"ENOUGH" she hollered, her acoustic to loud for the tiny room to muffle. "Yes it is true, Mr. Kapoor made me the sole owner of Kapoor Industries. It is also true that I hated him for a while or at least I tried to hate him but I couldn't. And as you suggested, it might also be true that I was the last person to see him tonight before his..." She paused, her voice shivered as it brushed against the walls of her throat, "before his attack... But let me tell you one thing, if destiny had stroked an evil plan for Mr. Kapoor to be attacked at my hands, than god is my witness I would kill myself before I could cause any harm to him. And if I am capable of killing myself for his well-being than killing the person who did this to him is an obvious presumption." she spoke unwavering, glancing at both the officer and Vikram transmitting her disgust and unintentionally pleading her innoncence.
"Your sweet talks are useless�Explain yourself Mrs. Kapoor...How did your phone end up in his car? HOW?" The officer slammed his palm on the table as he spoke; Priya was too emotionally paralyzed to even feel the vibrating impact radiating off the table while Vikram defenselessly watched as she silently suffered.
"You know what? You are right this is my fault, entirely. I am the one who caused this if I had just listened to Mr. Kapoor than today he wouldn't have been in so much pain." her voice lost it's confidence breaking at the peak of the last words.
"I knew it�People like you from middle class families thrive off opportunities like this�" he stated with certainty meshing his fingers together and folding his palms outwards, mentally marveling his accomplishment.
"Wait�Hold on� Priya stop this crap� I know just how much you love Ram�Don't you think you are underplaying it? No matter what the evidence says, I know that you would never do something like this. Explain yourself Priya�Come clean�What happened tonight?" Vikram finally found his voice his mind not willing to accept Priya's confession.
"Mr. Shergil butt out� She did do this�It's over now, so you may leave. " The officer snapped, his ego taking a huge hit.
"No I was skeptical about your accusation from the beginning but still I teased the thought. When you look at Priya you see a criminal, but I see a wife desperately aching to see her wounded husband. And you're a cop so there's that bias already. Besides what did Priya say anyways? She said she caused this and it is her fault but she did not say that she did this and no judge will ever convict her of attempted murder based on that statement. You know this better than I do. So let her explain herself. Priya stop crying, you have to speak up�What happened tonight?? Please for gods sake, for Ram's sake� He needs you by his side please speak up fast so that we can go to him�" Vikram begged for the truth knowing Priya too well in the past 6 months to believe that she would ever do this.
Priya wiped her tears from her cheeks but was still unable to control it from leaking as she spoke fueled by her desire to be near Ram. "Tonight I went out with Ashwin. Shruti was supposed to come but Ashwin told me last minute that she was sick and couldn't make it. By than we were already at Club Montago, our regular hang out spot when we were in University. But this evening it was different, Ashwin said that he booked a VIP lounge area for us, he wanted to get away from the noise to tell me about someone special that he had met in America. Ashwin said that he would join me momentarily; he had to attend an important phone call and so I went up to the lounge area all by myself. It was completely empty with the exception of two guys. One guy wore a black suit while the other one had on a gray suit. It was strange because I had never seen them before but they kept glancing in my direction like they knew me or wanted to know me. Waiting for Ashwin, 10 minutes passed by. It was than that I decided to go back downstairs to see what the hold up was. Unfortunately, before I could leave, the guy in the gray suit grabbed my hand. Turning around with force my free hand raised to slap him but the guy in the black suit grabbed it mid-air." she recited the incident, words with no emotion�
"Who the hell were they?" Vikram interrupted furiously like a big brother unable to bear the insult of his sister�
"I don't know�Before they could say anything a look of fear erupted on their faces. At first, I did not understand it. They let go of my hands instantly, looking towards the door. I turned around as well to see the source of my liberation and of course there stood Mr. Kapoor glaring angrily at them." Finally she displayed an emotion, her face projected sincerity on the backdrop of a continuous waterfall. " Mr. Kapoor walked up to them, they stepped backwards refusing to be within a feet of him. He held my hand tightly, a wave of security splashed through me and I stopped shaking, looking up at him ardently as he spoke to them."
"Do you know who this is?" Mr. Kapoor hissed, angrily gripping my hand tighter, startling me with his hold.
" Mrs. Priya Ram Kapoor" the guy in the gray suit boldly stated, baffling me with his knowledge and starting a cascade of confusion that his friend placed a question mark next to, "The owner of Kapoor Industries."
Mr. Kapoor looked at me, his lips quivered with anger as he gritted his teeth behind it. The expression on his face immediately replaced my confusion with fear as his eyes silently screamed, "I TOLD YOU SO!"
"Your fight is with me, I rejected your company's distasteful proposal five months ago�So whatever problem you have you sort that out with me because I personally refuted your puny American company, not my wife." Mr. Kapoor declared still holding onto my hand as if he feared that he might lose me.
"We would but you are hiding behind your wife, giving her full ownership. Poor woman has to face the wrath of your competitors, who you pissed off, while you enjoy the luxury that she provides." The guy in the black suit mocked, clearly the distance and my presence gave him a false sense of confidence that Mr. Kapoor could stifle with the snap of his fingers. In fact, Mr. Kapoor leapt forward loosening his grip on my hand but I simply tightened mine around his, tugging him back.
"Mr. Kapoor, please let's go from here." I pleaded with my words but more so with my eyes that had him locked intently.
"Yeah Mr. Kapoor, don't stick your nose where it does not belong. Please leave, but leave behind your doll of a wife, we have some business with her as the owner of your company and than maybe if things go well, some pleasure." They mocked my nervousness building their egos unattractively off of it. Mr. Kapoor violently leapt forward, this time I lost hold of his hand but I quickly recovered, positioning myself promptly in front of him.
"Priya, MOVE ASIDE." He yelled, staring deadly at the two men who stood comfortably behind me.
"Mr. Kapoor I am scared, please can we go from here? Please�" I begged once more for his safety, fearing the worst possible outcome. I don't know what worked, but something did. I felt his grip around my hand once more blanketing me in his caring touch. Before we exited, the much-awaited exit, Mr. Kapoor threatened, "This is not over� You two are cockroaches in this industry� I will ensure that until the day I die Stevens Group of Industries will never see broad daylight ever again. I promise that your company will pay the steepest price for what you attempted to do today. And you two know by now that I am a man of my words.""Stevens Group of Industries�"Vikram pondered, a light visibly flickering in his mind as he recalled the meeting with this company. "Yes I remember." He snapped his fingers excitedly with the development of a new lead; Suddenly, the muddy water became transparent. "We had a meeting with this American company 5 months ago. They offered a huge amount of money the biggest proposal ever to be offered to Kapoor Industries. The owners were brother, Sam and Wilson." He stated, rubbing his scrunched up forehead with this forefingers as if he was massaging out the details of that day. "Ram rejected the offer flat out refusing to merge with this company."
"If it was such a big offer like you're making it out to be than why did Mr. Kapoor refuse?" the officer pried snobbishly, Priya listened keenly, also wondering along the same lines but awareness of Ram's expertise in business served as the basis of her assumption.
"He was taught by someone close to him that employees should be treated with respect and the minute Jenny told him about the exploitive nature of Stevens Group of Industries he denied such a wealthy proposal. People change for two reasons, an incident occurs that forces them to adapt or a person comes into their life and makes change worthy of applying. Ram changed because of the latter." Vikram stared directly at Priya as he uttered each word while Priya embraced the underlining message without a doubt in her mind.
"Well, let's assume that Sam and Wilson did something like this�It's a pretty good motive too. But Mrs. Kapoor you were with Mr. Kapoor last and you still haven't explained how your phone ended up in his car�" He burst their bubble purposely, still not able to accept his mistake in identifying the culprit the first time around.
"After Mr. Kapoor bravely rescued me from Sam and Wilson, he dragged me to the parking lot and forced me to sit in his car. Locking the door, when he entered, he began driving, gripping the steering wheel punishingly, driving with great speed but not saying a single word. I spoke up first disheveling the enraged silence, the most dangerous of its kind."
"S-sorry Mr. Kapoor�" I stuttered out an apology, which came out pathetically not at all mirroring the authenticity of its existence in my heart. Perhaps his ears were coated with a counterfeit detector that screened out my weakly uttered apology because he kept on driving silently. Clearing my throat I stated with more firmness, "I said I was sorry." The car jolted as he slammed suddenly on the brake hurling me forward. My face nearly hit the dashboard but his arm stretched out in front of me blocking the path of the momentum, my savior.
"SORRY!" screamed my angry savior. I guess he saw me jump in my seat because his tone lowered proving the fact that screaming does not make you right and illustrating perfectly that firmness in what is being said makes a hell of a good point. "You are sorry? Really? It does not seem that way. Despite my warnings you went out with that swine that you call your friend. Why? If I didn't arrive on time than we would really have something to be sorry about. What do you want from me? Hmm? If you want to kill me than there are other ways than putting your life in danger. Dammit Priya, I am your husband it is my job to protect you but your arrogance deflects everything that I say for your benefit. I told you not to go out with Ashwin but you went out with him anyways, just to irk me." his words were the rawest form of truth but one fact was indigestible even after everything that had happened.
"Okay I understand that you are right. But whatever happened was not because of Ashwin. I knew him for too long for him to purposely push me into that situation. It was a VIP lounge so obviously VIP people would be there."
"There you go�" he slammed his hand on the steering wheel. "Defending him again. It's a Friday night VIP lounges are packed. Doesn't it struck you as odd that there was only two people there?" he asked with fire in his eyes meeting my ice cold heart head on.
"How the hell am I supposed to know? Besides Ashwin is not like that. He can be many things but he is not like that.""Adrenaline and arrogance on my part fueled our argument further. He suspected my relationship and I called him disgusting. Eventually I got out of his car and began walking home, ungratefully. He got out too, apologizing many times just so I could get back into his car but of course I didn't listen. Following me home, he walked with me leaving his car behind. After what had happened in the club there was no way that he was letting me walk home alone. He panted up the stairs to my flat, I turned around and shut the door on him." she shut her eyes breathing heavily as she spoke. "And that's the last I saw him. Somewhere along that line my phone must have dropped in his car, this would not have been the first time that it has happened."
"Sir, this is it� Enough with all this questioning, Sam and Wilson have a greater motive for doing this and the time that Ram was attacked, was around 9:30ish, Priya was in her dad's flat by than. Priya let's go. Ram needs you�" He coaxed her up shaking her out of her depressed and guilty state.
"Mrs. Kapoor�" the officers voice trailed as they neared the exit, both Vikram and Priya turned around to face him. "Don't forget your phone. And Mr. Shergil, Mr. Kapoor has been shifted to his mansion. We figured he would be safer there with a doctor and a nurse. Sorry for the inconvenience Mrs. Kapoor, I was just doing my job." the officer walked over to Priya handing her phone over to her. She nodded in acceptance of his apology before they left for the Kapoor Mansion.
The ride was a short one but it felt like eternity. No one spoke but the wind, whistling a sad tune against the speed of the car. Everything was a blur with one thing in focus, her need to be beside her man whom she had hurt tremendously. The thought of their last interaction lost its potency, it's effects desensitized her inside out and now she no longer felt the sensation of her tears dripping profusely.
She walked zombie like out of the car through the empty corridors of the mansion and into a familiar place where she knew her king would be resting. The emotions were so overwhelming that it drowned any feeling of awkwardness that resided in her heart about being in the mansion after 3 long months. Life returned in the colours of the wall upon her arrival, what was lost was now found but unfortunately it took a greater loss to find it.
"Ma, Dadi!" she finally spoke but would have spoke sooner if she only knew that speaking was the key to getting a glimpse of Ram once they turned around to greet her.
"Priya� Ram look who is here to see you�It's your Priya�" Krishna specified desperately, signaling Priya with one hand to enter the room and sit beside Ram.
"Priya puttar, only you can bring my golu back to me, he doesn't listen to me anymore." Dadi begged Priya as she and Krishna both got up off the bed, hoping for Priya to create a miracle with her presence.
"Dadi, Ma, I am so sorry this all happened because of me." she sobbed with her palms kissing in an apologetic fixture.
"No Priya, sorry just won't cut it anymore. If you want forgiveness than bring me back my son� Ram beta Priya is here you wanted her right�The doctor said that you were uttering her name during your brief consciousness, so there you have it beta, she is here. Please Priya please do something�" Krishna begged knowing Priya was the only option. Love is so strange; we live for people we love but die for them also. The result of hate lay unconsciously in front of them all, now love was the only option.
Vikram coaxed Dadi and Krishna taking them out of the room. This was the moment that priya was waiting for all night but now that she was in it, she did not know where to begin. All she knew that she wanted was to stroke his hair placing his head on her lap. But the complexity of his condition forbade her from doing so. Instead she sat next to him watching him with sorrow and remorse, feeling unworthy of his affection. But he deserved love, his right that she unrightfully snatched from him. She moved up closer to him scanning his limp body, gaging the pain that he must be in and that too, because of her.
"Mr. Kapoor, please wake up. Look Mr. Kapoor it's me your Priya. I am here in your�in our room, with you. Please wake up!" She sat down next to him wincing at the site of his wounds. He is injured so badly and she knew that she was just as accountable for his pain as the person who did this to him. Caressing his left shoulder where he had been shot, she planted a light kiss over the white dressing tightly bound over his injury. She sniffled and quickly wiped her tears fearing that it might leak on the bruises etched on his exposed chest, burning him with its touch. No one was going to hurt him anymore, not even her tears. She stretched her upper body being careful not to touch him as she brushed her quivering lips over his and whispered against it, "Please wake up� Please baby, don't punish me like this! First our daughter left us because of me and now you are threatening to leave me as well? This is not fair, atleast take me with you. What am I going to do in this world without you? I have already lost all hope seeing you like this and knowing that I am responsible. I should have sat quietly in your car just like you had asked me too." She kissed his lips again applying a bit more pressure this time; its warmth gave her a sense of hope that he was still with her. Caressing his face she examined his pouty expression, he lay there harassing everyone with his trademark angry frown. "Atleast yell at me�if you're going to frown like that, than atleast yell at me� I said I am sorry please wake up�I want to spend the rest of my life with you Mr. Kapoor. That is if you still want too. Our daughter, I want her back but I can't have her without you. I need you�in every meaning of that statement, I do. But only if you still want me�You deserve better, so much better, maybe Babe is the one who is right for you. And if you want her well than I won't let her have you because you are mine and I will put up a hell of a fight to have you. I will never ask you about her, I don't care anymore�As long you love me, I will love you Mr. Kapoor and even if you don't I will still love you. Please Mr. Kapoor wake up and tell me once that you still love me� " She scanned him once more, looking for any movement but coming up empty handed. "You are so badly hurt, who did this to you? Was it Ashwin??? You're not going to tell me? Okay fine, I will go there and ask him myself I will punish him for this� Mr. Kapoor you are above anyone in my life, I am not just saying that to get you to wake up. I mean it. And if that means that I have to put my life on the line to find out the truth than so be it." She leaned up once more and whispered over his lips, "I am going to do something that I should have done much sooner and that is to show Ashwin his place in my life, which is incomparable to where you are positioned." Her tears rolled down the side of his face, timidly hiding behind his ear as she kissed him more intimately covering every inch of his lips; her eyes remained fixed on his eyelids hoping that this kiss would do the trick. Disappointedly she brushed her thumb across the side of his face, drying the wet path created by her tears before she got up to leave. But something resisted her withdrawal, her hand moved to loosen her dupatta which hugged the left side of her neck tightly. A gleam of excitement shone in her eyes as she turned around slowly with the fear that reality might deject the tinge of hope brewing in her heart.