Grace hates her hostel life and feels coming to the hostel was a very bad decision until she meets Ruth. With the end of term drawing near she is happy to leave the place and move to her hometown with Ruth. But she finds out something shocking about herself. 


It was the last day of exams. Grace was excited and happy. She has dreaded this subject. But the paper turned out to be a piece of cake. Moreover, she will be leaving for her hometown soon never to return to this place. Writing the exam she was smiling to herself thinking about all the things she was going to do. She was dying to meet her family and friends after such a long gap.

Completing her paper, she handed her answer sheet to the invigilator and walked out of the examination hall. She walked towards her hostel, went to her room. Ruth, her friend was there waiting for her in the room. “All set to go?” asked Grace. Ruth nodded her head. Taking her packed bags she dragged it all the way down and called for a taxi. “In a short time, a very short time I will be at home”, she thought to herself. ”It’s going to be really nice at my place; I really wanted to introduce you to my folks.” –said Grace to Ruth. “I really am excited to meet your parents too”, Ruth said.

The taxi driver at the front was giving them a very weird look. Grace didn’t care much about it. After all, she was used to it. Being an outcast at the hostel for most of the time she became habituated to all torments and insults. She felt Hostel was a hell and the worst thing she ever did was coming there until she met Ruth. “She was the only best thing that happened to me at that place. And I’m never going to return to that place”- she thought to herself.

The clock at the railway platform chimed 12:00. She was waiting for the train munching upon the cookies. The train soon arrived. With the entire luggage she boarded the train and took her seat. Ruth said that she was not able to book a ticket in the same compartment. Grace followed Ruth to her compartment. After taking care that Ruth was comfortable enough she went back to her own compartment. She started reading a book to pass time. The phone rang. It was her mother. She lifted the call. “Hello, Ma! I’m on the train. Yes, will reach home soon. Ruth is coming too as I told you.”

Grace’s mother was waiting for her to come. “She should be here soon”, she thought to herself. The door bell rang. She rushed to open the door for her daughter. Standing outside was Grace smiling. Hugging her mom she said “Maa! I really missed you and your food.” Her mom smiled and said “What is this? You have become so thin. Aren’t you eating well? Isn’t the food at the hostel good?” “Mom! Are you kidding? I have put on a few pounds.” said Grace laughing. “By the way Ma! This is Ruth, Ruth this is my mom.” “Hello, Grace has told a lot about you”, Ruth smiled. ”And a lot more about you to my mom”, added Grace smilingly. There was a stunned expression on her mom’s face.

Grace’s mom was contemplating what had happened just now. Her daughter was talking to someone, introduced her and she was pretty sure she hasn’t seen anyone there. There was no one with her. “What could be possibly wrong?” Grace’s mom thought to herself. She decided to talk about it with Grace.

That evening her mom approached Grace. She asked gently “Dear! Where is Ruth?” “She went to look around, but mom you were kind of taken aback seeing her. Why is that so?”

“Oh! Was I? I haven’t noticed it much”, deciding finally that this was not the time to talk about this. She decided to observe her a bit more.

As days passed, Grace’s mother noticed that she kept talking to someone who wasn’t there. She sensed something was wrong and decided to consult a doctor. The doctor upon hearing about her said-“I think it might be a case of Schizophrenia. We better start the treatment.”

Grace’s mom panicked. She knew for a thing that Grace wasn’t going to come if she told her first. She decided to lie to her. “Grace! We are going tomorrow to meet one of our relatives. Get ready tomorrow.” ”Where is it that we are going, mom?” Grace asked. ”You will know tomorrow”, her mom answered trying to be vague.

The next day Grace noticed that they were in a hospital.”But Mom! I thought you said we are going to meet our relatives”-she said.

Grace’s mom hesitated a bit and then said-“Dear! Is Ruth here?”

Grace nodded and pointing to a side said-“She is right over there Mom.”

Her mom said –“Dear! I cannot see anyone there. This has been the case from the day you arrived.”

“What?” Grace asked surprisingly. “Stop lying, mom! What do you mean you cannot see her when she is right over there?”

“Dear”, she said,” Has she ever been with someone other than you or have you ever seen her talking to someone else other than you?”

“Well-” she tried trying to remember, “No!”

“Have you ever seen her eating with us?” her mom questioned her.

She has never seen her eating and she never thought about it. “But mom”, she said, “How can that be the only reason to prove she doesn’t exist?”

Handing her a bottle of water she said “Alright dear! Ask her to drink some water, will you?”

Grace walked towards Ruth “Have some water?”

“But I am not thirsty”-Ruth said.

“Just a sip will do”, Grace said.

Ruth just stood there.

Grace moved into doctor’s room silently with her mom and took the treatment and prescribed medication.

After returning home, she still couldn’t believe it. Maybe her mom was wrong. In order to confirm she decided to go back to her college.

Upon reaching the college she enquired about Ruth. Shocking was the reply. There was no student by that name. It all hit her then and it hit her hard. The curious and weird looks she used to get whenever she was talking to Ruth, how she appeared suddenly at the middle of the semester even when there were no admissions.

She reached back home. Ruth came to her and said “Where have you been? I have been waiting for you.”

“You aren’t real. You are just my imagination.”

“What? You believe them?” Ruth asked. Grace remained silent.

She was lost in her thoughts until she saw her mom coming. She turned her face to hide her tears.

Her mom patted her head gently and said “It’s alright my dear! All you have to do is take proper medication.”

Grace hugged her mom and said, “Thank you, mom.”

She slowly started to ignore Ruth. She missed talking to her sometimes. “But she isn’t true and things cannot go on like this. “-she thought to herself.

As time passed she started seeing less and less of Ruth. She started working for a company and at the same time helping people like her. She always thanked her mom for believing in her and supporting her during her times of adversity.