It was evening. The sun was about to set, the sky was painted with vibrant hues of orange and yellow. Diljit and Drishya walked home together. They hadn’t spoken all day. Diljit couldn’t wait to go home and speak some sense to her. Their parents were away that evening and the moment Drishya entered the house, she threw her bag away and hugged Diljit. “Diljee I am so sorry, I didn’t know what blocked my eyes, I just fell for him”, sobbed Drishya. Diljit’s forehead was crisscrossed with lines of fury, his stylish hair was pressed down and it covered his eyes. Drishya could’nt judge his feelings at the moment. He turned away from her and the only one question escaped from his mouth was “Did you kill him?” Drishya stared at him shell shocked, “How could you ask me this question? Do I ever know you? I was born with you in the same womb and yet you ask me this question”, shouted Drishya with tear streaked eyes enriched with fury.
“I asked you a question Drishya- Yes or No, tell me”, he threatened her. She mouthed a weak “No”. Diljit turned towards Drishya, “I trust you my dear sister, but then you have to come clean with the police. Someone heard our argument in the class. Talk to Miss. Sharon and get it resolved soon. I’ll stay with you”.
Drishya looked at him with reverence, her brother trusted her, but he couldn’t bring himself to forgive her. Diljee caressed her shoulders, “Sorry for being harsh Drishya, but again I can’t see you fooled by a sleazy fellow like Randhir. I was there for you every time and you never spoke a word about that chat room. You claim that you were lonely. I literally live for you. You could have shared anything with me. It kills me Drishya.” That was all he managed to say.
THE night finally set in. SHE woke up from the bed with a jolt. Her foreheads were filled with beads of sweat. Despite the temperature in the room being 21⁰ C, she felt it hot. She stepped outside the bed, her bare feet chill and her head heavy with anger. It wasn’t her fault, yet a small corner of her heart felt that she was the root cause of everything. She was a brave girl, braver at heart, yet sexual harassment killed you. It tears your defences away, makes you vulnerable and feel exposed to the hellish world outside. She had never been this depressed. It sucked your soul away, it sucked away your happiness. It stole your essence. Her life was hell, but she managed to smile. Every time she saw someone smile, it killed her. She envied their happiness. She felt violated. And that morning all she could do was stand under the shower and let the water wash away her pain and sorrow.
Next day rolled slowly, Diljit and Drishya reached school before the actual time the classes started. Diljit stepped into Sharon mam’s room where Drishya was seated next to Sharon mam. Sharon mam spotted trouble on her face and cajoled her on telling what bothered her. Drishya motioned Diljit to sit next to her and held his hand for courage. Her untamed hair covered her face as she began telling what happened, “I just wanted to try how chat rooms actually worked online, and the best part was as people hid their identity no one could actually judge them. Randhir was known there as ParchmentFlare089. I found the name interesting and started the chat. We normally chatted about books, but then slowly we started discussing about our routine lives. I never revealed anything personal, but then he revealed his name and his personal details. The Randhir I knew in school was a jerk. But then here in the online chat room he talked about books, novels, writing styles and stuff like that. I always looked up to him for ideas for poetry and free-style writing for my blog. He was a patient listener and he never pestered me to reveal my identity. He just understood me. He was another fragment of my heart which reverberated in the same rhythm as mine. I slowly began to get drawn to him”. She gave a deep sigh, “I couldn’t believe I fell for him within a month. I think he has been wrongly killed. If you knew him as I do you would start to love him. But I swear it is not me who killed him”.
Sharon mam had a quizzical expression on her face, “Did you ever try talking to him over phone??”
Drishya gave a sidewise nod and spoke softly, “I never had his mobile number, I never revealed my identity to him”.
“You were a good catch my sister, he knew to trap girls like you, girls who seek solace in online chat rooms”, spoke out Diljit angrily.
Miss Sharon turned to him and replied in a condescending tone, “There is no point in blaming her, she was clever enough not to give away her identity, I’ll take care of it Diljit, your sister was brave enough to tell me. I’ll take care of the person who eavesdropped too, we’ll check on the CCTV footage to find the guilty”.
As Diljit and Drishya left Sharon mam’s room, a head peeked near the hallway to check who had just entered the Class Counsellor’s room. Diljit foresaw such an event would occur and stayed on his guard. Once he saw the head of a person popping near the hallway, he chased the person and wrapped his neck with his elbow and shouted, “How dare you follow my sister around”.
His elbows remained around that boy’s neck and Diljit knocked the boy to the ground and gave an expression of surprise as he saw the boy’s face. The face belonged to Kevin. It was Kevin who had eavesdropped their conversation and it was Kevin who had followed them to Sharon mam’s room.
Drishya rushed in to get Sharon mam. As Miss Sharon arrived on spot with lines of worry spread over her face, all Kevin could manage to say was, “ I am sorry mam, but Drishya isn’t guilty. I killed that traitor Randhir in cold blooded rage. But again, I don’t regret it. I shall never regret it. My parents would feel proud that I killed a demon. You can hand me over to police”.
Sharon mam didn’t know how to react and she stood stupefied and took time to process what Kevin had said. The good natured and kind Kevin had murdered a boy. For the first time in her life no words escaped her mouth.
Deeksha looked around for her best friend Kevin. She couldn’t wait to break in the news that had been on the papers in the morning – ‘ THE STRAND OF HAIR FOUND ON THE MURDER SITE LACKED THE ROOT PART. AND HENCE DUE TO THE ABSENCE OF A FOLLICULAR CELL DNA ANALYSIS COULDN’T BE CARRIED OUT’. It would mean that the police would stop troubling the girls for their DNA samples.
SHE read the newspaper in the morning and heaved a sigh of relief, but again killing Randhir did not bring an end to her nightmares. She could not look at herself in the mirror. She was even scared to take a shower. She could not bring herself to look at anyone by the eye. She had hidden what Randhir did to her from everyone. She was scared somebody would ever find it out. She had killed him. But she died every day. Randhir managed to torture her from hell too. She felt like a broken doll. All she wanted was to escape to a place where no one knew her. She wanted to leave this bloody place. She went into her room and took the syringe. People would regard her as a coward for this act. But she knew that she was brave and all she wanted was to go to God. She had killed a demon. She knew that she would be welcomed to heaven with open hands. She broke open the cover of the syringe and looked at herself in the mirror. The time had arrived…..