Ankur's behaviour bothered Vivek. He went straight home and poured a glass of scotch for himself. In his mind, he cursed himself for returning to this hellhole.
If I just stayed back in Indonesia, this never would have happened. Or if I had waited a few months, he would've forgotten me by then! I need to be careful
He sipped his scotch and switched on a Clint Eastwood movie. His thoughts slowly drifted back to Ankur.
Why am I so worried? No one understands that kid. I'll go back to meet Raj and him!
He smiled devilishly as he watched the movie.
After two months of working on the case, Sumit's patience was wearing thin. It was like a huge jigsaw puzzle. He was starting to believe that he was missing some of the pieces. The picture would never be complete.
This murder had gained massive public attention. Reporters constantly hounded the department for updates. Sumit's superiors pulled him off other investigations and told him to focus only on this one. He formed a small team, a good team, a hard working team. Their typical day started at 9:00 in the morning and ended after 10:00 pm. They followed up on every single tip they received. The case file grew thicker with each passing day, full of dead ends and false leads.
It frustrated Sumit to even go to work. Each time his superiors asked for updates on the case, he had less and less to offer.
Raj avoided Vivek at the office. He was solely concerned with finishing the experiment, then taking the kids and leaving this town forever. Memories of Mala haunted him whenever he left the lab. Everything reminded him of her. And so he thought that leaving town was the best solution. He often thought of taking his kids somewhere that no one would ever trouble them.
He wanted them to be safe and secure…
He wanted them to be free from the cruelty of this world…
He just wanted to be with them…
Just like he wanted to be with Mala…
He stopped interacting with his colleagues, offering them only cold, impersonal greetings.
One day, Raj saw Vivek waiting in his lab. He must have stopped there on the way to his office.
"Good morning, Vivek," Raj said, flatly.
"Oh! Hello Raj! Good morning! I've come to see how the experiment is coming along," Vivek responded. He had to convince his creditors that the work was still going on and, to do that, he needed a report from Raj.
"I am trying to finish it soon. Hopefully in a month…"
"Well, I need a report. The investors are asking for one," Vivek insisted.
This time I won't let him dodge me.
"Again!?" thought Raj. He remembered the time when Vivek tried to force him to implement this technology. Although he had avoided Vivek's request that time, he didn't know what to do now.
"I'll write it and send it you by the end of the week. But you should know that the experiment needs more time."
"Yes, of course Raj! Take your time. I was wondering if you're free tonight. I was thinking about coming over for a cup of tea. Sheila makes good tea," he added with a smile. He was curious. He wanted to see Ankur again.
Raj was startled for a moment, but said, "Sure. I'll be free by 7:00 pm. Please, do come."
Vivek left the office, certain that things were on the right track. Raj could no longer hide the reports he wanted to so badly.
Poor Mala! She died in vain.