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"Hello? Is anybody there?" Rita questioned. "Hello, please stop this" she mumbled almost in tears. This was the two hundredth blank call she was recieving since the beginning of the week.
But the person on the line was silent. She disconnected and cried, groaned desperately.
She dialed her mother's number. Engaged. "Oh how will she be free? Of course she is a film star!" she said. Next she dialed her fathers number hoping to tell him the depressing blank calls. She had tried telling her parents over the week but they seemed too busy. Rita just hoped her father wasnt busy now.
"Hello" she said into the speaker of her mobile phone.
"Rita?" her dad enquired.
"Dad are you free? I need to talk to you." she said hiding the tears.
"Uh Rita make it fast i have a meeting scheduled in two minutes."
"Two minutes?" she mumbled to herself. "Ok dad i'll talk later" she said and hung up. Two minutes was all he had or ever has for me. She had no one to tell her problems to. She kept silent for a while staring at the walls. Shobha! Yes she decided to call her last hope. Her friend. Her best friend.
"Hello aunty could i speak to Shobha?" she requested shoba's mother.
"Oh i am sorry Rita, she's a bit busy right now." her mom said. "Is it urgent? I could transfer your message" she requested.
"No thanks! Its ok aunty. Thank you." she said sounding as good as she could. She hung up and cried. No one to share her sorrows. How would she surive with these blank calls? They'd kill her. But what could she do? She kept SILENT....
Rita threw the phone on her table and jumped on the bed. She threw her blanket over herself such that she was covered entirely. She didnt want to show her face to the world, she didnt want to stand in front of anyone. Once she was a cheerful little Rita, now she had become a sad one. Now she knew only to cry. She feared the world.... She had no one to tell her worries to. No one at all. She couldnt even file a complaint at the police. Why? She feared that it would get into the news and all her friends would tease her. "Oh why me?" She mumbled thinking of a solution.
"I'd have to talk to my parents tonight"..She already had missed one week of school because of the sleepless nights. She couldnt afford another. So she made up her mind and went down for dinner an hour later. She found the table empty. No one except Smitha, her younger sister. She picked the phone and dialed her dad's no..
Tring, Tring....No one picked up. Helpless she tried her moms number. It rang thrice and than her mom came on line. "Mom arent you coming home for dinner?" she asked soberly.
"No sweetie pie! I cant make it to dinner tonight as we have a ladies party at Surekha's house. Ill be home late. So you better go to sleep, dont wait! Bye!" she said and hung the phone.
"How can i sleep with continuous blank calls. Its killing me and ur telling te to sleep mom? Oh how i wish i could tell you!" she said to herself then grabbed a chappati roll and ran back upstairs. She gobbled half the roll and threw the rest. Hunger was not her priority now.
Tring Tring...The phone rang again. She picked it hoping it was her dad or mother.
"Hello?" she questioned. No one replied. No answer only silence. "Please answer me or i'll complain to the police!" she said hoping it'd help
"If you complain, then..." the voice trailed off. The voice sounded disguised as though it was been spoken through a voice changer.
"Now blackmails? I cant take this! I just cant! " Rita leaned on the wall and began crying thinking what could save her from this? Nothing but! An idea struck her..It was the only thing which could save her. Nothing except for.....
Idea! That was the only thing that could work now. She would tell her teacher. If not mother, father or friend, why not teacher? She knew her favourite teachers phone number as she had given it to them if they ever needed her! She picked up the phone book and searched. She searched and searched in all alphabets which there was a possibility of writing the number in. No results! Then she turned every page looking for her teachers name but luck didnt favor her. Now what? She wondered.
Helpless she threw everything and crashed the bed. Her only hope was to sleep. She pulled a blanket over her. Closing her eyes she began dreaming of birds and nature. Flowers and rainbows, fairies and kids and just everything which made her smile. Suddenly a face of herself appeared in her dream. In it she was standing amidst the whole school and they were all looking at her and laughing like she was some piece to look at. Then her phone rang and she picked it up but someone spoke. The same voice which had warned her last time. It said, "You complained right? Look at you now. Your a laughing stock! We warned you!"
"Aah" Rita screamed and woke up from the dream. She was sweating. Her shirt was wet, so she got up and decided to take a bath. After her bath she sat on the bed and began crying. "Why me? Why? What did i do? Why are they doing this to me?" and the night closed on her.
The next morning Rita woke up and got ready for breakfast. It was a saturday so she'd planned to go out and ride cycle. She had her breakfast alone with her sister as usual and was off to play. She played and played like there was no tomorrow. Then she heard her phone ring so she ran up to her bedroom to pick the call. But she went up to find no phone ringing.
"Great now i have i am hearing sounds? Whats wrong with you Rita" she asked herself. She was just going back to play when the phone rang.
"Hello" Rita asked on picking the phone. "Who is speaking? Hello?"
After a deep breath Rita heard the same male voice which she had heard twice already. "You dont need to know who we are. Just come to.......at.... and hand over the money." they said mentioning the place and time.
"But i dont have any money" Rita mumbled afraid.
"Thats a joke. Your father is a rich pig and your mom has all the money to go to kitty parties and your saying you have no money? Just bring fifty thousand and come there"
"But..." Her voice trailed off. The phone had been kept. He had hung up.
"Why me? Now he's asking for money. What shall i do?"
She sat on the bed and began crying but eventually drifted off to sleep. But it was a long sleep. She never woke up. No more nightmares only sleep.....