***The story so far:
**The coicidences reveal themselves. Turns out he’s been talking to the grim reaper all this while. Struggling to get a hold on this revelation, he looks to clarify the situation. But it is difficult to hold a conversation, especially when you don’t know who you are talking to.**And then there’s a knock on the door…
*- - - - - -
Sandy, his secretary, entered carrying a sheaf of papers, presumably more invoices for him to sign.She was engrossed in the papers. Silently, she approached his table, put the papers in front of him, and stood back and looked at him. And then, she noticed the little drops of perspiration on his fore-head.“Is everything alright, sir? Are you ok?”
“Uhh, err.. no. I mean, yes, I am fine. Ummm… well… yeah, I am fine.”
He signed the papers and gave them back to her. It was an invoice for ordering some equipment. He flicked the thought away from his mind as soon as he registered it. Obviously, there were other more important things to think about.”
“Sandy, wait.” He called back after her. “You didn’t, by any chance, hear something strange outside, did you?”
She furrowed her brow in thought and replied slowly, “Now that you mention it, I think I heard something.”
“What? What did you hear?” He almost grabbed her. She was both bewildered and scared by his actions. He realized his foolishness and immediately let her go. Somewhat awkward and frightened, Sandy instinctively took a step back.
“I am… I am sorry.” He drew a long breath. “What was it that you heard?”
He had seen the expression of nervousness and panic beginning to set in on her face.
“Umm, well I thought I heard some noises in your room, and…” Sandy
“She’s right,” the voice again.
“Did you hear that?” he almost shouted to Sandy.
“Hear what?” Sandy asked, with a hint of apprehension and confusion in her voice which had already reached the tremolo point.
“C’mon, you think she can hear me? You know what, you gotta start believing in me by now.” the voice had a sadistic edge to it. It was as if the entity behind the voice was beginning to enjoy the beginning of an insanity. An insanity for which it was the cause.
“No… nothing. Forget it.”
“Are you sure? Do you want me to get you a doctor or something?” – Sandy again.
“No… no… it’s fine. I am fine…” he said.
“Sir, I think, I should – ”
“I SAID I AM FINE!! JUST LEAVE ME ALONE!!” This time he did shout.
Sandy looked at him in horror and with her slender little fingers on her mouth hastily stepped out. The office would start buzzing with the news in a short while now. But that was the least of his current concerns.
“Tch, tch. You shouldn’t have yelled at her like that. Poor thing. She’s all shaken up now. Look what you did to her…”
And then the walls in front of him dissolved into thin air and he saw a crowd outside, right in front of Sandy’s desk. She was sobbing and somebody passed he a Kleenex. She took the Kleenex and continued sobbing. One or two of the other employees, shot curious glances at his cabin door. The other women were trying to cajole her and console her. They tried, at the same time, to coax her to tell them what had happened.
And then the opacity of the walls returned and all was as before.
He groaned and made for his chair.