11, Sky Heights: Chapter 20

Chandni’s lover was a selfish man who could kill anyone cold-bloodedly for his own interests and Chandni had now understood that. She was caught in a trap that she had to get out of. She thought that even if she had given him the cheques of some bank account that she didn’t use and had very low balance, he would have come again and demanded money at gunpoint. Her lover knew which her primary bank account was, where all her money got deposited.

She thought that after sometime when this money would be exhausted, he would come again to threaten her and this would go on forever! She was not ready for this. More than the money, the fact that she would live like a puppet for the rest life was not acceptable to her. She decided to teach him a lesson.

She called the commissioner of police.

***

Officers Joshi and Shinde were in a pensive mood. It was the first time in the service of thirty years that Joshi had not found a clue in a case for a fortnight. Joshi’s smoking had increased substantially – in an hour he had already smoked four cigarettes. Since this was a high profile case, there was pressure from the higher authorities to crack the case and arrest the murderer.

On the other hand, when they interrogated Nisha’s college friend Rohan Saluja, he said that he could not live with the fact that Nisha was dead. He often dreamt about her at night, he said. Joshi could not interrogate Omar Hassan because of the orders he got from his superiors. All this made him frustrated. In this frustration, he told Shinde to record all the calls of those people who were on their list of suspects.

Since Chandni was also on the list, her calls were being recorded. Joshi heard her conversation with the Commissioner of Police.

“Sir I need to meet you urgently. But if I come to your office, there will be a lot of controversy.” Chandni was telling the commissioner over the phone.

“Ok, you come to my house tomorrow morning at 10”, the commissioner had told her.

When Joshi heard the conversation he was surprised. Why did Chandni want to meet the commissioner? Did she know something important about the case? What was it that she wanted to tell the commissioner? Such questions came to his mind but only Chandni could answer them. But Joshi did not have the courage to call Chandni for interrogation because of what happened to him when he wanted to interrogate Omar Hassan.

Joshi felt as if someone had tied his hands and legs with a rope and there was no way for him to move in any direction.

***

Rashmi walked in at Hotel Marine Plaza to meet Omar Hassan. She was slightly late but she was surprised to see Omar waiting there for her. He was looking outside at the sea, lost in thought. He didn’t notice her come and sit on the chair beside him. Rashmi’s heart was racing. She had resolved her dilemma and come to a definite decision.

“Omar…” Rashmi said after looking at Omar for a few seconds. He looked even more handsome, she thought. And he was wearing the same perfume that he had worn on the day they had last met.

“Oh! Sorry…” Omar apologized for not noticing her presence. He looked at her eyes and something in them awoke the feelings of intense love within him – the feeling that he had managed to suppress since the last two years.

“I am sorry for being late. I got caught up in some important work.” Rashmi smiled and said. Her body language was that of a shy teenager who was out on a date for the first time with her lover.

Omar noticed that she was wearing a laced pink top and white pants. She looked beautiful. He wondered that in spite of having all the qualities of an actress, why had she chosen to become a journalist. But he was proud of her achievements in journalism. He knew that Rashmi was a woman of ideals; she wouldn’t ‘compromise’ to bag a role in the industry if she would decide to act. He remembered reading her article about sex scandals in the Hindi Film Industry.

“Omar?” Rashmi snapped.

“Sorry, once again, I have become a little absent-minded. So what will you have?” He said.

Rashmi loved his chivalry.

Rashmi smiled and called the waiter and said, “One Budweiser pint and?” She asked Omar. “One Corona please”, Omar said.

It was Rashmi’s old habit to order for herself and often pay the bill. She never let anyone pay for her. Omar knew this habit well and he smiled remembering the old times.

“You wanted to talk to me about something?” Omar asked her.

“Omar, I thought a lot before calling you last night. I have to be honest with you. I have missed you. I know I took too long to…” Omar kept his hand on her mouth before she could complete what she was saying.

“Don’t explain, don’t give me any reasons…just say what you have to say, Rashmi.” Omar had forgotten everything about Nisha, Mohini and the police in those few moments with Rashmi.

“I love you, Omar.”

“I love you too.”

To be continued…

Read previous chapters here: Chapters 1- 19

Aashu Patel
Aashu Patel

Aashu Patel is a writer, who has written on a variety of genres ranging from crime to inspirational. 40 books written by him are published. He has worked as an editor of many leading newspapers. He has written many novels. Well-known film director Tigmanshu Dhulia is making a Hindi film based on his English novel 'Madam X'.

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