At around 5.00 in the morning, My Phone rang. I woke up spontaneously and picked up the call. There was nothing but silence on the other side. Then the call ended at once without anyone speaking. I opened my inbox and checked for text messages. There were 5 Messages everything reading the same, “Wake Up Raghunath. Let’s start the ride of your last 7 days with a ride.”. Phone beeped again. I left the bed and went to the hall. Dad left for work as usual at 4 in the morning and Mom was still sleeping. The hall was dark. I walked slowly outside to the balcony and checked the messages again. It read, “Pick the key of your brother’s Motor bike, also the helmet and follow the following instructions:
1. Stand on the left side of your bike. Get over the bike from left hand side. That would always be easy. Take out the stand and balance the bike with your legs.
2. Check if the kill switch is off ( It will be near your thumb if you hold the right handle with your right hand). Then place the key in the holder and turn it towards right to ignition position.
3. Check if the gear shifter on the left leg side is in neutral position. Then start the power ignition switch which will be near to the kill switch. You are a Mechanical Engineer you obviously know these things.
4. Pull the clutch lever. Press the gear shifter to first gear. Release the clutch slowly and gently twist the throttle. As the bike gains forward momentum, put your feet up on the pegs.
5. If you want to change gears, pull the clutch lever again and shift the gear shifter.
You would think why i am taking you a bike riding lecture. I know you know all these things already. But there is an important thing you have to do with this bike soon. So for getting you ready i am asking you to do such things. Take your bike and ride it till the En-fore beach and come back. You are going to do this every morning of these 7 days at 5.00. Now come on ! Ready! Set! GO! Hahaha!!”. I literally had no idea what was going on. I just sat there in my house’s terrace steps for sometime. My Phone beeped again. The new message read, “I hope she is sleeping. You remember what you read in that paper in that kid’s pocket yesterday right. Now go on Chalo! Bhaag! No Not Bhaag! Go and Drive! I am closely watching you.” I looked out the Balcony. But there was no one around. It was just an empty road at 5.30 in the morning.
I took the keys and my helmet and went down near the Motor bike. I sat on it, inserted the key and pushed the gear to neutral. Then I started the ignition and pulled the clutch, shifted the bike to first gear and released it slowly. Before pressing the throttle. Bike stopped. This was the issue i face always. I pulled the clutch again and shifted the bike to neutral. Then started the ignition and changed the gear and released the clutch slowly again. Before pressing the throttle. Bike stopped again. I looked at the side mirror in the bike and spat at myself. I decided to give it one last try. I pulled the clutch again and shifted the bike to neutral. Then started the ignition again, changed the gear again and released the clutch slowly again .This time i pressed the throttle at the right time and the bike started moving forward slowly. I lifted my legs and kept it on the pegs. It felt good when it moved slowly. I have driven Tamizh’s bike once before. But not so long. I took the bike out of the street. Then into the market lane towards the main road. Then after reaching the road, I took a right turn. Then I pulled the clutch and shifted the bike to second gear. The bike gained speed. It felt good when the air hit my forehead through the helmet. Then I took a left turn towards the En-fore beach at the toll gate. I stopped the bike at the En-Fore beach, picked the keys and went into the beach. The sun was rising over the beaches. It was an awesome view in the morning. I sat there on the sand thinking about that random number, the so called Mr. Death. The same questions which were running in my mind the previous night were flashing again. I looked around and saw that there were old people jogging here and there near the beach. After half an hour, I took the bike back home, parked it at the usual place and laid down myself at the same position of the bed before everyone woke up.
At 10 in the morning, My Mom woke me up before leaving to join my dad at work. She asked me to eat the breakfast she made and then take a rest. My brothers had left for college it seems. They were not there when I woke up. I got up, refreshed myself and sat down to eat breakfast. Then I took my phone out. There were no messages from that number. I scrolled up the text message conversation and clicked on the website link. The website still showed only the following “Error 503: The Server is currently unavailable or under maintenance”. The only thought that was running through me was what if I die? Should I go to the police before this becomes anything serious? But those words in the paper flashed my mind. I was thinking about everyone I knew in my life. My mom, dad, brothers, grandparents, uncles, friends and other relatives. It triggered some emotional sensation into my heart. I fell into my thoughts. This time my childhood at my grandparent’s home came into picture in my thoughts. There was a day when I fought with my mom in childhood to send me and my brothers to my Grandparents home for annual holidays. I had three uncles, who were brothers of my Mom. Two of them owned a provision shop and other was an AC Mechanic. One of my uncle’s shops is nearby to my grandparent’s home. Whenever I go to my grandparents home, I would always stay in that shop. I was good at math, so my uncle would asking me for any complex addition before checking calculator. Sometimes he would believe my total blindly. I was that accurate all the time. Helping my uncle in his shop was a great past time for me. We used to discuss how big I will become in my life when I grow up. He dreamed a lot about me. He loved me so much. I would help him open the shop as well as close the shop. While opening and closing, we had to arrange the things in the shop. My uncle would ask me to arrange the tender coconuts and other cool drink bottles while he handles all other heavy things. Tender coconuts were famous in my uncle’s shop. He had regular customers for it too. My grandpa was very good in cutting the tender coconut. I would watch him cutting it and also inserting a straw. Sometimes he would ask me, do you want one. I would say to him if we ourselves finish everything in our shop, them what will be left for the customer. He would say you are the sweetest customer for me. And for sweetest customer we will give a free frooti also. I enjoyed those days. I used to sit with my Grandma and my brothers in my grandparents’ home and would compel her to watch Mr.bean. In the beginning, she would ask me to change the channel since she never understands it. But gradually, she herself started to say. Keep pogo TV. It’s time for Mr. Bean. She loved Mr.Bean. We would eat together after my uncles return back from their respective works. We would sit in a line. I along with my brothers would sit in between my uncles. And my grandma would serve the food to us. Grandpa used to sit and admire us doing mischiefs. Karthi was the most mischievous of all. After eating, we would sleep alongside my grandpa. He used to tell us ghost stories while sleeping. It was a lot interesting. I love ghost stories. I would ask for more, but he would tell us only one per day. Sometimes when we were bored and if my uncle’s were in leave, we would play cards too. I was good at bluff even in those days. I thought them that. It was awesome to play with them. Obviously we played cricket too. We would cry to return back home when the holidays get over. Even after one month of stay, we were that eager to stay long. Mom and Dad used to drag us home even though we would cry. But now, it’s been more than two years since I have stepped into my grandparents home. Even if they come to our home, I would go to my bed and would use phone or would sleep without having a conversation with them. My Mom once told me, they felt very bad for coming when we were not interested to meet them. That day I just ignored it. I hesitated to go there because one of my uncles teased my appearance very badly in front of everyone. He was joking and trying to have fun. But that hurt me that day very badly. From that day, I never stepped into their home. Even my grandparents did that sometime too. Nowadays I don’t speak properly to anyone except my friends. Lifestyle has become like that. Social media and mobile phones changed us. But now I am realizing it. They have very less time left in their life. Everything they say is for our good. I should not show such ego towards them. I should speak to them freely. Even if they say anything. Who are they? they are our relations. Who else have the right to speak about us. I should meet them soon. But what if I had only 6 more days to go? What if I die before meeting them? Will I die? I should not. I have a lot of responsibilities in my life. I should not. A cat’s noise woke me up from my thoughts. It was the white cat that roams around my house daily. It tried coming inside. I shouted, “Usshshhhhhhh!!!”. And it ran away.
After eating, again I went and laid down on the bed looking at the ceiling and thinking of how to find who was behind this prank. But my mind was absolutely clueless. I knew it was a prank since the person who is behind this is knowing me very well. He knew I had fear in riding the bike which a lot don’t know. If I find out who is behind this, I am going to slap him so hard. He is playing with my life saying i will die in 7 days and that is not a joke. And he is threatening that he will do something to my mom. I shouted, “Daiiiiiiii !! Who are you?!!!!!!!”
At around 11.30 in the morning, my phone beeped. I opened and read the text message. “Get Ready and come to Bus Stand. Come in 10 minutes soon. I am standing here. I can’t wait for so long. Come and meet me soon.” I got up at once. I ran to the door. I looked around for the lock but it was nowhere to be found. I just closed the latch on the outside. Without locking it with a lock, I ran down to the ground floor to the gate. Just when I reached the gate, I realized that I forgot to wear the slippers. I ran up again, took the slippers in my hand, ran down again and when I got down the steps and reached the gate, I threw the slippers down on the floor from my hand, Inserted my legs into it and started running towards the bus stand. I ran into the street at a very high speed. I remember someone standing on the side asking me, “What happened Raghu? Where are you running?”. But I did not look back at who it was. I just ran towards the bus stand. The Only thing running in my mind was to see who was that random number (Death).
When I reached the bus stand, I looked around in search of someone. Yes it is someone only, because I don’t know how will that person look like right. I ran around the bus depot to all corners. But I just can’t find who that can be. I called that random number. The Phone ringed. I also heard a phone ringing sound somewhere around me. With my phone in my ear, I ran around the bus depot. There I saw a phone ringing in someone’s pocket. The Owner of it was a teenage boy. His hair was spiked with a yellow colored dye on it. He had a stud in his right ear. I ran towards him. He took the phone in his hand and clicked on something. At the same time, the call from my phone was also picked. And it was a complete silence at the other end. I caught the front of his T-Shirt and shouted at him, “Hey! who are you”. My phone was still in my ears. If it was he, who was at the other end of the call. I would have heard my voice through his phone but I did not. Still holding his T-Shirt Collar in my hand, I was in thoughts. And then, he shouted suddenly, “Mamae, come fast this guy caught my collar and he is trying to hit me”. I was still hearing if I can hear any sound from other end of the call. I shouted “Hello!! Hello!! Hey, Are you there! Who are You! I am here in the bus stand! Where are you! Hello!! Hello!! Hello!!”. The call ended without an answer. And when I turned to see the guy whose T-shirt I was holding, I saw the palm of someone coming towards my cheeks. Just at the right time I ducked in reflex. It was his friend. He was a tall fat guy. I left hold of his collar and said, “A mistake happened. Sorry!! Sorry!! Sorry bro!!”. But they both came forward for hitting me. One of them said, “What Sorry bro! You will catch our shirt and will scold at us and we have to accept your sorry”. I said, “Sorry bro!! A Mistake happened. I was in search of someone else. I mistook your friend for him. I am really sorry”. Don’t know what he thought he said, “Okay don’t repeat this again. Now go away. I should not see you anymore”.
When I turned, My Phone beeped. And the message read, “Slap that tall fat guy hard now or face the Consequences”. I just turned, Went towards that guy. He was turning towards the other direction and was speaking to his friend. I called him by touching his shoulder. He turned and said, “Dai ! B**** You are still here!!”. And Banggggggggggggg!!! My hand smashed into his cheeks like a train crashing into another train. I was in so much anger that I gave all my power towards his cheeks. The other stud guy came towards me in reaction to what I did. I caught his collar again and slapped the most powerful slap I have ever did. Palarrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr!!!!!!!!!! The Stud guy fell down. Then without looking back at them again, I just ran from there. After running to some distance, I looked back if they were chasing me. But no one was there. Then I started walking slowly towards my home.
Oh Shit! What just happened? It’s been a long time since I have hit someone like this. It was long back some 4 or 5 years ago, I slapped someone when he tried to hit karthi during a fight in a Cricket match. But now, why did I hit these guys? Oh no! All unwanted things are happening in my life! What if they come in search of me with a lot more guys? What will I do then? I should not have done it. Okay now, Where is this person? Why did he ask me to come to the bus stand in the first place? And where is he now? Is he still there? Or is that guy who I slapped is an enemy of this so called Mr. Death. I sat down on the chair that was near a tea stall. And looked down at the road with my hand holding my head.
Phone beeped and the message read, “Hi Ragunath, You were not in a very good mood. That was the reason I did not meet you today. I don’t want to see you with that face. Also one more thing, don’t waste your time by calling me again. It will always be silence at the other end. Now go home and collect your parcel from Amazon. Don’t open it till I say. Now go”. It was around 12 PM. I hesitated but then got up and walked home. I reached home and when I came to the first floor, I saw that the door was open. I shouted, “Maa! Maa! But no sound !! I ran inside and found that everything was in its place in my house. I shouted Maa !! again. But no response. May be she has gone to a nearby Shop, I thought. I laid myself down on my bed. I got a call after some 10 minutes and the delivery boy requested me to tell him the exact location of my house. He reached my house in 5 minutes. It was a cash on delivery order. It costed 1100 rupees. I asked him what it was. He said he was not sure but it was some kind of toy. I asked him from whom the order was sent to me. He said me, “you are joking right. You said you are Raghunath. Then obviously It was you who ordered this”. I paid him the money and went back up to my bedroom with the parcel. I thought of opening it. But decided not to and I kept it inside the drawer in my bed.
Mom came back home in sometime from the Shop. She went straight to the kitchen without speaking to me and started to cook lunch. I heard her speaking to herself, “If we are having a shop to sell things, doesn’t mean we are their servants. We have our own respect. How can that guy speak like that. He said he is some big gangster of the area. He said he is from Rawther’s gang”. She was actually crying. I went inside the kitchen and asked her, “Ma, Why are you crying? What happened?”. She said some moron spoke harshly to my father for not giving him extra fruits. She said he used strong words towards him and also raised his hand to hit him. And also that no one around the shop came forward to stop him from doing that. On hearing that, Anger peaked inside me. “Ma, Who is that? Where is he from? Is he still there? See me what I am doing now. I walked faster towards the steps”. My Mom stopped me. She said, “He was some roadside begging stupid illiterate who had no other job. But you are not that. You should not involve in such useless things.”. I said,“Let me know if he comes back again and I went inside the bedroom”. But I want to break the hand which he raised towards my father. Anger was boiling inside me. It was simmering inside me. I said to my Mom that I am going to meet Tamizh and I went near my Dad’s shop. I stood there watching if anyone was there who resembled the one my mom said me now. But no one was there. My dad was there standing inside the shop speaking to a customer.
I took my phone out and called Tamizh. “Dai, where are you? Come quickly near my Dad’s shop”. But Tamizh said he was not at home and would meet me in the evening. It was around 2 PM. I went back home and the lunch was ready now. I switched on the TV and started watching a movie while eating my lunch. Phone beeped again, while I was eating. I opened the message. It read the following, “Let’s play a game! Shall we!! Let’s test your brain! Shall we!! Okay Solve this riddle Ragunath! ‘I am a part of your house. If you lie down with your spine resting on me, and look upwards. You would feel something which can never happen and which is impossible. Find me and Come in search of me for your next clue’.”.
I was already so much frustrated and this increased it so much. After finishing the lunch, I threw my phone into one corner of my bed and I laid myself down with my spine on my bed and looking upwards at the ceiling. What impossible thing can I feel if I do this. Is he some sort of idiot. Or is he thinking I am an idiot. When I was looking at the ceiling and the fan without taking my eyes off it. I fell into my thoughts again. The day I met her for the first time came into my mind. She was a friend of my friend. Myself along with my group of friends went to a Dandiya celebration party that was conducted by my client company . That was the day I saw her for the first time. I have heard her name before from my friend. But have never seen her. When we entered the party, the dj night had already started and the song that was playing when we entered was badtameezdil !! We started moving our legs and hands based on the rhythms right when we stepped our foot into the crowd. We started dancing hard. I started dancing by singing aloud too, ” Hey Badtameezdil !! Badtameezdil !! Badtameezdil !! Maane na !! Maane na !! ” While I was jumping around in excitement. I just froze when I saw her. She was looking so beautiful. She looked like an angel moving through the rhythms. It never felt like she was dancing based on the musical rhythms. It was as if they are playing the music based on how she was dancing. I just froze at my place and watched her dance. She was moving around with her steps as perfect as a peacock. I was just standing there and admiring her all along the song. I wanted to be friends with her. I just want to be beside her all the time. Then came, “Saree ke fall sa Kabhi match Kiya rey !! Kabhi chhod diya dhil, Kabhi catch Kiya rey !!” . I just ran near her and started dancing for it with her. She and her friends joined me dancing. Then started the Dhandiya.They gave the Dhandiya sticks and atlast they played a Tamil song. Dhandiya aatamum aada !! Dhassara kootamum kooda !! Gujarat kumarigal aada !! Kadhalan Kadhaliya theda !! We were dancing in circles and were hitting each other’s Dhandiya sticks based on the rhythm . When my turn came with her, I blushed. It felt great to dance with an angel. After the party got over and when we were walking together towards the PG, My Friend introduced her to me that she was the one she used to speak about. She was a Kerala girl. She knew my Tamil too. I liked the way she spoke cute Malayalam with my friend. She said to me, “Enda per Karthika. Unga per enna?”. “I know your name already Darling”, I thought. I just laughed upon hearing what she said. Actually on the way how she said. I said to her, I am Raghunath. Call me Raghu and your Malayalam is so cute. I am not flirting, just a compliment from my side. She laughed hard on hearing that. That was our first meet. I gave a friend request to her on Facebook after that. She accepted it that night only. I sent her a “Hi”. And that is where it all started. We Spoke a lot that night about each other. That is the point where I gave my heart for free to her. I never knew that night that she will become my best friend and also more than that in some time. Mom’s sound woke me up from the thoughts. She shouted from somewhere,”Dai Raghu! When are you leaving?”. I shouted back, “Where Maa”. “Bangalore Only”, she replied. I said,”Not sure I will tell”. I noticed that the power was out and the fan stopped spinning. It was so hot that it started sweating. So I went to the terrace to get some fresh air. It was around 4 PM. It was cloudy and I guessed that it may rain that night. I just looked around everywhere thinking what could be the answer to that riddle. My terrace had a tank at one corner and a lot of pipes emerging from it. Then 3 cement sheets that were lying just below the vacant space where the tank is located. Also there are trees on one side and houses on all other sides. This was the most common place to sleep in our childhood when power went out. Me,my brothers and my father would sleep here together watching the moon and the stars.While walking from one corner to another, I stamped on a cricket ball that was there on the terrace. I was in thoughts so I did not notice that. I fell down with my back towards the floor. When I fell down I looked upwards and found the answer to that riddle. The answer was the place I am now – “Terrace”. When I was lying down with my spine on the floor and with my face lifted upwards. It felt like I was falling into the Sky. But actually I was not. And it is impossible to fall towards the sky. I got up and searched for the second clue. There under the cement sheets I found a sheet of paper which had the following, ” Hi Raghunath, Great! You are having a brain indeed!! You found the Second clue. This riddle is not that easy as the first one. Let’s see if you can crack this to find the next clue. Since this is going to be hard you can take time till tomorrow for finding the next clue. So here it is, ‘I can’t walk but you can walk with me! I don’t run but a part of me can ! I am a drinking addict but I am steady only after drinking ! If you want to get work out of me, You have to buy me a drink ! I always prefer drinking only foreign drinks ! If I fall down alone I will have less damage ! But if we fall together you will have more damage than me ! You wanted to be my best friend for a long time !! But you were shy of the world !! But we are friends now yet to be best friends !! Find me !! And come to me for the next clue!!!’. That is a lot of clue right. Hope you will find it sooner.”. I went to my thinking place (i,e) My bed and my Ceiling. I thought about it for a long time. Who can it be? Is it some Physically Challenged alcoholic friend whom I am having? But why would I be best friends with an alcoholic? I don’t drink even? I hate alcoholics? Who can it be? I kept on thinking for a long time. But I had no idea.
At around 6 PM in the Evening, Tamizh came to my house to meet me as he said. I said to him about what happened in my father’s shop that day. He said to me, “It’s okay it happens, Don’t worry. We will take care of him if he comes back again. Such guys get beaten up always. Who knows he would be admitted in some hospitals now even. You leave such people alone. They are useless parts of our society. You clear your mind up. You are Okay right ?”. I said,”Yes, But!”. He said,”Come, let’s go to Babloo shop and have some Mushroom chaat !! Yummy yum yum !!”. We both went to Babloo shop which was a famous Chaat shop in our area. Everything they make will be so tasty. We love Mushroom chaat a lot. We used to eat this from our school times.
While we were standing and eating the mushroom chaat I Babloo shop. My phone beeped. I thought, “what does he want now. I already have a riddle to solve. What is he wanting from me now?”. I opened the message. It read, “Run for your life Raghunath. The one you slapped in the morning is here with his friends. Look around you. You are needed for 6 more days. Don’t die now itself and pay the penalty for that.”. I kept my phone back in the pocket and looked around. It was so crowded as usual . I can’t find who could be his friends and where he is standing. I said to Tamizh, “Tamizh! Run along with me ! We are in trouble !! I have no time to explain !! Just follow me and run !!”. And I started running. Tamizh followed me. When we started to run, I saw people come running towards me at various sides. And there I saw that tall fat guy. He shouted, “He is the one, Kill him”. 5 people chased us. I ran into the perumal temple that was at the end of the market lane. It was on the other side of the Babloo Shop completely in the opposite direction to my house. When we entered the temple, and reached the vacant space that was there. Tamizh asked me to stop. He asked why are we running. Who are they. I said, “I said what had happened in the morning without telling about Mr.Death. He said, “Stop! Come let’s face them”. We stopped. Turned around. Yes right, why are we running when you are here with me. We walked straight towards them. They surrounded us completely in all directions. We both in the centre and they surrounding us in a circle. Someone among them shouted, ” hey Joseph! who is the one among the two”. Oh! So his name is Joseph, I thought. He said, ” That fatter one in black T-shirt”. Thaa!! What you said. I ran towards him and jumped on him. Everyone came running towards me. Tamizh pushed one of them down and jabbed the other. Meanwhile the other two caught my hands. I pushed them and punched Joseph on his teeths. He pushed me and got up. Now we both were at the middle with 2 on one side and 3 on the other side surrounding us. Actually three on my side and two on his side. Just when I started running again towards them. I saw one of them falling down. Everyone’s face turned towards that side. There he was, Karthi. He was running towards us. Everyone were looking towards him and were distracted. This was the time to do the surgical strike. I ran towards the other one who was opposite to me and kicked his stomach very hard. He fell down. Joseph caught my shirt and dragged me down. Karthi caught his neck and they both fell down. Tamizh kicked one of the two opposite to him in the dangerous underground area. That guy fell down screaming in pain. The other one pushed Tamizh down and stamped him with his legs. I took the sand near me and threw it towards that guy’s eyes. He fell down not able to see anything. Now it was only Joseph. He caught karthi with hand and lifted Karthi by catching his neck. I took the potted plant that was nearer to me by instinct and dragged it. It was so heavy and I don’t know why i shouted this. But i did. “Sangiliii Karupe !!!!!!!!” And I threw the pot over his right hand. When it had hit his hand, it made a breaking noise. Joseph shouted, “Ammaaaaaaaaaaaa !!!!!!!!”. I shouted Karthi, Tamizh run ! Let’s get out of here! We ran towards the temple gate. There I saw that Karthi had left the two wheeler on the road there. May be he came running seeing us by dropping the vehicle onto the road. Tamizh sat on it, and we both got on to it at the back and he speeded it towards the Old School. I said to Tamizh, “Dai! Will this be a police case. I think I broke his hand. I heard a bone breaking noise”. Tamizh said, “Don’t worry, but be careful from now on we never know when he will come again with more people. I am damn sure, he will not go to police. I think I knew him. He is one of the members from Rawther’s gang. He is already an accused, who is being searched for a lot of cases. We all have to be a lot careful from now on. Thank God. Karthi came there suddenly that too in perfect timing.”. I said the same reason of why they chased me to Karthi as I said to Tamizh. Tamizh got down near Old School and walked back home. He told me to be careful and not to worry about anything. Karthi drove me home. He dropped me at home and said he had to meet his friend for something and that he will be back in sometime. I said, “Not now please come home. It is not safe now.” . He said, he is going nearby and will come back soon and he left.
When I stepped on the last footstep of the first floor. My phone beeped. I screamed,” Thaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa Porambokuu naaye!! What do you want you f***ing A****ole.”. I was so frustrated with this random number now. It is all happening because of him. If it was not for him, I would have not been in this trouble. Neither do Karthi or Tamizh. Now they are in danger too. I just Switched off my mobile and threw it aside. I went and laid myself down in my bed. Time went on. My mom asked me to eat. I said i am not hungry and I am not eating. My Mom, Dad and younger brother, Madhan started eating. She asked me, “Do you know where karthi went. Time is 10 PM. What is he doing outside at this sort of time”. She said he left his phone too at home. A ripple of fear ran through me. I called Tamizh and said, karthi has not reached home yet. He said he will come soon. You don’t worry. He will be at his friends house. Actually Karthi used to spend a lot of time in his friend Dinesh’s home. Time went on. It became 11 PM. Still he did not come. I asked Madhan do you know Dinesh’s phone number. He said it maybe in Karthi’s cell phone. My small brother was the one who knows all the lock patterns in all the phone in my house. I called Dinesh from Karthi’s number. He said, karthi had left at 9.30 PM itself. He asked me did he not reach home still. And that struck my heart with a bomb. I had cut the phone and said my Mom. “I will meet Tamizh and come. It is a birthday for one my friend. I will go and come back soon. Karthi is also coming with me”. I ran outside my home. I called Tamizh and asked him to come soon. I ran searching him on all the roads. Tamizh came on the way. He picked me in his bike and we searched all the roads. We searched in the market lane. We searched the main road. We searched near Dinesh’s house. I ran into the Perumal temple to the spot where the fight happened but he was nowhere to be found. I called his other friends and asked if he came there. But no one knew where he was. I was in thoughts, ” What would have Happened? Where is he? Is this the consequences of Mr. Death? Or is it someone from Joseph’s friends?” Some sentences crossed my mind. “I am watching you closely. In Fact very closely. And if you inform about this to anyone or switch of your phone anytime in these 7 days. I promise the one whom you made to cry will not be there to cry anymore”. I said, “Tamizh! I am scared da. Nothing will happen to him right! What if Joseph’s friends had attacked him. Come Tamizh we can go to police station and let them know what happened. That is the only thing we can do right now”. Tamizh said okay let’s go. And he started the bike and drove it towards the Police station. When we reached the police station, I saw karthi coming out of the police station. I ran towards him. “Dai ! Why are you here at this time? What happened? Where have you been?”, I asked. He just hugged me and cried. He said someone stole the bike when he got down. He said someone pushed him. Got into the bike and drove it away just like that. He chased him but he could not catch him. He said he don’t know his face because he was wearing a helmet already. “So, I came here to give complaint”, he said. “Idiot! You should call me if such things happen. Why am I your brother here”, I said. He said, “I left my phone at home. If I come home, Mom and dad would scold. Even now I don’t know how to face them.”, He said. I said, “It’s okay. At least you are safe. Nothing will happen to the bike. Police will find it. Come let’s go”. Tamizh start the bike. When we reached our streets, I just could not understand what was happening in front of my eyes. Exactly in the spot where we park our bike. There our bike was standing with the key in it’s holder. Karthi ran towards it and checked the bike. He took the key in his hand and ran towards me. He said, the bike was returned as it is how it was when it was stolen. I looked at Tamizh, He looked at karthi. Karthi looked at me. I screamed, ” Aaaaaahahhhhhhhhhhhh!!! Thaaaa who are you !!!!!!”. Someone is playing with us da. Are we some kind of joker. What the F***!!!!! Aaaaaaahhhhhh!!! I screamed like a psycho on the road. Tamizh and Karthi calmed me. When I was about to say about Mr.Death to them, something stopped me from doing that. I remembered something. “I promise the one whom you made to cry will not be there to cry anymore”. I said Tamizh you leave. And I ran towards my home. I ran towards the first floor. I relaxed only when I saw my mom sleeping. My Dad and Madhan was also sleeping. Karthi and me went inside slowly without waking anyone up. I said him, “Don’t let anyone know that someone took the bike from you and now it came back randomly. Update that you got your bike back in the police station tomorrow first place and leave this matter as such. Don’t panic Mom and Dad by saying this to them. He said, “Okay” and went to sleep. I went towards the place where I threw my mobile phone some 3 hours ago. I took it in my hand. And switched it on, It showed 9 new messages and 1 missed call. I opened the messages.The first and the second was different. 3rd to 9th were all the same as the second one. The first one read, “Well fought Raghu! You have such a loyal friend and brother ! But be very careful. They are not some roadside Romeos who will not care for what happened. They are gangsters and they will come back stronger. Be like a Hawk !!”. The Second one read,”I am taking your bike for some urgent use. I will bring it back as soon as possible. Don’t panic !!”. Anger rose like a fire inside me on seeing that. But I calmed myself down. I went to my bed and laid down in between my brothers. And my phone beeped again at around 12.30 PM. I read the Message and it stopped my heart for a second. It read,” I have given you a pardon already once for not listening to my words. But you disobeyed me again. I thought I had to prove to you what I was capable of, only then you will never repeat such behaviors. I am Sorry, but you have got your punishment for switching off your phone already. You ran inside your home to see if your mom is sleeping right. But do you really know she was only sleeping?”. I ran to the hall at once on seeing this message. She was lying down without any movement. I took my hand near my Mom’s nose to check her breath. My heart was beating at a very high speed ! Lub ! dub! Lub ! Dub! Lubdublubdublubdub !!!!! And when my hand reached near her nose, I froze in shock.
**To be Continued**