Manik drives Nandini/Anjali to her house, she had her head on his shoulder and was smiling like a fool and didn’t realize when the car stopped. “Nandini,” he said but she didn’t replied. “Nandu,” he said shaking her shoulder a little and she lifted her head with a jerk. “Anjali,” she said correcting him and he got confused. “Where is she?”, he asked looking around. “Here in front of you, I am Anjali,” she said sharply. “You only have her face but you are Nandini,” he said chuckling a little. She drew her face closer to his, her hair came on her face as she did so.
Her hair blew backwards suddenly and he looked at the windows but they were closed. He felt the car getting chilly. He switched on the heater. His face was turned towards the steering wheel while doing so. “Manik,” she whispered and he looked at her, her eyes turned grey. He startled. “WHAT THE..?”, he said in disbelief. “You forgot your childhood friend? Seriously?”, she said, she was so close to him that he could feel her breathe on his face. “Hey, you’re drunk, let’s go,” he said changing the topic and went out.
She boiled in anger and he opened her side of door. She came out and was going inside but he stopped her. She turned. “Close your eyes,” he said and she did expecting a kiss but she felt him sliding something down her head around her neck which made her feel as if she will burn right there. She opened her eyes and turned leaving her body making her stumble. “Nandini, u OK?”, he said holding her. “Hmm, but how did I come here? And when?”, she asked. “Right now, you slept on the way,” he lied. “Let’s go.”
He took her to her room and she sat on the bed. “How’s this?”, he asked pointing at her neck. She looked down and saw a beautiful sacred pearl holy cross necklace round her neck. “Wow, but when did I wear this?”, she asked. “When you slept, I made you wear it, you love pearls so I wanted to surprise you, don’t take it off, I have a simple one too which you can wear while sleeping, this one will break,” he told her and gave her another simple one with just a chain. “Aww thanks, but what are these for?”, she asked.
“Surprise, keep it,” he said and she agreed. Now that Anjali dumbo can’t harm her, he thought and went bidding bye. She went to take clothes from her cupboard and after taking, she closed the door of her room as she was too scared to go in washroom after the bar incident. She changed her clothes and felt a strong wind fly against her as she took off the sacred necklace from her neck and kept it on the dressing table to replace it with simple one. Her body shook harshly and she looked at herself in mirror keeping her eyes open for two minutes and they turned gray.
She blinked them two times turning the color back to black. She went to her cupboard and took out the music box which Manik gifted to Anjali on her seventh birthday. She held it close to her chest caressing it and smiled. She opened it and it played a beautiful music, she kept it on the bed and continued smiling. She danced around the room smiling to herself and twirled herself thrice, her hair came on her face every time she twirled turning her eyes gray. She stopped.
She sat on her knees in front of the music box closing it and smiled. She got up and kept it back in cupboard and slept. Next morning she woke up and the sunlight irritated her, she felt as if she will burn, just then she opened her eyes which were completely white and closed the curtains. She went to dressing table and was picking up the perfume bottle but she mistakenly touched the holy cross necklace. Her chest rose and her mouth opened wide releasing black smoke making her scream and finally her dead twin living inside her left her body.
She fell on the floor feeling weak, she held her head as it pained terribly. “How did I come here? Did I even sleep? What’s happening oh God?”, she said to herself and sat up. She stood up and her gaze directly went on the holy cross necklace Manik gave her. “Why did I took it off? Maybe Anjali possessed me taking advantage that I don’t have it around my neck, so stupid of me,” she said and wore back the necklace. She walked to her bed and laid down to sleep. Slow breathes disturbed her every time she closed her eyes.
She was afraid to open her eyes and look back as she slept facing the wall and recited Hanuman Chalisa in her heart. Slowly the sound disappeared. Later at 10, she woke up and freshened up, when she was about to exit the washroom, something caught her attention. On the mirror, her reflection was blurry and fog had settled there, in the fog there were words written Not Alone.