A house on the next Block

` Now it’s my turn to tell a story.` She said. ` Raveena, my friend, it is about her.` She continued. They all were sitting in her cubical, a team of four. It was their night shift and the long hours have exhausted them, so, they took a small break to freshen up their minds and were telling stories.

She took a sip of water and said,` Raveena had a colleague who tried to woo her. He was so desperate that he started to stalk her … on her way home, in the market anywhere she went he followed.` `So why didn’t  she complained?` Naveen asked. `may be she enjoyed the attention.` Mariya cut in between. `In the beginning she did but later it became scary.` She agreed. and then said,` One day he appeared at her home with his throat bleeding and said he loves her. She shrieked and ran inside. Her parents had to drive him out.` She paused for a moment and looked at her colleagues` face. They were all hooked to her story, she then continued, `Next day when she entered the office, Raju, their peon was bleeding from the forehead. She went instantly to him with a first aid box which she kept in her desk. But Raju jerked her hand and looked at her with painful eyes.`

 At this moment their peon entered with a tray of coffee mugs. He too stayed back to listen her story. She carried on,` Madam this cut is more than enough, as your gift, Raju said and left. But no one told her the reason behind all this. In the lunch hour he came to her and whispered, I will carve my name on your hand so that everyone knows that you’re mine.` She sipped her coffee and looked into the void as if trying to remember something. ` He was a monster. Take my words.` this time the peon said. Everyone looked at him in surprise. There was certain pain an d horror on his face, he continued, ` The man was Rakesh and he did similar things to anyone who even tried to come near Raveena Ma`am. Once he stopped her in the gallery and said that she has not seen what actual jealousy is and this all was a trailer. But Raveena Ma`am was not the first girl to face this but yes the last one.` Everyone looked at her, `Yes his name was Rakesh and Raveena got him behind the bars and from there he was sent to the asylum. But rest of what he is saying I don’t have idea.` She said and looked at peon with a questioning look. ` My name is Raju.` he said lifting his long hair off from his forehead. All were shocked. `If you know anything else please continue  with the story` five of them said at once. ` There were number of instances like once he sent her a friend request, of course she didn’t know who it was as he didn`t mention his real name. Slowly he made friends with her on the Facebook then took ids of her all the social media accounts. One day when she noticed there was no one else in her friends list in any of the accounts, she was suspicious and blocked `him`; to which he reacted violently.` Raju said. He picked up the empty coffee mugs and was about to leave when Naveen asked him to tell them what else he knew. ` Sir, I don`t know much as I left after some days.` Raju said in a low voice. `I can tell you one thing for sure that he could go to any length for Raveena Ma`am. One day I saw him in the gallery connecting coffee lounge to their work station. He was holding Raveena Ma`am by her throat and saying that she should not test his patience and that he could kill her that very moment.` He said and left from there.

` There was a marriage proposal for her and the guy with his family was sitting in her home when she got a call from an unknown number. The man on the other side said if she won`t say no, he will kill her father on the way to his work. She put the phone on speaker and looked at he suitor with pleading eyes.` She said.

 `Of course the guy would have understood her position and helped her.` Mariya again jumped in between. `No. I mean before he could do any such thing, this man killed him in an obvious looking accident.` She continued and further said,` He came to her home that day, as her parents were at guys funeral. He said that she should not cry but be happy to get rid of bad match.`  ` One day mom told me a man living in the house on the next block  had killed his wife. The family was always under suspicion because no one had ever seen any family, friend or relatives coming to their home.` She said and stopped to watch everyone`s face then continued, ` You know what? The twist in the story is that Rakesh was allegedly married to some girl he eloped with and this was his house.`

` You mean he killed his wife whom he may have tortured in the same way and finally married, for Raveena? ` It was time for Manjeet to get shocked who was listening the story quietly, whole time. ` Yes. I was there with Raveena that day when he came running to her home, blood stained.` She inhaled deep and then continued,` his condition was telling that he might have hid somewhere waiting for the right time to come and meet Raveena. Who was all confused to see him. I was too terrified to see a psycho murderer in front of me.` She said and took another deep breath and continued,` He appeared when  I was telling Raveena about him. He looked from her to me and back to her, and said that he killed her for Raveena, can`t she see. Whole thing what he did was for Raveena.` Uncle and one of his friend who was there at the time inside their study, came out and got hold of him and Aunt made the call to police who took him away. At last she got freedom from him.` She said and smiled.

Anant who was sitting quiet for the whole time was now uneasy, `may be people get poisoned but not their mindset` he said at length. Everyone looked at him, he bowed his head and murmured, `Always girls are not at the receiving end.` and walked away.

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