Posted: 08 August 2007 at 9:00pm | IP Logged
Chapter 6- Returning
Sh**, I thought to myself, sitting in my hotel room. What time was it? 6? I was dressed in a small black dress, cut below the knees that gently hugged my curves. I hadn't done make up yet, as always. I never felt the need for it. I was told I looked pretty either way. Make up was so unnatural, it felt so odd. As odd as going out on a date with a man whose existence I loathe? Probably, I thought as I gingerly put a light coat of gloss and mascara on.
I had felt a strange guilt upon leaving but that guilt was of course before I realized that I had to return by 8.
I looked quite ravishing but I stood annoyed on the door afoot the house I left just hours ago, angry at the irony I rang the doorbell. Angad opened the door.
"Figured you'd be back. You have a date." He stared me up and down, "I see you remembered." His voice, face, eyes were all so expressionless…it was frightening how much he resembled a machine.
"So I did. Is Aaliya still here?" I asked, he nodded toward the room. I walked in, seeing Aaliya beaming at her laptop. Or actually my laptop. It was our business laptop. Where we did our research; sent our fake emails, made pseudo transactions. The laptop was built by us, using a generic internet connection with virtually untraceable accounts. She smiled at me indescribably. I didn't understand why.
"What?" I asked her, confused. She grinned at me wider.
"Guess what?" She said, with an incredibly childlike excitement.
"I said what already." I said, annoyed.
"Well, I downloaded from the police database everything we should basically know about Vikraant Gujraal." She beamed, proud of herself. She hadn't heard a word I had said. That was so Aaliya, to block out everything she didn't want to hear.
"Were you even listening to me this afternoon?" I asked, becoming more annoyed.
"Yeah, yeah. Separate ways, too dangerous…yada yada blah blah blah. You didn't expect me to actually listen? Kripa, come on. We both know each other better than that." She smiled happily again. She surprised me sometimes.
"You know I love you, Aaliya?" I said, instinctively. When all else betrays you, you can always count on Aaliya on being there.
"What can I say?" She sighed sarcastically, hugging me, "To know me is to love me."
"Yeah, yeah. Conceited." I said, kissing her cheek.
"You need this? For tonight?" She asked, holding up a small microphone. I needed to be wired. Sometimes Aaliya seemed more a cop than a thief. I sighed, taking it from her. She put the earpiece on as I hooked the wire, expertly to the inside of my shirt.
"Perfect." I clapped my hands together in glee. She smiled at me, saying, "Well, look who looks hot tonight. Besides me, of course." She suddenly frowned. "Bhai's been drinking since the minute you left. I mean six hours straight, all he's been doing is drinking. He's downed a twelve pack of Coors, a bottle of whiskey, and half a bottle of Bacardi. He's gonna drink himself to death." I saw the seriousness over her face and it frightened me again.
"Aaliya, I can't help anyone until they want to help." I glanced out of the bedroom door to find a not yet drunk Angad sitting, pouring a glass of Bacardi. Knowing Angad, I knew it took loads of anything to alter Angad's mental state. Whether it is drugs, or alcohol or adrenaline…it took a LOT to change Angad's basic being…even temporarily. If he went on like this, he'd die, not get drunk. It was Angad's misfortune that he wasn't the type to get drunk; he was the type to die trying.
I walked out of my room, instinctively. Standing before Angad, I felt oddly awkward.
"What do you think you're doing?" I asked, hands on hips.
"I don't know. Amusing myself. Do you have a problem with that?" He asked, his words slurring into quick sentences. Oh God, he WAS getting drunk. How much had he drunk?
"Yes, I do." I said, snatching the bottle of Bacardi from his hand. "This is MY alcohol you're wasting. I need these more." I poured myself a glass and downed it entirely; it burned hot in my throat.
"Hey! No you don't. My wife just left me. Cut a dude some slack." He said, trying to take the bottle back. I put it behind me back.
"I just left my husband who married me as a job requirement. Cut ME some slack please." Angad sighed, defeated.
"If it matters any, your husband really loves you." He said, walking to the mini-bar set up. He picked a bottle of Hennessey.
"It doesn't any more. THAT'S mine too. Sorry hun. What's wrong with you anyways?"
"I'm bored. I quit my job. My wife left me. My sister hates me. I have nothing better to do." He poured himself a glass of amber colored liquid. I took the glass and poured it into the cactus plant next to me.
"You quit your job? My husband would never quit his job." I said, getting too proud perhaps.
"Well, your husband kind of…refused to do his job. He didn't feel like following his wife around like some criminal anymore, even if she was one."
"Well, my husband should have done his job then." I stated bitterly, even though I was completely awe-struck.
"He should have but then he would have lost you." He said, pouring another glass, just to bother him I poured myself a large glass and downed it too.
"Well, my husband has never been too concerned about that in the past." I downed another glass.
"Listen Kripa, I know your husband," He said, amused. "Ever since he married you, all he ever thought about was what would happen when you would find out. He was always afraid of losing you."
"Then why didn't he ever tell me?" I said, downing yet another glass. How many drinks had I had? Three, four? Whatever, I don't get drunk easily either.
"Because he was trying to do his job. He didn't realize that it would mean having to choose between you two. But it did."
"And I suppose he chose me." I said sarcastically. He shrugged, almost shameful. I felt sorry for him. He did choose me. And I left him.
"He did. But it was a little late for that. Anyways…it's getting late. The commissioner will be here in a while." He patted my back, gesturing me to leave.
"Why are you doing this?" I asked, still sitting. He glanced down to me and looked away, "Doing what?"
"You know exactly what. I've known you my whole life. Why are you doing this?" I asked, taking the bottle from his hand and shattering it along the cold marble floor. He looked shocked and surprised.
"I want you to win this one. I want you to know that I'm here." He said, bending down to pick the broken pieces of glass. He was so calm, it was so irritating. I had to marry a man full of composure. He didn't flinch even as the broken glass sliced through the flesh of his palm, I was in pain seeing it but he didn't even stop for it.
"ANGAD!" I said. He looked up and smiled, was he testing me? Yes, I still care. I didn't rush to his side to nurse his wound; instead I shot him a cold glare. He laughed, walking to the dustbin, pulling the piece of glass out of his hand effortlessly he threw it in. It was stained with blood as his hand was. He ran it under cold water.
"Chill Kripa, I know how to take care of myself. I can handle myself as well as you can. I was raised on the same streets as you." Leave it to Angad to remind you of your beginnings. On the streets, probably the most humble of them all. When rich people say they began humbly, they usually mean middle class. Few had the experience we did, surviving at the bottom was hard. With sycophants like Gujraal, it wasn't.
"I know we all did. No need to remind me." I said, bitterly again.
"Ah, but it is necessary to remind you. If you want to beat ACP Gujraal, you have to keep your motive alive. You need to keep the anger burning. Kripa, no one can do this but you." He cared, really he did…but what was I supposed to say? Sorry for doubting you? Thank you for caring? Why didn't you give me that ring, if you seriously loved me? A million questions clouded my mind.
"Wow." Was all I could manage to say. The doorbell rang, I glanced at the clock. 8:03. Dammit. Angad smiled at me earnestly and said, "We'll talk when you get home if you want."
"Stay sober." I warned. He smirked and nodded, "I will. I can't get drunk anyways, not without Aaliya drinking some first. And she's mean when she's drunk." He whispered. Aaliya yelled, "Hey! I heard that." Angad rolled his eyes and shouted back, "I know, that's why I said it." I laughed at them, who wouldn't.
"Bye." I said, as Angad led me to the door. He kissed me lightly as I walked out of the door. As I walked out, I saw a black Cadillac standing outside my house. He still hadn't changed his car either, so I guessed his nature hadn't changed either.
"Hello Sir." I said, seating myself in the car. He winced a little before courteously replying, "Please don't call me that, seems so formal. Call me Vikrant."
"Will Vicky work?" I smiled politely. "Never mind, Vikrant. So where are we going?"
"To eat, dear. Where else?" He smiled curtly.
"Never can be too sure of your intentions, Sir. But where will we be eating?" I replied slyly.
"French maybe." He said.
"No, no too formal. I know of a lovely little place off of Victoria that serves splendid Spanish." His face turned stern on mention of Victoria Street, named after the age old Victoria rail station, the capital of the crime world for ages. His old hangout. I added expertly, "You know of Victoria station, correct?" He nodded.
"Yes, I do. But Victoria isn't a very proper place for gentlemen or pretty young ladies like you." He replied, uncomfortably.
"Pshaw, I practically grew up there. I hear you were quite popular there too. Right by Baker."
"Indeed a significant deal of my life went about there. An awful large child-trading business went about there…" He started.
"You traded children?" I asked, pretending to be shocked.
"Heavens no, that's inhumane and illegal. I was posted on Baker Street. In fact, I remember this one little girl particularly. You see the ugliest, dirtiest, poorest kids imaginable. Her name was...God, what was it...?" He struggled to remember as I was extremely offended at his description of the children.
"Kritika." He said, my head shot up. My eyes widening, he said. "Her name was Kritika."
"Whose name was Kritika," I asked, confused. I wasn't paying any attention past the ugliest, dirtiest, poorest kids imaginable.
"The girl I remember. She was 4 or 5 years old, a beautiful child she was. I think she was sold to a brothel. Such a pity." Pity my rear end, you're the idiot that sold her.
"You never tried to stop her from being sold? I mean you were a cop."
"Of course I did, got stabbed four times in the process." He chuckled. Just for the record, I had stabbed him six times. While trying to escape, I had stabbed him six times repeatedly in the arm; I think he forgot to mention that part.
"So, I think we should go to Victoria Station." I said happily. He glanced at me and turned into a dark alley that I knew led to Baker.
"Well, maybe we should..." He replied curtly. We were headed to the back side of Baker Street, the BAD side of Baker Street. Fear was something I stopped feeling years ago, now I felt an intense curiosity. Vicky Sir pushed the Cadillac to a screeching halt, as we stopped in front of the brothel he had tried to sell me at eternities ago.
"Kajri Bai's brothel?" I confirmed. He stared at the large building and nodded with what seemed like the devil possessed into his eyes. Why were we here, what was going on his head?
"Remember anything?" He asked smirking as he reached into his pocket for his gun. Yes bas***d, I remember plenty. I sat in the car, with the pistol facing my wide eyes. He repeated as if I hadn't heard, "Remember anything...Kritika?"
Edited by kIrAn...E>GA<3 - 08 August 2007 at 9:01pm