She didn’t understand why there were so many people milling around outside her house. Was something wrong? Oh God, was there a robbery? She rushed inside. They had broken open the door and she could see the tools still lying about. Did that mean they caught the thieves red-handed? There wasn’t much of jewellery or cash in the house, she knew that. Since her husband was flying abroad, they had kept it in the bank locker a week back. What remained at home were the electronic items. Strangely, the items in the hall were untouched. The DVD player was right there, so was her cellphone, the cordless phone, some silver curios in the huge glass showcase – surely, these would have been stolen first! Something didn’t feel right.
She saw the police officers standing inside the master bedroom. She went inside and found them discussing about something in the bathroom – the tub, specifically. There was no light inside and they were using torchlights. She felt movements behind her and turned – 2 orderlies were carrying a stretcher into the room. They took the stretcher inside the bathroom. Now wait just one minute!, thought she. Why would they need a stretcher if it was a case of theft? Unless…unless someone was hurt! But the lack of urgency on the orderlies’ part didn’t attest to that. Which can only mean one thing – someone had been hurt. Fatally.
They brought the stretcher out after a few minutes. A figure, draped in a white bedsheet. No, it cannot be! It cannot be! Her screams were caught in her throat. She felt faint and swooned. She held on to the wall for support and tried to erase the memory of what she had just witnessed. She sank to her feet and the tears started running. She closed her eyes and sobbed.
She remembered then, how it had happened. She’d just taken a relaxing bath and stepped out of the tub. Since the floor was wet, she had slipped and had caught on to the first thing near her to steady herself. It wasn’t enough. She couldn’t control her skid and fell – her head hit the tub. She remembered seeing blood on her fingers where she had touched her head. And then, blackness.
And then she remembered standing outside her house, wondering why there were so many people around.