It was a cloudy night not a single star was visible in the sky when Bijoy first saw him walking on a footpath to the corner of the main road while passing from there on a bus. Bijoy prefers the corner seat of the bus while returning from his office in late nights after a hectic day of a call centre searching for peace to muse about his future while seeing passing by sky scrapers looming high enough to bar his view from time to time.
Drizzle was soothing his face with a breeze which passed intermittently to dry the drops of rain on his face. Bijoy was so ditched this day as his company where he worked has been overtaken by a big concern and now he will have to search for a new job in few days or will have to join the new concern to continue his same routine there.
A darker face, heavy built stature, and a big heap of garbage collection bag on his back. In street light post he was walking on the opposite direction where Bijoy bus was heading away. In his thoughts when Bijoy passed from there he could not resist to hold his view upon him. His eyes were gleaming in the darker night like a fire ball. When Bijoy first saw him he thought that he may be a street garbage collector who was doing his job but something was peculiar about him as his shadow in the street light was stagnant.
For a while Bijoy thought that he is in a dream as the figure and the light post didn’t move a bit from the speedy bus. It was so bizarre that Bijoy couldn’t believe what has happened to him. The bus was heading away on its constant speed but the scenario on Bijoy’s side was stagnant and was not moving an inch. Suddenly he was awakened from his scenery by the bus conductor.
Conductor: what has happened to you sir, your stop has arrived will you get down quickly as I have other staffs to drop at other points as well, others are waiting impatiently for your drop in this rainy day.
Bijoy was hurdled and he tried to see the figure and the lamp post again. But there was nothing as the scenario from the bus changed instantly and now instead of the lamp post and peculiar man there was his usual drop point a square and a pathway to cross the road.
Bijoy thought he might have been slept due to fatigue and was dreaming but somehow his heart was pounding harder and harder what a horrible dream. Bijoy has to walk some distance before reaching his flat which was on the other side of Sri Niwaspuri. It was at the main street where bus used to drop him from where he walks this distance in sleep because of the fatigue of his work. But today he had no appetite to lose his conscious a bit while walking to his flat. At each lamp post he was conscious willing not to see the same man again. The rain started to pour a bit harsher but Bijoy has no sense to save him somewhere from rain at a corner before reaching at his flat.
When he reached at his flat it was usual time of 12:30 at night. He was the lone occupant of this flat of one room with a separate bathroom and a common kitchen. Room beside his at the floor was occupied by few individuals who used to drink daily and there was an exchange of glace routinely at his return. Their normal routine was to drink at night till half past 1 but today there was no one at the flat; a heavy lock was gleaming in the corridor light. Bijoy undressed quickly and went straight to his bed.
He was still musing about the figure and the lamp post but suddenly the fatigued engulfed him and he was asleep as the cozy atmosphere of his room made him bit calmer.
Next morning he woke up early and went for the morning shift of the call centre. Nothing special about the job as usual things happened; he took lunch with his friends at the canteen and gossiped about where to go in the weekends. As a financial requirement he works for two straight shifts from morning 08:00 am to 08:00 pm in the night. His flat is at the southern Delhi where his office was situated in Noida sector 63. While returning from work it takes generally 3 and half hours to reach his drop point from office bus. On crowded days it takes nearly 4 hours to reach his drop point as staffs get down at stops to stops in between.
While returning he forgot about the incident of last night and was talking to his friends in the bus. The person next to his usual bus stop was Gargi; thankfully she was sitting next to him. They were chatting all the way and Bijoy did’t get a single chance to look out of the bus as Gargi was getting married and she was so enthusiastic to talk all the way to his drop point. This day he minded his stop as well and waved good night to Gargi as well. He returned home at 12:30 and exchanged glances with his neighbor as they were on full swing drinking heavily and chatting loudly. Bijoy cleaned his cloth at night as he generally does and went to bed.
But now he remembered about the incident that happened day before in night and was not able to sleep. Now the mysterious man of last night was looming large in his thoughts and was becoming scarier and scarier. At his bed he suddenly felt a foul smell as if someone is burning a dead body. He could not resist and vomited in the bathroom but the smell was still persistent in the room. He opened the door and looked around but nothing was there outside of the room.
Part II – at 11. p.m. Nightmare 18th July, 2018