He ran upstairs towards the room which belonged to him and his wife. She was sitting in front of the mirror, he went from behind and palmed her eyes. ‘Deep,’ she said touching his hands with a smile plastered on her lips. ‘A surprise is waiting for you downstairs,’ he said to her and she stood up with his palms still on her eyes and they walked downstairs carefully and slowly and when they reached downstairs, he removed his hands from her eyes. ‘Surprise!’ he exclaimed as everyone were there, Mayuri who was her best friend, Pankti, Virat, Vishal and Vedhika.
For Aarohi, they all were her only family. Her real family had dumped her when she was a baby and her body was conjoined to another baby who was her twin, they had thrown them closing them in a bag in the trashcan. That day, they were adopted by Virat’s parents, he would always go to a playground to play with his friends and their parents would also be there as all of them were friends. They were playing with a football when it went near the trashcan and he went to pick it up. He heard the sound of babies crying. He called his friends over there and everyone got the bag outside.
When they opened it, they were shocked to see the conjoined babies crying inside. Virat had always wanted a little sister and so he went running to his parents and when they saw little Aarohi’s and Tara’s innocent faces, their parental instinct didn’t allowed them to leave her behind. That day, they were adopted by them. All of them had age gap, Deep was the youngest one and he couldn’t even speak properly by then. In short, Deep and Aarohi were of same age and their marriage was decided in the childhood itself. How cool? They were made for each other.
‘Thanks Deep, its very sweet of you all,’ she said smilingly. ‘No thank you and no sorry in friendship, now let’s cut the cake,’ Pankti said and she held the knife to cut the cake. ‘Happy birthday to you, happy birthday to you. Happy birthday dear Aarohi, happy birthday to you, may you have many more, may you have many more, happy birthday dear Aarohi, happy birthday to you,’ they sung for her and clapped but all of them stopped in a shock. She was holding the knife and cutting the cake in a star shape, they watched in horror.
Have you ever seen a spirit board? Have you seen the star inside the circle with its corners touching the circle from inside? That’s how the cake looked like when she finished cutting it, she too didn’t realize what she did. She looked up to all of them after realizing. ‘That shape, this was always done by your twin Tara on her birthday, she always used to cut the cake this way,’ Deep said to Aarohi and she looked here and there.
‘Deep, I randomly cut it without realizing as its my habit also, now that we were conjoined twins so everything had to be same that’s why, I don’t even know what I did, but leave that topic, today’s my birthday, and I cut the cake too, now you all eat, else I won’t talk with you all. Not even you Veer ji,’ Aarohi pouted. She always called Virat as Veer ji by love. ‘OK OK, let’s eat the cake,’ Virat said and she happily fed everyone the cake and suddenly all of them felt chills down their spine but ignored it. Later when the birthday was over, Aarohi was standing in front of the mirror, she was smiling like a mad person, she combed her hair and turned around to go but she turned to the mirror again noticing something.
She realized that her reflection didn’t turned as she turned, she moved her arms upwards but the reflection remained still. Fear rose in her. Her reflection raised it’s hand and drew star inside a circle, just like she cut the cake. Next thing it did was even more frightening, it looked at her with furious eyes, it’s eyes turned deep red, it fisted it’s palms and fingernails grew longer, hair came on face, wounds appeared on its skin turning it pale and it let out an ear piercing scream.
Aarohi shielded her ears shutting her eyes tightly gritting her teeth, sweat formed on her forehead, her breathes became uneven, she got choked, she got paralysed, her feet felt heavy, when the scream stopped, she opened her eyes and palmed her cheeks as what she saw was more horrifying. There was blood everywhere on the mirror, the reflection reached it’s hand out and rubbed blood on her whole face, she kept turning her face away as it rubbed against her face. She moved back, the reflection held her hair and pulled her, she turned her back towards the mirror writhing in pain.
She let out a scream as it banged the back of her head by the mirror and laughed evilly. ‘Happy birthday to you, happy birthday to you, happy birthday dear behna aka sautan, happy birthday to you,’ it said in its devilish voice and threw her far away. She held the back of her head as blood oozed out of it. Meanwhile outside in the hall, Deep was bidding them bye and as they went, he rushed upstairs. He saw Aarohi lying on the floor and ran to her, she pointed to the mirror and he looked back, suddenly she let out a yelp and went unconscious.
He saw nothing on the mirror, it was just broken, he lifted her and put her on the bed. He felt her body abnormally cold. He rubbed her limbs and checked her wrist nerve to see of she’s alive, he felt relieved as he felt vibration of her pulse under his finger. Then why was she abnormally cold? Did Tara return? Deep took water in his hands and splashed on her face. She opened her eyes suddenly with a weird smile plastered on her face.
‘Deep,’ she said in a thick voice, the voice wasn’t one but many but he who doesn’t had any belief in spirits and all, he didn’t notice it. She cupped his cheeks, he shivered as they were ice cold, he kissed his cheeks. ‘Where were you Deep? I have been waiting for you since long,’ she asked with bloodshot eyes and her eyes were widened as well. She brought all her hair on her face and kept moving her head in round really fast. She let out a ghostly cry and got up for from the bed.
‘Aarohi stop where are you going?’ he asked but she didn’t listened to him and opened the window and jumped out of it but he held her hand in nick of time. ‘Aarohi!’ he screamed. She looked up at him with her bloodshot eyes, her long hair blowing against her face as she was hanging by his hand, first she was really angry but then she laughed and moved his hand away and fell down. ‘Aarohiii!’ he screamed worriedly looking down the window and got shocked as he saw her perfectly fine.
She looked up at him once again, her eyes had turned gray, she had an anger expression on her face. She waved him bye and walked away with moonlight following her. He ran downstairs to follow her, he unlocked the gate and looked around. He saw her walking away, she appeared very small in size as she was really far away. He ran towards her as fast as his legs could carry him towards his love. He stopped at last when he saw her stop and caught his breathe. To his shock, he saw that they were before a graveyard.
He saw her opening it’s gate, she walked with dead leaves crinkling under her feet. He followed her. ‘Gumnaam hai koi, badnaam hai koyi, kisko khabar kaun hai woh, anjaan hai koyi, gumnaam hai koi,‘ she sung in her ghostly voice while walking, he heard her singing and recognized it as Tara’s favorite song. He walked until she kept walking, they kept walking maintaining distance from each other until the graves came to an end. ‘Now where is she going?’ he murmured.
After a lot of walk, they came in front of a house, he stopped and watched as she entered the house. ‘This is their old house, but why is she going there? I need to check, Deep apni Aarohi ko kabhi akela nahi chhorta na he chhorega,’ he said and ran inside. The door opened with creaking noise as he pulled it and searched for her. His eyes went on Tara’s and Aarohi’s mud covered portrait in front of him. Slowly, blood dripped out of it. Then he heard moans of someone, he turned around and saw Aarohi sitting on dining table. She had bit her wrist, enough to draw out blood, she was drinking her own blood as if its really tasty. She sucked onto her wrist shocking him. Suddenly she let out an ear piercing scream and went unconscious.