are boring.

Is it because of that!? Really?

He could have asked for an apology or something little less threatening.” I buried my face in my hands and started crying when it struck me, we have a roof.

“Stupid me”, I murmured. I jumped to my feet and tip-toed across the hall to the kitchen.

Suddenly the door stopped banging.

As I was about to climb the stairs to the roof, there was a sudden noise on the door as if he was trying to hammer the door down. I ran with all might to the roof upstairs and bolted the door from outside. I was panting for breath but I kept running.

There was a small room on the terrace which was kind of like a store room. I went inside the room but there was no bolt. I hid behind an old sofa. I kept my hands on my mouth so as to control my panting. After sometime I could hear the hammer banging sounds on the terrace door and eventually it broke open.

I heard his footsteps coming nearer to the room. I could see him through that open door. He was facing away from the room. Then suddenly he turned around and started walking towards the room, dragging the hammer on the cement floor.

I observed him carefully as he walked to the door. I knew that time was running out but suppressed the urge to check my watch. I took a deep breath and started counting in reverse under my breath. “Ten, nine, eight, seven…” I heard him call out to me by my surname. The deeper his voice becomes, the tighter I close my eyes and pray for this nightmare to be over.

Suddenly I could hear a lot of whispering and giggling. I couldn’t understand what was happening to me.

“Chakraaaaa, out I said”, I heard someone saying.

I opened my eyes at once and tilted my head slowly to look to the front.

An angry Mr. Singh was staring at me and pointing towards the door. “Get out of my class at once, NOW!”

I wiped my sweating face with my hand and without looking at any of the giggling faces, I stood up and walked out of the room.


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