“Now what,” asked Mrs. Chatterjee looking at those around her, pointing towards the alarm button, which kept blinking!
While her next door neighbour Mr. Sahani, who was in his forties, tried his best to get help from the guard by dialling the emergency intercom, his ten-year-old daughter—a lovely little girl with a lovelier name—Rhythm looked at her father with hope. Nikhil, a reckless teenager, who lived on the same floor, seemed to be least bothered even in such a crisis.
It did not take much long for any of them to realise that they had been trapped inside the lift between the eighth and ninth floor with the lift intercom not working and the guard not coming to the rescue even twenty minutes after raising the alarm. It was midnight and there was no possibility of anyone else being around.
However, all of them failed to notice that Raima Dheer, an ambitious supermodel who owned the penthouse on the tenth floor of Silver Oak Enclave, the high rise building, in which they were stuck, had become unconscious. No sooner than Mrs. Chatterjee looked at her, she guessed that Raima suffered from claustrophobia. The fifty-year old psychologist looked tensed for Raima but could do nothing. Mr. Sahani offered water but Nikhil kept on blabbering and making uncomfortable remarks pretending to enjoy the situation. With a sly smile he expressed grief over the fact that there were three more people to disturb when he was stuck with a gorgeous model inside a lift.
It was a pleasant Saturday night when Mr. Sahani and his daughter were returning home from their family friend’s house as his wife wasn’t in town, Mrs. Chatterjee from a conference dinner, Raima from an assignment and Nikhil from his friend’s place. At around 12, the lift stopped suddenly. There was not much to do as both the psychologist and the model lived alone and Nikhil’s parents had gone out.
As Raima gained consciousness, she started feeling breathless and frantically pressed all the buttons. To everyone’s surprise, the lift started moving and reached the last floor but as the door opened on its own and everyone came out, they were shocked to see that Raima’s penthouse vanished in thin air in the blink of a second. Raima screamed and turned around only to discover that she was alone and there was no lift waiting for anyone. She saw an apartment with an enigmatic door with the words ‘why’ inscribed on it with blood.
As she took to her heels, she felt an unknown force push her inside the apartment, which had nothing but numerous lifts inside it. Her head started hurting and she kept running from one lift to the other, desperately searching for the one which would take her back home. As she reached the last one and tried getting inside it, she saw the body of her friend Aisha, who had died almost a year back. She shrieked and cried for help but there was no one except her friend who got up and stared at Raima with tears in her eyes and the word ‘why’ on her lips. She begged Aisha to go.
“I did not wish to kill you Aisha,” she kept on saying. “I just wanted you to miss the shoot so that I could walk in for you and so I switched off the lift button, when there was no one in your building,” she said and her voice broke. Poor Raima was not aware that Aisha was a claustrophobic. She fainted.
As Raima opened her eyes, she not only saw the other four around her but also the building guard and police officers. Mrs. Chatterjee requested the police to deal with her sympathetically and get her treated before reopening Aisha’s case. It did not take her long to comprehend that the guard had come to rescue them just after she felt unconscious and it was the nightmare that made her speak the truth.
By Pyusha Chatterjee Singh