CHAPTER 8: UNDER THE CANDLELIGHT

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It had been more than an hour since he arrived home ,but Neil was still hooked on to his laptop .Piping hot coffee by his side , determination to win the case against a fraudulent company on his mind , he scrolled through the pages of arguments, questions and proofs ; his eyes glued to the bright screen and his hand moving between the touchpad and his coffee mug.

With a final overview , his finger tapped on the send button on his screen .As if some magic working in reverse , along with the file ,the electricity went out too , engulfing the whole building in darkness.With his screen acting as his guiding light , he rummaged through his shelves looking for the candles his mom had forcefully stocked there.

He had to abandon his candle hunt midway when he heard someone knocking on his door without a break.Rushing to the door he opened it immediately ,only to get the blinding light from a flashlight on his eyes. His hands reflexively shielded his eyes and a curse almost made it out of his mouth.

" What the .!!!"

" Oops !! Sorry " the glaring light went down , unveiling the face behind.

" You !! " his shock was perceptible.

" You were expecting a ghost !" the person who had taken up the sole responsibility of shocks and surprises in his life at present ,was standing right infront of him ; Avni ,the source of unexpectedness and unpredictability in his life.

" You are more scary than a ghost !" he smirked.

" Thank you for the compliment " she smiled back.

" That wasn't a compliment ! "

" But, I'll take it as a compliment that I could scare someone like you "

" You are just ... " he facepalmed without completing his statement.

" I know .So are you ever going to invite me in ? " She looked at him with her eyebrows arched up.

He looked at her carefully ,as much as the light permitted. It is then that he noticed that she was holding a thick book in her other hand ,which she clutched on to tightly with the support of her abdomen.On her folded arm rested a shawl folded neatly .On top of it rested a pair of white earphones. Brushing off all the logical explanations that his mind dared to come up with ;for the packet of surprises in front of him was everything but predictable , he asked her the very obvious question.

" What's all this ?" his eyes still stuck on the bundle of things that she was carrying.

" How rude of you ! First let me in." Without further ado ,she gently pushed him aside and walked right in as if she owned the place .

Mouth agape he turned to see her settling comfortably in the cozy couch. Closing the door behind him ,he stood by the door ,arms crossed and folded against his chest , observing her arranging her things.

" Done?? Now would you care to explain ? " he settled himself on the single counterpart of the couch.

" Hmm. Look around you .The power's out and I didn't want to stay alone at my place ,considering the fact that I don't have any candles and my phone is about to die ."

"So you mean to say you are scared of the dark ? Do you feel the apartment is haunted? " The sound of his voice changed to a grave one ,just like the voiceovers in horror movies.

"What !! No !! " Her brave face looked made up.

" So you are saying that Miss Avni Mehta ,the daredevil who isn't scared of jumping infront of speeding cars is afraid of the dark ?''

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