I strained a smile and sipped from my cup.
“It’s going to be okay, Rohan,” Tia said, leaning over the table to touch my hand.
The lights flickered; I pulled my hand away, anxiety filling my stomach. She was confused.
“I’m sure she’ll be found, you just need faith.”
“Sure,” I responded, taking another sip.
She stared into my eyes, interrogating me silently, “You need to get out of here. How about we go out and get a bite to eat.”
I don’t like her, get rid of her!
I shook my head.
“It was only a suggestion,” Tia said, slightly deflated.
“No, no, no! It’s not that. It’s….uh, complicated,” I said, nervously chuckling.
She smiled again.
GET RID OF HER!
I slammed my fists on the table and shot to my feet.
“NO!” I shouted.
Shock filled Tia’s face and I panicked.
“Oh no! Not you! It’s her! She’s still here!” I pleaded.
Tia backed away, “Who? Puja, your wife?”
“Yes! Yes! She doesn’t want you to be here, you have to help me.”
“That’s why I’m here, to help you.”
The cup flew off the table, the scalding tea scorching her fair skin as the ceramic material disintegrated against the bone in her face; she screamed. Blood streamed down her nose, hitting the floor with a light slap. I ran over to her, reaching out my arm.
“Get away from me! Please!”
“I didn’t throw that! She did!”
With one last glance, she ran for the front door, it banged as she swung it open.
I heard * Tia* chuckle, in the surroundings, in my ears, in my head.
I fell to my knees and cried out, “Please, leave me alone!”
You never left me alone when I asked, that’s why I am here; that’s why I’m here forever.
“What do you want?”
I want you like I always did; no-one else can have you. Not until they find where you put me and you suffer, but until then…
With a slam, the front door shut.
I’m not going anywhere, baby.


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