The Ghostly Girl

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May 5

The Ghostly Girl (By Archanasuresh) (Thanked: 44 times)

Characters

 

Arnav Singh Raizada

21 years old. A serious tough lad. 3rd year BBA student in Harvard University. An ambitious young man who wants to start a business firm and earn for his family. Loves his sister to core. He works as part time in star bucks to earn money.

 

Anand Mittal Sharma

21 years old best friend and roommate of Arnav. Studies with him in the same class. An orphan who grew up in an orphanage and came to Harvard under scholarship.

 

Manohar Singh Raizada

Arnav’s mama ji. Works as an accountant in a business firm. Struggling to earn a living for his family and also to educate their children. Loves Arnav and his sister Anjali equal to his son Akash.

 

Anjali Singh Raizada

23 year old sister of Arnav. Works as a primary school teacher. She also takes tuitions to neighbouring kids. Unlike other girls of her age, Anjali has no intention to fall in love and marry someone. Her priority is her family and works hard to earn money.

 

Manorama Singh Raizada

A simple kind hearted lady but loves to show off. Dreams of a rich sophisticated life. Loves Arnav and Anjali equal to Akash. Takes care of everyone at home, in short a perfect housewife.

 

Devyani Singh Raizada

Nani of Arnav and Anjali. An aging lady who has devoted her time to god. She lives praying for her children and conducting poojas for them.

 

Akash Singh Raizada

Shy nerdy brother of Arnav. He has completed his schooling and preparing for entrance. Loves his brother and considers him as his idol. He has seen the struggles of his father and elder sister and has vowed to study well and get a good job.

 

Madhumati Gupta

A divorcee who lives in her apartment in Delhi with her niece. She has her own 3 bedroom house in Laxminagar but has given it for rent and adjusts herself in a small apartment.

 

Payal Gupta

Niece of Madhumati. Her parents, Garima and Shashi, are in Lucknow looking after their sweet shop. Studies in same class as Akash and is his best friend.

 

 

 

Prologue

 

 

“What was she dressed like?” his roommate and best friend Anand asked.

“White full length gown!” Arnav said lying on his cot.

“Must be someone native! But why are you so interested in a girl you met near a lake?” he asked looking up from the accounts text book.

“Not interested but....curious” Arnav said.

“Aww...is Arnav Singh Raizada falling for someone?” Anand cooed.

“Shut up Anand!” Arnav chided.

“You’re an idiot. You should’ve got her name and number!” Anand cried.

“Shut up!” Arnav cried.

“Fine, come let’s go! It’s about dinner time!” Anand said and stood up taking his plate and glass.

 

 

 

 

 

“Ji mama ji....all well!” Arnav said through the mobile he had bought with the money he got from his part time job.

“How is everyone?” he asked.

“All are well bitwa....when are you coming home?”

“I’ll be coming only for Christmas and that’s three months later. We have our exams now!” Arnav said.

“Ok beta...don’t you need money? You didn’t ask for last month!”

“Nahi....I’ve a good part time job here mama ji. It’s sufficient for me!”

“I can send you some. You know you’re making me feel guilty by working and earning money at small age!” mamaji said.

“Nahi mamaji, everyone here does that. And save your money for di, Nani and mami. What about our house? You moved out right?”

“Yeah, the rent was so high. We have got a nice home now with a cheaper rent.”

“Where is it?”

“Laxminagar! It’s owner is really sweet. Madhumati ji! She agreed for cheaper rent even though the house is in midst of street and also spacious! Actually she agreed because her niece is Akash’s classmate.”  

“Hmmm....how is Akash?”

“Good. He has completed his 12th and is preparing for entrance exams!”

“Tell him to study well and get in merit. If interested, he can join me here. I can talk to the warden and accommodate him!”

“I’ll tell him bitwa...”

“Ok then mama....I’ll talk to you later! Convey my regards to everyone there”

“Take care bitwa...and say my hello to Anand bitwa!”

“Mama Ji says hi!” Arnav said to Anand who was beside him.

“HELLO MAMA!!!!!!!!!!” Anand screamed.

“I hope you heard it!” Arnav said chuckling to mama who laughed.

 

 

 

 

 

 

“Oye hero....aren’t you asleep?” Anand who had woken up for drinking water asked to Arnav who was lying down staring at the ceiling.

“Who was that girl Anu? There is something in her that draws me to her....” Arnav mumbled.

Anand groaned and said, “Love! Gosh! Arnav in love!”

“I’m just curious! She seemed like she is floating in air! The white gown seemed flying and she was surrounded by white light!”

“Are you telling me that on your visit to a lake, which is a long way from here, you saw a beautiful girl near the lake who seemed floating in air?” Anand asked.

“Yes”

“Hmm...we’ll find it out! Tomorrow is a day off due to the arts fest! We’ll go to the lake and find out this mystery woman!” Anand said.

Arnav hummed and looked at the white ceiling with his mind full of the white gown worn woman!

 

 

 

 

 

May 5

Chapter 1 (By Archanasuresh) (Thanked: 43 times)

Chapter 1

 

 

“I hate him!” Anand muttered to Arnav with his eyes focused on the bald professor who had taken the initiative for an extra session in accounts on arts fest day.

“I missed my shift at Starbucks!” Arnav whispered.

“Idiot man! Not only does he torture us with assignments but also finds pleasure in ruining our holidays! Dude, today is our arts fest! Can’t he give us some peace, at least today?” Anand cursed.

 “The last bench loafers, stand up!” the professor shouted and Arnav and Anand stood up.

“What the hell are you both doing there?” he asked in his American accent.

“Abe boode....chup kar. Pehle tum hame yaha bidhakar sar dard de raha hai aur oopar se baat bhi nahi karne dethe....!” (Hey old man....first you torture us by taking special class and now you’re not even allowing us to talk!) Anand sassed.

“What?” the professor asked confused.

“Nothing sir” Arnav said and kicked Anand’s foot.

But Sheetal Kapoor, the **** of the college, found it her duty to translate Anand’s words to professor.

“GET OUT!!!!!!!!” professor screamed.

“Damn my internals!” Anand muttered and glared at Sheetal who smirked at him.

 

 

 

 

“Keys!” Arnav demanded to Anand.

“No way. I have to go out with Stephanie!” Anand said.

“Wasn’t it Catherine?” Arnav asked confused.

“That was the last week chick! Steph is the new one!” Anand said chuckling.

“Go out in Steph’s Ferrari! Give me your bike keys!” Arnav said.

“Fine!” Anand sighed and gave him the keys and sassed, “I have a rented bike and you ride it. At least show the courtesy to pay the rent for it!”

“Pay the rent yourself! What else do you do with the money you get from part time jobs? You don’t have a family to spend money on!” Arnav said and suddenly gasped.

Anand’s face grew dark and he looked away.

“Anu...I...” Arnav began when Anand chuckled, “Forget it! Enjoy the ride!”

“Dude...” Arnav began and Anand cut him in, “Let me go! Steph must be waiting!” and he walked away.

Arnav sighed and looked down. “Idiot! You’re an idiot Arnav! What had gotten into you!” he scolded himself.

 

 

 

 

 

Driving through the woods, Arnav stopped his bike near the beautiful lake. There was green grass around the lake and some deer drinking water from it. He looked around the place in an attempt to spot any house or living being.

“But this was where I saw her” he said to himself and walked around the lake. The deer stopped drinking water and looked at him scared. It took a step backward and ran away.

“Congratulations! You’ve scared a deer away” a soft voice said and he jumped on his feet. He turned and found a beautiful woman dressed in white gown smiling at him.

“You....” he said sighing in relief, “I was searching for you”

“Why?” she asked.

“Err....main...” he stammered. What was he supposed to say? Her beauty had attracted him and he was curious to know more about her? No way!

“I saw you yesterday! You’re sitting here near the lake” she said.

He nodded and said, “Who are you?”

She smiled and said, “Why do you want to know?”

“No I just...nothing!” he said and looked away.

“What’s your name?” she asked softly.

“Arnav” he said.

“What do you do?”

“I study in Harvard. 3rd year BBA” he said.

“Why are you here?”

“In search of you” he said looking at her.

She smiled and turned to walk away.

“No stop! Tell me about you” he cried.

“Find it yourself” she said chuckling and walked away.

And he stood watching her walk into the woods.

 

May 6

Chapter 2 (By Archanasuresh) (Thanked: 39 times)

Chapter 2

 

 

“Such an idiot!” Anand cried, “Couldn’t you just run behind her and demand her name and number?”

Arnav shrugged and looked back to his assignments.

“Listen I’m really sorry for...” Arnav began when Anand said, “Forget it bro. It’s okay!”

“Were you hurt?” he asked.

“No! It’s okay Arnav! I’m not angry with you. Relax” Anand said.

Arnav nodded and Anand said, “Waise Steph broke up with me!”

“Why?”

“During our date, one of my exes, Perrie came by and created a drama. Apparently Steph believed that I’m a chronic single boy which I’m really surprised at since I have a GOOD reputation in college!” Anand said.

Arnav laughed and said, “I don’t even know why I’m friends with you!”

“Hey that’s offensive” Anand smacked him.

“So what now? Got a new one?” Arnav asked.

“Yep! A wonderful girl! I met her on the way back. She was walking alone and I tried my luck!” he said.

“Come on man, did you just go and hit on a girl you found on street?” Arnav asked surprised.

“If you can bunk classes for a floating girl you found near lake, then I can definitely go out with a walking girl on street” Anand said.

Arnav rolled her eyes and asked, “Who is she?”

“Khushi! Khushi Kumari Gupta!” Anand said.

“Indian?” Arnav asked.

“Pakka desi! You should see her mate! No...no don’t see her. You may fall for her!” Anand said.

Arnav rolled his eyes but couldn’t help but wonder why his heart skipped at the name. Khushi! Such a beautiful girl! Wonder how she would be in face? No Arnav, focus on your lake girl!

“Do you know she is wonderful? She is an artist and sells her paintings for galleries and magazines!” Anand said.

Arnav nodded and continued his assignment work.

“Are you listening?” he asked and Arnav hummed.

“So we’re going on a date tomorrow evening. She lives a km away from your “floating girl’s lake” you know!” Anand said.

Arnav turned him, “Really?”

“Yep! So if you wanna go to that lake for your floating girl, maybe I can drop you there by 6!” Anand said.

Arnav smiled and nodded.

“Oh look at your smile” Anand cooed, “You’ve fallen hard for your floating girl Raizada!”

“You also seem fallen hard for your walking girl Mittal!” Arnav sang.

“How wonderful na! We both got girlfriends at the same time!”

“Na” Arnav said, “You get girlfriends every single day! Try to keep this one go for at least a week!”

“The longest relation I had been of 5 days!” Anand said and Arnav rolled his eyes.

 

 

 

 

Next evening

 

“Bye” Anand said as he dropped Arnav near the lake.

“Enjoy the date” Arnav said.

“Should I ask Khushi about your floating girl?” Anand asked.

“If you can then, yes!” Arnav said and Anand nodded driving away.

Arnav walked past the lake into the woods. Walking through lonely woods by 6 was dangerous since it was growing dark but he kept walking in the hope of finding someone or some home so that he could enquire about the girl.

Who is she? Why does she seem floating on air? Is it the effect of wind and her light white gown? His mind pictured the beautiful face of her. Her beautiful eyes deprived of any efforts of makeup, her rosy lips, sharp nose, flying hair...she looked incredible.

He had seen many girls in his life but none of them had touched his heart...like her. Never had he seen someone as beautiful as her...well after his mother of course. But why does she seem pulling him to her? Who is this girl who is affecting him so much?

“Are you lost?” he heard a voice and turned to see a shepherd with his sheep.

“Err...yeah” he stammered.

“Wandering through woods is not safe” the old man said.

Arnav nodded and the old man offered, “I’ll take you back out of woods. Come with me!”

Arnav nodded and walked with him. He asked, “Why are you grazing your sheep in the woods?”

“Not woods son, I graze them in the grassland outside these woods!” he said.

“Outside? But there is only a lake there!” Arnav said.

“Not that side. The woods are covered by lake on one end and grassland on other. Many shepherds come there to graze their herds!” he said.

“Well, have you seen a girl roaming here near the lake? Wearing a white gown?” Arnav asked.

“Oh! So you’re here for a girl? Typical young boy!” the man rolled his eyes.

Arnav smiled sheepishly and the man said, “Well the answer is no. I have never seen a girl here! The only people who come here are shepherds and sometimes tourists like you! She may be also one!”

“No I have seen her twice here!”

“I don’t know. I haven’t seen anyone!” the man said.

Arnav nodded and the man said, “We’re back out of wood. You can go home now!”

“Thank you sir” Arnav said and walked away.

Suddenly he stopped and turned to ask the old man where he lives and what his name was but stood shocked.

Arnav felt a chill down his spine.

 The old man was not there! Nor were his sheep!

May 7

Chapter 3 (By Archanasuresh) (Thanked: 47 times)

Chapter 3

 

 

“Disappeared? Just like that?” Anand asked with his eyes falling out of sockets.

Arnav nodded and drank a glass of water.

“Is he...a ghost?” Anand whispered.

Arnav chocked on the water and Anand patted his back.

“Stupid! There are no ghosts!” Arnav hissed.

“Then where did he go? How come he and his herd disappear?” Anand asked.

“Leave it Anu! How was your date?” Arnav asked not wanting to discuss more about that scary event.

Anand sighed and said, “She is not my type!”

“Meaning?”

“She is....um.....boring! Very mature, deeply rooted to morals, cultured.....not someone whom you can go to a party! So I just ran away from the date!”

“You ran away leaving the girl there on the restaurant?” Arnav asked shocked.

“No, I ordered a cab for her!” Anand said.

“You idiot! How can you treat a girl like that?” Arnav asked angrily.

“Oh bhai! I stood up from my seat and told her that she is not my type. She happily agreed that we both shouldn’t date. I said that I have to go and she said, “Book me a cab Anand”. So I did! Now stop making me a disgusting male!” Anand said.

Arnav said, “She sounded so smart!”

“Smart she is! But definitely not my type!” Anand said.

Arnav chuckled and Anand said, “May be she is your type. She is more like you!”

“I have my floating girl Anand!”

“Ah, so you are thinking about going to that scary lake again?” Anand asked.

“I don’t know but....hey did you ask your Khushi about the girl?” Arnav asked.

“Yes I did. She said she never saw any girl wearing a white gown or something!” Anand said.

“Strange. Even the old man said the same!” Arnav said.

“Dude, we’ll do one thing. Tomorrow we can go to Khushi’s house and ask her about the place, not about the girl, but the place! She can tell us about the people there!” Anand said.

Arnav sighed and nodded.

It was then Arnav’s phone rang.

“Hello Akash” he greeted seeing his brother’s name in caller id.

“Bhai” he heard his brother’s broken voice.

“Akash what’s wrong? What happened?” he asked alarmed.

“Di and papa had an accident” Akash said.

“WHAT?” Arnav screamed.

“Papa was riding his scooter and di was sitting behind him. A truck jammed into them”

“Where are you now?”

“City hospital. Di is unconscious but nothing to worry....but papa...is critical!” Akash broke down.

“Akash...Akash don’t cry. Go to Nani and mami....take care of them. I’ll take the next flight available. Do you have money with you?”

“No” Akash said.

“Take mama’s atm card. The pin is ****. Withdraw amount from it”

Akash hummed and Akash hung up.

“Here you go!” Anand forwarded him a paper.

Arnav frowned and Anand said, “Flight ticket for both of us. I heard what you were talking and booked for both of us.”

“Thank you so much brother” Arnav said and Anand asked, “Ok now what happened and who is in hospital?”

“Mama and di! They had an accident”

“Oh my! Luckily we got tickets for the flight tonight. Let’s go!” Anand said and Arnav nodded.

 

 

 

 

 

 

“20 lakhs?” Arnav asked shocked.

Doctor nodded and said, “Your uncle is in critical. Plus he has developed a clot in his skull. We need to operate him as soon as possible.”

“Can you conduct the operation first? I’ll pay the money after that!” Arnav asked.

“Sorry Arnav. These are hospital rules” doctor said.

“Meaning if I delay the payment my mama will die?” Arnav asked shocked.

“I’m sorry but...yes” doctor said.

“What the hell is this? Save my uncle’s life! Is money more important than human life?” Arnav stood up from his chair.

“Arnav please calm down. This is the rule and I cannot disobey that. Arrange the money as soon as possible. Ok fine, do one thing. Pay 5 lakhs as advance. I’ll negotiate the rules! I’m taking this risk for your family. Your Nana ji has helped me a lot.”

Arnav sighed and walked out of the cabin.

5 lakhs!

How?

He walked into his di’s room where his sister was sitting on the bed. She got better now except for some fractures.

“20 lakhs. 5 lakhs as advance and remaining after surgery!” Arnav said and Anjali sighed.

“I may have 70,000 in my account. And withdraw from mama’s!” Anjali said and Arnav nodded.

“You?” she asked and Arnav nodded no, “I don’t have much!”

“I can give you two lakhs!” Anand said and Arnav and Anjali looked at him shocked.

Anand smiled and said, “Arnav you said it right. I don’t have anyone to spend. But I have you! You guys are my only family!”

“But two lakhs?” Anjali asked.

“I get scholarship money every year plus my part time job pays me well. And I don’t have much expense.”

“But no matter what, we can never arrange the remaining 15 lakhs!” Arnav exclaimed.

“First pay the advance Arnav. We’ll look into it later!” Anand said and Anjali nodded.

 

 

 

 

 

I know that Khushi’s character has not come into light and the story is now focused on Arnav and his family. Please wait folks, once Khushi enters the spot light it’ll be all about Arshi.

 

 

May 9

Chapter 4 (By Archanasuresh) (Thanked: 51 times)

Chapter 4

 

 

Three days later

 

Arnav stood away watching Akash dipping in the holy water of Ganga. Dressed in white kurta-pyjama he looked at his di, Nani and mami who were dressed in white saris and it’s pallu on their heads. He felt Anand’s hand around his shoulder patting it.

It has been two days that he lost his mama ji. The surgery wasn’t successful. Hospital had to pay back the advance they had collected from Arnav. Apparently the doctors started the surgery only after he paid the five lakhs and unfortunately he was late! His mama was already half dead when they started to operate and they declared him dead just minutes after the surgery began. If only he arranged money faster...

“It’s not your fault” Anand said softly as if reading his thoughts, “The fault is with the doctors who valued the five lakhs more than your mama’s life!”

Arnav said nothing but watched the boy who was performing the final rites of his father. A pang of guilt hit him. Akash was only 17. He has just completed his 12th and was preparing for entrance which was just a week away. How is he going to attend it? How is he going to do well when he has just lost his father?

He looked at the three ladies who were crying. Surely his di is independent but with mamaji not around, the responsibility of the three women and the 17 year old boy is on his shoulders. And what is he? Just a student!

Everyone around were praying for the soul but Arnav’s mind was on the fond memories of his mamaji who loved and cared for him as his father. After his parent’s death, and after facing the harsh reality of Maliks, mama was the one who brought him out of the shell he had built. He treated Arnav and Anjali exactly like Akash. He worked hard for educating the three kids. He educated Anjali when every other parent was eager in getting their daughters married. He taught Anjali that marriage is her choice and no one can enforce it on her. He sent Arnav to Harvard even though he didn’t want the boy to be away from him.

“Arnav” Anand brought him back to reality. The harsh reality! The man who taught him to live is no more alive! He is gone, never to return! Just like his mother.

He looked at his family who was standing with eyes closed and folded hands. “Pray for the peace of his soul!” pandit instructed and Arnav closed his eyes.

He chanted in his mind, “Wherever you are, rest in peace. Don’t worry about the family. You worked hard for all these years. Now it’s my turn!”

 

 

 

 

 

 

Two days after the funeral, Arnav opened the door of the room he and Akash are sharing. Laxminagar house had three bedrooms and everyone had to share with one another. He walked into the dark room and found his brother lying on the bed in the little sunlight that was peeking through the curtains.

He walked to the windows and opened the curtains. Light lit the room and he looked to the bed where Akash had buried his head in the pillow. He could hear muffled sobs coming from that direction.

“Akash” Arnav caressed his hair and said softly, “When is your exam?”         

“I’m not attending” Akash said which came out muffled through the pillow.

“Why?” Arnav asked.

“I can’t”

Arnav held Akash’s shoulder and pulled him up. Akash sat up on the bed and Arnav looked at the weary boy with tear stricken face, messy hair and dark circles under eyes.

“Your father wanted you to Akash. He was eager for the results” Arnav said softly.

Akash looked down and sniffed. Arnav said, “I know how you’re feeling. I’m feeling this for the second time. First was when mamma died and now mama....I don’t know whether it’s right to say this but you must attend the exam. This is the best rite you could do to him, not the ones you did at Ganga!”

Akash looked at him and said, “I know what you’re saying. He wanted me to do well. But bhai...how can I concentrate on my books when....” he broke down.

Arnav patted his shoulder and said, “You should get away from this atmosphere. Do you have any friend with whom you can stay?”

Akash looked at him and said, “Boys never befriends me. I’m not cool like others. I’m a nerd!”

“Payal?” Arnav asked referring to the girl mamaji had told him. He had met her during the funeral with her Buaji.

“She is my only friend. And I’m her only friend. We both are nerds” Akash said.

“You could stay with her. She is also preparing for entrance right?” Arnav asked.

“But her Buaji...” Akash trailed off when Arnav said, “I’ll talk to them. Give me her number!”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

“Arrey no problem bitwa” Buaji said smiling.

Arnav smiled and watched Akash walking into the house with Payal dragging him.

“Thank you so much Madhumati ji” Arnav began when Buaji cut him, “Call me Buaji like Payalia and Akash bitwa calls. And don’t thank me. Akash is like a son for me. Arrey, he is the only one at school who doesn’t hate or tease Payalia. Everyone bully her! Kids these days....huh they really hate when someone studies well!”

Arnav nodded and said, “Same is there in Harvard”

Buaji began saying something but Arnav suddenly found his vision going to the wall nearby. A huge photo of a girl hung on the wall with a garland around it. Beneath the photo there was a lamp lit and some agarbatis.

Arnav sat numb staring at the photo. The beautiful face was adorned by the eyes he was so familiar with. The smile was something he wished to see again. She had a nose ring and a simple earring in the photo. The girl he wanted to see again. His floating girl he met in the lakes of states was on the walls of a flat in Delhi.

“Khushi” he heard Buaji’s voice. He looked at her and Buaji said, “That’s Khushi. Payal’s elder sister”

Arnav looked back at the photo and pointed at the garland. “But....garland...”

Buaji looked at the photo and said with a sad smile “She died three years ago!”

 

 

 

 

May 15

Chapter 5 (By Archanasuresh) (Thanked: 57 times)

Chapter 5

 

 

“How is it even possible?” Anand asked with widened eyes.

Arnav shrugged his shoulder and lied down on the bed of his and Akash’s room in Laxminagar house. Anand lied on the other bed which originally belonged to Akash and asked, “When did she die?”

“Three years ago”

“How?”

“I didn’t ask. I just said a bye and walked out the next moment” Arnav said.

“Are you sure that the photo girl was the one you saw?” Anand asked.

Arnav nodded but suddenly sat up.

Buaji’s words came to his mind.

Khushi

That’s Khushi. Payal’s elder sister

He looked at his friend who was lying on the bed.

Anand’s words which he said a few days ago was fresh in his mind.

A wonderful girl! I met her on the way back.

Khushi! Khushi Kumari Gupta

She lives a km away from your “floating girl’s lake” you know.

“What happened?” Anand asked.

“Anand” Arnav whispered in a scared voice, “I think you went out for a date with...a ghost”

“WHAT?” Anand sat up.

“The girl I met on the lake...the girl whose photo is on the walls of Akash’s friend’s house...her name is Khushi” Arnav said.

Anand gulped his throat and his eyes widened. “What’s Payal’s full name?” he asked.

“Gupta. Payal Gupta” Arnav said.

“Khushi Kumari Gupta” Anand whispered his ex-date’s name.

“So both the girls we have met are same” Arnav said.

“And apparently, she died three years ago” Anand whispered,

“What the hell is happening?” Arnav asked scared.

“Is she a ghost?” Anand whispered.

Arnav looked at Anand scared.

“Bro just for a confirmation. Ask Akash to take a pic of the photo hanging on the wall and send it to your phone!” Anand said and Arnav nodded messaging his brother.

 

 

 

 

 

From: Akash

Got the information brother. (Pic attached) Khushi Kumari Gupta died three years ago. She was 20 then. She was a student at Harvard.

 

Anand and Arnav looked at each other. “Student of Harvard? She was our senior!”

Arnav nodded and Anand snatched his mobile and typed to Akash.

 

To: Akash

How did she die?

 

From: Akash

Seriously, why are you interested in her? And how on earth can I go and ask that to her family?

 

To: Akash

Please, this is important

 

After some minutes the mobile beeped indicating Akash’s message.

 

From: Akash

She committed suicide. Reason unknown. Buaji had filed case and there was an enquiry it seems but police couldn’t find anything. The case was closed.

 

 

 

 

 

Three days later

 

Harvard

 

“Are you sure about this Arnav?” the director asked.

Arnav nodded his head.

“You’re an excellent student. We can offer you scholarship!” he offered.

“Thank you but no sir. I want to study here but I need to be there in India and support my family!” Arnav said.

The director sighed and signed the certificates.

Arnav Singh Raizada is now no longer a student of Harvard University!

“Will miss you around Arnav. You were one of our best students!” he said and shook hands with the boy.

“I’m really honoured sir” Arnav smiled sincerely and shook hands with the elderly man.

 

 

 

He walked into the room he and Anand had been sharing in hostel and started collecting all his stuff.

“I’ll miss you” Anand said softly.

“Now don’t start crying like a baby” Arnav said chuckling.

Anand smacked him and said, “You think this is funny. You dropped your college Arnav. What are you gonna do?”

“I’ll find some job in Delhi. Staying here is of no use. I don’t get much from part time job” Arnav said.

“But studies?” Anand asked.

Arnav shrugged and said, “I don’t think I would be able to study any longer. Nani is growing old. Her medicines require money. Akash is just 17. So the college he will join soon require fees. Di’s job cannot handle the crisis alone!”

Anand sighed and nodded.

“Don’t worry about me. I’ll be fine. You continue here with your studies and girls!” Arnav said chuckling and Anand smiled.

Arnav packed his stuff and Anand said, “I’ll drop you to airport!”

“Before that we need to go to the lake” Arnav declared.

“NO! I’m scared. YOU WANNA GO TO A GHOST?” Anand screamed.

“THERE ARE NO GHOSTS! Then whom did we see? I want the truth.” Arnav said.

“But...”

“Anu, the flight is hours away. So before leaving states why don’t we have a small adventure? Something to remember?” Arnav asked and Anand sighed.

“Fine...off to floating girl!” he said and Arnav chuckled.

 

 

 

 

Jun 2

Chapter 6 (By Archanasuresh) (Thanked: 58 times)

Chapter 6

 

 

Anand knocked the door of Khushi’s house and looked at Arnav.

“So this is her house?” Arnav asked looking around. It was a resident area with small cottage kind of houses, just few km away from the lake.

Anand nodded his head and kept on knocking the door which seemed not to open.

After what seemed like eternity, someone opened the door and the boys stood up straight ready to greet that person.

An old woman stood before them and looked at the two boys.

“Yes?” she asked, “What do you want?”

“I’m Khushi’s friend” Anand said, “I want to meet her”

“Khushi? Who Khushi?” she asked confused.

Anand looked at him confused and said, “Khushi, the girl who lives here! I came here a week ago and she was living here!”

“No my boy. I live here for the past twenty years!” the woman said.

Arnav and Anand looked at each other and then at the woman.

“Go away kids!” the woman said crossly, “Wasting my time!” she shut the door on their faces.

“Are you sure that the girl lived here?” Arnav asked Anand.

Anand nodded and said, “She stood by this gate when I came to pick her up. I asked her if she lived here and she nodded!”

“She lied!” Arnav said and walked away.

 

 

 

 

Two weeks later

 

Delhi

 

11.00 pm

 

After his shift as a waiter at Purple Orchid, a posh restaurant in Delhi, Arnav walked down to the lonely streets with his destination as home.

With his morning duties as newspaper boy and then as a cashier at a travel agency for 9 to 5 the night shift as waiter at Purple Orchid added his tiredness. With drooping eyes, he dragged his feet towards his home.

“Arnav!”

He suddenly stopped hearing someone calling him. It was a familiar voice but whose?

He turned and looked around but found no one.

Did he imagine it?

Shrugging his shoulder, he turned to continue his walk but jumped on his skin when he found someone standing before him.

“Did you forget me?”

Every cell of his body fell numb and he fell on the ground with a gasp. Lifting his head he looked at the figure before him dressed in a white gown.

“Answer me Arnav. Did you forget me?” she asked with a smile.

No sound came from his mouth and he sat on the ground looking up at her. She smiled and sat on her knees.

Kneeling to him, she whispered, “I need your help”

“Who are you?” he meant it as a stern voice but came out as a rat squeaking.

She chuckled and said, “Don’t you know me? Didn’t your friend talk to you about that memorable date?”

He looked at her and she moved her hand to his shirt pocket. He felt her pushing something into it and heard her saying, “I want you to help me!”

She stood up and walked away.

“Stop!” he cried with chocked voice but she kept walking.

“Who are you?” he shouted in his shivering voice.

She turned to him and gave him a smile.

What did that smile mean? He did not know.

 

 

Jun 22

Chapter 7 (By Archanasuresh) (Thanked: 58 times)

Chapter 7

 

 

He rushed into his room and locked the door tight. Sitting on the bed, Arnav’s hands reached the water jug and gulped the liquid down.

His meeting with the floating girl, whose name he had found to be Khushi, was still fresh in his mind. With shivering hands, he pulled his shirt pocket where she had pushed something in.

He frowned seeing a folded newspaper.

He unfolded the paper and read the headlines.

20 year old Harvard student commits suicide

Khushi Kumari Gupta (20), final year BBA student of Harvard, found dead in her hostel room. Doctors confirmed that the death was due to overdose of sleeping pills. The suicide note Gupta had left on bed states that she can no longer “withstand the work load and pressure at university”.

He frowned and saw that there was a note along with it.

It was not a suicide.

And Arnav felt every limb of his body numb.

 

 

 

 

 

“Are you serious?” Anand whispered through phone.

“Yes” Arnav said with cracking voice, “She came and gave me a note”

“So it was not a suicide. And she want you to help her?” Anand asked scared.

Arnav hummed looking at the headlines and at the beautiful girl.

“But Arnav....” Anand said scared, “How can we see ghosts? How can ghosts write messages?”

“I don’t know but she came! She gave me the paper! She WAS there and....” Arnav suddenly trailed off when his eyes fell on the mirror before him.

He saw his reflection but the only not-scary fact was that the mirror had reflection of another person too....behind him.

He gasped and stood frozen. The phone fell from his hand and he could hear Anand’s worried words through the device.

She chuckled and whispered, “Reminding me of old days Arnav....you surely hasn’t gotten rid of your girly gasp!”

He turned and started breathing heavily.

She walked forward and he started walking backward till his back hit the mirror.

She stood before him and lifted her hand. He gulped. No voice came out of his throat and he felt like he would pass out for a second.

Suddenly he felt something feathery and looked at her hand caressing his cheek.

“That day when you came to the lake...” she whispered, “I thought you came for me. But then.....I thought you’re joking when you asked who I was. But seems like you weren’t joking”

He frowned and looked at her.

“Don’t you remember me Arnav?” she whispered. If he is not wrong, he definitely saw a tear finding its way out of her eyes but soon disappearing into her cheek. He widened his eyes. Why didn’t the tear drop down? It just....vanished into her pale skin.

“Khushi....your Khushi.....” she whispered and held his shoulders.

He gulped and nodded no.

The warm chocolate eyes then turned cold and angry.

“So you...” she began to speak when a knock interrupted them.

“Chotte...who are you speaking to?”

“Go...open the door. It’s your sister, my old friend Anjali” Khushi said.

Arnav looked at her and then at the closed door.

Khushi backed away and slowly walked backwards.

Arnav gasped loudly watching her slowly disappearing into the thin air.

“Chotte! What are you doing in there?” Anjali asked from the other side.

Arnav slowly walked to the door and with shivering hands unlocked the door opening it wide.

“Who are you talking to?” Anjali asked frowning, “Heard you gasping loud! What happened?”

Arnav looked at her with his body covered with sweat and irregular breathing.

“Chotte what happened?” Anjali asked cupping his cheek.

It’s your sister, my old friend Anjali.

“Di...” he whispered in cracking voice.

Anjali hummed and wiped away his sweat.

“Do you know any Khushi?” he asked.

Anjali stopped wiping his sweat.

 

Jul 1

Chapter 8 (By Archanasuresh) (Thanked: 52 times)

Chapter 8

 

 

“Khushi? NO” Anjali said stepped backwards.

“But....di, why are you sweating?” Arnav asked looking at his sister.

“You’re sweating Chotte. Not me” Anjali said giving a nervous laugh, “Well, who is Khushi? Why did you ask?”

“So you don’t know any Khushi?” he asked again.

“No” she said.

“She is lying!” a voice came near him and he looked to his left to find Khushi leaning on his door. He opened his eyes wide and looked back at Anjali who was frowning at him.

“What happened Chotte? What are you looking at?” Anjali asked frowning and looked at Arnav’s left at the door.

Arnav looked at his left to find Khushi smirking and then at Anjali.

“Di....her...see....” he stammered and pointed to his left and stepped backwards into his room so that now he is inside the room, Anjali is outside the room and Khushi stands in the middle leaning on the door side.

“What?” Anjali asked.

“She can’t see me” Khushi said looking at him, “In fact no one can, except you and Anand!”

He gasped and walked backwards.

“Chotte...” Anjali ran to him and held his shoulder, “What happened? What is it?”

“Find me the truth Arnav!” Khushi demanded, “I want to know who killed me. I want you to find that for me!”

“Chotte” Anjali cried but Arnav just started at the door to find the woman staring at him as she finished her sentence.

“Start from your di and find me! Find the truth!” and with that she turned back and walked to the wall disappearing into it.

“Chotte!” Anjali shook him and Arnav looked at her. “Nothing di! I’m just a bit disturbed. Can you leave?”

Anjali frowned and nodded.

“Last time di, do you know Khushi?” he asked showing the newspaper to his sister.

Anjali gulped and said, “No”

“I thought you would since she is of your age and was a Delhi native. You both must have gone to same school right?” Arnav asked.

“No Chotte. I don’t remember seeing her!” Anjali said and Arnav nodded.

Anjali walked away and Arnav closed the door. He leaned on it and turned to his bed but jumped back in surprise.

There was Khushi lying on his bed looking directly at him.

“She is lying” she whispered.

He gulped and walked two steps forward. “If you know the truth, then tell me” he said.

Khushi’s eyes grew dark and in a second she was before him. Arnav gulped but she held his arm. Arnav looked at his arm and bit his lip seeing the tight hold.

“You want me to tell? Do you want me to remind you of every promise you gave me? Every moment we spent together? DO I NEED TO REMID YOU EVERYTHING ARNAV SINGH RAIZADA?” she shouted with the hold on his hand growing tighter by every second.

“I cannot go to past!” she said in anger, “All I can do is travel around the world like a lonely soul, which I am, because I’ve not yet acquired my salvation. Because I haven’t got my justice yet! I want to know who killed me and only you and Anand can help me! Because only you both can see me AND THAT’S BECAUSE ONLY YOU BOTH SAW ME MOMENTS BEFORE MY DEATH!”

Arnav froze and looked at her. “I don’t even know you” he whispered.

Suddenly he felt a tight slap on his face.

“DON’T ACT!” she screamed.

“Khushi...” he said, “I’m telling the truth. I saw you for the first time at the river and...”

He couldn’t finish his sentence as he saw tears rolling out of her eyes and dissolving into her cheeks. She looked at him with her broken eyes and turned back to disappear into thin air.

He took a deep breath taking maximum air in and looked around. Her words started to sink in him.

Find me the truth Arnav

I want to know who killed me.

Do you want me to remind you of every promise you gave me? Every moment we spent together?

I want to know who killed me and only you and Anand can help me! Because only you both can see me AND THAT’S BECAUSE ONLY YOU BOTH SAW ME MOMENTS BEFORE MY DEATH!

He found himself dialling Anand.

“What is it bro?” he heard his friend’s voice.

“Please come here!” Arnav said in a scared and cracking voice, “I cannot do it alone!”

“What happened Arnav? Do what alone?” Anand asked.

“She.....Khushi!”

“The ghost?” Anand asked.

“We know her” Arnav said.

“Yes. You saw her at river and I took her out for date!”

“No we know her before her death!” Arnav whispered.

“How?” Anand cried.

“I don’t know” Arnav whispered.

 

 

Jul 5

Precap - Chapter 9 (By Archanasuresh) (Thanked: 12 times)

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