Shivi lives in a two-storey house with her parents in Vasant Puri. That day, she was home alone; her parents were attending a family event this week. Due to some work commitment she had to stay back, but she had plans to join them later. 

It was a cold and breezy Friday night. After finishing her work, Shivi was sitting on a couch consumed in her own thoughts. A strong gust of wind blew against her face, making her realize that all the windows were open. She moved towards the window and exclaimed…

“Oh god! How can I be so lost that I didn’t even notice the windows were still open.”            

She was surprised by the quiet and darkness of the night. The house seemed lacklustre to her without her parents there and scared her at the slightest sound. It has four rooms and a balcony on the first floor. Kitchen, two washrooms, the main gate, and a door that opens into an adjacent dilapidated house. That house belonged to her uncle but after his death, her aunt moved to live with her son and daughter-in-law to Mumbai. It is a three-storey house that is empty for five years because his cousin wants to open a tobacco factory there.

She returned to her bedroom to check the time. It was 10:30 pm. She thought she would quickly go and cook something for dinner as it was already late. While going to the kitchen, she turned on all the lights in her house because darkness always scared her. Despite believing that ghost don’t exist, she makes scary images out of things in the dark.

It was 11pm when she heard the clock chime and finished washing the utensils after dinner. She went upstairs towards her bedroom. She recalled that she kept her phone on the table next to her laptop, but it was no longer there. Not finding it anywhere, she used her home phone to dial her number. It rang for 5 seconds and then the ringing sound stopped. Someone was there on the other side of the phone…to her amazement someone picked up the call.

She just kept quiet, her mouth wide open, waiting for another person to speak something. She couldn’t swallow the rush of emotions insider her. There is someone inside her house who is using her phone. She almost froze there for a minute. 

“Hello, please help me. Please, please…”

It was a woman speaking in a very shaky and unclear voice. She spoke fast, as if she was in some danger, or someone was chasing her. Shivi was wondering what is happening and where. Is it happening inside her house, or someone stole her phone? 

“Hey!! Who are you? Why do you need my help? Are you inside my house?” She asked the woman in a very angry voice. 

“I am Shivi speaking from Street No.-2, House No.- 12, Vasant Puri. Please help me. There are two strangers who got inside my house, and I don’t even know why they want to kill me?”  

“I don’t believe it.” She couldn’t help but believe the woman. She sounded just like herself which was not possible. It couldn’t be.  

Thud! It sounded like the phone fell on the floor, but the call was still going on. Shivi could hear the woman screaming and other guys just laughing.

“No, No, please leave me. Why do you want to kill me?”

The guys were talking to her….

“Finally, we got you. Let’s end, let’s not waste any more time, grab her!”

“Hello, hello. Don’t kill her….” Shivi shouted on the call, but they didn’t hear it. She heard the clock striking one and wondered how one and a half hour had already passed. To confirm, she checked the time in her phone, but it was 11:30.

“What’s this? Who is pranking me in my house?” she burst out. 

She cut the call and sat near the table, scratching her head because she had no clue how to go about the situation. She clicked every number on her keypad in frustration and rushed downstairs to see if someone stole her phone and went to the adjacent house. The door was still locked. She opened the main door, went to the veranda but the fear almost paralyzed her. She didn’t dare to move forward and see if there is anyone inside that house. Rather, she climbed back the stairs and opened the window. There was no movement or sound.

She decided to take help from the police and dialled 112 on her home phone. 

“Hello sir! There are two strangers in my house who are trying to kill a woman. Please help the lady…” She said in a rush.

“Ma’am, where are you calling from? Do you know the woman?” 

“I am speaking from Street No.-2, House No.- 12, Vasant Puri. Sir plea..” She couldn’t complete the sentence when the clock started ticking twelve times.

She heard a sound from downstairs, and she leaned over the railing to check. There were two masked men in all black clothes. Only their eyes were visible, staring dangerously at her.

“Ma’am, do you know her? Hello, are you still there? Don’t panic, we will be there in 15 minutes.” The call ended but Shivi was still holding the phone near her ear.

“There she is, catch her.” Both the men ran towards Shivi. 

“Sir, Sir, they are here. Hello, hello!?….” She tried to call the police again, but her body was shaking with fear. She sprinted towards her bedroom, locked the door, sat in whatever little space was between the bed and the table, and burst into tears. Closed her ears to avoid the pounding on the door. After 10 mins the sound stopped. She thought they are trying other ways to get into her room, went near the door, and peered through the peephole to see what they are doing. What she saw was only a gun targeting the peephole, and immediately ran away from the door. A loud thunderous sound and the window glass shattered to pieces. Her heart jumped, she wanted to shout but the terror sealed her throat. She locked herself inside the bathroom and turned on the taps. 

She heard the police siren near her house and noticed that the banging stopped. But she stayed there. After 30 mins or so, the police somehow got into her room and banged on the door.

“Ma’am, now you are safe. You can open the door. I am Sub-Inspector Ravi Singh. Those two people cannot harm you anymore.”

Shivi came out. Two lady police officers gave her a glass of water to drink and asked her to sit so that she can relax. The police started its investigation after she was feeling better. Police went to the adjacent house and checked everything. Everything was intact and in pace, there wasn’t any woman or any sign of the crime. They searched both the houses and tried to contact the woman through Shivi’s phone, but no one picked. It was 2 O’clock but the police were still in her house. Shivi went to her room with the police officers to explain the whole situation. As she went near the table, she saw her phone lying there.  

Shivi was invited to the police station 5-6 times for the investigation. All her statements matched, except for her phone call with a woman and the discovery of the phone in her own house. She met a psychiatrist during the investigation who gave a statement to police saying:

“Sometimes, it happens with some people. She had a lot of work pressure and because she was alone in that big house, she felt someone is there in her house and who wants to kill her. Shivi read the article about these two psychopaths a day before the incident and imagined the same happening with her. Coincidently, It really happened but still she believes that there was one more woman in her house.” The case was closed. 

Mystery about that woman changed Shivi’s life. People around Shivi started treating her like a psychopath. Her family was worried about her. She didn’t like meeting a psychiatrist every Sunday. She wanted to prove that she isn’t a psychopath but sometimes, her own story felt unbelievable to her. She had a lot of questions in her mind, “Who was she?”, “How come, she had my phone”, “Is she alive?”, “Who kept the phone back in my room?”, but there weren’t any answers to them. There was no one who could believe her or answer her questions. To every question, there was only one answer she got from everyone.

“It’s okay Shivi. Beta, you are not well so let’s not think about that day.” But she wanted to think about that day and solve the mystery. One day, while cleaning her room, she found the same newspaper with that article. The whole day she didn’t come out of her room for anything and kept on dialling her own number to contact the woman. Every time she tried to call, it said….

“The number you are trying to call is busy.” 

To her surprise, as the clock struck 11 in the night, the call rang for 5 secs and again someone picked up the call.

“Hello, is this Shivi?”

“No, who are you?”

“Can I speak to Shivi?”

“Sorry, she is no more. May I know who you are?” Shivi couldn’t speak anything. She couldn’t believe someone had finally picked up. More than that, the words they spoke shocked her.

“Sorry for your loss. I also feel sorry for calling you at 11 in the night.”

“Umm. It is 12:40 pm in the night. Are you okay?” The woman on call asked in a concerned voice. Shivi checked the time it was 11:10 pm and cut the call without saying anything else.