“…Pro nutra will leave your skin blemish free and glowing within minutes of its application.”
The lady with the perfectly set teeth and flawless skin grinned at the invisible audience and continued prattling in her sing song tone.
It was 3:47 at night and there on the couch in front of the television lay a frail human structure, staring at the screen, with eyes sunk deep in their sockets. Sofia, was not watching the tv. She just stared into the vacant space between her eyes and the tv set.
Things at office were not going well. Carol, her fellow junior editor’s suicide had shaken her to the core. It had already been a week since Carol’s demise but Sofia had not yet been able to digest the truth.
Carol. The one person who was Sofia’s support system at office was no more alive.
Everybody liked Carol. She had been such a lovely person to be with. A cute charming face and a happy demeanor had made Carol everybody’s go-to person. It was the same with Sofia too. Sofia and Carol had hit off a great camaraderie since day one. Personally too they had become great friends. But now Carol was gone, leaving Sofia with a million unanswered questions.
Sofia knew, Carol was not someone to commit suicide. She had no reason to. Sofia was sure that if there was anything bothering Carol, she would have told her. Still the autopsy had declared that it was a suicide. Her death had gravely affected Sofia. It was the thought of Carol’s suicide that had squandered away her sleep. It had been days since Sofia had slept properly.
She knew something was wrong. Carol committing suicide was not something she could digest easily. Grief existed. The loss was unfathomable and something that could not be evened out in anyway. But the doubts and questions related to Carol’s death kept haunting her all the time. They were gnawing her away from inside. And it was the same tonight.
It had been a troublesome day at work today. Nothing had gone right. Sofia had missed an important deadline and had almost lost an important client. Her boss, who was concerned by her state, had thus gently asked her to take the day off and had advised to take rest.But rest and peace were things which were no where in sight for Sofia.
It was a warm night and in her dazed state Sofia had forgotten to open the windows. She had started feeling suffocated, therefore she finally got up from the couch, turned off the tv with the remote and trodded towards the kitchen. She took out a water bottle from the refrigerator and after taking a swig, carried it across her living room. She traced the path towards the living room window. The glass reflected a ghastly face looking back at her. She ignored her reflection and concentrated outside.
Outside, the street was dark and deserted. At a distance, a dimly lit thin lamp-post stood. In the little light that the lamp-post threw, Sofia could make out insects swirling in it. She could hear loud crying of a pack of dogs from somewhere, but they were no where to be seen. Their howling made the hair on her neck stand on the edge. Inspite of it being hot, a chilling shiver ran down her body.
Something wrenched in her gut. Sofia knew something was not right. “Why Carol?” she spoke out aloud to the window, her voice filled with exasperation and eyes brimmed with confusion and tears. She shut her eyes, trying to contain the tears and rested her forehead on the cool surface of the window glass, her right palm fisted into a ball rested on the glass too. The dogs outside had stopped howling and an eerie silence settled around her. Another cold shiver ran down her spine.
Right outside the window, stood a form, with pale lifeless face, staring right at Sofia, through its vacant eyes. Its hand exactly at the place where Sofia’s hand was placed. It stood there lightly floating in the air, expressionless, silently watching the woman on the other side.