THE PERFECT HAUNTING
By Prapti Gupta
"Rose, are you ready? We are getting late for office." "Yeah, just 2 minutes" I answered my boyfriend Chris. I was about to leave when suddenly the telephone started ringing. Nowadays who uses telephone? everyone uses smartphone. But still I picked up the phone. "Hello? Who's this?" I could only hear some hush sounds coming from the other side and a woman mumbling something. I again asked who was that and I could barely hear a voice saying "you're going to die". I ended the call. Kids nowadays are always ready with their pranks. I simply ignored the call. I went outside and saw Chris waiting for me inside the car.
Okay, let me introduce myself. Actually, I'm an Indian girl, Rosy Patel, came to Paris for my masters and initially got a job there. Chris and I met each other in our office. We both are software engineers. Though he is 2 years older than me but still he joined office after me. We both live in together in a rented house nearby. It's been about 8 months we started living together.
It was our lunchtime in office. I looked at Chris. He was busy texting someone in his phone. He looked distracted. I thought it's better not to disturb him. After office I was waiting for Chris to go home, we always return home together. But today he was nowhere to be found in the office. I called him but he was not even picking up his phone. I asked the security guard but to my surprise he said that he had already left a long time ago. I was surprised. "Why didn't he inform me then?" Without wasting a single moment, I headed straight towards home. I was just wishing everything is alright. I reached and found the door locked from inside. He is already home. He opened the door and I just stood there completely taken aback.
The room was beautifully decorated with flowers, balloons and what not. I was completely awestruck. "Advanced happy birthday babe" Chris said. Yeah, tomorrow is my birthday. "Omg, thank you so much Chris, you did it all?" "Yepp, I have another surprise for you". Saying that Chris showed me a picture of an amazing villa and said "I booked this villa for both of us. This is a fantastic villa just near Paris. We will be celebrating your birthday there only. It's going to be such a romantic weekend". I couldn't believe he was doing all this for me. I gave him a tight hug.
"Cring, cring" the telephone started ringing. Who the hell is calling at 5 am in the morning!!! It was already time for us to leave. I picked up. The same old hush sound. This time the voice is clearer and I clearly heard a woman saying "you're gonna die". This time I was a bit scared. Obviously, no kid is going to do prank at this time. "Come on, we are getting late". Chris called from outside. I have to investigate about the call once I come back.
I didn't tell about the call to Chris, I didn't want to worry him about it, he's in a good mood. But still I was not able to keep it out of my head. "Who was that lady, was that a warning or a threatening, does she know we are going for a vacation?" So many questions were mingling in my head. I was not at all able to concentrate and enjoy the scenic beauty outside. Chris noticed it. He turned on the music. "Hey it's my favourite song “I cried. The thoughts instantly faded away. We both enjoyed the cool breeze and the beauty of nature. We wanted this since a long time. We both were tired of our everyday lives spending 15 hours in front of the computer just increasing the power of specs day by day.
We reached the villa after an hour. Truly it looked more beautiful than the picture he showed. It had a big lawn, a lake just in front a pool at the rooftop. Two men came out of the villa and took our luggage inside. Chris went inside and was instructing them something. I was busy exploring the garden when someone patted me from behind "Hey!! How are you" "Charles, is it you?" "Yeah, good to see you remember me" he smirked. "How can I forget you" I hugged him. Charles and I were batch mates in our university. All I remember is he proposed me once but I rejected him. I was not at all interested with him that time. I don't know whether he remembers that or not. I met him after a long time probably after 5 years. Hopefully he doesn’t remember. I was gossiping with Charles till Chris completed all the documentary works of the villa. He presently lives with his cousin brother and is a high school teacher. He looked the same but it seemed to me that he had lost all his liveliness.
“Have you too booked a room in this villa?” I asked him.
“Oh no, this villa belongs to my cousin brother. He is away for a week so I’m here like an alternative.” He told.
We went inside the room. It was so big and cosy but it looked like there have been no guest for a long time. We spent the day sitting near the lake and the evening exploring here and there. It was such a peaceful place definitely not like the hustles and bustles in the city. After having an amazing dinner, we went to sleep. At midnight, I suppose at 3am I heard a sound and woke up. Chris was not beside me. I looked for him in the room but he was nowhere. I looked from the window and saw a man standing near the lake. He looked like Chris. “Chris? Is that you?” I shouted. He waved at me. Though I didn’t see his face, but still, his physique, body language everything confirmed me that it was him. I turned around towards the bed and saw Chris standing right behind me. I was shocked. If this is the real Chris then who was he? I looked near the lake and there was nobody.
“To whom where you talking” Chris asked me.
“I thought it was you near the lake” I said.
Chris started laughing and said he was in the washroom. The man near the lake was a bit creepy but even more creepy was his laugh. Yes, it was not his laugh. I know him since a long time but he doesn’t laugh like that. I don’t know what was happening and I went to sleep.
Next day, I was searching for Charles so that we three could have our breakfast together. But Chris told me that Charles said to him he had some urgencies and had left. Bad luck. As I was spending more time with Chris, I noticed some changes in Chris. His speaking style, walking style, body language everything seemed unknown to me. Sometimes he started looking at me in a creepy way, sometimes he disappears all of a sudden even sometimes he smirks and starts looking at me in a cunning way. I don’t know what was wrong with him since that night. He was not the man I knew.
In the evening we were sitting beside in the lawn when Chris asked me, “Why did you leave Charles?” I was completely awestruck. Chris had no way to know about it. I only told him that he was my friend.
“I didn’t leave him; he was just my friend. How did you know?” I asked.
“I know everything” he shouted at me. Then he suddenly stood up and went towards the room. I was surprised, puzzled about his behaviour. That midnight he again disappeared and I found him standing near the lake, this time turning towards me and constantly laughing. Something was definitely wrong with him and Charles was somehow related with that.
Next morning, I went to the staffs and asked to give them Charles’s number. But what I heard from them completely made me speechless. They said they don’t know anyone called Charles and their manager didn’t even send any person to be his alternative. They even told me that they never saw me with anyone else other than Chris. I immediately asked for the manager’s phone number and called him.
“Hello” he said.
“Hi there, actually I’m a tourist at your villa. I just want to know that do you know anyone called Charles?”
“Yeah, he was my cousin. But why are you asking about him now?” he said.
“What do you mean by was?” I asked him.
“He committed suicide two years back cause a girl from his university didn’t accept his proposal. It’s a pity for us”.
I was completely dumbstruck. I didn’t know what to respond, I ended the call. Charles took his life only because I didn’t accept him? Why? Why did he do so? I fell down to my knees and tears rolled down my eyes. But I don’t have time for this. One thing striked my mind. Maybe it could be Charles’s spirit who had possessed Chris and that’s why he was behaving in a strange manner. Maybe he was intention was to kill me or Chris. A chill went down my spine. I didn’t waste a single moment and called for a priest who would treat Chris. I did all this while Chris was sleeping in our room. The priest arrived after two hours while we were having our breakfast. Seeing the priest Chris started shouting at me.
“What’s wrong with you? Why did you call him? He’s going to destroy our vacation.”
“No Chris, please stay here. He’s going to cure you”. I said. The priest looked at Chris, probably at his eyes, didn’t say a word and packed all his things and went out. I didn’t why he did that. I ran after him and stopped him.
“Father, why are you going away? Is anything wrong?” I asked.
He replied in an angry tone “Are you two kidding with me? You are just wasting my time. He is not at all possessed by any spirit nor this villa is haunted” saying this he went away.
If this villa was not haunted then what about Charles? I talked with his spirit. What about Chris then? Why was he behaving like that? I had so many questions on my head but I didn’t have any answer. After the priest had left, Chris behaved with me very harshly. I felt like crying and leaving this place but I couldn’t leave him in such a situation.
At midnight I woke up again by some whispering sounds as if some people were talking in the lawn very silently. I went towards the window, without making any noise, and I was astonished to see Chris, Charles and the two staff members of the villa all together discussing something. It didn’t seem like Charles was a spirit or something. I tried to overhear their conservation but only heard Chris saying “Confuse her, scare her then kill her, then only she will understand the pain my brother felt”. I couldn’t believe my ears. Was this true or a nightmare? Chris was saying that? The man with whom I stayed with and cared for was making such a horrible plan with his brother Charles against me? And was trying to kill me? I was devastated. The only thing that came to my mind is to escape from here which was very hard. I took the car keys my mobile and went out from my room. As I came down the stairs, I saw Chris and one of the staff members looking at me.
“What are you up to, Rose?” Chris asked me.
“Oh, I was feeling a bit dizzy so I thought of having some fresh air” I lied.
But Chris caught me and said “You are not going anywhere. I saw you were trying to listen us” and then he gripped my hand. I tried to freed them but I was not able to. I kicked his leg and freed myself. I ran as fast as I could but I saw all four behind me, chasing. They almost caught me but to my surprise I saw an unseen force who threw all four of them on the other sides. I quickly reached my car and drove off. Finally, I escaped. I was relieved but who was that who threw them away with so much force? There were so many thoughts going on my head that no combination of 26 alphabets can describe how I was feeling that time. I went to one of my friend’s house whom Chris didn’t know so that he couldn’t find me.
The next morning, I went to the police station and complained about him and his brother. But the police already knew them. When Chris was 10 years old and Charles,8 they helped their father to murder their mother. Their father was imprisoned for life but they were freed due to lack of evidence. Moreover, that villa belonged to them.
I was just thinking how they tricked me. Firstly, Chris joined my office only to win my heart so that he could take his revenge. Then after about 1 year his time came, and he cleaned the villa and made it look like a hotel for tourists, he even hired two of his friends. Then I met Charles. He made Charles’s disappearance look like he was possessed by Charles’ spirit and acted according to that. He even made a false manager only to inform me that Charles’s is dead. But he didn’t imagine I would call the priest.
Such a clever plan only because I didn’t accept Charles’s proposal. But wait!!!! Remember about that phone call at the beginning of the journey and the unseen force? Could it be Charles’s and Chris’s mother whom they murdered who tried to warn me and saved my life?