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Neeraj felt ashamed of the hot tears streaming down his eyes. “Boys don’t cry!” he told himself, ” Not only you are a boy but now a teenager too with the responsibility of taking care of his mother. No! I am not going to shed any more tears. Dad was right. I should have seen it earlier. Everytime Mom was attacked, Archana always managed to be on time to save her and Inspector Subhash would conduct the inquiry. Now, both of them have been exposed. I am not going to forgive them. It’s time to teach them both a lesson they would never forget. ” Neeraj had decided to feign the ignorance of their betrayal and continue to act normal while hatching a conspiracy to punish them. Death would be a simple punishment. Shame, betrayal, broken heart, and committing them to the mental institution would be the best option. This would be a fate worse than dying.

Neeraj wiped away his tears and came back to his mother with a fake smile on his face. Radhika was reading a book when he came in. Before they could have a proper conversation, a nurse entered her room and checked her vitals. She went back with the reports to the doctor. Later that evening, Radhika got discharged. Inspector Subhash was waiting for them. He said, ” Ma’am, I have a small suggestion. Please don’t turn me down. There have too many attacks on you during the past few days and not to mention the kidnapping. I would be honored if you accept my request to stay with Neeraj at my home, at least for a month, until I investigate who’s behind this conspiracy.” Neeraj hoped his mother would firmly refuse. But to his consternation, she gladly accepted his offer and said, ” Why, Thank you so much, Inspector. We would love to stay with you. I appreciate your going out of your way to accommodate us. ” Neeraj, now wished, that the earth would swallow him instead of going to stay with the cheap deceit.

His mother, further embarrassed him by saying, ” Neeraj always admires you, Sir. He considers you as his role model. I hope you would give him on the career he wishes to pursue.” Neeraj’s jaw was paining after continuing to grin like an idiot. Inspector Subhash took them to his apartment which looked more like a penthouse. Neeraj admired the interiors. The Apartment was fully air conditioned. The foyer was so grand that even Radhika admired the luxurious apartment. The house was twice as big as theirs with a chandelier in the living room and wall sconces on each of the four walls. There were expensive paintings in ornate frames and an exquisite coffee table with magazines on them. Subhash gave them a tour of the house which consisted three bedrooms, a living room, two bathrooms and a balcony that offered a great view. Subhash showed them to their respective rooms.

Neeraj forgot his hatred for the scheming rogue of an inspector when he entered his room. He was delighted to find a jumbo sized bed with a study table and a reading lamp affixed to one of the corners of his bedpost.

He took off his footwear and hopped into the bed. He was in the seventh heaven until a dreadful realization hit him hard. He and his mother were caught in a death trap. They had straight away walked into the lion’s den. He remembered Archana talking about a Ma’am. Some lady was behind this ugly drama of bloodshed and betrayal. What if Subhash poisoned them? What if he tried to make their deaths look like an accident? He shuddered to even think of the dreadful possibilities. He had to act fast to keep them alive and safe.

He thought of creating a rift between the rogue couple. He took out his special notebook and wrote the first part of his big plan. He wrote:

I wish Archana Khandve finds a new, handsome guy, who pretends to be a wealthy socialite.She should dump Subhash. He should consume alcohol after being mercilessly rejected and get involved in a drunken brawl. He should be expelled from the police force and get arrested for his misorderly conduct.

Archana ‘s new boyfriend should lure her into falling in love with him to such an extent that she would willingly share her bank details with him. He would drain out all her finances and refuse to marry her. His ditching her abruptly should create an everlasting impact on her. She should lose her sanity and become committed to an asylum. Subhash should also meet with a similar fate. His loss of reputation and the stigma of incarceration coupled with a broken heart should rattle him in such a way that he too ended up in a mental hospital.

Neeraj felt thrilled with the script that was supposed to take place. A pang of guilt struck him for thinking like an ace conspirator. His script looked like that of a TV daily soap but then he was reminded of their treachery. The attack on Radha was planned by Archana. He had overheard her saying that she wanted her dead. Why did she save her life if she wanted his mom out of the picture?

Neeraj prayed that their ordeal should get over and they escaped unhurt from these greedy human monsters.

As luck would have it, Neeraj’s plan had started working. The following week, Neeraj woke up early as he heard a heated argument . He heard a man and a woman yelling at each other at an alarmingly high decibel that could be heard by the entire neighborhood.
He slightly opened his bedroom door to listen to the conversation.

Subhash screamed, ” You evil witch! How could you do this to me? Doesn’t loyalty mean anything to you?” Archana raised her eyebrows as Subhash continued to holler, “Oops! I forgot that there’s no such word as loyalty in your dictionary or you wouldn’t have planned to get rid of your beloved husband to sleep with me. ” Archana yelled back, ” Mind your language. I am fed up of being dominated by you. You are always suspicious of me and have me followed. Besides, you keep on issuing orders as if I was your servant.”

Neeraj was ecstatic over the lovers’ rift. He thought, ” It serves them right for betraying my trust and belief in humanity.” Everything went according to his plan. After a month of courting and engagement, Archana’s new boyfriend, emptied her bank account, leaving her penniless. He also broke off their engagement and introduced his new girlfriend to her. Mad with grief, Archana tried to kill herself several times. She got admitted to a lunatic asylum after losing her sanity.

Will Neeraj’s plan to have Subhash behind bars and later to a lunatic asylum work out? Or would Subhash discover his secret and kill him and his Mom? Watch out for the next episode of The Special Notebook for an interesting twist in the tale.


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6 thoughts on “SHORT STORIES FRIDAYS (75)

  1. Interesting turns and twists! Neeraj’s plan is working. Good going, Aparna ji πŸ‘πŸ˜ŠπŸ’β€οΈ


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