As Ron moved towards his car, she said, “some paranormal experience, eh!”
“You have started eavesdropping, these days. Eh!”Ana mimicked her sister’s tone.
“Nah! I was passing by and could not help listening. Actually, I am more eager to tell you what Robin had experienced last week.”
” So Robindra is back. I quite do not understand why a person would change his name from Robindra to Robin!” Anita said it was all about personal choices, stopping short of questioning why she had halved her name to Ana from Ananya.
“This is about shadows and spirits of dead people, I am guessing.” Ana said, displaying a great deal of interest and curiosity.
“Somewhat similar but not exactly”, she continued to narrate how excited Robin was to visit his sister for the first time since she moved abroad.
"It was a coincidence that he had to accept a temporary assignment in a city close to where his sister had relocated, and grabbed the first opportunity that came with a long weekend."
“And then”, Ana said expressing impatience at the detailed introduction.
“Even thinking of the unique experience that he had there makes my hair stand on end.”
“Let’s go and sit in the sofa” Ana suggested and both walked towards the living rooms grabbing a bottle of water on their way. Sitting in the sofa Anita started to describe the entire episode in vivid details.
Robin had reached his sister’s house on a Thursday but had to spend that evening alone as they were unable to cancel an important social dinner. He was not willing to accompany his sister either as he didn’t know the host.
Once he was alone he took to the couch multitasking between watching TV, reading and dozing off, an art he mastered over the period of time. Suddenly he realized that was very hungry and it was already 10:05.But his loving sister had arranged the dinner at the table in small ceramic bowls and left detailed instructions on how long to warm each of those in the microwave.
Once he switched the television off, silence descended on the apartment except for the humming of the air conditioner. He began to wonder if he missed the noise of constantly moving vehicles with their sporadic honking that he was so used to back home. Sometimes one could also listen to people talking on the street outside. Some people have such high pitched voice he thought. But on the contrary the acoustics of this apartment has made this place totally noise proof.
The thread of his thought was broken, when he had the uncanny feeling that someone else were sitting at the table. But he ignored it and concentrated at his dinner, which was home-made and delicious as he missed both these qualities these days.
After a while it was evident that a man and a woman were talking at the far end of the table but he could not recognize the language. More scared then perplexed, he looked in the direction of voice again and it immediately stopped.
He resumed his dinner and so did the whispering. It continued till he stared at that direction.
After the fourth time Robin interrupted their chat, an irritated ‘argh’... came from that direction followed by an extended pause.
Robin was trying hard not to panic and kept gulping his food with water and soon realized that they have moved to the sofa as he could hear them faintly from that direction.
He is still trying to remember if he had heard the sound of chairs being pushed back for getting up before they went to the sofa.
Robin was on the verge of collapse when, Lilly opened the door and walked in along with her husband. Looking at him they had no doubt as to what had happened.
She ran to him saying, “I should have told you about this non intrusive couple living with us ever since we moved to this place. It’s a very peaceful coexistence and need to get scared.”
“You know in this places people bury their dead instead of cremating,” she continued “and many a soul hang around unable to detach from the body they cared for so long!”
Fortunately for him, his station chief called him the next morning asking him to return immediately because of an emergency. Never in his life was he so happy to get his holiday curtailed.
Ana looked at Anita with a faint smile in her face, not knowing what to say!