Sanchi woke up with a smile on her face. She got a good sleep after so many days. She stretched her arms and threw a casual look around the room. Her eyes widened at the clock. It was already 9:45.
S: shit! I had to be ready at 10. Now I have to rush.
Saying this she ran towards washroom almost fumbling by the blanket as it was knit around her legs. She was ready by 9:55. She was wearing the same wedding dress as she had no option. She descended the stairs and was awed to look of the house. It was so big and spacious but alas, it was built by the money gathered due to wrong means. She stood on the stairs admiring the house and regretting the day she was brought here. Arjun grabbed her attention when he spoke.
A: I was waiting for you angle. Come have the breakfast. We will move then.
S: no it’s okay Arjun. We will go right now. I don’t want to eat anything. All I need is just to get out from these heavy clothes.
Arjun laughed a little at Sanchi’s silly tactics and led her way to the entrance. She was surprised to see the collection of cars they had. Almost every sport car adored their garage. She stood there and stared at the collection with her mouth hung half open. Out of curiosity she asked a silly question to Arjun.
S: does killing someone give this much of money?
Arjun now laughed uncontrollably. He just calmed himself down and cupped her face.
A: my innocent angle. We don’t earn money by killing someone. We do have side business. We have a chain of hotels across India, some shopping malls and we are a little involved in the fashion industry too. We run a number of school, colleges, NGOs and hospitals.
Sanchi looked at him doubtfully. They were interrupted by Veer.
V: Arjun you better take her soon. We have to go at 3. Sanchi please be a little quick in your selection.
S: what do you mean? I don’t take five hours for shopping ok. Sanchi said looking very annoyed.
V: ok but come fast. Bye now leave immediately.
Sanchi and Arjun left at once in the Mercedes. After a journey of about a few minutes, they arrived at ‘THE EXPRESS MALL’. Sanchi was shocked. She stared at Arjun.
S: do you want to burn your pockets? This is the most posh mall in the country.
A: I know but no one will charge you for anything. So let’s just move.
S: what do you mean?
A: angle this is our mall. Now just come or else we will get late. Saying this Arjun came out of the car.
Sanchi was still not able to recover from the shock. Arjun came up to her side and opened the door. She sat there like a marble statue. Arjun pulled her out of the car and started walking with her to the mall.
S: are you serious? This is your mall?
A: yes it is ours. I mean Kabir bhai’s mall.
S: I think we should go somewhere else.
S: I don’t think it’s correct. I don’t want to spend your money on my dresses that I’m going to wear as casuals. I did not come here even for my wedding shopping! It is very costly.
A: angle… he was cut in the middle by Sanchi.
S: wait a minute. Wait a minute. Wait a minute. This mall is in Mumbai right? That means we are in Mumbai! She told with shock written all over her face.
A: yes we are. You see we live here.
S: I hate you for this.
A: but what have I done?
S: my besties and me, we decided to visit Mumbai together for the first time ever. I broke my promise. If I go shopping without them and that too in ‘THE EXPRESS MALL’, they won’t spare me. I don’t want to go. Let’s go somewhere else.
Arjun could not help but just smile at the innocence of his angle. He was delighted to see her dedication towards her besties.
A: angle we cannot go somewhere else. Kabir bhai’s strict orders are there to take you to this mall only and nowhere else. It’s the matter of our security you see. Our lives are always in danger but we don’t want that to affect you. Now come you are wasting your precious time. You have got only four and half hours to shop.
S: it is more than enough for me ok.
They both went inside. The mall was huge and really well kept. The floor reflected the lights on the ceiling. It was a shiny place but still a little bit crowded. They straight away went to a nearby clothes shop. Sanchi was delighted to see the collection and soon she dug herself deep in her thoughts.
Now the question was, what was she supposed to buy? Jeans, plaso, frocks or something traditional? She was confused and hence decided to have a look at all the items one by one.
After four hours…
A: angle you have not yet decided what to buy! It has been four hours since you came here. What is the problem?
S: I’m confused. You see there are lot many options here.
A: ok you can try the outfits here and see the best for you. But you have only half an hour with you. Change quickly.
Sanchi ran into the changing room and began to try the outfits one by one. She came out and took review of Arjun. He was angry but he was trying to compliment to all her dresses. He must say her selection was just awesome. She was looking like an angle in all her dresses. She had also bought beautiful earrings that were perfectly matching all her dresses.
She came outside wearing her last dress which was a plaso and a beautiful crop top. Her waist was visible as the plaso was low west and the crop top lasted up to her upper abdomen. She was looking amazing with her earrings. She came out of the changing room and was stunned not to find anyone there. Where did Arjun go? Her eyes searched Arjun throughout the shop but he was nowhere to be found. She started to feel insecure. She ran out of the store in hope to find Arjun but her attempts went in vain. The mall was abruptly quiet. Her floor was almost empty and the shops were closing down. She was worried. She went inside the shop to inquire about the sudden departure of them.
S: excuse me. Can you please tell me why the shops are being closed at this time of the day?
SM(shop manager): Ma’am we have got the orders to shut the shops and go home. We have been told that they would pay us the compensation of the day. Ma’am if you don’t mind can you please tell us the clothes you want us to pack? We have to shut this store also.
S: okay then. I intend to wear this only. Just pack all the clothes I have tried and also the dress with which I came here.
Sanchi was amazed and she again went out thinking that Arjun must be around. She was eager to ask the reason behind this act of theirs. She was just venturing around when she noticed someone following her. It was one of the salesmen of the shop she was in just few minutes back. She was scared but she maintained a calm expression on her face. She was just finding her way out of the mall. The same terror sized her which she felt when Sid tried to misbehave with her. She kept on walking and reached on the top floor of the mall. The man was still there. She heard some noises as someone was conversing. She thought that she could gain some help and she went to that direction. Her path was stopped when she found the man in front of her. She moved behind in fear. She was exhausted from the running she did all this while. She was breathing heavily as the incidents of that night flashed in her mind. She was slowly walking behind when her back hit a wall. She closed her eyes not to face the man as she knew that there was no way to escape. She was just about to push that man and run away when two strong hands grabbed her waist and pulled her back into the strong support. She was all the more scared now. She did not hit the wall but a man. Her racked nerves were soothed as she smelt the familiar woodsy cologne. She turned her head around to face her savior. It was Kabir. She was shocked but relieved. She relaxed herself in his grip and began to breathe normally. Kabir placed his chin on her right shoulder and stood comfortably. His hot breathe was fanning her skin near her neck. Goosebumps began to evolve on her skin. Kabir looked straight into the eyes of the salesman.
K: Any problem? He said in his cold voice. The salesman was not physically strong enough to fight Kabir. He shuddered and went away nodding his head in a no.
Sanchi sagged her shoulders down to relax. She turned around and muttered a ‘thank you’ to Kabir. He just pulled Sanchi more close to him and tightened his hold on her. He was squeezing her and she winced in pain.
S: please leave me it is paining.
K: don’t mess around with people. Saying this he let her go. She took some steps back to move away from him. She was just staring at him. Disappointment was visible on her face.
S(thinks): he did not even ask me what happened and told that I was messing around with people? Stupid, idiot, brainless fellow.
Their trance was broken when they heard someone calling Sanchi. She ran at once and found Arjun on the entrance of the fourth floor.
A: angle where were you? I was looking around for you. I have collected all your dresses and now I have to leave so you come home with Kabir bhai, okay. He is here for some work. Good that you came here now be with Kabir bhai and here are some of your dresses as I did not have the time to keep them in the car. Ok now bye and take care angle.
Before Sanchi could speak anything, Arjun left. He was in a hurry as the time was already 3:15. Sanchi returned to the spot to see Kabir busy on the call. He was talking to someone. Sanchi just stood next to him with the bags in her hand. He led her to a room. He was still on the call. He put his phone down and turned towards Sanchi.
K: be here. Don’t move until I come. No nonsense here. Just sit quietly. Got it?
Sanchi was amazed as she heard so many words from his mouth for the first time. She just nodded and Kabir went out of the room as the door closed behind him. She was now in a dilemma. What should she do? She was hungry but she was told not to go out. There was nothing to do in the small room. She just looked at her reflection in the mirror and decided to change her dress. She changed her crop top and wore a decent tank top on plaso. She sat on the sofa as her stomach growled. She went to her shopping bags in search of something. She got a chocolate. It was small but could do some relief to her for now at least. Just as she was about to open the wrapper, the door cringed open. She saw a man coming inside with a boy of about 5 years with him. She was confused as to who were they and what were they doing here?
M: Ma’am I work for Kabir bhai. We have an urgent work and I was out with my baby. If you don’t mind then can he stay here for sometime till the work is finished?
S: ok sure.
The boy spoke in his baby voice.
B: Papa don’t go. I want to be with you.
M: yes baby I’m coming to you in some time. Okay. Till then you will sleep. The baby just nodded no. He was not ready to leave his papa.
S: baby do you want to eat a chocolate? Sanchi asked as she sensed that the baby was not comfortable with her.
The boy’s eyes instantly beamed and he went to Sanchi. She gestured the man to go and the man gave her a thankful glance. The boy took the chocolate and started eating. Sanchi just admired the boy and his innocence.
S: what is your name baby?
S: oh what a lovely name. What do like to eat?
R: ice cream and chocolate.
Their conversation went on for some time and Sanchi found a good company. Soon the boy was tired and was sleepy. Sanchi lifted him and placed him on the bed. He tugged to her kurti as she tried to move away.
R: I want someone when I sleep. Please be with me. The boy pleaded in his childish voice.
Sanchi moved to the other side of the bed and lay down besides the baby. The boy cuddled in Sanchi’s arms as he drifted off to sleep. Sanchi lay there admiring the boy and the situation in which he was. He was just like her. Unknown to the fact that his dad was related to mafia. He however looked very close to his father, the relation she wanted to live and cherish with her own father. She had tears in her eyes but she was now strong enough to control her feelings. She took deep breath and tightened her embrace. She soon dozed off.
Conference room in the mall:
K: why did you bring him here?
M: I was informed to come immediately. I had no other option.
K: where is he?
M: he is with Ma’am in the room.
They were in the conference room waiting for someone to come. The whole mall was shut for the sole reason of the meeting. Kabir stood from his chair at once and went out of the room. He walked to the room where Sanchi and Rishub were. Now it was his responsibility to check on the security. He opened the door and noticed the room was dimly lit. He switched on the lights and saw two figures on the bed. A frown marred Sanchi’s forehead due to the sudden light. She fidgeted in her sleep a little. Kabir saw them closely. They were shivering. The temperature of the AC was much lower. He quickly pulled the quilt over them and increased the temperature. He checked their foreheads for the traces of fever. Luckily Rishub was normal but Sanchi had fever. He separated their embrace and took Rishub to another room. He sat beside the bed and covered Sanchi properly with the quilt. He muttered curses under his breath and went out to attend the meeting.
I’m posting after a long time. I will be a little irregular as my boards have started and my exams will last up to two months consisting of all the competitive exams.
Thank you very much for reading.