Payback14 mins 219 14 mins 219
“Do not get sloppy. I repeat. Do not get sloppy. If they catch you, you are better if dead.”
Hearing the captain’s chilling words, Rob felt his hairs rising. It was a twenty-eighty risk of a successful mission. A risk he was willing to take, for the sake of his sister.
There was a time when Robert would not think of any soul other than himself. But times have changed. And now, here he is. Willing to put his own life on the line, for his sister. A sister he never had met.
THREE YEARS AGO..
21st May, 2016
“ Dude you were supposed to pick me up an hour ago. Where the hell were you?”, Patrick boomed from outside, running towards the car door. Robert had pulled up just outside his house a few seconds ago.
“I was picking up my laundry from the dry cleaners. Apparently, he had forgotten to iron a suit of mine, so I had just waited for him to finish up. Anyway, we aren’t late for the game. It starts at 5. I’ll make us reach at 4:55.”
The truth was, Robert was at the dark slums at the edge of the town, in a dark alley, wasting both his time and spare money on gambling for the matches, who would win and who would lose. It seems that the spare money wasn’t enough for his luxurious desires. He had just been out of a crappy, worthless relationship, and he made earning extra money his rebound. Lately, he had been running on a loss for a constant couple of times, and so he stopped on the way to Patrick’s house and grabbed a puff of weed, and was partially high right now. But he couldn’t let Patrick know that, or else he is screwed. Patrick was not just his best friend. He was more of a fatherly figure, a strict brother and a sobbing housewife at times. If Patrick knew he was being clumsy instead of being responsible, there will be a beginning of silent treatment from the other end.
“OK then. Let's move. Game night is on!!”, shouted Patrick on the top of his voice as he took his seat and put on the seatbelt.
As the game was going on, Robert was on an edge. He was feeling this irritation deep down, and thoughts of his girl and the lost money was eating him. The weed was showing its colours. He was jumpy and went to the washroom more than thrice in an hour. He knew he needed more.
When the game was over, both of them were in the car, driving back towards home. The plan was that they’d reach Patrick’s home, have some noodles and then Rob will be on his way out since he had his internship classes early morning. But when they reached Pat’s place, Robert had a change of mind.
“Bro, I don’t think I should wait any longer. I have to plan out some graphs that will be displayed at tomorrow’s classes, and I haven’t yet completed drawing them. See you tomorrow then, around eight? At your place”.
With a sigh, Patrick had let him go. It wasn’t easy for him too. His only reliable best friend had broken out of a major relationship, that too first ever relationship, and was going through a bad phase. The problem was, Pat knew Robert wasn’t letting his emotions flow out. And that made Patrick worry much more. Robert would meet him, drink for a while alongside him and then start complaining about how upside down his dream world had turned out to be. He believed at first that Rob was handling the breakup in a matured way, but now he could clearly see, he was in denial, putting away the emotions farther and farther.
That very night, around 11:30 at night, something else was going on at 12th street. Robert was down on three rolls of weed and was terribly out of his natural senses. But that wasn’t the issue at hand. He was hallucinating about her. Susan. That was her name. She was a beauty, I tell you. With long waves of silky hair, she was a fair lady who was almost a year older than him. But who cares? She had this free-spirited aura around her that made her the favourite of everyone who met her. And, on top of all of this, she was perhaps one of the most talented people in town. What’s not there to love? Rob couldn’t simply forget the look in her eyes when he used to cook her favourite dishes for her. Right now, all he could see in front of his eyes was her soft and subtle face smiling down at him, with open hands, calling him up for a kiss. Amidst all the dirt and garbage he was seated in, he could smell her Yardley lavender perfume. Wobbling onto his feet, he got up to kiss the imaginary plump lips of hers.
Then all of a sudden he noticed a guy come up closer to her and hug her into his arms. He still remembered the day when she broke it up and left her. It seemed she couldn’t handle his addictions and mood swings anymore. She said she needed to take care of her twin brother’s dream of completing an MBA in the city, or so she told him. But he knew that maybe there was another guy. He was so emotionally helpless then, that he couldn’t bear to fight for her. But not today. No, she had come back with open arms. Today he can’t. And he won’t. He pried for a hard substance in the darkness, to hit the guy and send him off for good. After a few seconds of the wild chase, he found something. With all the frustrations that he had, he went with a fierce blow and hit the guy’s skull on the back with a blow. With a shudder, the boy fell down. Rob was happy. She was finally happy. Unable to open his eyes any longer, he took her beauty in his eyes and drifted off to a beautiful dream.
22nd May 2016
The sun screamed fire into his eyes. Rob opened his eyes with irritation. He was blinded by the sunlight. Sitting up, he blinked his eyes to get adjusted to the light. As slowly everything turned normal, he tried to stand up. Something hard was pressing down his left foot. Looking down, he saw a man. Or more, a body. Blood was pooling around its head, and the skull was wide cracked open at the back. With a shriek, Robert shook off his feet from under the body and looked at in horror. As he was about to dial the emergency, he noticed his 12-year old blended steel whiskey bottle. It was smeared in blood. Confused and alarmed, he went ahead and turned the body upside down.
Oh shit. It was the guy from which he used to purchase weed. This is bad. Definitely bad. And then It came back to him. He vaguely remembered hitting someone with something hard, but who was it, he couldn’t read the face at that time.
And now, Brian is dead in front of him. He knew what he had done. He knew that he had killed the largest weed supplier in town. And there would be much more dangerous people who will hunt him down for good until they don’t take out the revenge on him. He had to flee.
Running back home and washing off all the stains on his bottle and scrubbing every nook and corner of his home, he was done. Now he had only one thing to do.
To call Patrick.
This was definitely the worst day of his life. It was just a few months he had come to the city and made a true friend, Patrick. And Robert knew he would find any friend like him on any planet. But this was all his own doing. He got ready to make that final call to Patrick.
ONE YEAR AGO..
17th April 2017
It was a sunny morning. Spring had just set in Wonderlane. At the far end of the street, was a house with a plush meadow and a mailbox of the shape of a birdhouse. The door to the house opened, and a man in his late 20s stepped out.
It had been two years since the day he fled Blend’s City and came over to this suburban country side for a peaceful living. He started to work as a help in the grocery in town and now he is a full-time employee of the departmental store it had become.
But to this day, he has trouble sleeping at night. And no amount of therapy could help him. He missed Patrick, who happened to be his best therapy at one time. It wasn’t fair, breaking Patrick with the news of his departure on call, and leaving all of a sudden without meeting him. But he knew there was no other choice.
With a sigh, Robert picked up the newspaper and went up to the mail box to check if there was any mail. Seeing there was none, he went inside and opened the newspaper for a read.
The front-page news shook him. The paper fell out of his hands.
‘MAN IN HIS EARLY TWENTIES WAS BRUTALLY MURDERED OUTSIDE OF HIS HOME. SUSPECT OF DRUG MOB INVOLVEMENT.’
The picture on the end was Patrick.
After a tremble that shook his body for about fifteen minutes, he summed up courage and opened the paper to read.
‘Patrick Mansiur, a man in his late twenties, who was working at Blush Enterprises as a Site manager, was found slashed and shot almost six times throughout his body, and dumped near the gate. The most horrifying part was, his skull was cracked open from the back. It is being suspected that the drug mob of Blend’s City is involved. But confirmation is yet to be released.’
Robert could see the words no more. He broke into tears. He couldn’t control the burning agony that tore all through his heart.
This was all his doing. His only true friend in this entire world, is now no more. And all because of him. If he had enough courage to turn himself into the leaders of the mob, today Patrick would have been alive. And perhaps okay.
Now he will never know.
20th April, 2017
“Are you sure sir? He had no one else in his family I can contact?”, Robert asked the landlord of the house Patrick used to live in.
“As far as I know, nobody visited him. Oh, but yes, there was an account number from which his money used to reach me, the rent, I mean. Other than that, I know nothing. I’m sorry. Wish I could have been of more help.”
It suddenly clicked to Robert who the mysterious person was behind all the payments. It was Patrick’s sister. He used to tell that she was the only relative he had in this world, and she too, had Patrick only in her world. Their parents had been long dead. Though she never came over to visit, Robert could hear them laughing on the phone and teasing each other. Patrick’s face lit up when she called.
And now, she would be the loneliest person in the world. And she would never know why her brother was killed. What was his fault.
Putting the phone down in a haste, Rob went to the washroom. He felt like puking. All the self loathing urged to come out.
Calming down, he knew what he needed to do.
He had to make sure the people responsible for the death of his dearest friend had to pay. They had killed a harmless soul.
And after all of that, he would find out the address of Pat’s sister, visit her, confess to her and try to make her life easier.
Yes. He was sure this time. No mistakes.
23rd June 2018
“Captain, how could you be so sure that he is our guy? I’ve got only one chance on this. If I don’t carry it out fluently, I could never explain the girl why her brother died in vain. Please, check again!”, Robert said to the other man with him.
They both were standing outside an underground strip club that was situated right in the middle of Blend’s City. Robert had been too near this location many times in his days here. But today was not about fun.
It took almost five months for Rob to go in search for the right detective. And then, he found one.
He was ex-military.
And there was no waiting after that. They moved to and from the two cities. Sometimes they had to spend sleepless nights in Blend’s City searching for all the clues about the mob.
And then they came to Wonderlane to his house.
Captain had trained him to endure all sorts of pain. And to fight back. It took a long time.
And now they both were ready. Almost ready.
And to their luck, after a year of what happened to Patrick, they stumbled upon some real information. They were in luck. The mob was having a deal inside the most happening strip club in Blend’s City.
All they had to do was go in undercover, poison the leader enough to make him go unconscious and take him out to a vulnerable location.
That was hard.
“Boy, it is now or never. You never know how fast they could disappear. Do it today. Or never”, captain said with a sigh.
Checking their appearances once again in the rearview mirrors, both of them exited their cars.
Entering the bar, they casually smiled and flirted their way into the centre table.
And there he was. Surrounded by two bodyguards. The mob leader.
To have a good look at him, Robert moved to the other end of the table.
It was Brian’s brother. Rick.
The leader of the mob was none other than the brother of the supplier he had accidentally killed.
The night was turning from bad to worse. Rob was getting nervous by every second. But there was no time for recklessness. He had to do something now or never.One hour had passed. Robert was waiting for a perfect chance where he could switch the glasses of the bodyguards and Rick with the glasses he had beside him. But the security was too tight. And then, the sexiest stripper took the table in front of Rick.
The whole club went up in cheers. Being men, obviously, the bodyguards tol, for a moment, lifted their eyes to her privy parts. Rob grabbed that chance. He quickly switched the glasses and sat down back as if nothing had happened.
Now all he had to do was wait till another three hours till the drugs kicked in.
After about two and a half hours, he could see them sludging their shoulders down. The drugs had started kicking. Signing to captain who seated at the other end near the front door, they both moved closer. Holding both the bodyguards by their waist, they made them sit down at the bar in such a posture that noone will notice anything suspicious for another half an hour.
Taking their positions as the new bodyguards, Robert and Captain asked Rick to move out of the bar, since it was quite late already.
“Why is the bar so quiet? Anyways, looks like Mr. Meits is not going to turn up for the deal. Come’ on boys. Let go home!”, shouted Rick at the top of his voice.
Captain and Robert carried him out and took him to their car. Making Rick sit the back seat, they began to tie him up. Realising what was happening, Rick began to scream. But in vain.
“ You are going to tell me why you killed him. Now.”
Shoving Patrick’s photo into Rick’s face, Rob began questioning him.
27th June 2018
The newspaper was reaching everyone’s doorstep. The door to Wonderlane’s 12th house also opened. A man in his late twenties came out and picked it up.
Opening the front page, another news caught his eye. But this time, he was not surprised.
‘RICK BLACK, LEADER OF BLEND’S CITY DRUG MOB, ADMITS TO THE GRUESOME MURDER OF PATRICK MANSIUR. HE WAS ARRESTED IN AN INAPPROPRIATE CONDITION OUTSIDE BLEND’S CITY POLICE STATION AND NOW HAS BEEN DEPARTED TO THE CENTRAL JAIL.”
Robert was at peace. Atleast half of him was content at bringing his best friend’s killer to the light. But he knew he needed to confess his sins. To the only person in the world who would care to listen.
TWO MONTHS LATER…
Robert was standing outside the house of a person whose life he had destroyed. Patrick’s sister.
It took him a lot of time to retrieve the account number from the landlord of Patrick’s house and then trace it back to the owner of the account. And then he had to track down the address of where her house might be.
It was a long catch. But he had to do it.
Today he is here. But he doesn’t know how to approach her and explain the details.
He sat down on her doorstep for a couple of minutes. Knowing that nothing could ever make the feeling right, he decided to finally face her after all. He had been the ultimate reason of this woman’s worries. And nothing could justify what he had done.
Knocking on the door, he prepared himself for this ultimate fight of his life.
The door opened after two minutes.
“Hey, I’m Rick………”
And his sentence stopped halfway when he looked up to her.
And life had played a joke on him again.
There stood Patrick’s sister. A beauty.
Unfortunately, she was also the only love of Robert’s life.