“Jay?” Officer Yadav said.
“Sir?… Good morning.” said ‘Jay’.
Jay?! Oh good, very very good! thought the shooter. And I was worried I was letting him easy. Deal with it Jeremy, let’s see how you do it.
The microphone was buzzing. The shooter listened attentively. He slipped the cell phone back in his pocket, he had no intention of getting Jeremy out of this rut.
“Didn’t you have to catch a flight back to Bangkok, Jay?” Officer Yadav didn’t waste any time casting his suspicions.
“Yes sir, I did. But I couldn’t leave Mrs. Virmani in this state, sir… so I called up my brother and told him to handle trade in Bangkok for a few days. It’s family business sir, I could delay it a little.” Jeremy didn’t like his excuse. He had no back-up, no proof to support anything he had said. How he would set up a ‘family’ in Bangkok, should the Officer want to know, was a horrendous vision.
“Hmmm… Very responsible, good. But you haven’t visited her Jay, my men would have told me otherwise…”
“No sir, I haven’t.” This time, Jeremy had a perfect answer, but he still wasn’t the least happy. He was going to give too much information to the shooter… What the hell?! As if dealing with Officer Yadav wasn’t enough!
“I spent a day trying to find Ankur, sir… he’s her son. She said she hadn’t heard from him… it felt strange.” Jeremy saw the officer stiffen.
“You said you were neighbours, Jay?” Officer Yadav was phishing for something.
“Yes sir, my family and hers were neighbours… ten years back. Ankur and I practically grew up together.” Jeremy replied. This was one lie he had had time to make earlier.
“Hmm… usually I don’t do this, you must understand. But the old woman doesn’t have any other close relative, family member, anyone. I am afraid I have news for you, bad news. Let’s go somewhere and talk.”
If it hadn’t been for the current circumstances, Jeremy would have jumped right in the opportunity. He could lie his way through a conversation easily, and would definitely want to if he could gather information. But the dilemma he was in , rather catastrophe, did not permit him to even sit by his own will.
Like a loyal servant, the cell phone rang at the perfect cue. It was the shooter. Of course.
“I must take this call, Officer.” Having got approval, he turned his back to the Officer and walked a little ahead. Nothing suspicious, nothing obvious.
“What do you want me to do?”
“I was wondering when they would pick up a case on that one. Go with him, but not beyond a two kilometres radius of this place. The rules still apply, Karan dies if you try anything. I want you back here in an hour. And you still have to sell him the weed.” The conversation was over.
Jeremy cursed the shooter heavily. Wait till HE is under the gun!
“Yes, Officer. Let’s go.”
“Anything serious?” Officer Yadav wasn’t used to other people walking away to take their calls, civilians usually didn’t have to want privacy.
Jeremy shook his head, aware that the shooter could still see him.
“Ok. Let’s go…”
And Officer Yadav started walking. Jeremy followed. But Officer Yadav turned right.. into Mrs. Virmani’s colony. There were no coffee-shops there… no place to sit and talk… just houses. Jeremy stalled.
“C’mon. We are going to her house. She knows you… it shouldn’t be a problem. Anyway, I need to talk to her too.”
She knows me, THAT IS the problem!
“You want to go to Mrs. Virmani’s house?” Jeremy said, more to the mic than to Officer Yadav.
“Yes. Is there a problem?”
Jeremy waited for the phone to ring, but it lay silent in his palm. Unwillingly, Jeremy took a step forward. Call god-damnit!
He went all the way to the door he had grown to hate, the bell was pressed, and they were waiting… but the phone did not ring.
“Jeremy and an Officer just entered Mrs. Virmani’s house.” Karan reported, his own thoughts rushing furiously. None of them were any bit happy, all completely terrified. Being able to open his eyes was not seeming any better an option.
The shooter was rushing with some things behind him. He was making a scuffle, but Karan couldn’t see just what.
He had finally had to use his trump card, the best part of his plan. But why, Karan was thinking? What was the unpredicted problem? And why was Jeremy in Mrs. Virmani’s house, that too with a police Officer?
Karan was as blind as before.