Hello lovely friends, how was ur weekend? Thank u so much for ur love and support. So here is the nxt chapter pls do tell how this was, there will like 5 or 6 more chapters before I end this story. Hugs n kisses to u all. Enjoy ???
Chapter 16 – The Aftermath
Piyali was filled with the gruesome thoughts. Arjun’s words kept ringing in her head. Yes Arjun was hurt and disturbed but that’s not enough reason for him to make wrong accusations and the guilt filled Samrat’s eyes said it all. Her mind screamed to her to open her eyes and see the truth but her heart feared. She has been married to Samrat for more than two decade and when u have spent so much time together it’s hard and almost impossible to think about separation but she didn’t want to be the fooled woman whose husband cheated while she blindly let him emotionally abuse her. The storm had occurred and brought distraction with it, massive distruction. She remembered the first time she met him, they were in college and Piyali was only a teenager who aspired to be a beauty queen. She remembered how her parents refused to their marriage since Samrat was not of the same status as her family and how she fought with her parents to be with him. She remembered how she used her money, the money she got from her modelling assignments to kick start Samrat’s textile business. All the years, months, days, all the time she had given to her marriage, to her husband and to her family were reduced to nothing with just one mistake, one wrong decision.
Samrat saw Piyali in their bedroom balcony and mustered the courage to face her and own up to his mistake. He held her shoulder waking her from her thoughts “Piyu… we need to talk” Piyali didn’t respond and kept staring out to the dark sky “it’s about… what Arjun said in the morning”
Piyali without turning asked “who is she?”
Samrat:”there is nobody Piyu… It was a one time thing… I failed u only once but regretted it ever since… every sec of my life I have regretted that one wrong turn I took… and am sorry… am so sorry Piyu”
Piyali turned to face him, her eyes twinkling with the unshed tears “who is she Samrat?”
Samrat bowed his head in shame “Na… Nandini… ”
The unshed tears now dropped from her eyes “Nandini?… which Nandini?… my friend Nandini?” Samrat wanted to further explain but Piyali held her hand out stopping him “spare me the details please” and stormed out of the room broken. Piyali was a strong woman but when an ominous storm befalls even the strongest are shaken and she was not only betrayed by her husband but by her best friend too.
New Hope Hospital – Mumbai
Aditya was sitting on the mental bench staring at the white tiles that reeked of the antiseptic smell he hated. Karthik was standing few feets from him talking on the phone, he ended the call when the doctor approached Aditya. The young doctor looked at the two officers and took a deep breath “am sorry… there was nothing more we could do” he said and left as soon as he came.
Karthik placed his hand on Aditya’s shoulder and squeezed it a little for support while Arjun and Neil came rushing in. Seeing the dried blood on Aditya’s shirt Arjun’s legs were on the verge of giving up but Neil quickly held him for support. Aditya looked up at him “room 127” and showed them the way to the said room. Every step was as heavy as a rock, and his heart was pounding while Neil stood firm behind him lending him his unconditional support.
Peeping through the small glass window on the door they saw her laying on the hospital bed, an IV and and machines were attached to her. The female doctor came out of the room leaving a nurse behind, she realised the men were related to the patient by the looks on their faces. She smiled at them “she is fine… her blood sugar was dangerously low… and she has several wounds but nothing major… she will be perfectly fine” They were both relieved and Arjun asked if he can go see her, the doctor denied saying she won’t wake up till tmr morning but seeing the desperate look on Arjun face she decided to allow him “OK… go see her… but don’t disturb her… she needs to rest” Arjun thanked the good doctor and entered the room while Neil stepped aside to call Sam.
Arjun flinched looking at her pale face, red visible marks of abuse all over her body. She had red spots on her arms, on her neck and face, she looked totally different from the Radhika he knew, this Radhika looked lifeless and it pained him to see her like that. He lovingly caressed her face with the back of his hand and sat on the stool next to her holding her hand. Tears escaped his eyes and the nurse stepped out giving him privacy.
Aditya stepped into his apartment feeling haggard. The place was the same as he had left it a week ago when he went out looking for Radhika. He threw his blood stained clothes in the dustbin and stepped on the shower. As the cold water run through his body relieving him of the fatigue, the incident that took place few hours ago flashed before his eyes.
He saw Radhika dangling almost lifeless in Malik’s arm, he needed to shoot but the gun held to her head told him that there was no room for a mistake. He glanced at Karthik, smiled and stared at the small window behind Malik reminding him of their old trick they used in this kind of situations. Karthik immediately caught on with his idea, dropped his gun and raised his hands surrendering. A shock stricken expression covered his face with his eyes fixed on an imaginary man behind Malik, Karthik screamed urging him not to shoot “No… Don’t Shoot” Seeing Karthik dropping the gun Malik’s hand loosened on Radhika’s neck and taking the bait that someone is behind him and wants to shoot from the window he left Radhika slipping off his hand and turned around and that’s when Aditya pulled the trigger puncturing Malik’s left shoulder. Malik flumped on the floor, his blood flooding out from the hydrostatic shock fell on Radhika. Karthik took the gun off him and called for an ambulance.
Aditya rushed to Radhika who laid unresponsive before his eyes. He untied her hands and feet and shook her calling her name still there was no response. He checked her pulse and placed his finger near her nose to check her breathing “her pulse is very low… we need to rush her to the hospital” he screamed panicky. He held her on his lap all the way to the hospital, his unstoppable tears touching her face.
Aditya closed his eyes in agony as the memory played in his mind. He felt the same pain as the day he saw his family laying in the pool of blood in their own home “this has got to end” he whispered to himself as he stepped out of the shower.
New Hope Hospital
Arjun sitting on the stool near her bed had somehow fallen asleep holding Radhika’s hand. He suddenly woke up from the harsh sound of the heart rate monitor. The monitor attached to her was giving out an extended beep and was showing a flat line. “Wasn’t the notation different before I fell asleep?” he asked himself. Before he could react doctors came rushing in after getting the code, they were surrounding her, they were in a panic. Arjun was still in shock, he couldn’t wrap his head around what was happening infront of him. In a matter of minutes it was all over, the doctors had given up stating that they had given their best, Radhika had just breathed her last. He felt light headed and his feet were giving up, his vision blurred from the tears. He tried to reach out to her but the dizziness overcame him and he collapsed on the floor.
Arjun woke up with a jerk from the terrible dream startling Neil from his sleep too. He immediately checked the monitor and found everything was normal. He sighed a relief, she was fine, it was all a dream, a bad dream. Neil looked with sleepy eyes at his friend who was acting doctor in the middle of the night “everything OK bro?” Arjun just nodded and sat back beside Radhika.
As the late morning sun filled the hospital room with it’s light and warmth Radhika tiredly opened her eyes. Her mind slowly processed her surroundings, she was in a hospital, the strange room she was in, the IV attached to her right hand and the beeping heart monitor all indicated so. But what happened to make her wake up in a hospital? Then she remembered her abduction, her worst nightmare. The last thing she recalled was Aditya holding a gun infront of her, her pained lungs then her vision became foggy. Unconsciously her hand went to her neck, it hurt, she could still feel a hand around her neck that made her shiver in fear. And did she hear a gunshot? She wondered, if so then who was shot? She felt her left hand clutched, she titled her head to the left and saw Arjun sleeping holding her hand. Arjun was sleeping in a sitting postion with his head leaning on the wall. Radhika smiled and softly caressed his head but that was enough to wake him up from his half sleep state.
Arjun woke up by the touch of her hand, he felt happy to see her awake, she even looked a lot better than last night. He cupped her face with his one hand “how are u?” Radhika just nodded in response “do u feel OK… do u feel any pain… should I call the doctor… ?” Radhika felt overwhelmed with his care and love that reflected from his eyes. Unknowingly tears flowed down her eyes as she again recalled the torturous moment she went through. She somehow blamed herself for the misery, if only she didn’t fight with him, maybe she wouldn’t have suffered so much. And Arjun let her cry, let her cry all her fears out and he also cried with her.
The doctor on duty came to check on Radhika and Arjun had to leave the room. Neil took that opportunity to force Arjun to go home and rest for some time while he stays at the hospital with Radhika. Sam was also going to reach soon and so Arjun had no other choice but to agree. When the doctor finished checking her up Neil went into the room, he hadn’t realised how scared he was for her until now that he laid his eyes on her. She looked thin and tired, he fought the tears that were threatening to come out. He cleared his throat and said “I hope u are done testing us and won’t disappear again?”
“testing u… what are u saying..?” asked Radhika, her voice hoarse from tiredness.
Neil:”u got yourself kidnapped only to see how much we love u, right?… now that u know… I hope u won’t scare us anymore”
Radhika gave a small smile “I scared u all, didn’t I?… well if it’s any consolation I was scared too” Neil saw the painful look in her eyes, he went near her sitting form and hugged her tight assuring her that she was safe. Radhika could feel how tense he was and tried to lighten the mood “now stop being a cry baby… I thought u were superman”
Neil broke the hug and stepped back giving her a questioning look “do I look like someone who will wear a red underpants?… am Batman” when she asked him why batman he said “bcoz batman has a cool ride… and I look good in black” he finished with a stylish twirl making her chuckle. Neil quickly engaged her in random talks to divert her mind from the horrible experience she had and Radhika completely forgot the pain she felt sometime ago, just then Sam entered with food and Radhika’s face glew up in excitement seeing Sam. Neil made a pouty face “u weren’t this excited when u saw me… not fair Chashni”
Radhika smiled “more than seeing Sam am excited for the food… am farmished” Now Sam was the one who made a pouty face and accused her of being unfair. “Let me eat first then I will hear all your complains… let’s talking… more eating please” spoke Radhika in a firm voice making them laugh.
Sam fed her while Neil kept her busy in his talk, to both their surprise Radhika had finished three bowls of soup, two glasses of juices and was now munching on an apple. Sam packing the empty containers exclaimed “u are the first patient I have seen that eats this much”
Radhika:”I need to compesate for all those days I stayed hungry… those stupid kidnappers didn’t even offer me water… they just kept knocking me out… they showed no hospitality at all”
Sam shook her head in amusement “I can’t believe u are talking so lightly about the matter” Sam planted a kiss on her forehead and gave her a warm hug “good to have u back Chashni” Sam and Neil stayed with Radhika chatting and joking around until they were forced to leave by a nurse.
Arjun had fallen asleep the moment he had got home and didn’t even change. Nandini came to his room to ask him to have food and saw him sleeping, she knelt near him and started to remove his shoes. Arjun was startled by the act, Nandini placed his shoes aside and stood up to leave “sorry…I didn’t mean to disturb u” and started to leave. Arjun sat up on the bed and called her, halting her on her tracks.
Arjun:”Nandu am sorry… I haven’t been acting well with u these past days and am sorry… It was also not in my place to speak about… u know… especially the way I did am sorry”
Nandini went and sat next to him “am the one who needs to apologize… I have failed u… am sure Piyali knows everything by now… but am ready to face the consequences…. am a culprit… and I will accept any punishment for my sins”
Arjun felt sorry for her but didn’t know what to say to her to make her feel better “if Piyali aunty kicks u out of Chic… which am sure she will… u can join birdsong if u want”
Nandini gave a sad smile “I don’t care about work… what about the friendship I ruined… will u be able to face Sam or Piyali knowing that your sister destroyed their family?” Arjun kept mum, he didn’t have the answer, it was indeed hard to face them now. Nandini left him to continue take rest while she ponders on some damage control ideas.
Sam had come to drop Neil, Neil asked her to come in for a while but she refused. She looked angry, and told him that she has nothing to do with the Mehras from now on, that the ties were broken. Neil was confused by her behavior “is this bcoz Arjun accused your dad of cheating?”
Sam with tears welling up in her eyes angrily spoke “it’s bcoz that brother sister duo are ingrates…. they don’t deserve any of our love or concern…. Nandini was having an affair with my dad… and Arjun kept his sister’s secret… If Chashni wasn’t kidnapped then maybe he wouldn’t have said anything till now…and kept making fools out of us” Sam had heard her parents conversation the other night and assumed that Arjun knew the truth all this time and was keeping it to save his sister.
Neil knew about the affair from Arjun, when he asked him the reason of his aloof behavior towards Nandini a few days ago, Arjun told him everything he saw at the hospital. “Arjun had nothing to do with it Sam… he only found out a week ago”
Sam:”is that what he told u?… Look, I know he is your friend… but don’t lie to me about him being innocent… he maybe your family but not mine… not anymore” Neil tried to reason with her but she wasn’t ready to listen to him “Neil I don’t want to fight with u… so pls get out of my car… I need to leave” she said coldly without looking at him.
Neil:”I know u are hurt… but that’s no excuse for u to behave like this… u don’t know the whole truth… and I will stick to my words that Arjun is innocent” Neil got out of the car and banged the door close in anger, Sam wiped her tears and screeched the car out of the driveway.
Karthik had found the note that instructed Malik to kidnap Radhika while searching the place they had found Radhika and had showed it to Aditya. Though Malik was dead but his men who survived confirmed that they were just given a contract to commit those crimes. When asked who gave them the contact they revealed that only Malik knew him but they had also revealed about the cheques and that was a good start to the detectives. Karthik looked at Aditya who was calmly doing his work and asked “what about that phonecall that was traced to Samrat’s house… shouldn’t we interrogate him about it”
Aditya smiled “that call cleared Samrat of all the suspicion… there is no need of questioning him” Karthik was confused by his answer so Aditya continued “our mystery man thinks Samrat has the gold… when Radhika was kidnapped everyone knew except Samrat… that’s why that call was traced to Khanna mansion… so that we can go to Samrat and inform him about the kidnap… and Samrat can reveal where he has the gold….we actually fell in his trap and did exactly what he wanted”
Now Karthik was more confused “so do u mean to say that this mystery man was near us and was watching our every move?”
Aditya:”Indeed… how else do u think he knew that Rachita was a fake… bcoz he knew beforehand who the real Radhika Mishra was… the man we are looking for was right under our nose… and we failed to recognize him”
Karthik:”let’s see if we are on the same page here… Samrat gets rich overnight and the mystery man thinks it’s bcoz he has the gold… he threatens him but nothing happens… he kills Jai still Samrat doesn’t say anything … he tries to scare him more but that ends up Samrat in a coma… when he was in a coma there was no way to find anything about the gold… then why try to kidnap Sam and then Radhika?”
Aditya:”Arjun… Arjun was looking after Samrat’s business… it’s obvious to think that he knows something… that’s why he tried to kidnap Sam… then Arjun when he was coming back from Goa… and since Radhika is important to Arjun she was targeted as well… but look at the irony… Samrat came out of the coma when Radhika was kidnapped”
Karthik:”that makes sense… but for someone to know all that information… it means whoever this is… is very close to the family”
Aditya:that’s why am going over their list of friends, house help and employees… every single person who is in close contact with them… including every family member as well… I want to scrutinize every detail… u take care of finding out where those cheques came from” Karthik nodded and went out to start his portion of the work.
Precap:Radhika notices tension btwn NeSam… Neil returns to London… Aditya gets close to the mystery man.