THE CLEAN-LIVING DEAD

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ROAMING THE ROADS TO AIMING A PISTOL

A week had passed gloomily for Neha and today was third lunch hour. Vinayak talked and interacted with everyone, trying to forget his grief. Neha couldn't.

"Hey,....you like this gravy? I made it" asked Vinayak.
"It is awesome....but I'm not in a mood for this" said Neha.
"Ok, it happens that people are bored.....what are you in for then?" he asked.
"Well....no offense but leave me alone please" she said.
"Ok,..it happens" he said as he took his plate and shifted to another bench.

"Neha....your chores are over for this hour. You have two hours time to roam around the premises." said the Chef as he closed the door. Neha started wandering here and there. Just then, she heard someone shouting and arguing. It looked like the same gangster group who annoyed her when she came the first day. She peered closer.

"Hey you! You're new here and you demand us?"
"I'm not your anything to be humble! Just give back that letter!!"

Neha knew it was a familiar voice, the second one. She got clarity when she saw the person. It was Umed!! He saw her right when she was about to run away. He followed. She ran faster, the scene of the bar reminding her. How could he lie?
He followed until she his behind a wall,..he went back. Tears bursted out and her body gave up. She couldn't stop.

"Eh Neha? What are you doing here?" asked Vinayak. He came at the wrong time.
"What's your matter? Why do you keep finding me?" asked Neha as she swept away the tears.
"Am I that annoying?" he asked.
"No....yes....no!....look, it's just that I saw a familiar friend here and I'm running away from him so that he won't come for me. I have nothing to explain now!" she said.
"Ok....so now am I annoying or not??" he asked sarcastically. Neha smiled.
"Ok. You are a bit" she said.
"Hmm... thought so. Nobody respected me this much ever!" he said.
"Respect? This?" asked Neha, puzzled.
"Well......to say, at the starting, I was just an orphan roaming the roads. Some hotel Chef adopted me. So I grew up in a chef's kitchen and I was the waitor. Later on I became the chief for all waitors and don't worry! I studied simultaneously. When I was 25, I decided to persue cooking as a passion and profession. So...I was sent to coaching. Since I already knew enough, I topped the practicals and got a degree. I worked there and had 5-star ratings always. Once, I went to a cooking show, where I saw a lovely girl. I fell in love and after a year of relationship, I married her. Within a year, we had a child and I opened up a restaurant on her name; Sheela's Hot Food. When the child was three years, we had a fight and we ended up injuring each other and....I shot her and the child. So.....I'm going to stay longer than 14 years in jail for killing to innocent lives." he said as he wiped his cold tears.

"So.....you know you killed an innocent woman" she asked.
"No...now I do, but then, I didn't. I killed my family! What's more??" he asked as he felt his head against the wall.
"The depression is worse than the jail sentance. We killed someone who doesn't even deserve to be killed,....I mean....even if they did commit a mistake, we should've left them injured. I was wrong being a detective. I shouldn't have killed my suspect; being drunk" she said as she narrated her story to him.

"I hate life....I want to die,...shall we?" he asked.
"No. That would be foolishness" she replied.

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