The storm outside refused to die down. A streak of lightning pierced the sky accompanied by a roar of thunder. It must be around 1 am and Neha was fast asleep. She was a 28-year old single woman who lived all alone. All of a sudden, she woke up as if awoken by an invisible hand. There was something wrong in the air. She sniffed and got a nauseating smell as if a decomposing body was rotting somewhere. She got up. Wind was howling outside with the ferocity of an express train.
And then she heard it. It was a barely audible sound but it seemed as if someone was crying. Neha concentrated hard on the sound. There was a pregnant pause and then she heard it again. It was an unmistakable sound of someone weeping silently. Confused and tentative, Neha scanned the house but could not identify the source of the sound. It seemed to be emanating from thin air. And then with a suddenness, somebody rattled at her door. Shaken, Neha asked the question, “Who is it”? But there was no reply. Was it just the wind playing games with her? And then once again, there was a sharp knock. Who could it be at this hour of the night? She mustered courage, approached the door and pulled it open. It opened with a creak. The sky outside lit up with a flash of lightning. But she saw no one. Perhaps, it was just the wind!
Neha came inside and bolted the door. As she turned, she froze in horror. There was someone sitting on her bed. It was a woman with dark, long hair covering her face. She was weeping. Neha’s heart began to pound. “Who is it,” she heard herself saying. Her voice was barely recognizable in fear. The woman turned and Neha screeched in fear. She saw her own replica looking back at her with tearful eyes. It was wearing the same dress as Neha and uncannily resembled her.
“Look, what you have done to yourself,” the woman shot her an accusatory look. Neha looked down on the bed and saw, to her horror, a third woman lying on the bed, still and dead. A bottle of sleeping pills was clutched tightly on her dead fingers. It was Neha and she had committed suicide.