Jeremy turned on his back and stretched his arms. Four long hours in that uncomfortable crouch, things were NOT looking good. At least he could shift and turn all he liked, for no-one with the least amount of purpose in life would go around looking in attic windows of long-locked houses. The people passed, without one glance at the dusty mansion they ‘saw’ every morning since as long back as they remembered. So Jeremy could move all he wanted without fear of drawing attention as long as he didn’t create much sound or, when the times to be really wary came, he didn’t send an unusual shadow on the road ahead, something the neighbours weren’t used to seeing on their tiresome lunch-break walk home.
That was some consolation. So much that Jeremy had stretched eleven times in the past hour, not just for need to exercise but more, for need to DO something lest his body go stiff if, in case the subject did come.
But Jeremy wasn’t complaining. At least his window was high to his belt when he sat on his knees…. He couldn’t for one moment be envious of Karan, who had taken the other important position on the street… beneath the center, main drain portal. As the positions were being decided, Jeremy had been very happy to note that Karan’s sudden picking of some kind of guilt made it necessary for him to invariably take up the tougher, and the muckier, jobs. Without looking at Jem, Karan had said, “I’ll take the drain, you okay with the house?” And bad as Jeremy felt for Karan, he politely said, “Yes.”
So there was Jeremy, shuffling and twitching in the narrow attic, of useless dimensions, wondering what could possibly take Karan through four hours in a city drain. And with Delhi, you never knew what you would find.
It was a pretty stupid mission. But as Jem had been convinced only too well, it was also very necessary so that Karan could play his last trump card properly.
Armed with a military-level pair of binoculars, Jeremy sat gazing at the house across the street, much too bored with the actual target, and hoping with every breath to find something interesting. Even a cat purring!
Then the phone buzzed. The device was on mute, but still Jeremy jumped, because only one man in the world would be calling at that number, and at that minute.
“You are not looking at the house.” Karan’s dry voice scrawled through the phone.
“Ya- sorry. Did I miss anything?” Jeremy asked only too sincerely, hoping hard that he hadn’t.
“The subject entered the house. Through the window.”
“Oh-okay… what?! Through the window?” Jeremy almost screamed when he realised. “Oh shit!”
And then, there was a loud bang that rang through the street, and echoed till it stung every ear. Sounded like a bullet being fired. And the silence that followed, sounded like Death.