“My name is Imran Ali and I am twenty three years old. Karachi is not my home city, I came from Abbottabad, where my parents reside along with my two sisters and a younger brother. Our family owns a hotel and a couple of petrol pumps. My house address and relevant contact numbers are enclosed within.
After graduating, I was hired by a company that was based in Karachi. So naturally, I followed my job to this city, rented the current residence and settled in as quietly as possible. You must understand, I have always been an introvert; making friends is not an easy task for me as it is for other people. I dwelled alone in this strange city, trying at the very best of my capacities to keep myself away from being a subject of people’s conversation. Lacking acquaintances and uninclined towards any noteworthy pastime, I had developed a strict regime to keep my mind busy and (in ways I fear my reader is incapable of comprehending) entertained. That regime included half an hour stroll in a nearby park every night after dinner. I was able to stick to my regime for nearly two years with only handful instances of aberrations until the 21st of December.
On the 21st the sun dipped below the horizon by 5:45pm. For the past couple of days, a winter spell had gripped the city and during night temperatures dropped to uncomfortable levels. Therefore I decided to take my stroll early, in twilight. I brisk walked along winding tracks of the park, completed two rounds with no unusual occurrences and started making my way back home. It was when I passed through the entrance of the park that a queer thing happened. Thick trees overhang on the parks gate. When I made my way between them, I felt as if I had just walked through a spider’s web. In the darkness I couldn’t see the web but I could feel the spider’s silk against my skin. It seemed that no matter how hard I tried I couldn’t get rid of the web; unable to see anything only worsened my ordeal. But it didn’t stop there. Throughout my walk back home it seemed as if I kept running into those invisible spider webs. I wasn’t sure how to react. I once stopped beneath a street light and tried to remove those webs from my body but I was unable to locate them with my sight. All I had was a feeling of numerous spider webs sticking to different places of my body. I am not superstitious, I blamed it all on thin fibers of a spider web that were alluding my sight. I reckoned that taking a shower should relieve me of my trouble. I was right, at-least for the time being.
Next day, was no different from the day before. Nothing unusual occurred in the work place. I started for home late in the evening. The sky was of crimson color and winter winds were in full swing. I stopped at a deserted traffic signal. The street lights weren’t operational as of yet and the red light of traffic signal covered everything around me in its bleak dimness. Suddenly a passerby walked in front of my car, illuminated only by headlights. For a moment I thought that I was watching myself walking pass me, such was the extent of resemblance between myself and the stranger. I didn’t gave the incident much thought. I reached home, refreshed myself and sat down to watch evening news. For the next couple of minutes, I kept my eyes locked on the T.V. screen without actually concentrating on the news being read out by the newscaster. But something caught my eyes that literally startled me. A man quickly walked behind the newscaster. There was nothing unusual about this incident since the news crew can normally be seen in the background walking pass the news room except the person who walked behind the newscaster looked exactly like me. I couldn’t say it for sure, since he appeared for a very short interval of time. But from what I could deduce from his momentary glimpse, he had the same glasses, and had the same hair line as myself. He was also of an equal height. I presumed it was nothing but a trick of my mind and sight Moreover, a phone call by one of my colleague stopped me from giving the incident much thought. Her name was Ramsha and lately for some reason she had started to approach me. I talked with her while keeping a check on all kinds of vibes that may falsely encourage her in believing that I was also interested in her.
The next day at work was when this nightmare started taking form. Just when I was about to enter the elevator, I realized that the person exiting it looked exactly like me. I tried to chase him down the lobby but was unable to catch up with him. I was quite shaken by this encounter but still was in no way prepared for the events that followed. While crossing the office corridor towards my cubicle, I realized that the janitor who had just walked inside the maintenance station had the same visage as me. I dashed into the maintenance room with the hope of confronting that being but instead found myself looking haphazardly in an empty room. I got out of the maintenance room just in time to catch a glimpse of a person walking with the delegation of the CEO of my company and that person was an exact copy of myself. I ran after him, I grabbed him by his coat and swung him around only to realize that he was someone else. It took me some moments to realize the weight of everyone’s stare on me. In a feverish frenzy I dashed out of my office and went back to my home.
Upon reaching my house, I felt weak and nauseated. I could hear my cell ringing but neither was I physically capable nor emotionally stable to answer it. Slowly it grew dark and when I came to my senses I was at a lost to establish the duration of my unconsciousness. Night had fallen and the events preceding my blackout seemed nothing but a bad dream. I decided to go for a walk in the park to refresh my mind. There was no one there and it was all peaceful and quite except an occasional rustle of the leaves at the hands of woeful winter winds. Going through the events of the past, I was not only intrigued but rather amused by what had happened. I shouldn’t have made myself a perfect fool in front of my coworkers. With these thoughts swirling around in my mind, I turned a corner and found a big gathering of individuals in shadows. There must have been 50 or 60 of them. They were all standing quietly with drooped shoulders and from there manner it looked as if they were all looking towards me. Out of curiosity I approached the one nearest to me to find out what was the matter. As I drew close I was stopped in my tracks when I realized I was walking towards a mirror image of myself.
I ran…I ran towards my house. Throughout the way I could see them peaking at me through the shadows. Where ever it was dark they were there. Staring at me with my own eyes and my own blank face. Nobody seemed to notice them except me. I reached my house and collapsed on the floor. I was short of breadth and suffocating. I crawled towards the window in the corner, threw it open and took a long deep breadth. Although I could feel the sting of cold air against my lung but it still provided me with some relieve. I rested my back against the corner of the living room and laid down on the floor. It was then that I noticed them, watching me from the darkness of my kitchen, the darkness of my room and the darkness around the door of my apartment.
I was trapped. There was nowhere to run, nowhere to hide. They stood motionless, staring at me. I knew they meant harm. I could see it in their eyes! There was a silence of death all around me. I could hear it, I could feel it. I kept my eyes fixated on them for an unknown interval of time before I realized that my mouth was drying up and I really needed water. But I dared not move even a single muscle let alone go inside the kitchen with them inside. Escaping the apartment was also beyond me since there was a crowd of them in front of my door. I decided to call for help, but there was one standing in the darkness besides my phone. I felt myself weakening. Slowly darkness crept in front of my eyes and I passed out.
When I came to my senses the first thing I noticed was the weakness. It was getting hard to breadth. I looked around me and it was still night and those beings were still staring at me. It was as if time had stopped. Suddenly the silience of death was broken up by ringing of my phone. After a few minutes the answering machine kicked in and I heard Ramsha’s voice. She was crying. In her broken voice she said that she loved me and that for over a year she had been trying to tell me this. She said that I should stop tormenting her by not coming to the office. It had been two days since she declared her love through the answering machine and I didn’t even call her back. She said that my silience tortured her. Crying uncontrollably she hung up the phone. I was too weak to comprehend of what she was talking about. Although I did get a sense of time when she mentioned 2 days of silence. All I wanted to do after that was to convey to her what had actually happened and why I didn’t reply to her.
So here I am writing it all down. Dying from starvation seems to be a very horrifying ordeal so I will take the easy way out and jump from the window. Just an hour ago I looked out of it and saw thousands of beings that looked like me gathered around my apartment. I think they are waiting for me to join their ranks. I will not keep them waiting any longer. You may consider this suicide note, you may hand it over to police for investigation but heed a dying man’s request and make sure it reaches Ramsha. There is one last thing I want to get out of my mind. Ramsha, I have loved you since the day I first looked at you. Goodbye.”
The above suicide note was found from the man’s apartment. It is being referred to the Karachi Police Forensic Department for validation.
Ramsha’s Dairy Entry, Dated:20/12/2012
Today on recommendation of Sana, I went to a Pir Baba to get help related to Imran. The Baba gave me few verses to recite and assured me that if I recite them in a proper manner, Imran would be head over heel in love with me. He also said Imran would not be harmed in anyway. He better be right! Poor me, I scribbled those verses in a hurry and on coming back home, I couldn’t understand most of what I wrote. I think I mispronounced a few sections but I will never go back to that creepy place again to get a correct copy. By the way, Imran looked really cute today in his blue shirt.