Arnav and Aman planned to visit Ratan the next day. As per the plan, they reached Ratan’s house. When they reached Ratan’s house, there was a big mess. People were gossiping between them, all over the street.
Getting down from the jeep, Arnav went inside Ratan’s house. The security stopped him.
Security: Sir, no one is at home.
Arnav: Where are they?
Security: In the hospital, sir.
Arnav: Anything serious?
He hesitated to open up.
Arnav: Tell me what happened.
He intimidated the security.
Security: Madamji tried to commit suicide last night, sir.
Arnav: Suicide? But why?
Security: Ratan sir was in a relationship with someone it seems. Madam got to know that sir. So, she did cut her nerve. Everyone is with her in the hospital.
Arnav: Which Hospital?
Security: KS Hospital, sir.
Arnav jumped into the jeep again.
Aranv: Go to KS hospital.
Aman geared the engine up.
Aman: It seems the secret is out.
Aman: How could it happen, sir? Ratan even lost his mobile which is the only evidence of his relationship with Stella. If there is no evidence then how his wife gets to know about it? I don’t think Ratan himself would have told her the truth.
Arnav: No way.
Aman: Then what would have happened, sir?
Arnav: HE would have told…
Aman: Are you thinking so?
Arnav: Not thinking. I’m sure of it if he stole Ratan’s mobile…
Aman: HE was not wrong though.
Arnav: Never could be.
Aman: What we are going to do, sir?
Aranv(smirking): Why? Do you have any suggestions?
Aman: if his wife got to know the truth about him, there is no reason for him to live, sir.
Arnav raised his eyebrows.
Aman: Let him die, sir.
Arnav: Being policemen, is it good to think so?
Aman: What he did is not good, sir. Because of him, Stella died.
Arnav: you mean, wasn’t Stella wrong?
Aman: Both are equally involved, sir. Stella died then Ratan also should die and more to it, he is the one who trapped her using her weakness. He prized her a lot to get her attention. It’s a kind of intoxication, sir. He made her addicted to his talks and used her to quench his lust. He doesn’t deserve to be alive, sir.
Arnav: Let’s see what their condition is.
They reached KS hospital. Aman inquired the receptionist about Mrs Ratan.
Aman: Ma’am, I’m inspector Aman Mathur. May I know where is Mrs Ratan being admitted?
Recep: Ground floor, room number 98.
Aman: Which side, madam?
Recep: Last room of the left corridor.
Aman: Thank you.
When they near the room, they heard a shout and scream. Arnav and Aman stopped hearing that.
“I hate you. I have never thought you could be so cheap. Being a father of college-going children, how could you think of having a relationship with someone’s wife? Didn’t you think of me once? What is my mistake other than trusting and loving you truly?”
She hit her forehead severely.
“No… don’t you dare touch me? I don’t want to be touched by a womanizer like you. I don’t even want to see your face. I’m leaving with my children. You are a cheater. You are an undeserving person for my purest love”
It was none other than Mrs Ratan. She was pouring her burning heart out. They were not just a statement but her disappointment… disappointment of her true love… her expectations… her trust…
Arnav fisted his fingers. He couldn’t stop himself from thinking his Di. Her last conversation before the accident echoed in his mind.
“He cheated on me Chotte. I don’t want to live anymore.”
Is this what GOOD women earn for their true love? Why don’t men understand women's deepest inner feelings? How could they be so heartless? What is so important than their wife and Children? How selfish…?
Aman was observing only Arnav. He understood what Arnav is undergoing. He too felt bad for Ratan’s wife. But Ratan’s next stance made them shocked.
Ratan: Shantha… think once. Did I leave you lacking for anything? Didn’t I give you what you want? What do you want more than that? you have everything… house… car… jewels… are not enough to lead a happy life?
Arnav gritted his teeth so did Aman.
Shantha: do you think these things could make me happy? You gave me everything lifeless. Did I ask you anything? It’s you who wanted to live a lavishing life. You know very well I never give heed to material life. I just wanted LOVE... only love. I trusted you blindly… it’s my foolishness. I don’t want to be with you not after hearing your statement about LIFE. Leave me.
Ratan(with attitude): What will you do? Where will you go? Don’t decide in haste Shantha. You can do nothing without me. You and our children will beg for food.
Shantha: I rather beg than live with you.
Ratan: Your wish…
Ratan came out of the room and saw Arnav and Aman.
Ratan(composing himself): AC sir… Good morning.
Arnav nodded his head.
Aman: It seems, Madam got to know the truth?
Ratan: she will be all right…
Arnav: But she looks broken.
Ratan: In anger, every woman would be like that, sir. she knows nothing other than screaming and shouting. As time passes, she will forget it.
Arnav: How could you be so sure of it?
Ratan: Don’t I know about women, sir? She has no source to live at all. She will come to me back. She has no choice.
Aman saw Arnav folding his hands to control his fist.
Ratan: Leave it, sir. Tell me, do you find my phone?
Ratan: Why sir, you could find it by its IMEI number…
Arnav: We tried. I think the killer would have broken the phone.
Ratan: Ohh God… Sir, please save me. I will give you the amount you never dreamt of.
Arnav: Ohh really?
Aman: Mr Ratan… why not you bargain with the killer team when they call you?
Ratan: Don’t you know them, sir? they would kill themselves rather than get bribed.
Arnav: Be careful… until we find them.
Ratan: I trust you, sir. you will surely save me.
Arnav smirked nodding yes.
Ratan: Take my new number, sir.
Arnav: Ohh you bought a new number?
Ratan: Yes, sir…as my wife got to know everything, I least care about my previous number.
Arnav noted down Ratan’s number.
Arnav: Did you give this number to anyone other than me?
Ratan: Yeah… I have given it to all my friends.
Ratan: Sir… I trust your ability, sir.
Arnav nodded yes and left the place. Aman followed him.
Aman: I didn’t expect this, sir.
Arnav nodded yes.
Aman: He turned opposite, sir. such a heartless man. He is hammering on his wife’s broken heart without repentance. He is not what we think.
Arnav: Maybe… this is what he is.
Aman: How could he be so carefree when he is standing at the endpoint?
Aman: He has a THREAT from the killer, sir.
Arnav: He believes that we will save him.
Aman: Will we?
Arnav(wearing his goggles): Let’s go.
They started walking towards the parking lot.
Aman(while starting the jeep): What will Mrs Ratan do to run her life, sir?
Arnav: Every problem has a solution. Nothing will stop… no matter if Ratan is with them or not. When the situation pushes to the END... people will learn to fly.
Aman: Do you think, she will be all right?
Arnav: Only TIME could answer the question.
They got into the jeep. Arnav removed Akilesh’s mobile from his pocket. He sent a message to Ratan’s new number.
“Count your last hours”
To be continued…