"Ah! you are awake. I was just coming to wake you up. You wont ever believe what I've done now." Sai came into the room just as Nidhi was stretching herself and struggling to keep her eyes open, in spite of the mid day sunlight.
He stood there with such a wide grin and an unbeatable look of accomplishment that she had to laugh.
"You are laughing? Did I miss something? I didn't say anything funny did I?"
"You made breakfast." she said trying to keep a straight face and acting overwhelmed.
" how did you guess? I changed my shirt. I haven't dribbled anything on my pants...how did you guess?" He asked baffled.
"Wifey instincts!!" she said smugly.
He stuck his tongue out at her. "Fine. Someday, even I'll discover something like husbandly instincts and then you'll see."
"hee hee....am eagerly awaiting the day"
"Well anyway. I made dosa. I couldn't figure out how to make sambar or chutney, so you'll have to do with ketchup. And don't make that face. Be grateful I dint kick you out from the bed to make breakfast. Do you even know the time woman? its nearly lunch time. No actually its brunch time-11.30. and...."
"Get the breakfast Sai...am hungry...and am not sure I cant resist dosa and ketchup....." she said, smiling an evil smile.
Not catching the sarcasm, his face brightened and he walked out of the room.
he came in with 2 plates of what looked like bits of dirt, painfully arranged in the form of a circle, and a Maggi ketchup bottle balanced on one of the plates.
"there you go. My best creation ever. They are slightly...erm...overdone...but they are tasty. I tried them." he looked at her sideways.
she hugged him and whispered into his ears. "I love burnt dosas"
"I knew you'd say that."he said smiling at her. "so you start attacking the dosa, while i get the paper."
She started picking on the brown remains of what was intented to be a dosa.
Surprising how the dosa could be burnt and yet not cooked properly on the inside. Probably that's why Sai called it his best creation so far. Nidhi chuckled.
The first bit of the dosa was slowly finding its way into her mouth when Nidhi screamed. The dosa wasn't brown because it was burnt. It was brown because it was made of cockroach wings. brown, shiny and plastic like.
Sai came rushing into the room and saw Nidhi screaming like she'd never screamed before. She jumped out of the bed as soon as she saw him and lunged at him wildly.
"You are the one. You put cockroaches in the dosa. you are the one who has been haunting me. You are trying to kill me" she said hitting Sai with all her strength.
"Nidhi! what are you saying? what about cockroaches? calm down. CALM DOWN!"
He was shaking her like a rat. Willing her to quieten down.
She looked at him wildly. She could see the cockroaches coming out from his hair. They were coming out from his finger nails. She could feel them climb over her. Shey were crawling on her. all over her. And he was laughing. He was standing there, throwing back his head in mirthful laughter.
She broke away from him and ran. She had to escape. She had to. This maniac was out there to kill her.
"Nidhi...what are you doing? Where are you running to? There is nothing here Nidhi. Its just me. please listen to me" His voice was frantic now.
The knife which was lying on the dining table slashed his fingers. it cut his chest. tore at his arms.
She sat on him and pared away the cockroaches. One by one. The ones coming out of his finger nails, his hair, his mouth. When she was done, she laughed.
"I cant die now. All the cockroaches are gone."
The cockroaches never left her.
They were in her little cell too. She could see them crawling all over the room. And she felt as many as twenty scrambling on her head. Running down her nose. Some sliding down strands of hair…she searched for a knife so that she could chop her hair off. Then perhaps they would stop crawling over her. But in that tiny room with bars there was nothing except a thread bare cot, a water jug and a blanket. She reached for the water jug and smashed it over her head.