Duplicity - Chapter 7

Team: Writers’ Express

Read the previous part of the story here.
Jennifer was worried. Ever since Maya told her about the guy who was not returning her calls, things were getting weird. Maya was adamant about Jennifer accompanying her to Delhi the very next day, no questions asked. Jennifer agreed simply because she did not want to leave a depressed Maya alone.

She decided to stay over at Maya's place since they had to catch an early morning direct flight to New Delhi. She could not understand the urgency. When she reached there, she could not believe that Maya was still crying.

"C'mon Maya, tell me what's the matter. You will feel better."

"Jenny please, please don't ask me anything now. I will tell you once we reach Delhi. I am in no position to talk. I need to do some thinking. Please understand."

"But tell me something at least. Is that guy meeting you there? Is it about confronting him? Why are you giving him so much importance..."

"Jenny please... not now," Maya insisted as she went on crying.

Jennifer realised the time was not right. She gave Maya a hug and started helping her with the packing. She could not stop thinking. Maya was a pretty girl and had had a few boyfriends in the past. She was smart and practical. She had had her set of breakups, mostly from her end, but she was not an emotional fool. What was with this guy who she had met just once, or maybe twice! Why did he make her drink so much the other day. Did he do something wrong to her? Jennifer decided to make Maya tell her everything once they reached Delhi.

They landed at the Indira Gandhi International Airport at 10.30 am. It was quite cold and since it was a last minute plan, it had not occurred to them to carry warm clothes. They headed to book a prepaid cab to Rajouri Garden. The friendly person at the counter greeted them with a smile and explained to them that since the city was covered in a blanket of fog, it might take them a little longer than usual to reach but they need not worry.

As they collected their booking slip, Jennifer overheard the person talking to his colleague, "It's strange how the previous two bookings also were for Rajouri..."

Jennifer, who was a perfectionist, was glad that she had booked a hotel along with the flight tickets. Maya did not speak a word on their way to the hotel. As the cab passed Rajouri's main market area, Jennifer found it interesting that people were already relishing street food despite the cold weather and it was not even noon. The aroma of chaat, paranthas and chole bhature filled the air. However, Maya, who was a complete foodie and never missed any chance to eat junk food didn't notice a thing. She was lost in her own thoughts.

As soon as they checked in, Maya made a call.

"Hello, I have reached Rajouri Garden," said Maya.

"But you had promised. That's why I came to Delhi as soon as I can..."

There was a long pause. Jennifer tried to hear all that she could and figured out that whatever the person on the other end was saying was powerful enough to have a strong effect on Maya.

"Of course, I have come alone... Okay text me the address and I will reach by 1.30."

Even before Jennifer could ask anything, Maya started speaking to her.

"See Jenny, I had to lie. It's a long story but I will tell you the important thing right now as I have to be somewhere in an hour."

Jennifer insisted, "No Maya, you are telling me everything right now. And you are not going anywhere alone. You have not had anything since morning and I am not letting you starve anymore. Let me order some food first and then tell me everything."

After Jennifer placed the order and asked the room service to deliver as soon as they could, Maya told her everything, or so she thought.

"So this guy I met at the wedding, Varun, we had a great time. It was love at first sight, for both of us. I think I drank too much, then we went to my place..."

"Love at first sight, my foot! Maya, how many times have I told you not to indulge in...," Jennifer tried to interrupt.

Maya had no time to listen to her lecture, "I know, I am sorry, but hear me out for now. Nothing happened. We spoke all night. Varun was drunk too and he was talking a lot... almost all night! I think he told me things he shouldn't have and later he regretted."
Jennifer interrupted again, "Things, what things?"

"About how he is doing things he should not. He has taken a path that has no way out. There is this person he has to answer, who gives him orders, and now since Varun knows too much he just can't get out of it."

Maya continued, "So in the morning when he gained his senses he was mad at himself. He kept asking me how much he told me but did not believe me. He said that perhaps I am not telling him everything. After that we spoke over the phone for two days. He did say he loves me but also kept insisting that I must not to reveal his information to anyone."

There was a knock on the door that startled Maya. Jennifer told her it was just room service delivering lunch. After the room service guy left the food and crockery on the table, Maya looked at the watch.

"Oh God, I am so late. I have to go now Jenny."

"What? Are you crazy? Why do you have to meet that guy? Get this straight - he doesn't love you. In fact, he seems very dangerous. Have some food, tell me everything and I am coming with you if you must go. In any case, you had to reach by half past one and it's already 1 pm. You are late already, so better finish what's important."

"No Jenny. He is meeting me here at Rajouri Garden itself. It's close by, I have the address. I must go."

Jennifer made her have some paranthas and kept on probing. While they were having lunch, Maya told her some more things... things that were enough to give her goose bumps.

Maya left in a jiffy without telling Jennifer the name of the person who Varun said he reported to. But Jennifer managed to make Maya forward the address of the meeting place to her.
After Maya left, Jenny looked at the address carefully. It was a bungalow. Jennifer was mad at Maya for not meeting this person at a public place. She dialled her number immediately, but it was busy for over twenty minutes. After that, the phone was switched off.

It was 7 pm and there was  no sign of Maya. Jennifer had tried her number all through the day but her phone was still switched off. She looked up the address on Google maps, but apparently there was no YC Block in Rajouri Garden. She thought maybe it was not listed and inquired at the reception. They said there was no YC block in that area. Jennifer was worried sick.

She went through all the news channels to see if there was any news of any accident, hoping there wasn't. She went through Maya's social media pages as well, but there was no post, no tweet... nothing.

When the room service guy came to ask her if she wanted to place the order for dinner, she inquired with him too. All he said was, "Madam, times are not very good here. Women should not travel alone in an unknown city."

Jennifer, who hated such statements about women, didn't say a word to him. She decided to stay calm and called the one person she knew in Delhi.

Read the next part of the story here.

Me and my team are participating in the Game of Blogs at Blogadda.com. #CelebrateBlogging with us.

Chapter 1: Pawan Hegde | Chapter 2: Partha Sadhukhan | Chapter 3: Sujata Tawde | Chapter 4: Shilpa Halwe | Chapter 5: Manjulika Pramod | Chapter 6: Shazneen Pathak | Chapter 7: Anuradha Khanna Pentapalli | Chapter 8: Anuradha Khanna Pentapalli  

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