Team Members :-
Dr. Raksha Bhat, Aditi Pathak, Sajal Kumar Aggarwal, Nandini Garg, Sammya Brata, Rathina Sankari, Swathi Shenoy, Swati Mittal, Sathya Narayanan, and Oeendree Mukherjee
Chapter 9: An Evening And A Change
Shekhar drove the car to the finest pizza outlet in town. While Roohi sat playing with her doll in the backseat, Jennifer sat beside him. It had been ages since both of them had some company, there were times when he wanted to ask Tara to come along for a long drive or a small family outing which for reasons known never materialized. He was happy with Roohi, and Roohi was happy with him. Now looking at Jennifer sitting right next to him for a moment everything seemed perfect.
With one eye on the road and one on her, he drove through the bustling traffic on the roads of Mumbai. Jennifer looked at him and smiled asking “Yes?”
“Nothing!” said Shekhar despite something running in his mind. He looked at the road ahead and smiled to himself.
Jennifer’s phone beeped.
“Jenni, PLEASE listen to me…this is important!”
Jennifer looked at the sender’s name-‘CYRUS’
It poked the joy and peace she was in now. After the heated conversation last night she had almost decided of giving it a closure, this virtual relationship was about to do more harm than good. Instead of tracking down the plagiarist she now felt that she had ended up in a soup herself.
”What about that video chat?” Cyrus’s words rang in her ears again.
She ignored the text.
“Are you alright, need any help?” Shekhar said looking at her sigh and the little beads of perspiration on her forehead. “Err…yeah I am…hmm…nothing, it’s just about work” said Jennifer trying to hide her fears from becoming obvious.
“Ah! That’s great! Did you say you just got a job at the media firm we met you a while ago, what is the position, how much are they offering you Jennifer?” asked Shekhar to ease her a little bit.
“Oh yeah…remember I told you when we met the other day, I thought I would be here for a stint of internship…some photographer left the firm…they need one urgently, they think I am a good one to keep!” she said and winked. Shekhar laughed, thinking of Tara.
Her cell phone continued to beep.
As they reached the joint, they took the corner place with the sea view hoping Roohi would have a great time especially after the frightening experience of being ‘lost and found’ few hours ago.
Roohi screamed “Papa let’s order my favourite!”
“Peppy Pizza and Chocolate Ice Cream?” Shekhar said and laughed.
Jennifer smiled looking at the bond between the father and daughter.
While they munched on their pizzas Shekhar asked curiously “So how did you find your new boss?”
“Oh! She warned me about the smoking thing, too cold that was!” said Jennifer.
“Smoking is injurious to health” muttered Roohi listening to the elders speak.
“Your daughter is quite wise for her age” Jennifer said looking at Roohi delightedly.
“It helps me think more during work so I can’t avoid it, since you are saying, I will try to from now on sweetheart” she added pinching Roohi’s cheeks.
Her cell phone started buzzing, fifty odd texts and now a call. She cut.
The bill arrived and Jennifer said “This one is on me, I got a job today!”
“We will meet you more often then, we owe you one, don’t we Roohi?” said Shekhar and thanked her for the treat. Roohi smiled finishing her favourite chocolate ice cream, and the three left. Shekhar offered to drop Jennifer back home. He was happy after a long time. It was after all a great day, he had found his daughter Roohi and a new friend, Jennifer, with whom even a little conversation somehow seemed pleasant and endless. His phone rang.
“Where are you?” said Tara from the other end with a faint concern in her voice.
“On the way back home. Roohi is with me” said Shekhar and snapped.
Tara kept the phone ”Was that a girl?” thinking of the voice she heard in the background.
As Jennifer got down from the car and waved a good bye she looked at her cellphone, the last message read.
“Jennie I have the information, believe me this one time, this is for your good!”
The reality of their lives was about to get wilder than their dreams and imaginations.
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