The New House – Chapter 5 –
By: Nidheesh Samant |

Tina sipped her tea and stared at me. She had come over within half an hour of me calling her. She had sat me down and made us tea and then patiently listened to what I had to say. I told her everything that had transpired in my house after Tina and Sai had left. After I had finished she had just sat there silently for the last five minutes having her tea. Finally, after what felt like ages, she kept the teacup down and stood up. She walked towards me and began laughing. She guffawed and she slapped me on my back.

“And here we were afraid that you had lost your sense of humor and turned into a sedate nerd. Glad to see you are still into pulling ridiculous pranks.”

I stood up and shook Tina by her shoulders.

“Tina, this is no prank. Everything I told you really happened.”

“Are you sure you did not choose the wrong profession? You have the makings of a fine actor. Solid performance.”

“Why would I prank you? Can’t you believe me?”

“No, I can’t. Tell me this, you said inexplicable things happened after we left. And you think the reason they happened was because the black door was opened and closed. Okay, fine. But then, I have been here for about half an hour now. How are things so normal? How did nothing happen?”

Tina had a point. I had not thought of that. This past half an hour had been completely normal. I was so engrossed in my fear that such a rational thought had failed to present itself in my mind.

“I dunno.”

Tina crossed her arms. She could see that I genuinely looked confused.

“Okay, let’s say you actually felt and experienced all that. Maybe you had a really bad hangover or that your mind was so tired that it was making stuff up. I’m sure some sleep will do you good.”

“Probably. But it all felt so real, Tina.”

Tina smiled at me and ruffled my hair.

“I know. Okay, let’s do this. Should I stay over with you tonight? Will that help?”

“Are you sure it won’t be a hassle for you?”

“I’m sure. I can do so much for a friend.”

“It won’t be awkward for you, right? I mean after what happened.”

“Look, it happened a long time ago. Let’s not go there. I’ll go and come back with my night stuff then. Should I get dinner on the way?”

“Sure, that would be great.”

“Okay then, I’ll be back soon.”

Tina walked out of the main door and closed it behind her. I settled myself down in my chair, feeling a mixture of relief and awkwardness. Thoughts about the past occupied my mind. I even managed to ignore the slight flickering of my bedroom lights right after Tina had left.

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