Second episode – Fiction story series – Immoral acts.
Pranay allows Kaaya to come in. Giving a glass of water Pranay lets her to calm down.
She looks totally broken. The charm and glee in her personality has disappeared. The beauty, joy and delight on her face are missing. Something terrible must have happened. Scars which have now lightened grab Pranay’s attention.
Pranay: “How are you feeling now?”
“Better. Thank you so much for everything.”
Pranay: “It’s okay. Now, tell me what happened? Why are you in such a state and what are all these scars on your face?”
“I don’t understand how to tell you.”
Pranay: “Look, you need to tell me because without knowing truth, how can I help you?”
“Kashyap… he has done this to me.”
Pranay: “What? But why?”
“This is nothing new. He has maltreated me for so many times and I have tolerated all that just because I love him more than my life…..”
She sobs and Pranay is agitated to hear this about his friend. The girl is living a pathetic life. He really feels ghastly.
“….. You don’t know few things about your friend. He is an impeachable crook. He just has made my life a living hell!”
Pranay: “I am not getting your point actually. If Kashyap was molesting you, why were you living in with him? I have seen both of you together several times. There wasn’t any such sign in your behavior.”
“I know no one is going to believe me but trust me there was a reason why I was with him…”
Kaaya takes out few photographs from her luggage. There were photos of her intimate moments with Kashyap. Pranay now has understood that Kashyap has oppressed Kaaya to stay with him by blackmailing her with these photos.
Kaaya then tells him that she has managed to get those photos from the locker anyhow and thus she is now free to leave Kashyap. She also asks Pranay to help her get out of the town as Kashyap might catch her again and it might be possible that he would kill Kaaya also as he did with Pratha!
Pranay is surprised to know about Pratha also. He till date was not believing that Kashyap has killed Pratha but now looking at Kaaya’s condition he has to believe what Ronit was saying too. He tells Kaaya to rest for a while and starts thinking about how to send her at her father’s. First he thinks to call Ronit but the next moment he drops the idea just to avoid anyone knowing about Kaaya being here with him.
He looks at Kaaya. She has slept. He stares this beautiful, innocent face and feels bad for her also for being in wrong hands. He thinks about how helpless the girl must have felt while living with that swindler Kashyap, whom he now hates to call a friend.
Pranay decides to drive Kaaya to her village by himself. He taking her in his car is now few minutes away from the village. But he realizes that his appearing in front of Kaaya’s conservative, old fashioned family might get her in trouble as she told him previously that her people are very reactionary and might behave regressively. Thus, he drops Kaaya at the nearest auto stand and returns to the town, behaving as if nothing has happened! He is relieved and feeling good about helping Kaaya. He also has decided to erase Kashyap as his friend from his life.
The same day, late at night, Pranay’s doorbell rings again.
Pranay thinks who this might be. It is Ronit’s voice he hears with the thump on the door. He leaps from the bed towards the door.
“Ronit, it’s too late. Anything serious?”
“Why is your phone switched off?”
Pranay has switched off the phone thinking about Kashyap might ask about Kaaya, though there was a negative possibility of Kashyap knowing it. Still, he is feeling blameworthy subconsciously.
Ronit has come to pick him as they have to reach to the hospital Kashyap has been admitted in.
Kashyap has got a heart attack and is critical. Both-worried Ronit and baffled Pranay rush to the hospital!
Doctors tell them that Kashyap is out of danger now but they will be keeping him under observation for a week. After two or three days, he feels better. Ronit asks him about the actual reason for all this.
Kashyap starts speaking,
“Guys, I need to apologize to both of you for not telling the truth….”
Pranay knows that Kashyap is going to regret for what he has done to Pratha and Kaaya but he is also determined for not giving him an apology at any cost as what he did is an unforgivable crime!
Kashyap continuing, “… Kaaya has left me robbing all my cash, few property papers and the photographs she had with which she blackmailed me since last nine months. I am not worried about the wealth she ransack with but guys those photos can damage my reputation. I am quite worried about those.”
Pranay’s head starts spinning. He stands aphonic.
Ronit: “What? What are you talking about? And Kaaya was blackmailing you….I just don’t get it!”
Kashyap: “I know, you won’t. Guys, let me clear everything today. This I must have done earlier then I might not have suffered this much.”
Ronit and Pranay take their seats giving him an ear.
Kashyap: “All of you know that I had a love marriage with Pratha but after a few months of marriage I came to know about her being disloyal and she was engaged in some unlawful activities like drug peddling also. Her father even was not aware of such things about her. The day she died, she was trying to escape police and got struck to that tree and died on the spot. We closed the whole matter keeping our reputation intact. Her father still blames me but it is alright. I don’t want him to know about Pratha’s dark side……”
Ronit and Pranay feel their senses getting numb.
“…..this might be my misfortune that within a month of Pratha’s death, Kaaya- one of my students, one day in my state of depression, got me involved. I felt relieved that finally I had found the true love of my life but it was all fabricated. She pictured all those moments, taking help of her boyfriend and started blackmailing me for money. I tried to make her start a real life with me but she intended something different. She with the help of her boyfriend, many a times dramatized to be victimized of domestic violence also. Finally, she just has executed her master plan leaving nothing behind!”
Pranay feels that the whole place is revolving. Ronit obliviously stares both of them. Moments pass in absolute silence. A knock on the door breaks the silence. That is doctor for Kashyap though all the three need him!
Read more fiction story collections at esquire.