Ramya kept away the letters and went outside. She heard the train whistle nearby. The sound made her smile, she remembered Mallika’s words It is my reset button.
* * *
“Did you or did you not sort that ugly business with Anjali?” Suyash’s sharp voice scared her.
Ramya slowly rose from the chair. The truth was that she had not been able to convince Anjali. And it was time she told the truth to Suyash before he reacts more. But a part of her felt guilty at her pre-decided betrayal. She knew that if she told him the story of Anjali’s auditions, he would go out of his way to stop it.
“Ramya don’t put yourself in danger for someone else. Life is too short for charity,” he spoke menacingly.
She shuddered to think how he could actually cut her life short, for real.
“She has got an audition for a movie. They are paying her the money after the shoot is completed. She needs money to commute up and down,” she stuttered all through the speech.
Hearing this he sat down, his face contorted into different sets of expressions until finally it got set at a blank one.
“Why did you not tell me this before?” he asked, keeping his voice low.
She dare not reply this time.
“You thought I would cause an obstacle. Didn’t you?”he asked, this time raising his head to meet her eyes.
She nodded uncomfortably.
He remained silent for a while.
“Well then you thought wrong. I am not such a mean human being,” he suddenly got up and walked off.
Ramya had no idea whether he really meant those words or was only attempting to mock her.
* * *
“Calm down. This is not your battle. You are taking things way too seriously,” Shekhar was trying to pacify a visibly agitated Ramya.
“You don’t understand. She was this close to achieve her dreams and now this Suyash will make her life hell. I am telling you,” she spoke in distress.
“You are thinking too much. Concentrate on your own life. Ramya that red light area and its problems is not your life’s purpose. Burn those Mallika letters they are eating you,” he spoke with a hint of anger in his voice.
Ramya couldn’t believe what had just happened. She waited and waited for Suyash in the office after the exchange of words but he didn’t return. Now she had started to worry a lot about Anjali. She had a feeling something bad was going to happen to her. Like a road accident?
She took out her phone again and dialed Anjali’s number for the tenth time. There was still no answer.
“Here sip some water please, you are white,” Shekhar’s ushered in a glass of water in front of her.
She only pushed it away towards the filled coffee cup and the half eaten doughnut.
And in that moment her phone rang.
“Hello Anjali, where are you?” Ramya spoke in a frantic voice.
After about five minutes of conversation, she kept down the phone. She now faced an expectant Shekhar waiting to hear the story.
“Suyash gave her a lot of money and asked her to move into the new area in Mumbai which is close to her studio. She was very happy, he was himself driving away to that place,” Ramya spoke softly.
“See see there was nothing to worry about. Though I must say this is not the Suyash the world believes him to be,” Shekhar replied candidly.
* * *
The next day, Ramya went to office with a softer stand and a happier mind. She felt one of her life’s battles was half won. Perhaps she had managed to increase the counts of salvation for herself.
“I gave Anjali a new number. I don’t want her past haunting her anymore. The slate is wiped clean for her now,” Suyash was already in office, waiting for her.
“Thank you,” Ramya replied, her face flooded with emotions.
“I value people’s dreams. I know this life is not what they always want. Mallika was also one of them for me,” no one could know what went behind his ironclad face, but each time Mallika’s name floated around it twitched into something different.
to be contd. at What’s the difference?-Part 17
* * *
Connecting it with Ultimate Blogging Challenge.