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DÉJÀ VU PART 1

Hello Dear Readers and Listeners, this story is about déjà vu, a feeling one might have that a present happening is a repetition of a past event. I hope you find this story entertaining. Please become a member of this website and join my mailing list. I shall be so happy to have you on board.



Watch the video trailer of DÉJÀ VU PART 1




INTRO 00:00:00

Welcome to OBSCURUS, your weekly dose of paranormal fiction. Every Wednesday OBSCURUS features new short stories and serialized novels written by novelist, screenwriter, and voice-over artist Biswajit Banerjee. The realm of the paranormal stretches far beyond the usual horror story. So, while you will get to listen to lots of ghost stories on this podcast, there will also be many tales of lesser-known paranormal themes. To get us started, here's your host Biswajit Banerjee.

HOST TALK 00:00:47

Hello and welcome to OBSCURUS. I am Biswajit Banerjee, your host for this show. Have you heard or read about déjà vu? Or ever experienced it? Déjà vu is the feeling one might have that a present happening is a repetition of a past event. Our protagonist experiences a chain of déjà vu and then … And then what happens? For the answer, you will have to listen to the story. This episode features the first part of the story, and the next episode will feature its second and concluding part.

Before we start the story, I would request my readers and listeners to visit my website biswajitbanerjee.com for information on my books, movies, and voice-over projects. Would you please become a member of the site and join my mailing list? I will be so glad if you do.

I have another website obscurus.buzzsprout.com which is devoted to this podcast. You will find all the OBSCURUS episodes, their transcripts, and chapter markers on this website.

And now, let’s plunge into the story. A bestselling author witnesses a series of events that feel like recurrences of past happenings. What’s the truth? Come, let’s find out.

DÉJÀ VU PART 1 00:02:49

Written and performed by Biswajit Banerjee

Event recurrences frustrate Filip

00:03:10

Agata entered the living room, took her shoes off, and sat on the large curvy sofa. Oh! How beautiful she was! While working on his novels, Filip used to go deep into the worlds he created and hated all possible distractions. The only thing for which he didn't mind taking his eyes off the word processor was the sight of his wife. Although they had now been married for more than two years, the freshness of their relationship didn't even wane by a trickle. In sharp contrast to other marriages in which shortly after the wedding, the partners cease to see the qualities in each other that caused the attraction and brought them close together, Filip was glad they were still mad about each other. While Filip was crazy about Agata's round pretty face, Agata was a huge fan of Filip's story-telling abilities.

"Hi Agata, good to see you back so soon. It appears you finished your shopping quickly."

"Darling, I didn't buy a thing today."

"Were things of your liking not available?"

"Some wonderful dresses were available. One shop also offered huge discounts."

"Then what stopped you from buying them?"

"I didn't enjoy being in the shopping complex today."

"Why?"

"Because I wished to be with you so that I could listen to the climax of your novel."

"But Agata, I am yet to finish it."

"Doesn't matter; I will wait and watch you write the climax. Watching you write gives me the greatest pleasure. Please continue writing."

"Okay, Agata, as you say."

Filip's fingers hammered the keyboard of his laptop again, and in less than two hours, the climax was done.

"Here you go, the climax is ready," Filip said and looked up.

The curvy sofa in the far end of the room was empty — there was no trace of Agata!

00:05:37

And as Filip wondered where Agata was, she walked into the living room, took her shoes off, and sat on the curvy sofa.

"Where did you go?"

"Shopping complex!"

"But ..."

"Darling, I didn't buy a thing today."

"But Agata ..."

"Some wonderful dresses were available. One shop also offered huge discounts. But I didn't enjoy being in the shopping complex today. I wished to be with you so that I could listen to the climax of your novel."

"No, this cannot be happening."

"What cannot be happening, Filip?"

"Agata, you entered this living room two hours back, took off your shoes and sat down on that sofa, and said more or less the same things that you said now."

"Impossible! Two hours back, I was with a friend in a café. And I haven't spoken to you for last several hours. The last time we spoke, the time was around half-past three. Now, it is nearing nine."

"But you came in, sat on the sofa, and said you didn't enjoy being in the shopping complex because you wished to be with me so that you could listen to the climax of my novel."

"Darling, you are making a mistake. Perhaps you imagined me moving into the room."

"No way, it was no imagination. I saw you moving in."

"Oh, come on, Filip, I couldn't have been here at that time. How could I be at the café and in this room at the same time? I am sure you imagined the event — after all, you are a writer."

"Are you sure you were not here around two hours back?"

"I have no doubts whatsoever about where I was at that time — the café. After spending an hour or so at the café, I went to the shopping complex."

"Strange! Or is it …

"What, Filip?"

"Is it some kind of joke you are playing on me, dear?"

"Do you think I would do such a thing? I hate such jokes."

***

00:08:04

Filip couldn't get over the strange occurrence — he had no explanation for what happened. Long back, he had read a novel on doppelgangers. A doppelganger is a ghostly double of a person. Appearances of doppelgangers, the ancients believed, portended bad luck. Some books authored by parapsychologists suggested that the appearance of a person's doppelganger is an indication that the person would die soon. Who was the one who entered the living room around seven in the evening? For sure, the one who entered wasn't Agata. If she claimed to be elsewhere around that time, Filip had no reasons to believe she had come to the room. She never lied. But someone did enter the living room. Could it be her doppelganger? Did the appearance of the ghostly double indicate that Agata would soon be gone — no, he didn't wish to think on those lines. Perhaps he should place his trust in Agata's explanation of what happened — he had imagined her entering the room and saying similar things. The human mind, Filip reasoned, often tricked itself into believing false events to be true. It was possible he imagined the sequence.

Precognition was another possibility. Through one of his essays, Dr. Jan Pawlak, a leading Polish psychiatrist, put forward the idea that imaginative minds can often foresee and sometimes even shape future events. Such cases of precognition, Dr. Pawlak claimed, had basis in science and must not be thought of as paranormal happenings. So, could Filip's vision of his wife in the living room be precognition of the event that was to happen two hours later?

"What are you thinking, Darling?" Agata said as she moved into the bed.

"Well, I am not sure ..."

"So, you are still thinking about the repetition of events?"

"Darling, it is not easy to get over what happened. Although I am trying to convince myself that your appearance in the living room around seven in the evening was a construct of my mind, my rational faculties aren't willing to accept that idea."

"Trust me, Filip, I didn't lie to you."

Agata stretched out on the bed with her head resting on his chest.

"Of course, you didn't lie to me, Darling," Filip said as he put an arm around her and tenderly moved his fingers on her shoulder.

"Will you read out your climax to me tomorrow?"

"Oh, yes, certainly though I may make some changes in the next draft."

"Doesn't matter; I guess the climax essentially will remain the same."

"Umm-hmm, I think so too."

"Wow! The first thing you will do after waking up tomorrow in the morning is to read out the climax to me."

"Yes, promise."

***

00:11:37

Around eight in the morning, when Filip was reading the climax with the laptop on his stretched legs and back resting against the bed's headboard, someone pressed the doorbell.

"I will answer the door," Agata said and got out of the bed.

She returned after about five minutes.

"Who was it?"

"The housekeeper."

"Isn't she too early today?"

"Yes, she has to go to the city downtown today to meet a relative. So, she wants to finish her chores by ten."

"Okay."

"Come on now, read the rest of the climax."

Agata got back into the bed, and Filip resumed reading the last chapter of the draft of his next novel. Before he could finish it, the doorbell rang again.

"I will answer the door," Agata said and got out of the bed.

After she left the room, Filip realized there was a great deal of similarity in the ways his wife spoke the lines I will answer the door just now and the exact same words she uttered a while back. Did he just witness another recurrence of an event? Five minutes later, Agata was back in the room.

"Who was it?"

"The housekeeper."

"The housekeeper?"

"Yes, but why do you look so surprised, Filip?"

"Didn't she come in a while back?"

"No, Filip, she came just now. Later in the day, she has to go to the city downtown to meet a relative. So, she wants to complete her chores by ten."

"Impossible."

"What's impossible?"

"A few minutes ago, she pressed the doorbell. You got up to answer the door and returned to tell me that the housekeeper has to go to the city downtown to meet a relative and therefore wants to finish her chores by ten."

"Please don't give me jitters by saying such things, Filip. I didn't leave the bed since we woke up. Only now did the housekeeper ring the doorbell, and I got up to answer the door."

"Look, Agata, if this is some joke, I don't like it at all."

"This is no joke, Filip. Trust me — I just got up once from the bed to answer the door. And I informed you about the housekeeper wanting to finish her chores by ten since she has to meet a relative later in the day just once."

"Then I have no clue what the hell is happening — why do I sense a current event to be a recurrence of a past event? Am I dealing with doppelgangers? Or have I suddenly got the powers of precognition?"

"Perhaps your mind is tired, Filip."

"A tired mind does not get to see events twice. There's something strange happening to me."

After a minute of thought, Agata said, "Do you think it will be of help to talk to a psychiatrist?"

"I guess it's important to talk to a psychiatrist. If my mind is playing tricks on me, a psychiatrist should be able to help me."

"It is always reassuring to be under a doctor's supervision. Let me check the web; I will find out a good psychiatrist for you."

"No, you need not do that, dear; I know which doctor I must see."

"Who?"

"Well, I believe the best person to go to is Dr. Jan Pawlak."

"Oh, the one whose articles you read very often?"

"Yes, Darling, he has a deep understanding of things that are apparently paranormal and suggests such happenings have their roots in science and are fully explainable."

"Okay, so, you think ..."

"He is the right man."

"But he is a big doctor, and there must be a lot of demand on his time. Will he give you an appointment?"

"I hope he does."

***

00:16:18

Filip was happy to get an early appointment — he was to see Dr. Pawlak after four days. But his happiness was short-lived. Within minutes of his getting the appointment, Agata brought him a cup of coffee and said, "Here you are, Filip, hot cappuccino for you." Nothing about this event would have been frightening if it had not happened in precisely the same way minutes before he called up Dr. Pawlak's clinic. And thereafter on at least a dozen more occasions over the next four days, he witnessed his wife and the housekeeper repeat their words and actions.

In the evening preceding the day Filip was to see the doctor, he found his frustration with the event repetitions challenging his sanity. When Celestyn, the housekeeper, re-entered the living room with a vacuum cleaner and put its nozzle on one corner of the curvy sofa, Filip lost his balance.

"Why the hell are you doing that again?"

"What happened, Mr. Kowalski? I am cleaning the sofas."

"But you cleaned the sofas a while back, didn't you?"

"No, I cleaned it last week."

"Don't tell lies, Celestyn. Fifteen minutes back, you were in this room doing the same cleaning stuff."

Filip's words were too sudden, loud, and harsh for Celestyn to keep her balance. As her body trembled with shock, Agata moved into the room.

"Don't be angry for nothing, Filip; she has entered this room for the first time today. And Celestyn is telling the truth — she cleaned the sofas last week."

Tears emerged in Celestyn's eyes.

"Don't cry Celestyn, he didn't mean to upset you. For some reason, he is disturbed. Take it easy, girl."

After a period of silence, Filip said, "I am so sorry, Celestyn, please forgive me."

Celestyn wiped her tears and nodded in response.

***

00:18:45

The next day when he was on his way to Dr. Pawlak's clinic, his mobile rang. The number of the clinic flashed on the screen.

"Hello," Filip said.

"Is it Mr. Filip Kowalski?" A receptionist spoke from the other side.

"Yes."

"Sir, you have an appointment in another forty minutes or so with Dr. Pawlak."

"Umm-hmm, I know; I am on my way."

"Okay, Sir, thank you."

After hanging up the phone, Filip said to Mikolaj, the driver, "How much more time will it take to reach the clinic?"

"Well, another half an hour maybe."

"Fine. So, we will be reaching in time."

Within a minute his mobile phone rang again. Yet again, the screen flashed the clinic's number.

"Hello."

"Is it Mr. Filip Kowalski?" A receptionist said.

"Yes."

"Sir, you have an appointment in another forty minutes or so with Dr. Pawlak."

"But you just called up to tell me that, didn't you?"

"Sorry, I didn't quite understand what you are saying."

"Didn't you call me a minute back to tell me I have an appointment with Dr. Pawlak in another forty minutes or so?"

"No, Sir, it seems you are making a mistake. I am calling you for the first time to tell you about the appointment."

"Oh, I see, thank you."

Filip disconnected the call and checked the call records. In the history of received calls, the clinic's number figured only once.

"How many times did you hear me talk on the phone since we started for the clinic?" He asked Mikolaj.

"Sir, you spoke on the phone just once. I guess you got a call from the clinic reception."

"Yes, it was a call from the clinic reception. But I got two calls from the reception, not one."

"Well, I just heard you speaking once on the phone."

"Don't you remember — after the first call, I asked you how much time it would take to reach the clinic?"

"No, Sir, you didn't ask that question before. But in case you are interested to know — it will take another half an hour maybe."

"What the hell — you answered that question before by saying it will take another half an hour maybe, didn't you?"

"Sir, I can't make sense of what you are talking about."

Dear Friends and listeners, that’s all I have for today. The next episode of OBSCURUS will feature the second and concluding part of the story. I will catch you next week.

OUTRO 00:22:36

Thanks for listening to OBSCURUS. If you like what you heard, please subscribe and visit biswajitbanerjee.com for more information about Biswajit's books, movies, documentaries, and other creative pursuits. We shall see you next Wednesday with another episode of OBSCURUS. Till then, take care!

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