Started at (K)nighted Men-Part 1

Contd from If only Rehan could live to see the day- Part 17

If only Rehan could live to see the day.

***

An empty house. A quiet night. And a loud defeat.

Salim knew he was beaten. But in his defence the game was never balanced. One against four.

It was sometime before he realised that he was being played. No one person was suspect because they all were. Motive and opportunity never quite fit in one place because it was equally shared among them.

He stared at the sheet of paper in his hand.

Malini.

The old couple never reported their first missing child. They never told anyone that she had become a criminal. She had murdered. And when they lost their second child in the same place they knew. They knew the two were meant to form a team together.

Malini embraced her lost sister as one could expect her to. But together they were embraced by other two. A mother-son duo who lived on the same platform.

A group that lasted years. But finished at the behest of an outsider.

Satyam spent twenty seven years fighting odds. Odds that were always against him. And Rehan created an odd that he couldn’t fight.

And then a fateful when happened.

When Malini realised that she could never live up to Rehan’s standards of love. When Mala deciphered that her ‘son’ had never quite considered her to be truly his mother. And when Sudha bored with her life of husband and trickery decided to connect them in a plot.

Money was least of the motivation. Freedom was. Together they set sail on a journey that seemed to have no end.

Salim stared at the photograph again. It was the five of them sitting at a table and enjoying a drink.

The last drink. The four Judas.

The charades.

***

The soft hum of the wheels against the track formed a melodious lullaby to the each of the four. Rehan wasn’t killed he was murdered in cold blood. They had revealed themselves that night. In pieces.

Through phone calls. Through dropped hints and then the signed photograph on the window pane.

It was over. They knew. The accidental gun on the table or the over dosage of Zolpedim were mere safety catches.

The future awaited them, exciting and fresh. The seeds of betrayal dancing in their minds, still.

Who next? They all wondered.

The end.

%d bloggers like this: