A Ghastly Phone Call| Ayesha Sana

I was standing in the balcony of my flat doing my Sunday ritual. Holding a cup of coffee in my hand and watching children play in the park, while the morning breeze whirled through my blue tees and grey trousers which were as old as I could remember. With my eyes still struggling to open completely out of sleep, I started to plan my day. I will check the mails, clean the hall, and that’s enough for a single Sunday. I will cook, eat, sleep and repeat. I finished my coffee and entered the hall, kept the cup on the table and went to fetch my laptop. As I lay lazily over the sofa to move on with my first agenda, I heard my cell ringing in the bedroom. Ah! What a time for someone to call me. Quite irritating especially when I was all cuddled up in the sofa so comfortably.  I went to take my call,  by the time I reached, the call went  off. I came back to my happy place and checked the call logs to know who this morning well wisher was. But to my surprise there was no record of any call missed. Maybe I was sleepy and imagined the phone ring.  So I ignored and restarted my laptop. The phone rang again, and it was clear now that it’s not my mere imagination. But there was nothing on the screen other than the idiotic face of mine staring at me in the wallpaper. I checked all the calling apps,all blank. “That's strange!”, I muddled. I kept staring at the screen. It rang again, and now it showed a private number. Who is gonna call me with a private number??? It seemed funny and aghast to me. I answered, ”Hello, Sameer", said a voice from the other end. The voice seemed strangely familiar. “Well, may I know who is this?”, I requested.  “Huh! So you no longer recognize my voice, it's me Shriya.”  Shriya, is my college friend , and now my colleague,  but above all my best close acquaintance. We have known each other since past 6 years. No doubt, we have an intimate unbreakable bond. She has been the person who understands me and guides my, all my major life decisions are incomplete without her suggestions. Though we are really close and know each other since so long, we never felt anything beyond friendship and don't  even plan to.     “How come you are calling me from a private number man!!! And what's it with such a horrifying sound?”, I giggled.  She didn't answer.  “Hello???” “I have come for justice….” Came a voice from the other end which sounded so dead and creepy that I got goosebumps all over my arms and neck. “What are you even saying? What has happened to you, is it some prank?” I asked, although I knew that she is never into such prank stuffs.  There was silence. “I want justice..I have come for justice “, the voice kept on repeating those words until at last I cut the call.  I was breathing deep unusually. Of course it was just prank, I muddled.... A week after the creepy phone call, I and Shriya planned to spend the evening together, for she wanted to buy a gift for her parent's anniversary. We always enjoyed each others company for we were so comfortable when together. By now I had forgotten about the call and had told no one about that. I still believed that it was just a prank. Surprisingly I had no curiosity to know who did that.  We went to the best gift shop of the town and sat in a café to have some coffee. Talking and joking about almost everything just as usual. Nothing seemed clingy or petrifying until the phone rang.  It was that same private number!  I freaked out a little, but as Shriya herself was sitting in front of me,it seemed less challenging to answer the call. I gathered courage and picked up. “He..Hel…lo…Hello..” I trembled. “Why so scared Sameer, it's me, your Shriya…whom you killed!!! You are my murderer!!! I will kill you too…..I WANT JUSTICE.” The last three words echoed supernaturally.  The call dropped and along with it dropped lots of sweat from my forehead. It didn’t seem a joke anymore,I was gradually sinking into something unknown. It was not fear,but yes, something very similar to it; Amalgamated with guilt and horror.But, It's not possible man! Shriya is sitting right in front of me, this can’t happen. My mind went chaotic and was astounded. The calls with the same voice, the same warning,  the same thirst for justice became more regular in the following days. It had started making me uncomfortable and my psychic was horribly disturbed. My nights were sleepless, days were full of terror. Whenever my phone rang,  I had an urge to throw it away, to run away from it. I was gradually turning into a psycho maniac even before I could realise it.  Shriya came to meet me. It was almost after 2 months that we saw each other. Of course, because I had been avoiding her, not answering her calls and ignoring the texts. She was worried. I could see that on her face. But that didn't made me feel any better, it simply awakened a deadly fear inside me. As if, she was here to kill me, for no reason I could solely find.  Why would she want to kill me? Because I killed her? But no, she has not been killed. According to the call, I killed her. Why would I kill her? My best friend, I have no reason to do that. I was losing myself amidst all these questions. These thoughts left an uncanny scared expression over my face. She sensed my fear. “What is wrong with you Sam?? Why are you behaving like this? Avoiding me….and look at your condition. Such a pale face, unwashed clothes. You seriously stink!!” I stayed quiet. Her voice though sweet as always, seemed terrific to me. “….no..nothing…”, I stammered. She stared at me. I tried to avoid looking at her. I wanted to, but I couldn’t. The voice that was hungry for justice kept echoing in my mind. It was getting intense with every second that passed.  I felt a sudden  impulse. And before I could even realise anything or reason what I was about to do, I fetched the knife lying over the table and stabbed her. I killed her. Why did I do that? What did I do? Who am I? Everything seemed senseless. There was deafening silence. The smell of her perfume was replaced with the stink of my sweat. She lay dead on the floor. The phone rang, “I want justice Sameer”………

Performance Art
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