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Neil’s heart kept fluttering. He was restless. He just couldn’t bring himself around the idea that maybe Radhika loved Arjun. He couldn’t sleep, he just kept pacing around in his apartment.
“Photos….photos…what photos? Sam told naa Radhika and arjun’s pictures. I need to see them….i just do. I’ll get an idea on the kind of relationship they shared. I need to break in their apartment now. Tomorrow isn’t good. it will too late. I need to know before their first session.” He considered seriously.
Neil was talking to himself.
Neil shook his head in negative a second later…. “what the hell is wrong with me?
Why am I seriously considering things, I wouldn’t have even imagined to do normally.
For god sakes, I am not a breaker of law. Rather I am reformer of those who do.
No, I cannot break into chashni’s apartment.”
Neil clutched his hair tight. He walked to the kitchen and opened the door of the refrigerator pulling out a bottle of chilled water. He finished it in a single gulp.
He sighed. He had decided to be upfront about things. He would directly talk to Radhika, rather guessing and troubling both of them, Radhika and himself.
He got ready and almost reached the front door, picking up car keys to go to radhika’s apartment. When his eyes fell on the clock in his living room.
“midnight.” He whispered.
Nope, he retraced his steps and changed his clothes to a comfortable pyjamas and tshirt. He covered himself with a bed spread, stretching his arms. He tried hard to fall asleep. But sleep eluded him.
Neil finally, walked to the balcony. The cold wind swept his face, further dishelving the already tousled silky black locks of his, creating a gorgeous mess. He stood for a little while, looking over the Night life of the city of dreams.
Finally, he walked back to the bed and fell asleep, only to be dominated by radhika’s dreams.
Radhika, on the contrary, was fast asleep. The entire day, she had been too excited about her first session with Arjun. And about finally, being able to get all the answer, her heart craved for.
By her bed time, she was so exhausted that she fell asleep the second, her head hit the pillow.
Inmate mehra was completely unaware of the emotional storm rushing towards him. He slept like a baby, with a cute smile playing on his lips. As his mind replayed all the times he and Radhika spent together.
The next morning.
It was one of those rare mornings when Radhika woke up before her alarm rang. She switched it off and jumped out of bed. She spent a long time deciding what to wear. After all, it was an important day for her. She finally, zero upon a cute orange summer one piece and quickly took a shower. She came back and sat in front of her dressing table. She braided her hair, with the smaller locks falling over her eyes, securing the fish tail with a black rubber band at the end. She applied a single swift stroke of kohl, and a layer of liner to her eyes. She smiled as she applied lip balm.
“just like the college days.” She whispered giving herself a satisfied look.
She wore a pair of black high heels. But removed them a second later, slapping her forehead as she remembered that Arjun always liked her to be comfortable. She smiled as she slipped her feet in a pair of black flat bellies.
She glanced at the watch. 8. It was almost the time for neil to barge in but he hadn’t even called since the morning.
She grew a little worried and tried his number. No answer. She dropped in numerous messages and was constantly trying his number.
She got really worried. She picked up her phone and her bag, and drove like a maniac to his place.
She rang the bell twice. He didn’t open the door. Suddenly, she remembered that she had a spare key. She opened the door using that. She looked around in the kitchen and living room, there wasn’t any sign of neil. She, then proceeded towards his bed room. As she opened the door, she was thoroughly surprised.
She couldn’t understand whether to laugh or to cry.
There he was, sleeping like a kid with his mouth open and his arms spread all over.
Radhika watched him for a minute before marching forward towards him. She slapped him hard.
BANG! His ears rang as his eyes instantly flew open. His arms closed in on her, making her lose balance. She fell on him and involuntarily, his body surprised with the weight, rolled over. A second he realise it was Radhika. His grip softened a little. Neil looked at her deep in the eye. She responded his gaze before hugging him tight.
He patted her head a little and gently asked, “what happened?”
She broke the hug, gave him a long hard look. And then to his utter shock punched him hard in the stomach…neil got up with a jerk, “chashni!!!!” he said rubbing his belly.
Radhika got up and keeping punching him on his biceps. Finally, neil caught her wrists deftly. She struggled a little. But stopped on hearing neil’s gentle coaxing.
Neil, “tell me what happened Radhika.”
Radhika hugged him tight and spoke like an innocent little kid who almost lost his favourite toy, “neil, you weren’t picking up calls and weren’t answering my messages. You didn’t came to pick me up as well….then you weren’t opening the door. You have no idea how worried I was.”
Neil wrapped his arms around her, “I am so sorry Radhika, i slept late….and wasn’t able to wake up….i am sorry.”
Radhika kept quiet.
Neil worriedly added a second later, “oh my god, you are shivering chashni.”
He quickly removed his night shirt and wrapped it around her. He made her comfortable at the dining table and prepared coffee for both of them. He brought both the cups and sat down beside her.
He looked at her and realised that she was looking different, well, in a good way….he hadn’t noticed this earlier. He, in fact, had never seen her dressed like that. She rarely wore one pieces or ethnic. It was always jeans or formals for her.
He smiled a little, “looking gorgeous Radhika, anything special?”
Radhika smiled and nodded her head in negative. She pushed him, “go take a bath….get ready soon you idiot.”
Neil smiled and walked towards his room.
She sipped her coffee and smiled like a idiot as she slipped into her dream land, remembering how Arjun had reacted when he first saw her wearing the same dress.
Arjun was sitting in cafeteria of their coffee, munching his lunch. When Radhika and sam entered, all laughing. His ears instantly pricked up on hearing the sparkling laughter of his lady love, the laughter he wanted to hear his enter life. His eyes travelled to its source, Radhika. His eyes ready to pop out of their sockets, looking at her. His jaw almost hit the floor.
How can somebody possibly look that beautiful? What is she, a celestial nymph? Am I in heaven?
His mind ran round and round.
Sam noticed his awestruck look and pointed it out to Radhika. Radhika smiled mischievously and decided to tease him a little more.
She walked towards his table and stood next to him.
She spoke In a sugar coated voice, “mind if I sit here, senior?”
Arjun gulped, and he nodded in affirmative. He wondered, what the hell happened to all the confidence? One look and I am gone…?
Radhika smiled, she winked to sam. And sam mentally face palmed herself. How stupid are these two? Arjun clearly is a love stricken puppy and Radhika….her eyes are gleaming with happiness looking at him staring at her like that. Why in the world, wouldn’t they confess already?
Radhika looked at Arjun and averted her gaze. She didn’t want her heart to take control. She took a breath and turned towards him, “so whats up mentor?” she spoke, trying hard to sound normal.
Arjun blinked at her.
“you know, I always wondered how a healthy heart could skip a beat, but I now looking at you, I realise it just does. Without any reason or rhyme.”
“and mine did the day I first looked in your eyes, Arjun.” She whispered.
Hearing, the knob of neil’s bedroom door turning, she quickly wiped the tear forming at the corner of her eyes. Gathering both the coffee mugs, she walked into his kitchen.
Fifteen minutes later, they were on their way to the central jail. Radhika’s heart kept fluttering thinking about her first session with Arjun. She looked outside the window to calm her nerves down a notch.
While neil’s grip on the steering wheel went on getting tighter with each passing second. He never felt this helpless ever before.
Both their trances were broken by her phone’s beep. She peered at curiously.
“a voice mail from sam.” She said.
“open it.” He replied.
The clip played, it sam’s voice, “chashni, I am on my plane back. Remind that idiot to pick me up. I know he would have forgotten.” And the clip ended.
Radhika burst out laughing…, “it’s a clip from your boss…..god! She knows so well.”
Neil smiled. Well, she did know me pretty well.
Radhika jumped out of the car as soon as neil pulled over in the jail parking. They walked in together and Radhika glanced at him. His mood was grim and jaw tightly clenched, eyes seemed darker than usual. She turned and started walking backwards, she pulled his cheeks, “ready to bite, neilu?” she said animatedly as if talking to a dog.
Neil smiled instantly, seeing her childishness. Only she could bend him which ever way she wanted.
As soon as they reached neil’s cabin, Radhika demanded to meet Inmate mehra.
Neil, “Radhika, sit down. I need to talk to you.”
Radhika sat down like a obedient kid and waited for him to continue.
Neil was unclear as to how to approach the topic. Neil eventually did, “Radhika, you are my best friend. And I care about you. You fainted once on seeing inmate mehra…and I don’t want that happening again. Neither I want him harming you in any way. So, that’s why, I will accompany you in your session with him. Is that okay?.”
Radhika spoke without any hesitation or second thought, “okay. I understand neil.”
Neil sighed with relief, Radhika hadn’t objected to his accompanying her which he interpreted it in a positive matter. Thinking, that atleast Radhika doesn’t have any feelings for him.
A second later, he slapped his forehead. He remembered that he was scheduled to go on a tour of the prison grounds and look over the work done by the inmates.
“I just remembered that I have important work to do. I will send a guard with you.” He said unwillingly.
Radhika rolled her eyes but nodded in affirmative.
She at the time, didn’t consider the tagging along of the unwanted guard as a problem, considering that it was just their first session. Also, she had planned to be strictly professional.
She walked towards Inmate Mehra’s cell with the guard falling her.
The clinking of the keys in the lock, grabbed arjun’s attention and he turned his gaze lazily towards the gate. His eyes instantly shone up on seeing Radhika, that too dressed just the way he liked.
Radhika gleamed on seeing the warmth and charm she loved returning to his eyes.
But it died down the instant he realised it appearance.
Radhika walked in and the guard followed. She grabbed a stool and sat opposite to Arjun. She took a deep breath trying hard to control her feelings, with him so close.
She started on a professional note, “Arjun, I am Dr. Radhika. Don’t think of me as a therapist or a psychologist. I am your friend. Okay? Is there something you want to ask?”
Arjun rolled his eyes.
She mentally face palmed herself. She was trying psychology on the one who practically taught her all these tricks.
She looked up. As if His eyes were calling out to her. They were betraying his mind….and following his eyes. Her eyes were locked with his eyes. She wasn’t able to pull them away even if she wanted. There was a kind of a raw attraction in his eyes pulling her towards him.
One look in his eyes and all her professionalism was thrown out of the window.
She turn to the guards, pulling her gaze away from arjun’s with a visible effort.
“please go out of the cell and stand at a distance.” She ordered.
The guard was confused, he had strict orders from the jailer to not leave her alone with inmate mehra at any cost, “ma’am…but jailer sir.”
Radhika cut him off, “ it is protocol. This is confidential session and you are not entitled to be a part of it. And about your jailer, I will handle neil. Leave.”
Guard walked out without a word.
Arjun’s heart jumped with happiness. He knew very well that it wasn’t any protocol. He was really joyous, knowing that Radhika wanted to talk to him alone.
But on the contrary, he maintained his hard exterior. He was afraid, was scared….that she would play with his feelings again.
She turned to Arjun, her voice softened…..and her eyes betrayed her, looking at him, tearing started to fall down.
Her mind cursed herself internally, she was the psychiatrist there. She was the one who was supposed to have a better command of her feelings and emotions…..
But it was Arjun…..her arjun…her mind counter argued. And that was enough.
Her voice choked, “A-Arj-Arjun…i..i..”
Precap : BANG! BANG! BANG!
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