When you stay alone, you develop a tendency of talking to yourself. I also narrate the incidents, frustrations and fears to keep myself entertained. Cooking for oneself, eating alone and then dragging oneself to bed night after night becomes an uphill task; and top of all, this rain. As if staying alone wasn’t scary enough for a girl, the rain and wind has to bang on doors and windows like ghosts trying to enter from all directions. It’s been a long time since I have been staying alone. One would think I must have become accustomed now, but I am as scared as I was the first day I slept alone.
I took a long time to sleep at first and then kept waking up with sound of each thunder. When I woke up this time, the sound was different. It was not thunder and it was not the wind banging against my door. There was someone outside the door. There was someone knocking faintly in regular intervals. I asked who it was. Nobody replied. The knocking increased and with it another sound; as if somebody was scratching the gate. My first reaction was to ignore the sound and sleep, but I rejected it immediately. I was as curious as I was scared. With trembling hands I put the security chain and slowly opened the door. There was no one outside the gate. I removed the chain and opened the gate, and then I screamed. Something ran into my home. It was a cat. She adjusted in a corner, licking herself. I gave her some milk in a bowl and went off to sleep.
Next day morning I had almost forgotten about the cat, when she startled me by dropping something. She liked me and kept rubbing her head against my hand. I got surprised when I went to pour some more milk in her bowl. The bowl was full of milk I gave to her the last night. I gave her a cookie which she sniffed and rejected immediately. She kept playing with a ball so I let her be, and then the daily routine kicked in followed by another lonely night. The only difference was that she was lying beside me on the bed today. Human mind creates its own image of company and thus sleeping was a little easier tonight. The night was eerily quiet and yet I woke up and opened my eyes. My heart skipped a beat and I shuddered with fear. She was just standing there on bed, very near my face. Her eyes were glowing in dark. I sat up and took a minute to be normal again. I locked her in another room and went off to sleep.
The bowl was still full of milk the following morning. I opened the door of the other room to let her out. I was a bit shaken when I saw her face. There was blood on it. In a way it solved the mystery of the bowl full of milk. But where did she find a rat or another rodent in my house? I had enough on my hands so I forgot the incident and carried on with routine followed by another night. I really needed to sleep after two eventful nights. Before sleeping I locked her in another room and then slept. I was very tired and fell asleep as soon as I hit the bed. But it was not in my destiny to sleep tonight as well. I heard someone crying. It was not a sob. It was a wail, women let out when they are being tortured. It was accompanied with a familiar scratching sound. I must have a very sound heart; otherwise combination of these two sounds was a perfect recipe for a stroke. The sounds were coming from the other room. I do not know what I was thinking when I opened the gate, but the wailing stopped and the cat ran into my room. I decided to let her out of the home next morning.
If I had any doubt on my decision of getting rid of her, it was cleared when I saw blood on her mouth the next morning. So I kicked her out of the gate as she purred and tried to come back. I was cleaning the house when I noticed a strange thing. There were stains on blood in the bowl as well. Did she kill a rodent and then like a sophisticated cat, kept it in her bowl and ate? It was a puzzle on which I did not wish to spend any more time. And then the routine kicked in followed by another lonely night.
I knew I will have to get up again in night, but was only praying the reason was not horrifying. The prayer was not answered. What happened shook me to the core. I opened my eyes and saw two glowing eyes. I do not know how she came back, but there she was standing in front of me. Next few days and nights were horrifying. She kept coming back. There was wailing sound if I locked her in another room. She always had blood on her mouth and her bowl every morning. I could not bring myself to kill her. Leaving her far from home and in animal shelters did not help. She came back every night and just stood there with demonic eyes tearing through me while I sleep.
I was exhausted and terrified. I had grown white with fear and weakness. While lying on bed, I saw myself in the mirror. I was looking all white in white gown and bloodless face. I could not take it anymore, opening my eyes to find her standing there. So I decided not to sleep at all. I wanted to see where she comes from. Time seemed to stop. It was an eternity before she showed up. She slowly walked up to her bowl. Why was she standing there? There was nothing in the bowl. But she was not looking at it. She was looking at me. She kept looking into my eyes and I kept looking at her. I noticed some other movement in the room. I looked into the mirror. I tried to scream but could not.
In the mirror my white body in white gown was standing on the floor, before the cat and the bowl. I tore my hand with my teeth and kept wailing. I was in pain and screamed at top of my voice. The blood dripped into the bowl.
I don’t remember what happened after that. Then the morning came and with it, the cat with blood on her face.