He thought he heard someone cough in the adjacent room. It startled him, because he was alone and his brother wasn't due till morning. But you never knew with him, sneaked in like a cat most times.
No answer. He went and checked the room. Nobody. But he was 100% sure he wasn't hearing things. He had distinctly heard a cough. He scanned the room. It was silly. How could someone be here? It was plain as daylight. The windows were closed, so it couldn't be the neighbors. He switched the lights off and went back to his room.
There was a lot of talk about thefts in the area lately, but he knew a thief would be much smarter than to be just coughing around the house he intended to burgle. He smiled to himself, shaking his head. He got back to his novel.
And somebody coughed, again.
He didn't want to admit, but his heart skipped a beat as he sat up.
He looked around for something to hold, something he could use as a weapon. He tiptoed to the door, his hands a little shaky. He didn't want to forewarn the intruder, whoever it was. He just sneaked to the door and looked out of the room. Suddenly the silence screamed at his ears. For a minute, he again felt silly doing this. He couldn't afford to be seen dead in this position, not in the least by Nikhil. Five minutes. No sound. He stepped out of the room, moving to the adjacent room again. The glow from the street light outside spread vaguely on the bed. Did he see something move? His hand slid on the wall to the switch board. Click. Nothing.
He groggily opened the door to his brother who walked in, shaking his head. Should he tell him about the weird incident last night? He silently closed the door behind him and followed his brother to his room.
"Drats, I left my cell here last night. I must've got a hundred messages." He grabbed the little instrument and started checking.
"That's funny; only two messages." Nikhil said, pushing his hair back.
Just then a new message came in.
"Cool tone, huh?" He smiled at his brother, who looked as if he'd swallowed a lot of tooth paste.