Story Collection - MSPM39

Story 3/39: At dot 10:45

Dhrishni picked herself up from her bed and reached the floor and dozed off again. The next time she woke up, two hours had passed. 

“Shit! How did I end up on the floor?” Dhrishni said, waking up, trying to find her phone. Her eyes widened looking at the time. “He’s gonna kill me.” She muttered and ran towards the bathroom. 

Thirty minutes later, she was standing in front of the park, looking at the empty bench. She was late by over an hour. She had messaged him, called him, but he hadn’t replied or picked up her phone. It was supposed to be their third date – the date. She looked at her phone once more, hopefully, and was disappointed again. She looked up and a man was sitting on the bench. 

The man was looking at his watch, which looked like it had come out of the oldest history books. He looked in his 30s and was wearing a suit that was better than any suit she had seen in public and his polished shoes told her that he was either waiting for someone special or was going to make the biggest deal of his life. Dhrishni realizes that she had been looking at the man for a bit too long and hurriedly turned to a tree trying to find it interesting. She turned back for a glance and the man was gone. 

“Where? How? So fast!” She looked around but couldn’t find the man. 

“Come on. You are saying that the man vanished in front of you.”

“Yes, that’s what I’m saying,” Dhrishni said, her voice getting louder every time. She had been trying to explain what she saw in the park to her roommate but she was not ready to believe her. 

“You must have looked at the tree a bit too long,” Anamika said, sticking her tongue out at Dhrishni. 

Dhrishni rolled her eyes. “Leave it.” 

“By the way, what about James?” 

Dhrishni had completely forgotten about James. She looked at her phone and there was no reply from him. 

“I have already sent three messages apologizing. That’s my limit.” 

“I still can’t believe you overslept. On the floor.” 

“Yeah… Yeah…” Dhrishni said, her mind drifting towards the man on the bench. 

She went to the park the next day and the man was present at the same time as yesterday and as soon as Dhrishni looked somewhere else, he vanished. Soon, this became a daily ritual for her. She was both thrilled and scared by this. She didn’t believe in ghosts but this man defied logic. She wanted to approach this man but didn’t know how he would respond and if he was truly a ghost, did she really want to get involved in this. 

This continued for almost a month and Dhrishni continued to get bolder. One day, at 10:44, she sat on the bench, exactly where the man sits. She held her breath and clutched her purse sharply all the while looking at the watch. The watch turned to 10:45 and her heart burst with excitement. 

Nothing happened. She kept looking at the watch and the time changed to 10:50 but nothing happened. She got up and left dejected. The next day, she saw the man sitting at the bench at 10:45 sharp. 

Unable to contain herself, she ran towards the man. He looked up at her and a surprised look washed over his face. 

Unfortunately, Dhrishni couldn’t help but blink and the man was gone again. 

“He can see me. But he was surprised that I could see him.” Dhrishni said to herself and went back to her apartment. 

Anamika’s mouth was open as she heard the whole story.

“You’re kidding me!” 

Dhrishni shook her head. 

“Now what?” 

“Now, I will go again. I have to find out the truth.”

“Can I come?” Anamika asked.

“Sure.” 

Both the girls went to the park and waited. At 10:45, the man appeared, this time, directly looking at Dhrishni. She flustered. If Anamika had not pulled her, she would have been rooted on the ground by his look alone. 

Anamika’s face was ashen as she pulled Dhrishni away from the man. 

“What happened?” Anamika asked once the man had vanished. 

“You said it was a man.”

“Yeah.”

“I thought it was some random guy. It was HIM.”

“Who?” 

In response, Anamika showed Dhrishni the news about a man who had drowned a month ago in the nearby pond. A shiver ran through Dhrishni’s body. 

“I don’t understand.”

“He’s a ghost. I don’t know how you can see him. I don’t know how I can see him. But he’s definitely a ghost.” Anamika reached the conclusion without missing a step. 

Dhrishni wanted to contradict Anamika but she had nothing. The past month was proof big enough of that. 

“What do you want to do now?” Anamika asked.

“Nothing. I don’t want to go there ever again.” 

The fact that she had been visiting a dead man scared her. Even though she had the inkling of something unnatural happening, the proof had made it more real and her brain couldn’t handle that. 

Next morning, Dhrishni got out of her bed and decided to spend the whole day sitting on her couch, watching television. No more adventures. At 10:45, her heart automatically skipped a beat and she wondered if the man had come on the bench. She turned towards the remote to change the channel and the man was sitting on the couch, staring at her. Dhrishni screamed!

Anamika came running out of her room. The man had vanished. 

“He was here. The dead man was here.” Dhrishni said, gasping, her voice reaching high tones every now and then. 

“Where?” Anamika asked, looking around the room. 

“On the couch. He came to our house.” 

“Who? What happened?” 

Dhrishni turned towards the voice and a woman was standing in front of her. 

“Who are you?” Dhrishni squealed. 

“She’s my friend – Samaira. We were working on a project.” 

“What happened? Has someone broken in the house?”

Dhrishni looked at Anamika for comfort. 

Anamika nodded. 

Dhrishni narrated the whole story to Samaira who heard it all without interrupting her at any point. 

After Dhrishni was finished, Samaira got up and picked her bag. 

“I should go,” Samaira said. 

“She thinks I’m crazy,” Dhrishni said.

“If I had not seen what you had seen, I would have thought the same,” Anamika said. 

For the next week, every day, the man would come on the couch at 10:45 and vanish. Dhrishni and Anamika were surprised by how comfortable they had become in just a week with the supernatural phenomenon. They discussed changing apartments but finding a new one was a bigger hassle than living with a ghost. 

“Hopefully, someday, we will know what’s going on here,” Dhrishni said to Anamika at 10:46 as the ghost came and went while they were sitting on the couch watching a movie. 

Inspired from reddit prompt – [WP] Every day, at 10:45, he sits there. The same man, the same suit. Waiting. If you look again, he’s gone. Then one day, you sit in his spot and wait. [Link]