Biswarup Banerjee

A midnight assignment, true story of fear

A midnight assignment, true story of fear

This bizarre event happened to me when I just started my career as a software professional. That day I realized that fear could shake you pretty bad irrespective of your current mood. After completing my four years of engineering, I managed to get a job in a software company very far from my native home. That was not a problem anymore because I already made myself adjustable to it, after staying four years away from home. So I decided to stay as a paying guest with my college friend Suman. The good thing was he was a close friend and also used to stay in the adjacent room in our hostel. Most of our friend decided to move out of the city, and only two of us left here.

After a few days, we started realizing that our fun days are over. Human perception is the reason for his misery. In our childhood when we are frustrated due to our study when we compromise our happiness for those boring classes, and we dream every day for smallest things like kite our devil brain convince us that all this problem will vanish when we have the money when we are independent. But the sad truth is the same devil tells us that maybe that class was not that boring you had your friends, you had your playtime. It makes you realize every moment that the feeling of getting the kite was far higher than having an iPhone. Maybe things are different for different people, but anyway, these thoughts are bound to come if you are overloaded with work and get a very less “you time.” This is quite natural in the software industry. We used to chill out a lot in our college days. We were the pioneer of the last bench of our class. We were famous for getting thrown out of course by teachers, giving proxy attendances for our buddies and quietly escaping from the back door of the class. You can get a pretty good idea about our reputation in college. Every day was a chill day for us. Sharing joint on a hot debate, heart-shaking songs with guitar and making fun of each other was our daily routine. So suddenly this transition was difficult to accept for both me and Suman.

So we decided to make our Friday somewhat exciting. We made a pact that each Friday we would be going for booze and have a fun time. Though that cannot be compared to what we used to have in our college days still we tried to make it enjoyable by watching some fun stuff together, discussing our plans, cherish our old days, and sometimes we invited some of our colleagues from the office. This story is about one of that Friday. Varun visited that day, and he was a colleague of Suman. He was a hilarious guy. We laughed that day very hard on his funny jokes. We were not feeling anything as we were laughing so hard.

 “It seems this beer is a waste, we finished three bottles, and yet we are not feeling the kick,” Suman said.

“So what’s the wait, let’s bring some real stuff” I added.

So we three ended up gathering more liquor and joint. Our landlord was an irritating old person and often used to knock our door when he doubted our chaos. From his mouth, we always used to hear his long list of terms and conditions. So we had to play safe for these cases. I was still extra careful for this reason, and Suman thought I was too afraid of him.

“It’s late, and we are drunk, oversee your steps. If that old bald wake it would not be a nice experience for us” I said

“Either you shut up, or I will break this bottle on your head,” Suman said

We started our Round 2. This time we started losing our sense. Our discussion jumped from politics to start up and ended up in who is better Sherlock: Benedict Cumberbatch or Robert Downey Jr. After some time, we decided to unleash our ultimate weapon to go into nirvana state. In our college days, this was must have process after having booze.  This used to amplify our hangover five times.

“Hello, Is there anybody in there?” when the song from Pink Floyd entered our ear it seems like our body has gone to paralysis. Everything started moving around us, and a grey fog suddenly started floating in front of me.

It was around 11:30 pm. when Varun gave me the push for the second time. Hey, bro, I need to leave.

“Are you mad? Are you going to drive in this situation? Can’t you stay here tonight?” I said

Suman was so high at that time that he did not have any clue what was happening. I insisted his colleague stay, but he did not. I shut the door and came to my bed. A wooden frame separated our room. In a common lobby, there was a bathroom for both of us. I could not understand whether I should sleep or take a quick smoke. I just laid down to my bed and lit a cigarette.

Things got messed up after this. It was at 1 o’clock at the clock. Someone just knocked somewhere. I thought it was my mind. Again this time there were three knocks. I quickly removed the curtain to see if there is some thief outside. There was no one. Dark everywhere, streets were empty; it seems like only I am awake in the whole world. Again it happened, this time it was very close. It almost felt like coming from the lobby. But how is this possible? Suman was in a deep sleep. It could not be him.

A fear grasps my entire body. I felt a numbness in my whole body. Is it my devil my mind, which makes me fool again? I asked myself. This time it happens with a rhythm. It seems someone did it intentionally to make me more nervous. As if he knows that I was waiting for this to happen. My heart started pumping fast. I could hear the drum beats of my heart. My devil mind is saying to me count 10, and you will listen to another knock. This time with a different rhythm, a rhythm that will make a flow of cold water through your spine.

And it happened again. I shouted Suman, are you awake? Are you listening to me? I was losing my mind. I dial his number. The phone keeps on ringing. But he was sleeping like he is dead. Oh my god, what I am thinking now? 

Is he knocking the door? Is he trying to bring me with him to the dark world? I was waiting for a voice to come from somewhere. I was wet all over. Sweat from my forehead is making my pillow wet. This time I was sure where the knocking sound is coming. It is coming from the bathroom. Now a piece of new music is added; it seems like someone is scratching the wooden door with his sharp nails. I gathered my all courage took my mop under my bed and slowly moved towards the bathroom door. I can hear now, yes it definitely behind the bathroom. I do not know what I would see when I open the door. Maybe my hurt will stop, perhaps someone grabs my neck, and perhaps some monster will drag me to the underworld.

I pushed the door with the mop. The door opened with crack sound. I was disappointed there was nothing. I stayed still for some moment there. I was hoping for the cursed music one more time. But it seems the devil only want to make fun of him.  Maybe he is laughing on silence. I felt humiliated. I turned around and decided to give me mind some rest. Perhaps I am too high.

Knock Knock Knock again this horrifying sound slit my eardrum. I rushed through the door with the mop.

Where are you, you bastard!! Come in front of me, you coward. Again the sound happened this time very close. But wait, it is not coming from the bathroom there was an adjacent room. That room is locked. But it from below I can see there is a light. Somebody is there in that locked room. But it is at 2 o clock. At this time of night, which would make such hammer sound. Nobody will fix his house in the middle of the night. My all hangover vanished. Now I am strong determined that I would see the end. I opened the main door. I have entered into the dark hall room. There was light coming from somewhere. Someone is coughing from that room. I knocked on the door with all my courage.

The door opened, I bald human figure with bare body appeared in front of me. I looked at him with my eyes wide open, and a sound came from him.

“Hey what’s up Bro, Sorry to bother you. I have an assignment to deliver by tomorrow. I am an architecture student, so I need to finish my building model tomorrow.  It is part of my assignment. I will not make the hammer sound now.” He said.

I stand still there like a fool for a moment. Then I shouted, you almost killed me, moron. Is this any time to do this shit? I will complain against you to the landlord tomorrow if you do not stop it now. I said

Calm down, brother, and I would not make any sound now. Please go to sleep and extremely sorry for my midnight assignment.

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