Story Collection - Chaalbaaz

True Love

Ritesh swallowed a little bile that he felt rising up in his throat. The smell of burnt flesh was making Ritesh nauseated.

“Is it necessary?” Ritesh asked Riyanka. He kept his voice low — almost to a whisper.

“Yes.” Riyanka replied in her usual loud voice. “And you don’t have to whisper. He’s dead.” Riyanka continued.

Ritesh dabbed sweat from his forehead. He hadn’t killed anyone before, let alone burn a person.

“I am afraid.” Ritesh said, still whispering. Riyanka rolled her eyes.

“Of course you are. When are you not afraid? It’s a good thing that I was here. Otherwise, you wouldn’t have been able to kill him, let alone dispose him off.” Riyanka said checking if the burning was complete.

“I don’t understand why did we have to do this.” Ritesh said pointing towards the fire.

“Body means proof. Proof means possibility of getting caught. Besides, this way, he can’t rise from the dead.” Riyanka said winking at Ritesh. Ritesh smiled shakily.

“I love you.” Ritesh blurted. Riyanka smiled and kissed him.

“I love you this much.” Riyanka said waving at the burning. Ritesh finally smiled. Ritesh and Ismail had been together for 5 years before Riyanka came into his life. Ritesh had met Riyanka at his wedding with Ismail a couple of months ago. All it took was one meeting for him to fall head over heels in love with Riyanka. Suddenly, the idea of living with anyone except her seemed horrific.

“He wouldn’t have understood.” Ritesh said to himself.

“He might have. If you could have just explained him properly. He wasn’t a bad person.” Riyanka said patting Ritesh.

“I tried. I tried telling him that I love someone else. He didn’t believe me first. And when he did, he didn’t take it well.” Ritesh said once again iterating the story that he had lived a few hours ago. Riyanka looked at him with love and sympathy.

“He started throwing things at me. Then he started to choke me. I was just trying to protect myself. I didn’t know he would get thrown off the stairs.” Ritesh said and started weeping. Riyanka put her hands around Ritesh and kissed him on the cheek.

“It’s okay. Now, it’s all going to be over.”

“But police will find out. They won’t find out the truth. My brother is a cop. He told me to burn the body. This way, it’s a kidnapping and not a murder. We would go to him. If he handles the case, we are safe.” Riyanka said and hugged Ritesh.

She couldn’t believe what was happening. When she first heard, what had happened, her first reaction was panic. However, by the time she reached Ritesh’s house, all she wanted to do was protect the person she loves. She had known from the day she met him that she would do anything for Ritesh and today, she knew how true it was. She could do anything for Ritesh.

“I love you Ritesh.”

“I love you Riyanka.”