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Betrayed in the dark | Arnab Chatterjee

The room, all surrounded by walls, reminded me of a new moon night. It feels suffocating even thinking about it. Completely black, the room makes you blind, as if someone has tied a cloth on your eyes, hiding everything from the inhabitant. It had the force to pull the feeling of fright, panic, and death towards itself. It also reminds me of a winter night, cold and alone. The air feels stale inside while the walls can't be seen.

But someone was there in the room with me, the master. The only person who could see through this darkness, and the reason why I was stuck there.

This was Pal, my abductor. With his eyes, which felt like a torch to me. He told me about every single possible detail of the room. But what scared me more was that he was about to kill me.

I had always been the man who created darkness, but that day I was in desperate search of light. I could not even remember distinctly for how many days had I been there. I heard a sound as if some strong object was scratching the floor. The next sound I heard was of footsteps that seemed approaching me. I understood that it is the master who had left his chair. He might have pushed it back and is now coming to me. For the first time in my life, I felt an urge to beg God, that God please protect me at any cost. The sound of footsteps kept increasing until I was able to feel his breath on my face.

In an instant, I could sense the gun against my head. “So, may I shoot you, dear?”, asked Pal in his threatening heavy voice. I could not understand how to react. All kinds of feelings rushed through my heart: fear, anxiety, stress, but the most predominant one was curiosity, why Pal wanted to kill me. He and I had been best friends for years. Whenever a task was assigned to the gang, we both were the ones to lead. But that day, I was the guy at his gunpoint. That was so hard for me to believe.

With a heavy heart, I asked him, “Why Pal, why me? Why do you want to kill me? We were the best of friends?”

To which he replied, “Dear Jackson, I have no personal grudges against you. But I want to be the sole leader of this gang, which is quite difficult if you stay alive.”

This reply from him triggered something in me, and I recollected all of my force and kicked him hardly. Luckily, he had not tied my feet and I was able to use them. “You idiot, just to become the kingpin, you want to kill your best friend. The one with whom you had the most drinks, most parties, and the most shots!” I shouted at Pal, which felt like a volcanic eruption.

Pal, who had fallen on the ground, stood up. While dusting his clothes, he said, “You better be prepared for a brutal death. The difference between me and you is that you do what your heart says, while I believe in my brain. And that’s why, you are going to die.”

Pal raised his arm and pointed the gun toward me. The slight beam of moonlight coming through a narrow slit in the wall was making it possible to see everything in the room. Now I was determined to save myself anyhow, not just to stay alive, but to finish this betrayer.

The only way I could think of was using my legs, but he had a gun and could finish me anytime. But then, a bright idea came to my mind like the light in bulb, since it's dark, he won’t be able to see me if I fall on the ground. And thus, I pushed myself and fell to the ground. The impact created a loud thud, the sound bringing hope to my heart. He shouted, “Hey, don’t act smart, where are you? I will anyhow find you?”

I could hear him rushing towards me. The moment felt as if a storm was approaching the silent town, prepared for its destruction. But luck favored me. His sprint was brought to a halt by the chair I was chained to. He stumbled upon it and fell near my feet. I thanked the chair a hundred times for its life-saving help.

It was then time for action. I took his throat in between my legs and started to choke him. He punched hard on my legs, which felt like heavy stones on my feeble legs. But I tightened my grip, reducing oxygen for him. I could then hear him coughing heavily, and I coiled him just like an anaconda. Now, I was the sea, and he was just a sailor, waiting for the cyclone to pass away.

But much to his dismay, the cyclone drowned his ship. Pal lost his breath, and when he was just about to collapse, he said, in a very low tone, muffled up in his coughs, “I am sorry Jackson”, and then everything went to silence back again.