This is a work of entertainment fiction. Names, characters, businesses, places, events and incidents are either the products of the author’s imagination or used in a fictitious manner. Any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, or actual events is purely coincidental.
The events that occurred were too fast for Sarah to comprehend. She reached her seventh floor apartment overlooking the Worli Sea Link, unlocked the door, went in and crashed on the bed.
Paromita, her mother, must be still at her boutique.
She saw herself in the huge mirror across the bed. What went wrong, you poor girl? She tried to smile. Her spiritual Guru had taught her to smile when in utter confusion. A semblance of sanity returned. She got up and went into the washroom to freshen up.
An inner voice told her “Mickey is lying to you. He is playing a dirty game.”
“But why does he have to? He could tell her upfront and break up. Why didn’t he ever tell me about his involvement with the commando job? May be I never asked. So silly of me! But why go through the drama of introducing that bitchy girlie, Gabby.”
Sarah’s head started spinning?
As she emerged out of the washroom she saw her Mom Paromita in her room.
“Aha, so you are back from your date? How was it my baby?”
“Shit” Sarah’s face gave the story away
“Is Something wrong” Paromita took her hand and led her to the dining table.
Her favorite coffee was ready as soon as she lifted her head from the dining table.
“Come on Sarah baby, tell me what happened”
Sarah narrated the entire drama and sobbed.
Mothers turn into a rock when faced with a crisis for their daughters.
“Here is what you can do, Sarah” said Paromita, as she cleared the cups and placed them in the sink
“Go and look for Mickey at the Consulate, the first thing in the morning tomorrow. If he is there, do not pester him, just say you love him”
“But what if he is not there, Mom?”
“Yes, then get his address if they give you”
‘What if he is not there either?”
“Okay, Baba, Take one step at a time”
“Oh Mama, I am so confused and distraught” Sarah buried her face into her Mom’s.
“Everything will turn out fine, dear. Now get some dinner and go to bed”
The night was long. Sarah tossed in her bed into the wee hours;
Surprisingly, the new day brought some fresh hopes. She got ready in work clothes, kissed her mother and hailed a cab to go to the Consulate at Lower Parel in Central Mumbai.
The events that she went through had made her more suspicious of surroundings now. She thought she heard someone following her in another taxi. She was too scared to even turn her head and look back. Whoever may have been tailing Mickey must have seen me and may even know where I stay and work. Oh my God!
The turbaned driver looked at her from the rear mirror “Madam, aap theek to hai. Don’t worry apko Israel kaa visa mil jaayga – Sat Sri Akaal (Madam. Are you all right? Don’t worry, you will surely get Israeli visa, Hail the Lord”)
“Thank you Sardarji.’ (Sardarji – a respectful way to address a Sikh gentleman) She looked at the back of the driver even closely and reminded herself of the dangers of talking to strangers.
She got down right at the entrance of the Consulate, paid the cab driver while in the cab, and emerged out of the cab briskly, shot a glance to the left to reassure herself that no one was following her.
The huge building was under repair with scaffoldings and coverings everywhere. She felt as if a hundred pairs of eyes were keeping a watch on her, hidden behind the safety covers.
“Shalom” The well-built captain at the entrance of the Consulate welcomed her with a smile while a smart security girl scanned her body and finally she was allowed to go in.
A middle aged, Parsi lady looked up from the reception counter, raised her glasses and asked, “Shalom, my name is Betty, How may I help you”
“Yes,” Sarah wiped the perspirations from her face, stayed as close to the counter as she possibly could and asked “Hi, Salaam, I would like to see Mickey Khanna”
Betty’s face showed no sign of emotions. ‘Mickey who?”
“Khanna, Mickey Khanna” Sarah’s voice was barely a whisper”, smiling weakly at Betty
“You want to take that seat right there, Madam?” pointing to a functional sofa at the far end of the reception
Sarah, followed her directions, sat down and l her gaze, unmoving at Betty, who spoke to someone on the intercom, her face could not hide her sense of surprise.
“Something is amiss, for sure” Sarah’s disturbed mind cautioned her.
Betty motioned her to the counter.
“I am so sorry madam but there is no one named Mickey Khanna working in the office at the Consulate”
Sarah was stunned.
“What…? Are you sure?”
“Absolutely. Madam, Anything else can I help with” Her pointed stare upset Sarah but all she could say was “No thank you. You have been very helpful. Salaam.”
She ran out of the consulate, a complete wreck.
“So he has been lying to me all along. How could I be so gullible and naive? Oh my God! Now what?”
Her worst fears were confirmed. Had she been going out with a dangerous man called Mickey all this time? She now cursed herself for going too fast with Mickey, marveling at his body and the captivating smile.
Outside the tall building there was a huge poster of a new movie ‘Ghajini’, with the finely chiseled body of the hero peering at her. She quickly got into a cab, made sure that no one was tailing her, and drove straight to the boutique.
‘Oh I should have asked for Gabriela too”. But it was hopeless. Now she knew Mickey was a fake, and was faking everything, including Gabby.
“Forget him, Sarah. God saved you just in the nick of time” Paromita tried her best to comfort her girl who sobbed uncontrollably. “Get on with your work at the Boutique from tomorrow”
Smile, baby, smile. All is not lost. To hell with Mickey but he must be taught a lesson.
Who am I to teach him a lesson? He must be enjoying some party with that Gabby girl of his.
She took her mobile out impulsively and called Mickey. She would tear him apart if he did answer.
A sweet voice at the end “Sorry, the number you have dialed is switched off”
“Switched off my foot. He is a conman “ Sarah mumbled
At the boutique she tried her best to smile at the elite customers. But no respite from the churning pain in her stomach.
“I would kill that Gabby if ever I meet her face to face.“
And, that Mickey? She couldn’t understand why her mind was flooded with combative thoughts. A proper break up wouldn’t have been as painful.
“Let us go and watch a movie tonight, Sarah” Paromita was trying to bring her back to sanity. They didn’t.
It was November 25 evening. The next day would be Mickey’s birthday – or so he said. What would he be doing tomorrow? Who cares now?
But impulse took over Sarah and she dialed his number. What would she say if he picked up the phone?
That he was a liar, a conman; deserved to be tortured and so was Gabby. That she found out he never had worked at the Israel Consulate…..
There was a click at the other end. Sarah’s hopes soared. Would she actually say all those nasty things to him? What if he had some explanation? Her heart was pounding.
Instead, she thought she heard the voice of Gabriela! “Hey Sarah…..”
Sarah hung up in exasperation.
It didn’t make much sense to her. Why would Gabby answer from his phone if he wanted to remain elusive? Was it Gabby after all, or someone else? Not sure! Does he move around with different Gabbys every day?
She couldn’t take it anymore.
The world was crumbling around her. She wanted to die. She downed a tablet of sleeping pill and flopped into her bed.
End of Episode 3….. to be continued