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Too Late

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Chapter -1 Her Name

Today, the morning at Mehra's mansion was brighter than ever. The whole household was preparing the wedding of the century.

The media was going crazy and bloggers were updating articles informing the whole world with the progress of the wedding. India's famous business tycoon Rishi Mehra's only sister Avantika Mehra was going to marry Rishi's best friend and the prince of Jaipur, Karan Rathod.

The couple was always in the spotlight since she was just in college. Though Rishi was against the idea given Avantika was just 20. And still a kid in his eyes but Karan's coronation ceremony was planned to be held with his wife by his side.

Rishi, who was famous for his innumerable wealth and assets, never finds Rathod's to be their comparable but he knows Karan since his childhood and gives in to Avantika's happiness. Rishi's father, Sanjay Mehra retired fifteen years ago and was always on some world tour with his beloved wife Kashaf. But nowadays the whole family was staying together and even the distant relatives were coming in a week to stay at their place until the wedding.

Rishi was coming down the stairs and looked at his family busy laughing and discussing the wedding at their breakfast. He looked at his sister who was serving the breakfast and thought. How will I ever live without her around? I would have gone insane if it wasn't for her. She is just so innocent and weak. I still wish that she can marry someone who plans to join us.

With all of these thoughts, he took the seat that represents him as the head of the household. The chair his father gave to him fifteen years ago and makes him responsible to take the decision for this family.

The moment he was settled in his seat, his sister served him the food saying.

"Bhai, (brother) I have prepared your favorite breakfast for you please, tell me how it is?" Somehow, he too knew from last some days that she is learning cooking for Karan but it really doesn't mean that they all should suffer.

He returned her smile and teased "OK, I will have breakfast but before that please call an ambulance. I don't want to die soon...." She pouted and they all started laughing and had their family time.

But soon one maid informs them that detective Raj from Crime Investigation department is here to meet them all.

Rishi got confused about why would a detective from the crime branch will come and that too Raj Sharma. They all have heard detective Raj's name because he was quite famous in media. People loved him, & criminals shivered and run to hell. He was known to be strict and hardliner in his field.

Still puzzled he ordered his maid to let Raj come in and went into his living area to see him but he was soon followed by his parents and then his sister.

Avantika, who too never had a chance to see this person so she decided not to lose the chance besides she heard maid said that he wanted to see all of the family. "Hello everyone, I'm Raj. I'm here to meet all of you regarding a case. Please, cooperate." He said in his famous monotone voice. Always business.

A smile appeared at Rishi's face when he replied with a compliment that should be given to a national hero. "Hello, please don't introduce yourself, you are quite famous. Who doesn't know you?"

Curving his lips up, he answered. "I'm flattered, but I am here to talk about your uncle Mr. Anil Agrawal."

The recognition flickered at Rishi's face as he said, "Of course I know him. Why don't you take a seat?" Rishi gestured to the refreshments on the table that their maid left for Raj in this short instant.

But Raj was quick to say. "I am busy Mr. Mehra. Please give me what I am here. "The way Raj said those words made Rishi's face hard. He was being more than polite but it doesn't mean that this low-rank officer can talk to him like this. He took the seat and stated in monotone. "He is more like our guardian angel. He used to spend a lot of time with me when I was still a kid. But still, I don't understand how can I help you?....." He stopped to look at Raj who was still looking at Rishi like he hasn't provided enough. "Mr. Raj, he will be here for the wedding in a week. Why don't you come and personally see him? "

This time Raj cleared his throat and took the seat. "Well, I am positive that your perception will change about him soon. I have a complaint against Him and evidences too. I need your younger sister's statement as a witness. We are charging him as a pedophile. He has raped many women, little girls to be precise." Raj still wanted to say something ahead when he was cut off by roaring Rishi.

"Watch your mouth! Mr. Raj. Are you out of your mind...do you even know about whom you are talking to? Do you know how many people he had helped... I'm sorry detective but you got the wrong person. Please leave before I throw you out myself." Rishi kept on going while Raj had his calm. He expected all of this. So, he continued calmly when Rishi stopped.

"Like I said I need your cooperation. I knew you won't believe me. But honestly, I hardly care whether you believe me or not. I am doing my duty and you are going to help me whether you like it or not. "Raj stopped to look at the rest of the family and repeated. "I am here to meet your sister. Please call her. If you didn't help, I have to call your sister to the police station and there she will give a statement and I know you don't want that....."

Rishi was fuming in anger; his family has never seen him like that. He was so mad at the detective that he wanted to kill him.

He looked at Avantika and tried to calm down. The last thing he wanted to do was scare her. But he knew he had to have Avantika talk to this detective so they could be done with this.

"Avi, my child, come here," Rishi said and Avantika walked to her brother and sit beside him. But the detective cuts him and said "who said I want to meet Avantika? I am not here to meet your adopted sister. I am here to see your real sister, Rishika. Please call her."

As soon as he and his family listened to Rishika's name the silence filled the space. He never thought he will ever hear this name. He made sure of that. But this person right here didn't just call Avantika his adopted sister but dare to say the name he wanted never to exist. And the feeling was mutual in the whole family beside Avantika.

They all become irritated and annoyed with the detective.

"You are wasting your time here, detective. She doesn't live here anymore and has nothing to do with this family. " He chewed every word in anger.

"But. "Raj was about to say something when Rishi continued to warn.

"I, Rishi Mehra, threw her out from the family register. And if you love your job, even a little bit. You will never call Avantika my adopted sister."

Detective tries to know the reason why they have done that but came to know that she tried to kill Avantika.

Raj was grim for a second and was about to say something when Rishi cut him off saying. "Next time, come with an appointment and that too, at my office. "He didn't wait for any response and left leaving Raj there.

The whole day went quite. Mr. and Mrs. Mehra spent their time in their room and Avantika was worrying for Rishi. It was dinner time and everyone was waiting for Rishi. They all were cursing the detective for opening their old wounds and worrying for Rishi...

At 11 o'clock Rishi returned home. As soon as he entered, he found awaiting Avantika smiling at him. But this time he doesn't smile back.

She asked him to have dinner but he ignored her and went to his room. His attitude was worrying Avantika even more. She, too, postponed the plan to have the dinner and went to her room. But after an hour, a maid came into her room to inform that Rishi had called everyone to meet in the dining hall.

Avantika and her parents were looking at Rishi who had unlike any other time had his head low.

"You, do realize that you are creeping us out." His mother spoke.

"I had hired an investigator to look for Rishika. "He more like said to himself but still got heard by everyone around him.

"We don't want her here. Not now and not ever. " His father warned him.

He looks at Avantika and said.

"I know whatever I am going to say is going to hurt you but someone needs me more than this wedding. My baby sister Rishika needs me" he had first time called Rishika his baby sister. He thought only if Rishika was here she would be so happy to see that he is calling her baby sister..... But soon he realizes that she is not here...& It's too late ....

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