Wednesday, December 14, 2005
"Gale mein khich khich..."
No answer. He went to his brother's room and switched the lights on. Empty. But he was 100% sure he wasn't hearing things. He had distinctly heard a cough. He scanned the room. The windows were closed, so it couldn't be the neighbors. He felt like an idiot. He switched the lights off and went back to his room.
There had been reports of thefts in the area lately, but he knew a thief would be much smarter than to be just coughing around the house he came to burgle. He smiled and got back to his novel. Maybe it was a character of the novel, which jumped out of his brains. He chuckled to himself.
He heard the cough again.
He jumped and sat up.
He grabbed the flash light by the bedside and swiftly tip-toed 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. The silence screamed in his ears. He felt like an idiot again. He waited five minutes. Silence. He slowly stepped out of the room, and positioned himself against the wall outside Nikhil's room. 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. Empty again. Damn, he could've sworn someone coughed in there.
He stood there silently for a while, straining his ears. Then decided to sleep in his brother's room with the lights on.
The doorbell rang continuously. He got up startled, but still groggy. The clock on the wall showed half past seven. He walked to the front door. His brother barged in, shaking his head. Should he tell him about the weird incident last night? Ha! That'd be suicidal. His 'cool dude' kid brother would rib him no end. He closed the door behind him and followed him instead.
"You know what bro, I left my cell here last night," Nikhil said. "I can't believe I did that. I must've got a zillion messages." He grabbed the little instrument on the study table and started checking.
"That's funny; only two messages." Nikhil said, pushing his hair back. "Hey, did you sleep here last night?" He looked at the crumpled sheets.
Nirav opened his mouth...and a new message flashed on Nikhil's phone.
"Cool sms tone, huh bro?" Nikhil smiled at his brother, who looked as if he'd swallowed a lot of tooth paste.