Submitted By: Nazmeen Singh
Zinnia Mathur, a girl aged twenty five years, young and vivacious, was an apple of her daddy’s eyes. Mr. Mathur was an affluent entrepreneur having mega builder projects in Delhi and having a plush bungalow in the exclusive and extravagant Hailey road. Mrs Mathur was like most of the Delhi’s bored rich businessmen’s wives, was a socialite, a charm at all the parties flashing her Cartier diamonds and Chanel handbags. Her life revolved around shopping, lunches and parties. Mr Mathur kept busy minting money for his wife and daughter. Zinnia, their beloved daughter was more or less following her mother’s footsteps to be a party diva one day. She attended college during the day and was swarmed by boys, the prospective candidates who would flock around her in the parties to get a chance with her. She hardly allowed any boy to come close to her but nonetheless loved the attention. Her girl pals idolized her and wanted to be like her. She was quite a head turner when she would arrive on college campus in her chauffeur driven Bentley, courtesy daddy. She would walk in high heels from Louboutin, clothes from Gucci, happily carrying her Prada bag and Iphone both in her left hand. It all seemed like fairytale until one Friday night.
It was Friday the 13th, the big werewolf of the calendar. It was time for Zinnia and her friends to hit a club and dance all night long. It could be a Godforsaken Friday, the 13th for all she cared. Friday night simply meant cocktails and dance at Rudra, the hip psychedelic trance club in New Friends Colony. At 9:00 pm she and her friends gathered at the club and hit the LITs and Mojitos one after the other. They were soon lost to the tracks of trance and electronic music. They simply loved getting high.
Zinnia, while dancing in her red Dior skirt paired with a backless red blouse and golden pumps from Jimmy Choo, looked like a fashion Goddess. Her best friend Tanya wore a floral and lacy black dress from Zara and black pencil heels from Steve Madden. She looked good too. But they all knew that nobody could beat Zinnia in her grand style and opulence. The second friend, Saira was dressed in denim shorts and orange tube top from Promod and orange pumps from Aldo. She didn’t care how she looked. She just believed in partying hard.
The club was to shut at 11:00 pm and it was almost time. The girls screamed for one more track to be played. Zinnia shouted, “Please DJ! One last track!” The DJ obliged waving at her. Tanya always wondered how Zinnia could get everything done her way. Even though she was her BFF, she was envious of her. She pointed it out to Saira, “What is the point of dressing up so much? All the boys are just looking at Zinnia, like we are nonexistent, like what the hell!”
Saira smiled and said, “Oh C’mon Tanya! What’s wrong with you? Just have tequila shot and see us sway”
Tanya repeated herself, “Don’t you get it? Zinnia gets all the attention and we are like two rotten extras.”
Saira smiled again and said “Really? I never noticed. But what the hell! Who cares? Let’s dance!!!”
Tanya stormed out of the dance floor raging in anger and entered the washroom. She splashed cold water on her face and wiped it dry. She looked straight into the mirror with her eye kohl draining her eyes which were red and in tears. She said, “Am I not beautiful? I have got a better body than Zinnia. Then why?” She reapplied her make up and put on her body mist and walked out with renewed confidence. She stood at the bar with her one hand resting on the bar table and her other hand on her hips. She would curl her hair and give a sheepish grin every time a buy would pass by her. She was desperate and provocative in her gestures. But it didn’t work. She paid no attention to Zinnia who was calling out to her to join her for the last dance of the night. She muttered to herself, “Go die woman! The party is over. You got boys ogling at you while I stand here alone.” She had to do something. She knew.
Soon the party was over and all the three girls huddled themselves in Zinnia’s Bentley. She was driving tonight and had to drop the other two on her way back. Tanya sat in front next to the driver seat while Saira made herself comfortable on the backseat enjoying all the space to herself.
Zinnia noticed Tanya’s frowned look and asked her, “Are you okay babe? You look somewhat distressed.” Tanya replied. “Oh! It’s nothing. Just too much liquor in my system, it’s making me sick and drowsy.” Zinnia believed her and kept driving smoothly on the well lit roads of Delhi.
Tanya finally spoke up, her devilish mind at her evil best, “Hey Zinnia! Do you know it is Friday, the 13th today?”
“Yes! So what? You actually believe in such stuff that some demon will follow us or we will meet with some evil fate?” said Zinnia laughing.
Tanya spoke more firmly, “Hey don’t laugh at such things. You may not believe in it but you shouldn’t ridicule it. Otherwise something awful will happen to you tonight itself.”
Zinnia laughed again, “Oh cut the crap! You are just drunk and talking nonsense.”
Tanya kept her patience and said, “I am not that drunk to not know what I am saying. You keep laughing and don’t complain later when something bad happens. Ok?”
Zinnia was a little furious now, “What has gotten into you today? Besides in another hours time it will be Saturday, the 14th. Alright?”
Tanya just wouldn’t give up so easily. She wanted to shock the living daylights out of her. She would derive a sadistic satisfaction out of it.
Tanya said, “Ok! You don’t believe me. Park the car on an empty lane and walk ten steps alone. You will see for yourself what happens.”
“You are crazy.” said Zinnia.
Tanya said, “Oh what happened? Are you scared, Miss Sissy pants?”
Zinnia had a point to prove now. She agreed to perform the task. She parked the car and got out to walk ten steps. Tanya was smiling at her, “Go on! Let’s see how brave you are.”
Meanwhile, Saira who was totally oblivious to the conversation had passed out on the backseat and was snoring away to glory.
Zinnia started walking slowly. It was a chilly night. She felt a light drizzle on her bare back. She took ten steps and nothing happened. She turned around confidently and smiled back at Tanya, waving at her and laughing at her, “Look you stupid woman. I have done it. Now what will happen? Will some demon take me away or kill me on the spot?”
Tanya didn’t respond. She just looked at her stone faced. Her revenge plan had clearly failed. Zinnia came back to the car and said laughing, “So Missy! Are you satisfied now? There is nothing Zinnia Mathur can’t do.” Tanya didn’t respond, still holding the stone faced look.
Zinnia kept her hand on Tanya’s shoulder, “Oh C’mon now! It’s over. Forget about it. Let’s drop you home.”
Tanya still didn’t respond. Zinnia pulled her gently, “Tanya…..Oh My God!”
Tanya was dead. Her head dropped on her left shoulder. Her side window was open and she had dark red handprints on her neck. Zinnia was speechless. Saira was still snoring.