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The neighbor

The doorbell rang suddenly and I could see an old lady standing in front of our door through the peeping hole. I opened the door and the lady said, “I am your neighbor. I stay in that house’’ and pointed towards a nearby two-storied building. She resumed “You guys have just come here I guess. I have something to tell you. Can I come inside?’

’I replied, “Please do come in. We have just come here a few days back.’’ My wife, Rima was watching the lady and she motioned her to have seat on our cozy chair.

The lady began, “You probably should not have come here. The place is infested with miscreants. I am a widow and I stay here with my maid. They have killed my son. And they are also after me. They are always following me like a shadow. I have come here to warn you. Please stay safe.’’

The locality enshrouded by greenery seemed to be quite peaceful. We were quite startled to hear this. I responded, “Have you informed the police? You need police protection immediately.’’ The lady said, “I have visited the police. They believe that my son died of an accident. But I know, it was a cold-blooded murder. Now they want to finish me off.’’

I could hardly believe my ears and was now feeling insecure myself. I felt quite sympathetic towards this old lady. I realized that these goons might have bribed the policemen that is occurs in most cases like these. Or these goons might have some strong political connections which are preventing the police from taking necessary actions, so they are trying to portray this like an accident. I replied, “Are they local goons? And why are they trying to kill you?’’

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The lady responded, “They have an eye on our house. They had offered us a hefty amount for vacating our house, but I rejected the. That’s why they want to kill me. They have already killed my son and now I am the remaining one.’’ I often read these incidents in the newspaper. These are occurring very frequently and nobody is taking any necessary steps. I replied, “The situation is very serious as I can see. Let’s see. I have an uncle in the police. But he is on holiday. I will surely inform him about your situation. Don’t worry and keep my number.’’

The lady replied, “Nobody wants to help these days. Nobody wants to get into trouble. I am very happy that at least you have understood my situation. It will be a great help if you can inform your uncle. And both of you please do take of yourself. They must have seen me coming into your place. They will now keep an eye on you, also. They are dangerous, please be cautious.’’ Rima wanted to make some tea for her but she refused and said she was in a hurry and to visit the local market. She soon left the place and Rima anxiously asked, “She is right. We can also get into some trouble. You don’t have to tell uncle anything. We are new here, nobody will come to our rescue if we get into trouble’’.

I replied, “Let’s not think about it now. Uncle is out of town now, anyway. But we can at least give some moral support to this lady. She is so disturbed. She desperately needs some support.’’ Rima nodded. We were also quite disturbed since we hardly expected it to be like this. I was pondering upon the impending dangers of the helpless lady. I was determined that I had to tell uncle.

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A couple of days rolled on and there was no trace of the lady. Suddenly, one day she called me up and said, “They have encircled my house. They can raid our place at any moment. They are carrying pistols. We are feeling so helpless. Please do something…Please. I have informed the police but they are unwilling to take any steps.’’ I hung up the phone and made my way to her place, without informing Rima anything. I knew she will get tensed. But I was unable to trace the presence of anyone around the house. Maybe they are hiding somewhere I told myself and rang the doorbell.

A young woman opened the door and I said, “The lady had called me. She needs some help from me.’’ The woman said, “Please get in, I will tell you everything’’. The woman led me into a spacious drawing room and motioned me to have a seat. But I was too anxious for the lady, I asked, “But what happened to the lady? Where is she? Isn’t she home?’’
The woman said, “Yes she is okay now, I have given her pills. She is sleeping now in her room. She must have skipped her pills, this morning.’’ I was stunned. She went on, “I have been working here for the last twelve years. I feel quite sorry for her. But mistress was never like this. Everything changed after the death of her only son…’’I replied, “Yes I know about her son. He was murdered by those goons’’.

The woman remorsefully said, “That is what she wants to believe. But it was just a road accident. He had gone out with his neighborhood friends for watching a movie.

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But my mistress never understood this. She suspected some foul play and even made police complaints. The police soon dismissed the case for the lack of any shreds of evidence. But she could not get over this. She turned paranoid very soon and is now under medication. She thinks everyone is trying to kill her for getting control over this house. She often visits or calls the local police station and neighbors for garnering support. Everyone in the locality is aware of her ailment. You must be new here, I guess’’. I soon left the place with a heavy heart.

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