THE SPECIAL NOTEBOOK (PART 16) : A SHORT STORY BY ME
Neeraj was too tongue tied to speak because the speaker was none other than his mother, Radhika. He gulped as he realized that his mid day dream turned out to be true. He loved her but only after his dear father. Radhika was pointing a gun at him. She continued to grin like an evil witch about to claim an innocent life. She said, ” Your mind must be full of questions, am I right? Don’t you worry, my darling son. You have the right to know everything. Be prepared for the first biggest shock of your life. You are not our son. We adopted you from Seva Sadan Anathalay after my family doctor confirmed that I couldn’t conceive. We were the proud parents of a bonny boy. I loved you too until your father preferred playing with you than paying me any attention. He didn’t allow me to leave you in the daycare center so that I could go for a job. That man was a big pain in my behind. I received job offers from overseas but your dad emotionally blackmailed me into giving up my dreams to raising you.
Why is it that it’s always a woman who has to compromise? Your father adored you and ensured that I spent my maximum time with you, singing lullabies and changing your dirty diapers. I got frustrated, so I started searching for true love outside a failing marriage. I only married your father because of the fat bank balance that he had. How would I know that the man whom I loved was impotent? You know what that means, right? He wasn’t a man enough to father you. I tried to get rid of him by forcing him to file for the divorce papers. He refused to sign along the dotted lines. Somehow, he quit his well paying job to turn into an author. This was the last straw for me.
After days of fighting, blackmail and threatening, your father signed the divorce papers. The alimony that he agreed to pay me wasn’t enough to meet my expenses. I wanted to stake claim to his entire property to compensate for the mental and emotional damage that I went through while raising you. Your father’s friend, Amit, gave me the much needed support. We hatched a plan to humiliate your father into ending his life. Archana Khandve is my most trusted employee but she didn’t know me by my name or face. I started a group that dealt in human trafficking and made Amit, my partner in crime. He got too greedy and wanted me to handover my growing business in his name so that he would marry me. I refused to oblige. He was so furious that he threatened to expose me in front of you. So I had him killed and enacted a little drama to seek your sympathy. You fell for my charms and started behaving like a good, responsible son. I planned these attacks on myself so that you would never ever doubt me. My original plan has been to usurp your father’s properties worth crores of rupees. In his will, he left you as his sole beneficiary. You aren’t even his biological child. I never knew that you had cruel blood in your veins until I started reading your notes. I hope I have answered all your questions now.
Subhash, give him the papers to sign.” Neeraj was in tears. His whole world came tumbling down when he learned that he wasn’t his parents’ biological child. He knew that he had no chance for survival as he was surrounded by evil people who were smirking at his disheveled appearance. Neeraj took the paper that he was about to sign. His life was a big lie. Everyone whom he had trusted had betrayed him. His own father forgot to tell him that he had been adopted. How could he have been so stupid? Radhika never fussed over him like other mothers. She was too selfish and only concerned with herself. He remembered his childhood where Pranav made it a point to attend the parents teacher meeting when Radhika didn’t bother to show up even for a single one.
Radhika had dragged him along to stay with her, merely to show that she was a concerned mother but her real intention was to extort child support as well. Just as he was about to sign the document, the door to the warehouse burst open and who should enter?
Pranav Sagar….. Radhika screamed in horror whereas Neeraj could not believe his eyes. Pranav smiled at his son and said, “I am not a ghost, son. I am still alive. I am so sorry that this characterless woman caused you so much pain and trouble.” Radhika yelled, ” But you had committed suicide. How did you turn up alive? Did you forget that I still have your porn photos with Archana to get you into trouble?” Pranav chuckled, ” Is it so? By the way, I have a surprise for you. Before you do anything foolish, just turn around.” Radhika’s eyes widened in horror as she saw the dead ‘ Amit’ walking towards her with a handcuff. Radhika screamed and so did Archana. Radhika said, ” How could you still be alive? I had paid a hefty sum to Subhash and his men to get rid of you? ” Amit replied, ” First, I would like to thank you for confessing to your crimes. Secondly, you were merely a pawn in the hands of our police department. Your ex-husband, Pranav, isn’t just an ordinary author but Police Superintendent. He has been investigating a series of crime against women, who were kidnapped, raped, and forced into prostitution. Some were even murdered. Do you remember leaving your phone behind when you visited him to ask for the divorce? You left your phone behind. He received phone calls from clients calling you to supply young flesh. He was so furious that he called me to hatch a plan to expose you and your entire group. I pretended to fall in love with you but never touched your disgusting body. When you moved away to your house in Pune with Neeraj, you drank too much, one day and slept with a stranger. In fact, Sir had asked me to keep tabs on you. I caught your lover with his pants down and had him arrested. I hated violating your privacy but had to check upon you. I discovered that you had strayed away into the path of crime with your unending lust for sex! I saw you talking to someone over the phone on plotting Pranav Sir’s downfall. You know the rest of the story except that when you were plotting to get rid of Sir and Neeraj, we were plotting to gather enough evidence linking you to various crimes against humanity.”
Neeraj was at the loss of words. He looked at Amit with awe and fascination as he arrested Subhash, Archana and other gang members. Pranav asked a lady constable to arrest Radhika. Neeraj was so delighted to see his father that he hugged him and almost sobbed. Amit winked at him, and said, “See you later, champ. I know you don’t like me but I am very fond of you. You are like a son I never had and found it very difficult to act like a jerk to you.” Neeraj hung his head in shame and said, ” I have been so stupid. I should not have judged you. I am so sorry. I would like to be your friend. Will you ever forgive me? ” Amit hugged him and they high fived as Pranav watched in amusement and chuckled. The notebook wasn’t so special after all.
( The end with a new beginning).
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