Story Collection - Chaalbaaz

The Bright Window

“Arrghhh…” I woke up with a start. It was a terrible dream. I could have sworn that someone was calling out my name and had every intention to kill me.

In fact, I could still hear — “Vinay… Vinay…” in my ears. Thankfully, it was morning. The window was bright like a new bulb. I felt very tired and I decided to take a small nap. After all, the alarm had not yet tried its shrill voice on me. Wait!

I immediately checked my phone. The stupid thing had gained a habit of shutting itself at the most crucial of occasions. Yup! It was as dead as a dodo. Panicked, I immediately pushed the on button and put the phone on charging. The phone took its own sweet time to start.

I had a meeting at 9 in the morning. The sun seemed to be up enough to be 12 to be honest. Unfortunately, my stupid phone was the only watch I had.

And the time was wrong on the phone. It was showing 2 am. Apparently, the phone gods had decided to play with me today. I synced the phone with internet and changed the date and time settings.

The time still remained unchanged.

Giving up, I finally decided to get ready and went to kitchen to get my cup of coffee. To be honest, if not for the meeting, I would have not woken up at all. I was feeling extremely tired.

I poured my coffee and before I could stifle it, I yawned. I moved a little towards the kitchen window. It was open and the cold breeze of the night was very eye-opening.

Wait! What?

The kitchen window was open and outside, there was extreme dark. My throat dried up. I immediately went back to my room and the bedroom window was lit bright. I ran towards the main gate and outside was pitch black. Even the moon seemed to have taken a shelter somewhere. I checked my phone again — It was showing 2:15 am. Everything on it was working perfectly. Was it possible that the watch was also right. I opened the Television and the telebrand ads greeted me. The news channel showed 2:15 am.

It was night.

I peeked in my bedroom again and the window was shining bright.

Against my better judgment, I decided to look into the matter. I went outside and checked the window from outside. There was nothing on it. It was dark outside and the guard was snoring peacefully. I woke him up and asked if someone had come here. He, obviously, said no.

Hoping the prank was over, I went back to my bedroom where the window was as bright as last time. In fact, it looked like it was getting brighter. I opened the window frame but the glass was as bright as before. In fact, I could see the morning scene that I don’t usually see in the day. Mr. Sharma was coming back to his house, probably for lunch. The kids were playing in the park and the vegetable vendors were selling some stale food that they could not sell in the morning. A kid, I forgot his name, was roaming around with his dog Jojo.

I closed the window and went out again. It was pitch black.

My heart was racing and all I could think was that tonight, I will die like in the horror movies. I remembered the movie Grudge and how everyone was killed in it. Suddenly, I was at peace. I was screwed and decided to die in peace.

I went back to my bed, pulled up the blanket to my head and closed my eyes. Right now, I would take the nightmare over reality.

— –

My mobile’s alarm woke me up. This time, it was 7 am. So, I was alive. To taunt me, it seems the window had decided to become dark. I looked outside and the scene was of the evening. Everyone was returning home. Jojo was again roaming around with his owner, whatever his name was.

And apparently, a new statue was placed temporarily in the middle of the street. Guess, some event was coming up.

I got ready and went out of the house. Dreading my return to my haunted house, I worked extra hard today. Unfortunately, that meant I was done by 5 pm. My boss forced me out of the office by 6 and I headed home.

The statue was in the middle of the street. Jojo was playing and everything was exactly as I had seen in the morning. I ran to the house and opened the bedroom door. The window had started glowing softly — like a morning.

— –

It had been three years since I have been living in the house since that fateful day. The window still opens to the future, exactly 12 hours ahead. I know it is no superpower and frankly, it has been of little use to me. I do sometimes check if the vegetable vendor had brought the veggies I ate. If now, I would come back home buying those things. Other than that, it is just a companion that I have accepted. I do not talk about it and I do not bring girls in the room. They would not understand. Even I do not understand it.

I am not scared of the night glow of the window anymore. It tells me that I have a tomorrow. Sometimes, I do fear that one day, it would stop working.

Will that be my last day?