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Neeraj saw the dead Amit talking to Inspector Subhash. “How could this be possible?” Neeraj thought, “‘I must be dreaming. How can a dead man come back alive? It must be his lookalike. For the time being, it’s better to stay hidden. If he sees me, he would kill me.” Neeraj pulled the curtain over the window. His heart was beating faster than usual. He thought about his father’s wise words.

He was completely baffled by the unexpected turn of events. A few minutes later, Inspector Subhash entered Radhika’s room. He saw Neeraj reading his book in complete silence. He looked pale and terrified. Subhash understood everything. He said, ” Hi Junior Detective, I think you have just seen Amit back on his feet, right. But let me tell you that Amit is truly dead. This person is Vikrant and he is a police informer. He had been in an accident and his face was damaged. At that time, Amit’s killer wasn’t arrested yet. So, we thought of arranging for Amit’s lookalike to flush out the killer from his hiding. I don’t blame you for getting scared. I would be terrified too, if I saw a dead man turn up from his grave.” Neeraj grinned and relaxed. Subhash reassured him that there was nothing to be worried about.

Neeraj said, ” Can we have some coffee, please? ” Subhash replied with a grin, ” Just wait here, young man. I will be back with the coffee. Don’t leave your mother unattended.” Neeraj chided himself for unnecessarily jumping into a wrong conclusion. He felt more relaxed and scrolled through his mobile.

” Hello, Knock, Knock, ” said a familiar voice as Neeraj raised his head to see the new arrival. Archana Khandve smiled at him with a bouquet and a bag of fruits. Neeraj welcomed her. He said, ” Thank you so much, aunty. I will always remain indebted to you. You saved my mom once again.” Archana blushed and replied, ” Oh, it was nothing! Don’t mention it. It was an unexpected attacked and I had to save both of us.”

Neeraj offered her a seat. Radhika slowly opened her eyes and gave a weak grin. ” Hi, Archu,” she said, “I am so sorry for the trouble yet again. You are like my sister. Sometimes I wish I was never involved with Amit. I don’t think I can endure another attack like this.” Archana gently squeezed her hand and said, ” Now, don’t blame yourself for the fiasco. Amit had it coming. You will be alright. By the way, you are lucky to have a wonderful son like Neeraj.”

It was at this moment that Inspector Subhash made his grand entry. ” Here you go, Neeraj” added the inspector handing him the Styrofoam cup with coffee to the brim. Some of it got spilt on the floor. ” Oops, ” he said, “I didn’t know you had a visitor.” Neeraj took the coffee from him and gave it to Archana. He said, ” Let’s leave the two friends alone or the nurse would have us thrown out for overcrowding.” Subhash had already finished his coffee but took Neeraj to the cafeteria where he ordered tea instead with Samosa. They discussed about the latest mystery books. Neeraj trusted Subhash and talked to him about his personal problems, seeking guidance from him. Anyone would think that they were father and son rather than friends.

Subhash paid the bill and they went back to Radhika’s room. Archana said, ” Ok, dear. Take care. I will drop in for another visit when you are home.” Inspector Subhash offered to show her out as a courtesy. They went out. Neeraj observed that Archana had left her purse behind. He said, ” Mom, Archana aunty has forgotten her purse. Let me give it to her. I will be back in a jiffy. Would you be able to manage on your own? ” Radhika nodded and she closed her eyes again. Neeraj exited the hospital corridor. He heard someone laughing. He turned towards the source of the sound and saw Archana locking her lips with Inspector Subhash. They were quite intimate. They kissed passionately for five minutes and with great difficulty, broke away for want of air. Archana said, ” So, you managed to win the trust of that boy. Amit failed to do this. Great job, darling. Now, try to win over Radhika.” Subhash gave her a sly look, ” Would you bear it if I married her instead of you? It’s not right, sweetheart. I love only you. I admit she’s attractive but will never be in the same league as you.” Archana chuckled, ” Oh, honey! The marriage would only be for the sake of the society. Don’t you watch movies? Win over the lady and make her hand over her property in your name and get rid of both the mother and son. The poor bitch believes I saved her life. This is just a part of an act. I want her to die.”

” But why?” asked Subhash.

Archana replied, “Her husband, Pranav, was a popular guy in our college. I was in love with him. But he was smitten by his junior Radhika. Can you imagine my fury when I saw him proposing her? I decided to ruin their lives. I wreaked havoc in their lives by forcing my beloved husband Amit to have affair with her. I never imagined he would get her pregnant. I deliberately gave bad reviews to Pranav’s book. I pretended to offer my moral support to Pranav and tried my best to persuade him to sleep with him. Can you believe it? In spite of her indifferent attitude towards him, Pranav was always loyal to his wife. He loved her sincerely. The stupid woman didn’t realize what a wonderful life partner she had! When Pranav finally realized that the love of his life wasn’t interested in living with him, he committed suicide. I know the real reason behind his death. It wasn’t the failure of his book but a broken heart. He loved both Radhika and Neeraj. He couldn’t think of living without them even for a moment. But no! Miss Attitude wanted money, power, and luxury. And look where it has her landed! Now, enough of my banter. Do whatever it takes to impress Neeraj and then marry Radhika. I will plan her death eventually. But do not forget to take her signature on the property papers. If you fail in this mission, our Ma’am will be highly displeased and order our deaths.”

Neeraj felt as if someone had stabbed him in the heart. He couldn’t believe that his favorite duo could stoop so low and betray his trust. His eyes were brimming with tears. He knew that he was up against a formidable enemy, a crime syndicate after his father’s wealth. He wiped them away as he slowly emerged from his hiding place with Archana’s purse in his hands. Archana and Subhash looked like a deer caught in the headlights. Neeraj put on a fake smile and said, ” Aunty, I just wanted to return your purse. I must go back to my Mom.” He gave no indication of having eavesdropped on them. They heaved a sigh of relief.

Neeraj had already planned something big for the offending couple. What will happen next will absolutely leave you no clue! Next episode will be a roller coaster thriller. Watch out for the Special Notebook.


Thank you so much for taking your precious to visit my website. Hope you enjoyed reading my blogs. 😊😊

5 thoughts on “SHORT STORIES FRIDAYS (73)

  1. Wow! Wow! Wow! Wow! Wonderful post! Dear Aparna itΒ΄s amazing story, I’m biting my nails waiting next chapter. You are very creative deaf friend. Have a lovely weejΒΏkend!


  2. Whoa, what an interesting and thrilling episode Aparna. You are such a talented writer. Oh, the suspense!!! On the edge of my seat for the next exciting segment. Have a wonderful evening and weekend my friend. Cheers! πŸ˜˜βœ¨πŸ˜πŸ’–πŸ˜ŠπŸ₯‚πŸ₯°

    Liked by 1 person

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