‘KALAKAAR COLONY’- PART III of Mystery Novel ‘CIRCLE OF DECEIT’.
Grab an eyeful of the story so far: http://jigishblaze.wordpress.com/2014/09/12/game-of-blogs-level-1/
…Roohi got frightened and disturbed by her parents’ behavior and ran towards the bus stop when they were busy yelling at each other.
She shot past the bus-stop, her cheeks flaming with shame and disgust. She imagined the entire school staring at her. Accusing eyes. Jeering eyes.
A crowd is the best hideout for solitude! As she walked on, she suddenly jerked to a standstill. She was out of her comfort zone. She was lost!
Her mobile rang. It was a strictly ‘Incoming only, no outgoing’‘ mobile, as per school rules.
Mother! Roohi punched the ‘Reject’ button. Good, she thought, let everyone miss her. Good punishment.
Her mobile battery was dangerously low. Last night’s verbal war between her parents had rattled her. She had forgotten to charge the mobile. Infact, she had not even eaten her breakfast! Her stomach growled as she spied a Barista Coffee shop. She furtively checked her pocket money. Rs 150!
She stood nervously behind a tall young woman, who ordered a Blue Moon mocktail. Roohi stared at the heavy camera slung over slim, tanned shoulders. At the counter, Roohi decided on a Cappuccino and caramel pastry.
She noticed the camera girl in denim shorts pull out a pouch and sprinkle a fine powder into her mocktail. Ooh, drugs? Or saccharine? Or a personal magic concoction? Roohi loved to weave fairytales around strangers.
Roohi took a sip. Yuck, it was bitter! She should have stuck to her usual hot cocoa. As her tongue swirled up to gather the foam over Cappuccino, she noticed the camera lens zooming on her.
The camera girl laughed, “Hello Roohi Dutta. Standard IV, RKKS school.” Then she winked at Roohi’s badge over her uniform, “I’m Jennifer Sherlock-Holmes Joseph.” She sidled closer, “My lens spied a naughty girl bunking school for an adventure day.” When Roohi remained silent, Jennifer continued, ‘Want to switch drinks? This Blue Moon is too sweet for me. And you don’t seem to enjoy your bitter cup.”
Roohi hesitated. Well, it was technically safe. They exchanged drinks.
“Myself, Carefree cameraman…I mean camerawoman. No Boss, no deadline … and unfortunately, no paycheck either.”Jennifer chuckled.
Roohi eyed Jen’s smartphone, the diamond nose-ring, the expensive camera. Who pays her bills, she wondered.
Roohi sighed, “I want to be carefree too. Free of my parents’ care.”
Jen nodded, “Hmm. Culkin, the Home Alone star actually filed for a divorce from his parents! I left Kochi years ago. Absconded from school. I never understood why I should learn the lifestyle of Eskimos when all I loved was photography.”
Roohi leaned forward excitedly, “I love to draw portraits. I can sketch you in a jiffy,” and she proceeded to do exactly that on the coffee tissue paper.
Jen whistled, “Hey, Genius. Know what? I’ll email your snapshots and you can email me your sketch.”
Roohi fidgeted, “I need my parents permission.”
“So give me their contact number. I’ll call them tomorrow.”
Aha! Roohi had read enough mystery books. Jen was fishing for her parents whereabouts, to spill her beans. Well, two could play at a game too! Delighted at her own brainwave, Roohi recited Mom’s number.
Except that, she switched 3 of the 10 digits! Roohi, the Genius.
“Well, I’ll be on my way. Going to Walkeshwar. You want a lift anywhere?”
Roohi crashed back to earth. She was not a genius, she was a lost child. The morning scene flashed before her again. She felt sickened, she could never return to that nasty school! She resented her meek Dad and nagging Mom; she sulked against worthless Dad and harried Mom.
Roohi glanced at her mobile, the battery was flat out. She had spent all her pocket money. She had nowhere to go. Then her eyes glowed. Grandpa! He lived near Walkeshwar. He was her safety valve.
“Mr Rameshwar Gupta? The industralist?” Jen’s eyes were cool and speculative, “The sprawling mansion facing the seaface? Well, well, what a poor little rich girl we have here.”
Yes, thought Roohi sadly, the rich girl soon to be expelled for non-payment of school fees.
“We are co-Adventurers, remember? We’ll leave separately but meet at the parking lot. See ya.” Jen sauntered off.
Roohi stared in delight. Not a scooty, but an actual bike! What a rockstar Jen was! The gleaming bike lured her; blew away her inhibitions.
“Hold on, Ms Adventurer.” flung Jen as the bike reared up at top speed. Jen jumped a red signal. She veered straight ahead, her helmeted curly head unresponsive to Roohi’s frightened plea.
Roohi clung on for dear life. She stared about her in dismay. This did not seem like the route to Walkeshwar. Something was drastically wrong …
Follow the exciting next part: http://anu-lal.blogspot.in/2014/09/roohi-and-jennifer-lost-girl.html
P.S: edge-of-seat continues on Round 2. Click here for chapter 20.