Chapter 2

Written by: A_Jamwal

‘It can’t be that bad.’

Sitting in front of the mirror, a jittery Shweta tried convincing herself.

‘Aditya is handsome, he is kind…’ Shweta looked at the flawless three-carat rock on her ring finger. ‘…… and he will take good care of our kids.’

She feigned a smile but the girl in the mirror, chained in red and gold, didn’t smile back. As if the reflection could see right through the fraud who sat in flesh and bone. Guilt-ridden, Shweta got hit by a burst of visions from the past.

She recalled the day when the quartet: Rahul, Salim, Shweta and Akshay were hanging out at their adda [1], a roadside dumpling vendor called ‘Momos Corner’. Rahul, calm as ever, leaned against his car. Salim, seated on top of the hood, laughed uncontrollably as an agitated Akshay chased Shweta around the car.

“I’ll never listen to you, you evil witch!” griped Akshay.

Shweta hid behind her twin brother, playfully using him as a shield.

“I can’t believe you said that to your crush.” She laughed.

“You said girls like it if the conversation is a bit sexual and now I face harassment charges,” Akshay grumbled.

“Well genius, it has to be done in a subtle way. You can’t just blatantly boast about your prowess. It’s true what they say, you are impulsive!”

The Momos Corner was lit up by the laughter of these lively creatures. Shweta got teleported to another memory; this time inside Salim’s bedroom at 2 AM.

Beaming with contentment, Shweta jumped out of bed. Buttoning up her shirt and knotting her ruffled tresses, she blew Salim a kiss. Wrapped inside a white sheet, Salim looked at Shweta in awe as she sat on the very window she had entered through.

“If you brother ever gets to know…” Salim whispered.

“My family is full of dangerous people but Rahul isn’t one of them. Isn’t what we have, worth fighting for?” Shweta winked.

“Crazy girl!” Salim chuckled.

Shweta disappeared through the open window and reappeared in another memory. This time in the living room of her own house. Lakshmi sobbed on the couch while Shweta faced her maternal uncle, his large hands cradling her cheeks.

“My sweet child, I know you will never break my trust.” Swaminathan’s hands were warm and so was his smile. But his eyes were cold and threatening.

He callously tightened his grip on Shweta’s jaw. The message couldn’t have been more unambiguous. A fearful Shweta forcefully pulled herself out of the memory.

                                                                 ******

Shweta’s mother knocked on the door. She hastily picked up her cellphone and typed a text.

“Ahmed, you and Munira are very lucky to have each other. God bless you both."

When Shweta’s text left the building, another text entered the ballroom of the Oberoi hotel.

“Keep him in sight and wait for my signal”.

A menacing grin appeared on the recipient’s face. Blended in with the guests, the mysterious shadow waited for the next command.

 

 

 

[1] Adda - Hangout

Comments

This is really good: Shweta got teleported to another memory. What a unique and creative way to shift from one thought to another. And the mysterious stranger blending in with the guests leaves the reader curious and the next writer with something to work with. You also introduced back story which was good.
Thank you Suraya. Can't wait for the next chapter. So much pressure, such build up, something's got to give.
Loved the chapter Abhimanyu, especially the descriptions about Shweta flitting between her memories. The ending really gripped me because I wasn't expecting another twist in the tale so soon. Great job!!
Thanks Hemali. You and Sameer are to be blamed though, for setting up the stage to introduce this dark, mysterious character.