Meeta covered her ears to shut out the screaming noise. After a while, it was all quiet. She removed her hands that covered her ears. Was it real? She wondered. It was absolutely quiet in the flat she lived in. Maybe, it was in her head. Or did someone really scream?
She went to the balcony to look outside. From the 24th floor, it was an other worldly experience to look outside. She could only see the children playing in the garden. The garden lights giving out a beautiful glow. The vehicles on the road, with their yellow lights on, gently, throbbing in a neat line. But no sound reached her. No children giggling or honking from the roads. She looked up at the sky. It was velvety black. There was no moon. The city lights made sure that no stars can be seen.
She walked back to her bedroom, and switched on the TV. There was some serial going on. She put the TV on mute and went back to reading her book.
She heard it again. The scream. But, this time, she knew it was not her imagination. She opened the door to check outside the flat.
The scream had come from the neighbor’s flat.
She felt it’s not her business to intrude into other people’s private matters or homes. She turned to return to her flat. There was a smothering sound. Suddenly, she panicked. Wouldn’t she want someone to help her if ever she was in a similar situation?
Living alone, she could very well be a victim. She decided to investigate further. Civility can take a break. She tiptoed to the neighboring flat and rang the doorbell.
Complete silence. There were scuffling noises coming from inside and bangs on the door.
Then the lady behind the door screamed ‘Help! Help me!’
That convinced Meeta. She dialed the police number from her cell phone.