facts start to unravel….

Chapter 15

The phone rang shattering the quietness around and woke Anshuman with a start. He had slept like a log…he couldn’t believe it. He shifted and beside him, Simrat stirred and turned around and continued sleeping. She probably didn’t have her quota of sleep too. He quickly walked out of the bedroom and shutting the door checked the phone. It was Kader… why was he calling so early in the morning…?

“…Hello…? Kader…?”

“…Hi Anshuman…I am sorry to have bothered you so early in the morning… but I have some information that might help you… I have found someone from that period you are looking for…”

Anshuman still hadn’t got rid of his suspicions around Kader and the only way to find out was to visit the guy. But right then he could only think of his explosive reunion with his Angie… it was difficult for him to acknowledge her as Simrat. He went to the kitchen to fix breakfast for them. Should he call Manpreet here…? He didn’t know how the boy would take the intrusion in his life. Especially watching his mother in this house. He heard Simrat use the washroom as he poured the scrambled eggs in the plate and two cups of piping hot coffee. He took the tray to the drawing-room as she emerged fully dressed. He gestured towards the breakfast but Simrat shook her head.

“…Anshuman… I have to get going… Manpreet must be waiting for me…”

“…uh… About Manpreet… I wanted to…”

“…Anshuman… I am sorry… but please stay away from my son…now that you know about my profession… just keep away… you will bring danger to him…”

“…But Simrat… he is suffering… his stuttering, learning problems… I can help him Simrat…”

“…No… No Anshuman… I am very close to finishing this mission and this is the last mission of my career… I am then retiring and… will move from this place with Manpreet and my mom…”

Gosh, the woman was exasperating. “…Simrat…. Manpreet and me…we get along so well… I love that boy Simrat… he has hugely impacted my life… Please don’t do this… I promise I will protect him by all means… and no one would know about us…”

“…Cut it Anshuman… I don’t have the energy to deal with this… my mission…”

“…Manpreet isn’t your Goddamn mission Simrat… He is a little boy who needs… someone to help him battle his demons…and I… I need him too…”

Simrat straightened her back and narrowed her slits as she stared at him. “…for the last time Anshuman… get this straight… you will not keep any contact with my son… he doesn’t need any kind of distraction right now…he misses a father figure and so is drawn to you…but I can’t complicate his life…”

“…I promise I won’t leave him…”

With her hands on her hips, she moved closer. “…If you ever meet Manpreet… I shall be forced to use restraint… so stay away…” She turned around and left the house, the banging of his door echoing through the walls and his heart as well.

Didn’t last night mean anything to her? Didn’t she trust him with her son…? What the hell…? He rubbed his face. He had to meet Kader and start putting an end to this chapter that was now pushing its tentacles deep into his heart and soul.

Soon after Simrat left he made his way to Passion. Kader was pacing along the now empty lobby. He gestured him in and served him freshly ground coffee. For the usually calm and composed man, Kader appeared nervous. Anshuman didn’t know if it was his observation or some kind of bias. In a few minutes, Zulfikar chacha wobbled his way along with another man in a grown white beard who looked even older. Kader moved quickly to assist the other man and helped him settle on the chair. The older man was panting with the little walk and he stared at Anshuman.

Kader spoke. “…Well… Anshuman this is Salahuddin Kazi… he used to officiate weddings in this area till a decade ago… can you show that picture…?”

Anshuman took out his mobile and showed the picture. Salahuddin Kazi held the instrument with his trembling hands adjusted his glasses as he squinted to watch the photo. After about a minute he returned the mobile to Anshuman even as the latter held it with a thudding heart, wondering what was to unravel.

The old man coughed deeply and cleared his phlegm panting again as he spoke. “…Beta… I remember this beautiful girl… it was the last wedding I… got done… weird… totally ajeeb… I don’t her name… she was a Hindu girl… nikah with Muslim… name changed… Nikahnama very quick… they were already married for a while… Her husband…namaqulAllah will never forgive him… I heard he died… no Jannat for him…” The man started to cough violently and Kader had to order hot water to help him sip. The man held up his rough trembling hand and continued panting. Every breath he inhaled was labored. “…Allah punished me too… I wanted money so did it… but I had tried to rectify it when I heard the poor girl died… I told police… and that Army man who had arrived… senior man… the girl was Hindu… he thought she was his daughter… but later found she wasn’t …He cremated her…performed Hindu rites…I was there… right there…” He rubbed his wrinkled face struggling to breathe. Anshuman was finding it difficult to hold back his tears even as rage boiled inside him. How he wished his sister had called him just once… how he wished he had listened to his gut feeling after her last call and not waited. The old man cleared his voice as he continued. “…you see… Allah never forgives wrongdoings… I am suffering too… I have lung cancer…won’t survive long beta…”

Anshuman inhaled deeply and spoke. “…Kazi saab… I thank you for telling me all this but I… I already know about it… I was hoping to get additional information…”

The old man held up his hand to stop him. “…Beta… Kader here said… your sister was pregnant when she died…”

Anshuman nodded. “…Yes, Kazi saab, 3 months pregnant I was told…”

“…That can’t be beta… you have the wrong information…”

Anshuman’s head shot up. “…What…?” he saw even Kader who was pouring hot water for the old man still in his tracks.

“…Beta… I was always guilty about ruining that girl’s life to an extent… I had tied a sacred thread from our dargah to her wrist… hoping Allah would protect her from that villainous husband of hers…But when I heard she died the same week… I rushed to find out what happened… I know the doctor who handles such deaths… the post-mortem was conducted before that Army man reached here… that woman who died… was not pregnant but she had a brain tumor in the terminal stage… and …” He looked into Anshuman’s eyes. “…the dead body was bloated beyond recognition but there was no sacred thread on the wrist….”

Anshuman stood up on wobbly legs, the news becoming too much to sink in. 

The old man spoke as if no one existed. “…Either your sister had taken off the thread and she wasn’t pregnant… or… that woman wasn’t your sister at all…”

©priyagole. No part of the story can be copied or shared anywhere without the consent of the writer.

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  1. Omg…That means Meera is alive and in that home where Angie visited….but then who’s son is Manpreet…Ohh God….so many twits and turns Priya….so gripping and super interesting it is getting after every update. Loved it 👌👌👏

    • Oh god…. maybe meera is alive and I think Angie went to meet her only in some women’s home in the night secretly

  2. Awesome..ur writing skills forced me to find this Story continued on ur bolg.I was waiting for ur post in THE STORY TELLERS group. But later on after searching on FB I came to know about ur bolg. Its just a suggestion that u should have pre informed ur readers about ur post on ur blog..as many of them may be still searching u in the group. I am a silent reader and have read most of ur stories in that group, so I request you to complete ur story in the same group.

    • Hi Suman. Thank you for writing in. I am no longer a member of the ST group and it was abrupt unfortunately. So couldn’t inform anyone. I hence put up a post on my facebook status today which is public.
      Thank you for the support

  3. Love your stories and fortunately got hold of them through this blog after failing to find them in ST group of FB. Your stories are so gripping and you write really well. Have read most of them on ST group as another silent reader!

    Keep writing! 🙂

  4. Finally I found u Priya…was looking for updates on the storyteller but couldn’t find u. Then came across ur account on fb n found u here. Wishing u all the best ahead. Lovely update on Ricochet so far. Loving it to bits.

  5. Wow…things got murkier. I m so glad to get my dose of your stories on this blog…else zindagi thodi rukhi sukhi ho gayi thi

  6. Ohhh… God.. After anshuman knew tht Angie was trying to kill kader.. He still went to him.. Though he didn’t want him to get suspicious. But still there is conspiracy.. As if he wants to find meera too.. Or something related to her and so he is helping anshuman. Guess meera is in that house where Angie had gone that night.. Hopes that anshuman act smartly.. Spply in front of kader


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