From the Frankly Spooking outtakes
The quiet of the night was shattered by a rudely loud “You bloody bitch”, the last word rising a few decibels higher than the rest.
A door opened and slammed somewhere, and many girls, standing and chatting in groups, in the corridors of the working womens’ hostel, could see a figure emerge out of that door and move rapidly towards the far end of the wing.
Comments ranged from hushed tones to audible banter.
“Who was that?”
“Oofff..the drama has started again.”
“It’s Neha. Stomping off to pick a fight with someone, I’m sure. Wonder who’s the target this time.”
For the uninitiated, the object of gossip here was Neha. She was known for her wicked temper, manipulative demeanor, and a vicious “I-hold-a-grudge-against-anyone-crossing-my-path” attitude. Her latest target was apparently Ankita, her colleague and more importantly team member. The hostel grapevine had it that Ankita was a better performer at office, than Neha, and this more often than not, landed her in the direct line of Neha’s sarcastic fire, sometimes leaving a dazed and hurt Ankita silently licking her wounds in the bathroom. A recluse, Ankita hardly ever shared her sob story with anyone in the hostel. And whatever little was known, came from Neha’s roomie, who would invariably let out nuggets of the office war to the others. Some were true, some made up purely for dramatic effect, and some, well, totally hogwash.
But on this calm and quiet October night, Neha’s ire was a certain missive she received in her inbox, from their boss Vikram Deshpande. The email was obviously a result of Ankita’s report of Neha’s disgusting behavior and a few minutes after her storming out the room, word went out that Neha had been fired on that very email.
“Oh my God, poor Ankita. I hope she’s not in the hostel tonight. This one’s going to kill her for sure.”
And well, they might not have been entirely wrong in speculating that one. Neha was indeed on fire.
“Where’s she?” She stormed into Ankita’s room and came out.
“Kusum, where’s Ankita?” Neha literally caught Kusum’s collar and asked.
“Hey, let go Neha…I don’t know.”
Letting her go, Neha stomped towards the bathrooms.
She found Ankita in the first bathroom, standing in a corner, hiding her face and sobbing.
“Ah, the great Ms. Spitfire is here, huh? Or shall we say, the squealer? You bloody bitch…”
She waited for a response but Ankita continued sobbing.
“Oh stop it Ankita. Stop being such a saint. The whole world knows what you did with my boyfriend. And now this. How…how dare you. How dare you go and tell all that nonsense to that fucking creep, Vikram. What on earth made you think you could get away with...”
Just then a blood-curdling scream from the adjacent bathroom made her jump and she walked out to the main corridor . She saw many girls running in the direction of the scream. Neha went with them to have a look. “I’ll deal with this scum later,” she thought.
She elbowed her way in with the others. Collective gasps, wails, moans, and assorted screams escaped the girls’ lips as neared the scene. Neha slowly made her way in and came to the spot. An involuntary gasp escaped her lips as well.
There, in one of the small clearing areas, hanging from a hook on the wall, was Ankita’s limp form. Her eyes were almost popping out, and her broken neck all but managed to hold the rest of her body together.
Neha, disbelief, shock, and a host of other varied expressions darting across her face, slowly walked back looking down at the floor and stood outside the bathroom. Many more women hurried past her, some pushing her in the process. But Neha was oblivious. She kept looking at the floor blankly.
She then looked up and toward the other bathroom where she’d just blasted Ankita. She slowly walked in that direction, her steps almost zombie-like. She peeped into the the bathroom and slowly entered. She stood in the place she thought she’d seen Ankita. She had seen her right here, by the basin mirror. She could swear she had seen her. Sobbing away like she usually did. Making the whole world hate her (Neha). And now…
She bent down and splashed some water on her face. And when she rose…
She heard a giggle, and looked behind her in the mirror. Ankita.
Her heart leaping to her mouth, she swung around sharply. Nobody was there.
Then the lights went out. And the bathroom door slammed shut.