Set Free

Rohan was panting, running frantically. He had to save himself. “Damn, I should have brought my gun today!” he cursed.  He reached the ring road through a small gully of shops and hailed a taxi.

“Where to sir?” asked the driver as he got inside the cab. The driver was eying him with suspicion through the rear-view.

“Anywhere!” replied Rohan gasping for air, “Just drive, and drop me anywhere near Gurgaon.”

“Okay sir, tell me when you decide”, the driver replied rolling his eyes.

Rohan kept turning back to check if anyone was following them. He was breathing very heavily now, “What would I do now, what if he finds me. My men are not even picking up my calls”, he kept contemplating his paths of survival.

After an hour of an undisrupted journey, the driver spoke once again, “Sir, where you want to go? We here in a Gurgaon toll.”

“Just drop me at the Mall”, replied Rohan absent mindedly, looking at the back of the cab again. Now that he had not brought his gun, he could take shelter in the Mall for some time.

The driver dropped him on the entrance of Ambience Mall; Rohan paid him generously, “Here keep the change”, and ran towards the entry gates, leaving the driver staring back at him with surprise. “But sir it is only Rs.500, you have given Rs. 2000 sir!!!” the driver called after him but Rohan had disappeared.

As Rohan entered the mall, he froze. Just after the security, was standing the man he hated the most. Rohan turned to exit at once but Manoj had already seen him. Rohan ran outside the entrance but Manoj’s men caught hold of him. They pushed him around the corner and gagged him. He struggled as they strangled him with ropes and blind-folded him. He could hear Manoj’s voice now, “ At last!” his voice seemed distant, and suddenly Manoj whispered in his ear, “Now I can enjoy my Diwali.” His voice sent chills down Rohan’s spine. He tried to shriek and free himself but his efforts went in vain. He started to feel dizzy and his thoughts clogged with dismay.

Rohan woke up with a start. He thought he had had a bad dream. He looked around, he was sitting in a dark room and couldn’t make out where he was. His eyes adjusted and he found himself in a prison cell. Manoj was sitting right in front of him. Rohan struggled to stand up but realized his hands were still roped and tied to the chair. The cloth from his mouth had been removed. He was furious. “WHAT THE HELL MANOJ?! Why on earth….”, he shouted with all his rage but Manoj interrupted, “It is time for us to accept our crimes my friend. The police will give us a fair trial. I want us to be friends now.”

A million thoughts raced in Rohan’s mind. Manoj was the reason he got into crime at the first place but they became arch enemies eventually. Now here they were, and Manoj wants them to resolve and leave the under-world? Rohan shook his head in surprise. Tears rolled down Rohan’s eyes as Manoj smiled apologetically. “I guess it’s time to set myself free”, Rohan thought to himself, as the police inspector entered the cell.

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