Past Tense – Part 3(Symptoms)
Day 11 –
After disposing of, the letter, I started my search for suspicious things. But everything was so quiet and straightforward. The staff worked like nothing ever happened. It was impossible to differentiate between who was the part of the experiment and who was conducting it. I wanted to escape. But, that would make Anisha’s efforts and sacrifice worthless.
Day 22 –
Failing to find anything inside the Hospital, I decided to head outside. It was really easy to go out and roam all day. The thought of running away was becoming more assertive. Outside of the Hospital was quite an empty place. A society was there, around 2 KMs away.
Day 33 –
I wandered for ten days and found nothing useful. My nights were becoming sleepless.
I was walking in the corridor. At the same time, a doctor requested me to deliver some files, he held in his hands to Room No. 78, as he had to attend to an emergency.
The room was on the 7th floor. As I was going up, it was getting colder. As if ACs at this place were set at very low. It started becoming uneasy. A chilled wave, as if some whisper, went through my ear. The corridor on the 7th floor was nearly empty. I entered the room. A young woman of around 24-30 was lying there with eyes closed. The machine reading showed her moderate pulse rate. Oxygen and glucose pipes were attached to her hand. I kept the file near her table and headed outside the room. While closing windows, I was looking at her through the glass. Her head moved towards me, and she opened her eyes directly, looking at me as if she knew where I was. She smiled at me, pushed her right hand, took out the oxygen pipe attached to her, and then the glucose pipe. There were tears in her eyes, a smile on her face and blood coming out of her hands. She kept on looking at me. I realized she wasn’t moving anymore.
Some of the rules in the Hospital were weird. If someone died here, they needed to be cremated in hospital premises or buried in a graveyard 3 KMs away from the Hospital.
Day 34 –
I was growing weaker. The negativity in the environment was killing me slowly. I decided to run away. Early morning, around 10 AM, I took a taxi to the railway station. Around 14 hours of travel. Out of the bus, I ran towards my house. Rang the bell, but no one opened it. I noticed there was no lock at the door. I shouted for mom, no one answered, then for dad, but all I heard was my echo. I entered my room. It was the same as I left it. Fell asleep on my bed immediately.
Day 35 –
I woke up around 11 AM. I was in my room, the hospital staff room. How was this possible?
Day 43 –
I repeatedly tried to run away, every time, I ended up again in the Hospital. There was no escaping. No one to talk to, no one to share anything, even after being surrounded by so many people daily. It felt like I was all alone. The people who met me talked only about work. As if they had no personal life or life left outside except this Hospital.
During the evening, I heard a woman sobbing outside my office. I rushed out to see, as it was the only feeling or expression I had heard after a month. She was an old lady, small in height and was holding a broom in her hands. She might be in cleaning staff. I went near her and asked, “Why are you crying, mother?”
Old Lady said, “My son died here some days ago. He used to work in the accounts department. He was new here, and they say he fell from the building while talking to someone on the phone at night. I am a single mother, and the hospital staff offered me a job of the same pay as they were giving to my son.
It’s been a year since I met him, he called me on the night of his death, he wanted to meet me. He fell while talking to me. I found a letter while I was going through his old things. I cannot read it. No one here has the time to read it for me, and everyone is ignoring my request. I request you to please read it for me.”
She cried more while taking out the letter she kept in an old school bag, which she was carrying on her shoulders like a kid.
I started reading the letter, to realize it had the same contents as of Anishas’ letter. The handwriting was also insanely the same. My hands were shaking, holding it, not knowing what was exactly happening here.
“Please read it further”, the old Lady requested.
To Be Continued…
By Satyam Kumar Tiwari
This is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places and incidents either are products of the author’s imagination or are used fictitiously. Any resemblance to actual events or locales or persons, living or dead, is entirely coincidental.
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