Second chance life….
Episode 3: a protective shield
Neil opened the door to mishra mansion. He could feel the ghosts of a past happy life around him. Every nook and corner of this house held memories for him. If he thought about radhika her situation was not really a curse. She would not be able to survive this pain. She was like a delicate flower before the accident. Now she was not like that. She became tougher. If she regained her memory fully he feared that she will break under all those memories.
Neil was an orphan. He had a memory from his childhood of feeling an intense hunger. A hunger so overwhelming that he, a child of mere 6 years of age brimming with his innocence, decided to steal from a shop. Unfortunately or fortunately the shop keeper, an old man with white hair like snow, caught him red handed. Sharat mishra was there at that shop at the time and intercepted in the matter. He was viewed like a god at the small village. Sharat was a kind hearted man that helped the villagers like an angel sent from up above heavens. Sharat took young neil home. Neil with his torn tank top and dirty trousers met a miracle there. A heavenly woman named anjali mehra bestowed upon him a smile so beautiful that little neil was awestruck. She became his mom right then. Then two little hellions came running out. Twins. Suraj and radhika mishra. They smiled mischiviously at neil and suraj hooked his right arm through neil’s left while radhika hooked her left through neil’s right. They ribbed him that he stinked and dragged him to a shower and the three drenched together. That moment they three formed a bond so pure that was much beyond siblinghood or friendship. They became a triplet. They vowed to share, love and support with their smiles. Sharat adopted neil and little homeless neil became neil mishra.
Neil never cared about the legacy of business and riches that sharat signed up on the triplets name. But there were people who always had words with hidden meaning for the pure relationship neil shared with his family. Those were the vultures getting relish by seeing others cry. Or they were lovingly called the well meaning society.
After the accident the hidden barbs became not so hidden barbs. They had their suspicion that neil was behind the accident. After all he will get the legacy of mishras to himself if they were no more. He suffered their words for the almost one year that took radhika to come out of her coma. Then she had no memory. Through all the thick and thin he stayed beside radhika as a brother, friend, parent. Then those shameless vultures were slapped shut when radhika’s first memory came back to her. Neil. That was her first memory. Their love was proved and slowly radhika started regaining memory with neil’s love. Doctors denied to say anything to her regarding their old memories. They told it will only do her harm and to let it come back naturally.
He walked into the front hall of the house to the sitting room. When neil was eight years of old they moved to LA and into this house. This was their home of so many years and still held a short amount of warmth despite coldness trying to spill in after the accident. When he reached the sitting room he saw the mails kept piled on the small table. He went through it and sorted it out into personal and business. At last a letter got into his hand. It was anonymous and the writing was unusual. The words were cut out from different magazines and newspapers. The content made him go cold inside. It was a graphically crude letter thretening radhika. It also held a concealed challenge to save herself if she could. Then he panicked and shouted.
RADHIKA!!! RADHIKA WHERE ARE YOU? RADHIKA……
Radhika heard neil’s voice from her bedroom and rushed down hearing the panic in his words. When she reached the sitting room she found neil looking around tensed. He saw her and rushed to her and enclosed her into a bone crushing hug all the while thanking god.
Radhika: what happened neil?
Neil: oh my angel. Nothing. You don’t worry.
Radhika broke the hug and kept her hand on his shoulder.
Radhika: what is it neil?
Before neil could explain the door bell rang and he visibly tensed. When radhika made to go to the door he held her arm.
Neil: no i will check.
He went leaving radhika puzzled over his over protectiveness. He was always protective of her but not to this coddling extend.
When neil opened the door he saw a handsome young man there. Neil looked at him questioningly and he extended his id.
Arjun mehra. Detective,homicide dept,LAPD.
Arjun: is miss.Radhika mishra here?
Neil: why do you want to meet her?
Arjun: i persume you are her brother mr.neil mishra?
Arjun: i am sorry for the inconvienience but we got an information that she is going to be harmed and got an anonymous letter.
Neil was shocked.
Neil: well detective i was about to call. We too got a letter of that sort.
Arjun now know the matter was really serious. Neil invited him in and he saw a grown up version of the radhika mishra in the photo in his file. This woman who replaced that girl was almost unrecognisable.
Gone was the chubby roundness to her face and in its place was a beautiful but fragile more pronounced cheekbones. It gave her a grown up look. The angelic smile was also missing. Perhaps the most disturbing was the absence of the twinkle of happiness from her eyes. But the one thing that remained was her beauty. It just changed from a teenage beauty to the beauty and feminity of womanhood.
He was mesmerised and instantaneous desire for her filled him. He reminded himself to be professional and introduced himself. She nodded in response. He and neil explained the situation to her and all through it she remained emotionless like a statue. She heard everything and stood up. Neil and arjun were puzzled when she walked to the staircase wiyhout a word. When she reached the bottom of the staircase she turned and pinned arjun with a direct stare. Arjun returned it unflinchingly.
Radhika: if this have anything to do with the accident, get to the bottom of it. If those really was murder i want the person to be brought out to justice. I will leave all other issues to you two. Decide whatever is right i will accept.
The two nodded and radhika went to her room. After she was out of their view they shared a look. Arjun and neil had one thought communicated through that eye contact.
Whatever happened they will form a protective sheild around her, a human sheild of a protective neil and a determined arjun.
Next episode: crack in the armour