The girl stood there while glaring at the man who entered the room leisurely. He was taking his sweet time observing her. Then he slowly approached her. His face was just a few inches away from her face. She so badly wanted to run away from him. This man screamed of danger.
But the thought of Eliza stopped her. She looked into his bloody eyes. He grinned a little. "Want to know about your friend? Should I tell you or…." He slowly approached her and blew in her ears, "Even better. Show you?"
A bad premonition arose in her heart. She already had an idea what happened to her friend. The only thought that came to her mind was to save her friend at any cost.
She slowly inched backwards. She moved a step back while he moved a step forward. With every step she took backwards he inched forward. This repeated a few times until her legs hit the bed post.
She got an idea when she saw the bead lamp. She did not waste time and acted to tumble to the ground. She picked up the bed lamp and slammed it against the bewildered man's head without giving him time to react. The man screamed loudly and held his head.
His hands touched his blood from the blow. But he was not knocked out. Her strength was too little to knock him. Anger flared in his eyes. He was not serious about her till then. But he had clearly underestimated her. With his bloodshot eyes he glared at her.
He moved fastly. He held her neck and choked her. She tried to ignore his strength and swung the lamp again towards his head. Though he was stronger than her, he was hurt. So he was a step late. She hit his head again and the body of the lamp hit his head.
The body of the lamp was made of glass. When it hit him the glass broke and all the splinters of glass lodged into his head and some of them entered his eyes. He howled in pain and fell on his knees. She shoved him aside and ran downstairs. She began searching for her mobile.
When she found it, she was about to run and call the police. But at the end moment she was hit in the back of her head.
The last thing she saw was a frantic Eliza squatting beside her. She felt relief washing over her when she saw her friend was fine at least.... Alive. She was scared out of her wits when she saw the blood upstairs.
She saw that Eliza was very anxious. She wanted to console her, speak to her and wish her a happy birthday. She wanted to do something but her mind was not in her control. She listened to the soothing voice of Eliza before losing her conscious.
"Buttercup, Be good and stay safe. We shall meet again."
Time passed. The girl in black stayed unconscious for a long time. When she regained her consciousness, three days have already passed. She remembered what happened that day and immediately tired to contact Eliza. No response. She remembered that Aunt Kelly and them must have returned from their trip.
She tried to reach them but everyone's mobile was switched off. So she decided to go to their home. When she reached there, all that greeted her were the people who gathered in the house wearing a black dress. Her mind went blank. She just went inside the house mechanically.
There Eliza's family was present. Uncle Kevin, Aunt Kelly and Brother David all sat in their living room. Aunt Kelly was sobbing while Uncle Kevin consoled her. When David saw the girl who ran in her hospital gown he felt complicated.
He wants to say something to her but at the same time he blamed her.
Had it not been for her forcing them to leave Eliza behind would Eliza be still alive? Eliza would still be among them and laughing with them. Wouldn't she?
But he too knew that what happened was not her fault. She too was victim. But he understood the fact does not mean that everybody felt the same. Uncle Kevin and Aunt Kelly looked at her. There was blame in both of their eyes. They did not say a single word to her. In fact they did not wish to even see her.
The girl knew it. They were blaming her for forcing them to leave Eliza behind. Blaming her for breaking their trust and not protecting Eliza. And perhaps blaming her for being safe while....Eliza?
Aunt Kelly and Uncle Kevin did not speak a single word with her. They left the room silently as if they could not breathe the same air as her.
The girl did not know how long it had been. She did not know how she reached the cemetery. She came to a memorial in one corner and looked at her best friend's picture on the memorial.
She only remembered asking Brother David about what had happened. His words were still ringing in her ear.
"We hurried back on the night of Eliza's birthday. We wanted to at least spend the night with her on her Birthday. By the time we came back you were lying on the ground unconscious. We were terrified. When we ran to Eliza's room it was in a mess. She was nowhere around. We only got a message written in blood on the white marble floor that we should not search for her and even if we search for her we will never find her. We informed the police and they got you to the hospital. You were not in a state to give the statement.
The police looked for all CCTV cameras in the vicinity and found one with information. Eliza was dragged into the car by a man. He also took all the money and whatever jewellery available in the house with him. And then… the next day the car was found in tatters.
The car hit the guard rail and fell into the valley but not entirely. The petrol tank got ignited and all the remains we got were pieces of cloth and some blood. We don't even have the dead body of Eliza.
Two DNA's were found in the blood. One of them matched with dad's. The DNA confirmed that the blood belongs to Eliza. It is estimated that their bodies were blown into pieces and fell into the valley. The search is still on. But technically there is no chance for survival. Eliza..... She is probably no more...."
The girl looked at her only best friend's picture. Till then she did not cry a single tear but she could not bear it anymore. She started sobbing at first but then it turned into wailing.
Self blame was killing her.
Had she not been obstinate would Eliza be still alive? Had she been better at protecting her friend would she not have been taken away? Would she not get into an accident? She does not know…. She only knows that her obstinacy killed her only friend. And also…..
That bastard..!!! She will never let him go.
If he is dead then that is good for him. But if he survived this.....
She will personally kill him. She gritted her teeth and promised herself.
But why has nobody ever mentioned what happened to that rascal? Was it because his death could not be confirmed because of lack of DNA? Should she tell David and them what happened to Eliza before her death?
But....Will it be too cruel of her?
'Yes!! Already Aunt and uncle are devastated. I can't add salt to their wounds.'
"Liz… I-I am so-sorry… for not protecting you, for not being with you in your time of need. But I promise I will know the entire truth and will kill the person who has harmed you. I will never let anyone go who are behind this."
The lonely girl in a hospital uniform cried for indefinite time. Her sobs echoed in the silent cemetery.
When the night fell the girl turned around slowly and disappeared in dark.