The Nightmare

It was raining cats and dogs. The roads were desolated. The howling sound of the wind was enough to give cold creeps to anyone. She was running barefoot on the road, running for her life and THUD!

Leave me! Let me go! Stop! I said stop!

“Samaira! Samira! What happened? Are you okay?” Asked Shalini, Samaira’s mother.

“I had the same dream again Ma”. 

Drops of sweat on her face and her shivering body were demonstrating her state of mind. 

“My dear daughter, you had undergone through a lot of turmoil since last three months. It will take time but everything will be back to normal. Don’t you worry? Now, freshen up and come down for breakfast.” Shalini left the room and went downstairs.

Samaira, on the other hand, was still sitting and shivering, too perturbed to get out of bed. Slowly and unwillingly she went to the washroom and after getting ready, went for her breakfast.

As Samaira reached the dining room, she noticed her father, completely engrossed in a newspaper. She greeted him and he greeted her back without laying his eyes off the news he was reading. Samaira always had some strange feeling every time she had an encounter with her father. Sometimes, she was unable to feel the emotional connect with her own parents. And every time this thought crossed her mind, she brushed it off considering it as a part of catastrophe that had happened three months ago. 

“Dad, I want to go out. At times I feel captive in the home which practically I don’t remember as mine,” said Samaira with pleading eyes.

This time her father raised his head from the newspaper and gave her not so appealing look. 

“But you are still recovering. It is better for you to stay at home.” Her father commanded. 

“But dad!”

“No further discussions. I have an important meeting today”. With this Keshav (Samaira’s dad) stormed out of the house. 

Shalini witnessed the complete conversation between father-daughter duo and heaved a sigh of relief. This time also Samaira’s pleas of stepping out of the house were rejected in correct manner.

With moist eyes full of hope, Samaira looked at her mother only to find a cold look again.

From the distance, their house help, Seema observed everything but stayed mum yet again. 

Samaira always felt Seema wanted to tell her something but she never had a chance to interact with Seema alone. Her masters’ presence always made Seema uncomfortable and afraid to say anything. 

All these situations always made Samaira restless and unfortunately she did not have anyone to share her feelings with.

Sometimes I feel like running out of here. My own parents seem strangers to me. There are no evidences of my existence in this house. I feel trapped here. Again chain of wild thoughts started running through her mind. 

Who the hell am I? What was my life three months ago? What happened to me? 

The questions once again remained unanswered.

Few more days passed but Samira’s life was still the same, as blank as her mind. No matter how hard she tried, she was unable to recall the events of her past life. She only knew that she was in hospital when she was recovered by her parents and she barely remembered her name that time. 

“Samaira, you did not have dinner properly so I got you the glass of milk. Drink it positively and try to sleep.” said Shalini as she placed a glass of milk on the shelf. 

“Good night beta”

“Good night ma”

(And the door closes)

The moment Samaira was about to take the sip of warm milk, she saw Seema standing outside the window but she suddenly disappeared as Samaira went towards the window. 

She was actually there. I am not being delirious for sure. Tomorrow morning I am definitely going to talk to her.

She drank her milk and tried to sleep. Within minutes she was in deep slumber.

Leave me! Let me go! Stop! I said stop!

Again the same dream and the same morning.

It was quarter to six when Samaira woke up with a start, her head aching terribly. She wanted to have water. With an empty jug in hand she headed towards the kitchen. Reaching there she almost shrieked! Seema was hiding herself there. As no one was around, it was Samaira’s chance.

“Seema”. She whispered. 

“Seema,talk to me. I know you want to tell me something.”, asked Samaira desperately. 

“Run from here.”,replied Seema.

“Samaira, what’s going on here?” It was Shalini.

“Nothing mom, I just needed water.” replied Samaira.

The way Shalini stared at Seema gave her chills. 

Surpassing her, Shalini went to Samaira and said,”beta if you needed something, you should have told me. You are still not well. Go to your room. I will get you some water.”

Samaira obeyed her mother and took footsteps back to her room. Words uttered by Seema still echoing in her mind. 

What did she mean? Why should I run away from my own house? From my own people? Or so I thought.

“Ma! Can you spare me some time. I need to talk to you” Samaira requested her mother.

“Yes beta. Tell me”

“Ma can you please tell me in detail what happened to me three months ago?”

“But beta me and your father had already told you multiple times.”

“But Ma I want to know everything again. Every single detail.”

It all began three months ago. It was raining heavily since morning. You had a heated argument with me and your dad. You wanted to go on mountain expedition with your friends but your dad refused stating the dangerous aspects of going alone as you had never gone alone anywhere. Unable to convince us and win the argument you left the house infuriated. 

Afternoon turned into evening, evening to night and night to another day but there was no news of your whereabouts. Your dad and I searched frantically for you at every possible nook and corner of the area but to no avail. Three days passed and you were nowhere to be found. At last we decided to file a missing report. As me and Keshav were about to reach police station, we got a news of some accident that had happened and only God knew what made us reach the hospital. 

As we reached the hospital we both felt as if our heart sank into stomach. You were lying there as if lifeless with tubes all over your body. Watching you in pain fighting for life was like the pain of body being stabbed by hundreds of knives. It took you a week to regain consciousness. It was definitely a miracle as you were so badly injured that even doctors lost hopes of your recovery. We thought you’d be happy to see your parents but we got a shock indeed when you did not even recognize us. Due to your skull being hit with some hard object, you lost your memory. You did not even remember your name. It took a lot of effort to convince you that you’re our daughter. 

I pray to God everyday for your fast recovery. May you get your memory back soon, Samaira.

As soon as Shalini finished speaking, Samaira shot another question.

“But Ma, why are there no photographs of us as a family? And where are my documents that could serve as my identity proof?I was never able to find any. ”

“Samaira, we had talked enough already. It is time for your medicine and rest now. Go to your room and rest for a while.”

“But Ma……”

“No more ifs and buts beta. Do not stress yourself. It is not good for your health.” Shalini retorted.

Unwillingly Samaira went to her room.

“This girl has started asking too many questions. It is not good”. thought Shalini.

It was night again. Samaira always dreaded nights. As she was sleeping during the wee hours, her room door opened and a figure entered. Half awake , half asleep Samaira was able to see the reflection and then dozed off.

Next morning was again the same. Samaira’s mind was completely disturbed. 

“Ma yesterday I saw someone entering my room during late night. I felt some figure standing very near to me. “

“I don’t know what is going on but I am tired of all this.”

“Is there no one to help me out?”

“Samaira I think you should see a psychiatrist. This is the only way out.”

“I know a very good psychiatrist. Lets go to him. He will definitely be able to help you.”

Next day both Samaira and Shalini were sitting in front of psychiatrist, Dev.

Dev was a man in his late thirties with bulky personality. 

“Samaira ease yourself. Everything is going to be fine.” Dev comforted her.

“Ms. Shalini kindly wait outside while I begin my treatment.”  

Moments later Dev and Samaira were alone in the cabin.

“So Samaira  tell me, why are you here. Tell me everything in detail. I already know about your accident and your condition after that.”

“Doctor, I always feel there is someone who always follow me and keep an eye on my every move. I could not remember my name and I always feel restless.”

Something from the heart refrained Samaira from revealing the complete truth. She did not tell about the dream she had on regular basis nor did she tell about the figure she saw in the darkness of night.

“Look Samaira, its very important to put your mind at rest and I’ll prescribe medicines for the same. Do not overstress yourself. Take the medicines on time and you’ll feel better.”

“Now go home and relax”.

After Shalini and Samaira left the clinic, Dev dialled a number and said

“The girl didn’t remember anything. We need not worry”. With this he hung up.

“Ma I want to be alone for sometime. I am going to my room.”

Even the meeting with the psychiatrist didn’t alleviate Samaira’s mood.

Again Seema’s words echoed in her mind.

Run from here

But why? 

I need to find the answer.

Next few days passed pretty normally until a night when that horrendous incident happened.

Samaira was sleeping when she saw the same figure approaching her again, this time with a knife in hand. As he was about to attack her, she shouted at top of her voice and the next moment he was gone. 

“Ma I need to see Dev again.” Samaira’s desperation was evident. 

“Samaira calm down. You are safe now.” Dev could see tiny droplets of sweat on her forehead even in air-conditioned room. 

“Pour your heart out. Tell me every single thing”. said Dev

I always have this dream that I was running on the dark roads in heavy rains when someone attacked me and left me unconscious on the road to die. 

I was never able to decipher the meaning of it and it had always remained a mystery. But since few nights I experienced as if someone has entered my room and tried to kill me. 

Not only this, even my house help Seema asked me to run away.

I am unable to understand any of the events that’d occurred so far.

After Samaira finished, Dev became a little worried. But he controlled himself and didn’t let his emotions out. 

Finally he spoke

Its okay Samaira. I will change the medicines. Do take the prescribed dose and you’ll be able to sleep properly. Now go home and rest as much as you can.

After she left, Dev again placed a call. 

Time has arrived. We cannot take risk anymore. Her memory can be revived anytime. But we have to get rid of that house help first.

When Samaira reached home, she could not find Seema and upon enquiring about her she got to know that Seema had left the job and went to her hometown forever.

Samaira was not convinced with the answer.

How can she leave so suddenly? she thought.

Samaira bolted the door of her room from inside. Countless thoughts were running through her mind. As she was lying on the bed in total discomfort, she happened to notice a letter hidden beneath her pillow.

Something was written in a very childish handwriting. 

You are the best mom ever. The chocolate cake you baked on my birthday and the frock you stitched are very close to my heart. I will always love you Ma. 

Your Daughter

Sneha

Why is this name so familiar to me. I feel I have heard this name before. Thought Samaira.

“Samaira open the door beta. I have brought you a glass of milk and your medicine.”

Samaira quickly hid the letter and opened the door. 

“Samaira have your medicines and milk and rest.” Shalini left the room.

Samaira threw medicines out of the window and flushed the milk. 

Late that night Samaira heard some whispers from the adjacent room. She tried to overhear.

Seema had to die else she would have revealed the truth to her.

Now its Sneha’s turn.

She has to die. 

Samaira froze. 

They already know Sneha but who is she.  On peeping more she wss shocked to see the people talking. They were her own parents and the psychiatrist Dev.

 They had already killed Seema. 

Samaira tried to run and in a flash got stumbled and the vase cracked.

The sound alerted all three of them and they saw Samaira running. 

“Sneha, you cannot run away from us. Today you’ll die” A voice shouted behind her. 

“Samaira, now knew who Sneha was”. 

“Amidst darkness and heavy rains she was running breathlessly on the vacant roads and THUD!

Leave me! Let me go! Stop! I said stop!

If we spare you ,we will be in danger. You have to die like your parents. 

With this Shalini attacked her on her head. 

When Sneha opened her eyes she was in hospital. Her memory was revived and she could remember every incident clearly. 

She could see swarm of people and policemen in her room. 

Ms Sneha, how are you feeling now?

All the three criminals are under police custody now. They were your father’s business partners.

“I remember officer. Everything clearly. They were my father’s business partners and they killed my parents in front of my eyes while I ran from there. I just wonder how I was living with my parents’ murderers like their puppet and gave them chance to play with me.”

Now that I remember everything, I will testify against them.

After that Sneha never had that dreadful dream again. She kept the letter she wrote to her mom close to her heart as the last possession and moved on with life.

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