He Stole from the World, She Stole his Heart

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Chapter 2

The alarm blared in Meera’s ear as she shot up in bed. She rubbed her eyes and pushed her scraggly hair out of her eyes. She glared at the clock, which glared 7am at her.

“Time to get up” she grumbled as she slipped out of the warm covers. She grabbed her blue bathrobe and wrapped it around her her shoulders as she stumbled to the bathroom.

When she was younger, her father would lead her to the bathroom and wrap the bathrobe around her shoulders as she dozed slightly on the toilet. A warm feeling bubbled inside of Meera’s chest as her old memories flooded into her mind.

“I wonder if Girish is up” Meera wondered to herself as she wiped her mouth of toothpaste. She slipped on some clothes and walked barefoot into the kitchen, where Girish sat, reading The Hunger Games on the counter. Meera didn’t really understand what happened in the book, even though Girish had explained it to her multiple times.

“Morning Girish” she said as she passed the teen to grab some bread. Girish didn’t move, but only buried his nose deeper into the book.

“Girish”! Meera called louder. Girish jolted, finally acknowledging his sister’s presence. He glanced up at her with a half-lidded gaze.

“Hey Meera! Where were you last night? I was waiting for you but you never came. So I went to sleep” he said.

“Sorry. I...got caught up” Meera said, biting her bottom lip. She didn’t like lying. She was always terrible at it. Somehow, Girish either didn’t notice or didn’t care as he buried his nose back into his book.

Girish may have brushed off Meera’s excuse aside, but Meera didn’t. As she ate her food, her thoughts were plagued with Krish’s face. His handsome, well made face. Meera tried shaking her thoughts away. She can’t love him! He’s a criminal! Besides, only Abhimanyu will hold her heart.

Meera sighed as her thoughts transferred from Krish to Abhimanyu. He was a famous Bollywood actor and one of her closest friends. She didn’t remember when exactly she fell for him, but she knew her chances of being with him was 0. He only saw her as a friend. Besides, she was too shy to admit her feelings for him.

“What are you doing today”? Girish’s voice snapped Meera out of her daydream. The brown eyed girl looked up to see her brother stuff a mouthful of bread inside his mouth

“Eat slowly Girish! I’m going out with Anika after work” Meera said, watching Girish swallow. Girish loved to eat. He would eat any type of food placed in front of him.

“Cool. You see your boyfriend”? Girish teased. Meera turned red and stuck her tongue out at her brother, who only smirked and put his plate in the sink.

“He’s not my boyfriend” Meera said as Girish grabbed his school bag. He shrugged and waved goodbye as he left for school. Meera sighed and put her plate in the sink as well. She decided she would wash the dishes later and got ready for work. Then, she set out, observing the slums as she walked. Many people in her community were outcasts or simply very poor. Meera walked to the rich part of town and knocked on the Rajput families house. Her job there was as a maid. Usually, her hours were 7:30-4, so she had plenty of time to contemplate her crush on Abhimanyu.

Maybe it was hopeless for her. She was an incredibly poor girl while Abhimanyu was very rich. Besides, they were just friends. Not that he had ever friend zoned her, but still.

As she thought about Abhimanyu, her mind wandered back to Krish. Why had he saved her? He may or may not have a sense of morals, but why her? Plenty of girls were killed by muggers and he had seen them, so why had he saved her? Was he going to use her? Then again, he did seem a bit sincere with his promise not to hurt her. But he was still a criminal, weather he had a sense of morals or not. The more Meera thought about it, the more she realized that Abhimanyu looked a lot like Krish. But that must’ve been a coincidence. Abhimanyu, she knew, had a movie shoot late last night. Or, so he said. He always had excuses for things to do at night.

Soon, much to Meera’s relief, her shift ended and she was given her paycheck for the week. She trudged out of the large house and began making her way to the park. She, Anika, Abhimanyu, and Rajkumar had all agreed to meet by the ice cream parlor.

When Meera reached the park, she saw Anika and the others sitting on the bench. She ran towards them, thinking of a good excuse other than daydreaming.

“There you are! Where were you girl? It’s almost 4:30 and the Rajput family doesn’t live far from here” Anika asked once Meera had reached them. She blushed and mumbled an excuse about helping someone.

“Well, now that we’re all here, we might as well get ice cream. What flavors”? Rajkumar asked. Anika and Abhimanyu choose chocolate while Meera opted for vanilla.

“So, did you guys here about Krish’s latest crimes”? Abhimanyu asked once Rajkumar left. Anika scowled and Meera bent her face to hide the blush that had exploded all over it.

“That no good criminal? Yeah. He’s been all over the news! Why I wouldn’t be surprised if he began murdering people” Anika spat. Meera didn’t say anything, but mentally processed Anika’s words. Krish didn’t seem like the type to kill. And even though he carried a gun and had claws, he had never physically hurt anyone. Abhimanyu scowled only for a moment, before he turned to Meera.

“What do you think Meera? Don’t you think he’s a ruthless killer”? Abhimanyu asked. Meera shook her head.

“Not really. He may be a criminal, but I believe he has some type of sense of morals” she said. For whatever reason, Abhimanyu seemed to smile widely.

“Morals and Krish? In my dreams” Anika joked.

“I’m back” Rajkumar said as he handed everyone their ice creams.

“What we talking about”? He asked as he licked his strawberry cone.

“We were just talking about Krish” Abhimanyu said.

“What do you think of Krish”? Anika asked. Rajkumar thought for a second, before answering.

“I think he’s pretty cool. He may be a criminal and all but he’s pretty smart at the way he does his crimes. Besides, we don’t even know if he’s real. He could just be a gang name” he said. Meera bit down hard on her ice cream and flinched.

“Hmm, that’s true. What about you Meera? Do you think Krish is real” Abhimanyu asked. Meera let her last night memories resurface her mind before answering.

“I think he might be real. I mean, we may not have good pictures of him, but there aren’t many gangs here” she said. For some reason, a satisfied smile formed on Abhimanyu’s face.

Soon, the group of four split up, each having a task to do. Once Meera had reached her house, she began preparing for the next day, purposefully pushing Krish’s sinister face from last night out of her mind. She took a shower and gave Girish dinner, choosing to starve the night. She sent him off to bed early, even though it was a weekend. Surprisingly, he didn’t protest. She guessed he wanted to continue reading The Hunger Games in bed. Soon, night fell over the crisp city as Meera sat in bed, her knees brought up to her chest as her head rested on them. She stared at the window, contemplating what crime Krish would commit tonight. It seemed as if he always did a new crime each night to gain more popularity. As she began to doze off to sleep, she heard a quiet tapping sound on her window. She opened her eyes to see Krish’s face meeting her, their only separation a glass window. Meera hesitantly opened her window and he hopped inside, landing cross legged on her bed. Her heart began to pump faster at the glance of the gun resting on his waist. A shiny, new gun...

“Krish! What are you doing here”? Meera asked. She had thought that last night would be the last time she crossed paths with the famous criminal. Apparently he had other ideas. And the thought of what he could want scared her.

“Just thought i’d pay a visit to my Sundar. You know, just checking up on you after that attack yesterday” Krish’s face went solemn, and it was then that Meera realized that he genuinely cared for her. But she still had to be on guard. Krish had been a criminal for about four years. He knew every nook and cranny in the book of crime and tricksters.

“I’m fine, thank you. But what are you doing here? Don’t you have crime’s to commit”? Meera asked, almost teasing him. What? He may be a criminal about to murder her, but she couldn’t resist the opportunity to tease him the slightest bit. Krish’s face broke out into a smile at her easy demeanor.

“I didn’t feel like robbing any bank tonight. Besides, I wanted to see you” Krish said.

“Oh. Well, did you want something to eat”? Meera asked. She wasn’t exactly sure why she was being so nice to him. He was a freaking criminal! Yet, she didn’t see the bad qualities everyone else saw in him. She saw some type of kindness hidden in his heart. She might as well try to be friendly, considering he saved her life.

“No, thank you Sundar. I actually was wondering...” he played with his fingers and his face turned a cute shade of pink. It reminded Meera of when Rajkumar wanted to ask Anika to be his girlfriend.

“Wondering what”? Meera asked.

“If... if... you wanted to be friends”? He asked. Meera thought for a second. His voice sounded lonely, as if he had never experienced having friends. Or maybe he just had bad experiences. Whatever the case, Meera was ready to accept. He may be a criminal, but like she had thought before, he had saved her. Her. Out of all the other murders by thugs he had seen, he had chosen to save her. And honestly, Krish did nothing bad to her. In fact, he had acted like a gentleman.

Meera looked up to meet his face, his green eyes swarming with nervousness and confusion, silently waiting for an answer.

“Well” she started “you did save my life. And... you didn’t do anything to me after that so... I would be happy to be your friend”. She looked as he grinned from ear to ear.

“Thank you so much Sundar” he exclaimed happily. Meera quickly shushed him, for fear Girish heard them. Though, part of her knew he wouldn’t, she wasn’t about to take that risk. Girish, despite being as much in la la land as she was, was always very attentive. Even when you least expected him to be.

“Why”? Krish asked when she silenced him.

“My brother is in the other room” Meera hissed. Krish nodded.

They continued their quiet chattering. Krish, Meera discovered, was quite the talker. He told her all about the sights he saw on the streets and even cracked a few jokes. Meera wouldn’t admit it to him, but she enjoyed his puns.

While they talked, Meera took some time to study him. As she had noted the night before, he was very young and handsome. His curly black hair shined in the soft light and his emerald eyes glowed with happiness. His suit was fully black, black jeans and a black coat above a black shirt. Meera had asked him if he was cold, but he scoffed and told her that the coat, though light, kept him very warm. Soon, maybe around midnight, Meera began to get sleepy. Krish noticed and announced that it was time for him to go. Meera didn’t fully comprehend what he had said as she was already dozing. Krish smiled as he tucked his new friend underneath her purple covers and watched as she snuggled into the mushy pillow.

“Good night Sundar” he whispered before running off into the night.

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