With a book in her hand and a frown on her face, she was sitting on the couch with the TV airing her favorite sitcom.

But her mind was neither on the show, nor on the book. And how could it be? It was a first time coincidence that all her three room mates were out for that weekend.

A chilly February night, an eerie atmosphere and she- Home alone! That was enough to make her uncomfortable.

The mere thought of staying alone for the first time was enough to scare her.

She had assured her room mates, who were ready to cancel her plans, that she will be completely fine on her own: “C’mon guys, it’s just a matter of two days. Stop worrying so much about me.”

“Babe, why don’t you come along? It will be fun there!”, her friends were anxious.”

“Idiot!”, she hit her head with her book.

Noooo, are you people mad? I don’t want to play a gooseberry. And anyway, it’s your day guys. Go and enjoy.  It’s not your problem if I have Long distance relation, Duh. You guys please go.”, she had replied.

She remembered that while her mother had been anxious for her daughter living all alone on her own, her father had said “Our daughter has grown up now, Reena. She will be doing her master’s. She is a fighter. Don’t underestimate our brave girl”. Dad had full confidence.

Even her grandmother had invited her over the night that lived around 2 kms away. But she had declined it too. And now, she was repenting. “Idiot!”, she hit her head with her book.

She wanted to retire for the night. Sleep was taking over but fear kept her awake. Fear of the unknown. Having a look at the watch she realized it was 11:45.”Oh shit! I better am slept before its 3.” Being an English movie buff, she knew that ghosts become the most powerful at 3 in the morning.

She made a plan in her mind. Go to the bedroom, dive on the bed, pull over the blanket all over the head and body, shut eyes and pretend like she has slept so that the demons would not come haunting for her. “But Jesus Christ, how do I get up?” Her legs felt numb with the fright. She felt as if somebody was keeping an eye on her. She’d never felt so helpless.

Finally she packed all the courage together and got up to go in her room. Suddenly, she heard the sound of a door closing, slowly, with the intimidated sound of its hinges coming out loud, clear and real slow. “Is somebody there?”, she shouted with a shiver in her voice.  She never knew the doors could be so horrendous. Though she zeroed on the explanation that it was probably just some wind coming out through some window, she was too panicked by then.

Happy Valentine’s Day, my love”, he said while giving her the bouquet.

She searched for her phone and thought of calling her parents, but stopped. But then she didn’t want her mother to get worried for apparently nothing. Roommates? No. She didn’t want to be made fun of, especially after being so assertive in sending them. Calling up granny’s home would not be right at this time of the night. Now her last option was calling up her Ronit, her boyfriend, who lived some 14OOkms away. Long distance relationships sucked, really. She dialed his number. It ringed, but was cut. That was weird. That meant he WAS awake. Maybe because they had a big fight over the fact that he couldn’t be with her on the V day and all that. But he should take the call. After desperately calling him for around 15 minutes, she lost hope.

“Fuck it!”, she consoled herself. She dismissed the idea of disturbing anyone else.  Finally, getting up, she ran towards to her room and as per her plan, she dived on the bed and shut her eyes while covering every inch of her body with the blanket.

With half the exhaustion of being scared and half the weariness caused by sleep overcoming her eyes she was all drowsy, like some drunkard. She had just fallen in the arms of tranquility, when she heard her doorbell ring.

At first she thought she was hallucinating, but then the doorbell was replaced by violent bangs. A shiver went down her spine. Her voice seemed fell deep down somewhere in her throat. Her dropping eyes were now all wide awake.


“Our daughter has really grown up. She is a fighter. Don’t underestimate our brave girl”, she recalled her dad’s words.

These words gave her the strength to get up and face it. “I’m no coward”, she had gathered some courage.

With droplets of sweat on her head, she looked around for something to keep with her for safety. She ran to the balcony and got a big iron rod. With all set to face her fears, she took small steps towards the door. The bangs were getting louder and louder, but she opened the door slowly and carefully.

But what she saw outside was something she had never expected. There was he, standing outside with a bouquet of roses, having travelled a good 16 hour journey.

Ronit? I can’t believe it! Is that really you?”, she screamed out with joy and hugged him.

Happy Valentine’s Day, my love”, he said while giving her the bouquet.

But how did you come here? When did you make this plan?”, she was flooded with questions.

Calm down calm down. I wanted to give you a surprise. And since you are living on your own, I wanted to give you this surprise which I had been planning since so long. I’m sorry i cut your calls but you would have figured out that I was out. I had been searching for a florist”, he explained as they entered inside the house.

Yeah, all clear sir. But why were you banging the door? You freaked me out”, still left with a doubt.

Oh! I thought you must be fast asleep”, Ronit replied with a genuine face.

And suddenly she burst out laughing while recounting all that happened. She was laughing on herself for getting so scared for nothing at all and then ending up with such a sweet surprise. She realized that all the fear is in our mind. Fear of anything: be it demons, ghosts or other fears like failing r anything. A little bit of courage and realization is all what it takes to move ahead.  Ronit, who was completely unaware of the whole thing, too joined her laughing at the confusion with amusement. Even after repeatedly asking her to share the joke with her, she kept on laughing and shaking her head for a Nothing in response. 

After around half an hour, Ronit got up and sad, “I’ll see you tomorrow, beautiful. Real surprises await you.” These words brought a blush to her face and she couldn’t stop stealing her eyes from Ronit. They kissed each other goodbye.

That night she slept the best sleep she ever had, because of him.

 In the morning she woke up, with a smile on her face. This valentine’s day came not with just the surprise, but also self realizations for her.  “What better gift could await me”, she wondered.