Soul of a Star – Chapter 20: Realisation
#CelebrateBlogging #GameOfBlogs #TeamWordWeavers
Read the previous chapter here
A faint sound outside her room felt like a cacophony to her ears. An ear-splitting headache had gripped Tara. She tried lifting her head but felt too weak to do so… She looked around. It was a dilapidated room, with just a bed, an almirah and ramshackle walls!
Tara tried to focus her thoughts. The flight through the nooks of her brain was tiring. At random corner of her memory she chanced upon a faint memory.
Jennifer stood outside Costa Coffee in Lokhandwala waiting for Tara. She looked around and couldn’t help wondering how come all good looking people live in Mumbai? Kochi was a very dull place for a single girl. And as she continued to wait, a man fidgeting with his laptop caught her attention- beautiful hands, beautiful face, crisp white shirt; he looked at her and they exchanged smiles. All of a sudden Jenny felt a tap on her shoulder.
Why did she meet Jenny that evening? Tara could not stress her brain any further. She reached out for the bottle of water lying on the floor beside the bed. Instead of drinking it, she splashed the water on her face. Her senses were back. Some what.
Tara escorted Jennifer to the patio where Shekhar and Mr Ahuja were having their drinks. Aryan Ahuja was everything Jennifer had wanted in a man – tall, chiselled features and gentlemanly qualities. Tara noticed Jennifer was nervous and that was so unlike her. Tara and Shekhar excused themselves on the pretext of attending to Roohi.
It all hit Tara now. She had fixed a date for Jennifer with her neighbour Aryan Ahuja. The more she tried thinking, the strained her nerves became. Finally she gave up and walked up to the door. She banged on it as hard she could. There was no reply. But the banging had a reciprocal effect on her. A faint hint of the lost memories dawned in front of her eyes.
* * *
Tara was unconscious for five days. The realisation hit her hard. She felt weak and panicked. She remembered now.
She was in a ferry and trying to escape. She could faintly remember why. Then she took an auto-rickshaw and was on her way to Borivali but was stuck in an eternal jam a few blocks away. And then suddenly the driver took a U-turn and kept riding. She crazily shouted at him. What the hell was going on?
Tara panicked. She had read in the papers how a teenage girl was defiled on a running bus in Delhi last December… She was screaming now. The driver kept riding until the car was near a deserted mill. She could see a few men coming towards the car. She was trapped.
Tara gathered all her courage and was ready to strike as soon as they try to grab her. But even before she realised it, the driver injected a liquid on her arm… The following moments passed by were a blur…
A chilly shiver ran down her spine; Tara now understood she was kidnapped. And she probably knew why. What she did not know was the way out from this maze…
* * *
Jennifer thought she heard a noise coming from Cyrus’s room. After Tara’s disappearance, she did not want to take any chances. She peeped in to check. No one was there. She heard his messenger app on the computer buzz. Curiosity may have killed the cat; Jennifer refused to be daunted by that. She proceeded to check.
All across the floor, books of law were strewn. She smiled. Cyrus was a maverick and she had a sense of pride about him. But something caught her eye. Most books she saw around centred around one topic. Jenny shuddered. It was not unnatural for a budding lawyer to research on different topics… But the message that popped out of the computer screen, and the page that was open on the screen, unnerved her. She sat down on the chair with a thud.
The page on the screen showed a page from Cyrus’s blog and it was about Aryan Ahuja. She could not believe what she read. Beads of sweat formed on her forehead as she rushed out of the room.
* * *
Once back in her room, Jennifer opened her cabinet and searched for an old file. It had not escaped her eyes that apart from the blog page, another folder prominently decorated the computer screen of Cyrus. A folder named Tara…
Jennifer found the documents she was searching for. It was a prescription for psychiatric counselling. Cyrus had obsessive compulsive disorders, symptoms of which surfaced in his puberty when he developed a crush on Tara…
Jennifer was worried. Cyrus was ‘cured’ of his disease now; that is what she thought. Did he come to Mumbai for Tara? Did he have a role in Tara’s disappearance? And Aryan… She was going crazy, trying to put the pieces of the puzzle together.
As if out of habit, Jennifer pulled out her phone from her pocket and messaged Tara.
“Where are you L? We have a situation”