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MMZ – The Inmate – Chapter 7

The inmate
Chapter 7

Sv akka…I didn’t change the display tile. TU did. Sorry.

Please ignore my typos and grammatical erros. NO PROOF READING.
Radhika stiffened. What the hell was the matter with this man? A second earlier, he was scooping her in his arms and now was using the formal notation, Doctor……for godsake, he was better doctor. He was her mentor.
True, she wanted answers but she wasn’t going to say it out loud. If he was going to behave like that…she didn’t do anything to deserve such a cold shoulder…did she?
Not that she knew.

Radhika felt like thrashing him left and right for confusing her and making her feel bad about herself. She moved a little towards him. She felt that her presence close to him, made him undergo a mess of emotions.

Radhika, “arjun, please don’t call me doctor. Okay, I am Radhika….”
She terribly wanted to say your Radhika….but had to stop herself just in the nick of time.

Arjun didn’t reply. What was he to say to something like that…at all?

Arjun spoke emotionlessly, in a voice hardened over time, “Doctor, I think we should concentrate on our respective jobs. Being a doctor and a patient. That’s it.”

Radhika spoke in a clearly pain inflicted voice, “Dr. Arjun Mehra, I wanted some answers. But they clearly relate to the past….and you seemed to have moved on. So, I wont bother you with it anymore. And since, we mutually have established that a professional equation is all that can exist between the two of us. Your next session will be after day tomorrow. Keep yourself ready at 11.”

Saying so, she grabbed her folder and stormed out. Her heart silently cried. She prayed to god, to not let it show on her face. She kept all those tears inside her eyes with a lot of effort.

Arjun’s heart cursed him for hurting her like that…he felt responsible for all the tears in her eyes. But soon, his brain overtook the reins of control.

“Arjun, it’s okay. She is just a psychiatrist who conducts sessions with jail inmates. Don’t get to attached. She isn’t your college Radhika. That happy-go-lucky Radhika, and of whose time was yours. She is busy renowned psychiatrist, with a personal life of her own. In which you feature no longer. Don’t think about her. Don’t show her the kind of effect she has on you. She’ll do the same like before. Take you for granted and then crush you like an empty bottle of water. And trust me, this time you wont be able to rise above from the blow.” He whispered, trying to convince his heart.

Radhika met kaka on the way, “kaka, have you seen neil….ohh i mean, the jailer.” She asked hurriedly.

“beta, he had to go to the airport. So he left.” He replied.

Radhika forced a smile and left. But kaka’s experienced eyes didn’t fail to see the pain in those innocent eyes and it made it wonder what pained the always happy prankster, Radhika. he felt morally inclined to let neil know. Kaka made a mental note to let neil know whenever he saw him next.

Radhika locked herself inside her car and let go. She cried her heart out screaming…..it wasn’t as if there wasn’t a weak side to the forever strong girl. She came to the conclusion that her feeling didn’t amount to anything if Arjun wasn’t even interested in keeping a friendship with her. She promised herself to bury her feelings so deep inside her that after some time, she wouldn’t even know that they existed.
But guess, destiny had different plans.

She calmed herself down and reached home. Neil and sam were laying on the couch exhausted with all the running and chasing they had done.

Radhika slapped her forehead, forcing a smile on, “you guys are worse than kids….seriously.” she muttered, heading out to make coffee for the three of them.

She was engulfed in a back hug a couple of minutes later.

“ I missed you.” Muttered sam in her ear getting all emotional.

Radhika too reciprocated her hug. Neil huffed and pouted, turning all the attention on to him.
“Now that you are both back together again….i am useless, right?” he complained like a kid.

Sam smiled, “idiot, you are forever useless….now come here.” She said extending her arm. Radhika too extend her hand. Neil run to them and the girls jumped on him. The trio enjoyed each other’s company after a long time. Chatting. Giggling. Teasing. Laughing. Binge eating. Movie watching. Ice cream cake. And what not…
Radhika had forgotten everything. She was truly happy, having two of her best friends on either sides of her. It had got terribly late and Radhika and sam had convinced neil to spend the night at their apartment itself. Neil slept on the couch. After clearing all the mess up, as they all were going to retire to their respective places. Sam suddenly realised that she hadn’t give a blanket to neil. She picked up a black and white checked one from her cupboard and headed out. She stopped short in her tracks near the couch. Neil was curled up like a little kid. He looked cute and adorable. Sam observed him for a few minutes. She then realised that he had curled up because of the cold breeze coming in from the open window. She moved forward to cover him with the blanket, but her leg slipped on a carelessly thrown chocolate wrapper and she fell on neil. She closed her eyes with the impact of the fall while he opened his. Unknowingly, a smile appeared on his face having her In his arms….she looked so innocent, so cute with her eyes shut tight. He wrapped his arms around her tightly.
“sammy..” he gently whispered in her ears, before turning around. He rolled over and had her beneath him. Sam widened her eyes surprised with his actions. Neil just passed him a sheepish smile while adjusting himself a little and soon he dozed off. Sam lay awake a little more time, admiring how the cool breeze fanned his face, tousling his already messed hair further.

The next day, sam woke up earlier than neil. She shook him a little but he had no plans to move aside. She gently blew hot breath on his face, he grumbled a little and slipped on the couch besides her. Sam slowly got up and tip toed to her room to get ready.

By the time, she got back in the living room. Neil had left. She heaved a sigh of relief, she wanted to avoid the conversation of what and why that happened last night, for as long as possible. Radhika noticed her.
“what happened Sammy?” she enquired.

“o-ohh u-umm, no….nothing. Absolutely nothing.” Sam replied nervously.

Radhika hid her smile, neil was behaving weirdly in the morning when she woke him up and now sam was also giving similar signs, something definitely happened. She chuckled to herself.

radhika got ready and left for sessions with the central jail inmates. She didn’t have a session with Arjun that day.
Radhika walked in, got to work, studying various files.

She was in the midst of a session with a petty criminal, trying to reform him when she heard some chaos outside. She looked out and even walked a little distance trying to identify the sources but the noise stopped a second later. She shook her head and returned back to the cell. After a couple of minutes, chaos, screaming and hatter patter started again. Surprised, she asked a guard standing near the cell.
The guard casually replied, “mam, a inmate actually attacked another inmate. That’s all. Now jailer sir has gone to tackle the situation.”

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Radhika was surprised, most of the inmates under neil’s wing were well behaved. In fact, she had conducted sessions with a majority of them.

“oh, which inmate?”

“Arjun mehra.”

Her ears pricked up instantly on the mention of his name. What??!! What the hell is wrong with Arjun? Fight? Who did he fight with? Why the hell Is he trying to destroy his clean record…his sentence wouldn’t be reduced that way. She picked up her bag and ran to his cell. The sight shocked her to the core. It was gave her goosebumps. Her soul shrieked. Her best friend and her love engaged in a fight. Sure short emotional roller coaster.

A number stood close by watching while neil and Arjun enrolled in a hand to hand combat. Radhika rushed to the nearest guard, and asked them all to intervene.

“mam, actually sir asked us to be on stand by. Not to intervene until he orders us to.”

What the hell! What is it, some kind of a contest? What was wrong with neil?

Her head felt as if it could burst anytime. She unthinkably, marched forward, in an attempt to separate them herself.

Mistake. She didn’t realise that they weren’t two unruly school boys that were fighting. They were two grown and strongly aggressive men, with one having been trained and qualified in it.

She rushed to them and tried holding neil’s hand, but to due to the shuffle, she was pushed back. She fell down with a thud. Hard landing. She hit her head. She was unconscious. This grabbed their attention.

Neil rushed towards her. Arjun too. Neil kept her face in his lap while Arjun held her hand, shaking her asking her to wake up.

Neil glared at him, “leave her hand.” He ordered.

“I wont.”

“she is my best friend and I know better than anybody else how to take care of her.”

“but I know, she loves me.” He clipped.

Neil, by now had picked up Radhika in his arms.
“say that again and I’ll pull your tongue out. You love her, but she doesn’t, so you better mind your own business.” He muttered angrily.

Arjun almost punched neil. But a groan escaped from radhika’s mouth. Arjun turned all his attention towards her.
“Radhika…open your eyes.” He called out gently, all his love and affection clear in his voice.

Neil cursed himself. His love, his best friend was in pain and there he was, wasting the precious time with a criminal.

He pushed Arjun aside and moved out. Arjun tried moving out, catching radhika’s arm fall above neil’s shoulder. But he was pushed back inside his cell by the guards.

“lock him up and keep an eye on him. He shouldn’t move out.” Neil ordered before running to the in house doctor’s with Radhika in his arms.

Neil was almost in tears, his eyes puffed and red. He sat outside her room and arjun’s words “I know, she loves me.” Kept ringing in his ears. He clutched his hair tight. All he wanted the most in the world was for Radhika to wake up and to run into his embrace and assure them that its only him for her always and forever. And Arjun…well, he never felt more helpless. He wanted to be with Radhika but he couldn’t. He cursed himself for the fight. His stupid angry and jealously, he thought as he paced around in his cell. Neil was bugging the doctor on reports about Radhika. He was growing more impatient each passing second. He finally relaxed when the doctor informed him that it was just a minor cut on her head that made her unconscious. There wasn’t anything else or any danger. He waited, sitting besides her. Watching her lovingly. She woke up after about an hour. She looked at neil and turned to the other side. As soon as she placed her head down, she groaned. Throwing neil into another wave of panic. He fussed over her. She pushed his hands away.

“leave me alone. I can take care of myself.” She said angrily, trying to get up. Neil offered his hand but she rejected it, and rather, glared at him.
Neil understood that she was angry, and it was understandable. Had it been any Inmate other than him, she still would have reacted in a similar manner. She never liked him to indulge in physical violence.

“ but I didn’t start the fight. He did.” Neil pouted and complained like a kid.

This grabbed her attention. “what was the fight about?”

“I seriously don’t know. He just randomly started throwing punches at me when I went to talk to him about his encounter with the other inmate. He is a psychopath, Radhika. Firstly, he assaulted another inmate and then started throwing punches at me.” He said.

“he isn’t a psychopath.” She snapped.

She grabbed his hand and leaned on him. She knew if neil he didn’t have anything to do with it. It meant that he really didn’t have anything to do with it. Neil wouldn’t ever lie to her and she knew it. She could see the sincerity and honesty in his eyes. It was all arjun’s fault.

The hell was up with him? He wouldn’t share. And now, Radhika had begin to feel that she no longer even cared.

Six months later.

Radhika had changed. Completely. She was no longer the happy, chirpy person as she used to be. She had become a serious minding-her-own-business sort of a person. This worried neil and sam. What was more troubling was the fact that they had no idea what turned her life upside down.

Arjun’s early release papers had been passed on neil’s insistence. He had greatly emphasised Inmate Mehra’s good behaviour. And the assault incident had been completely pressed down. Well, everybody has good and bad days, right….what matter was that Arjun mehra’s majority were good.

Neil smiled as he finally sighed those papers. He was happy on two accounts, firstly, nothing in the last six months could cheer Radhika up. It was almost as if she had caged herself after Inmate Mehra attacked him. Moreover, she had even refused to conduct any further sessions with him. That was so unlike Radhika. Neil felt if anything at all, this might cheer her up, seeing her mentor out of jail. Neil secretly hoped it wouldn’t, it’ll just prove to him that Arjun mattered more to her than him. But one part of him counter argued, saying Radhika was far more important than the ego clash between them.

Secondly, he would get rid of the only prisoner who managed to get on his nerves. Moreover, neil would no longer have to worry about Arjun trying to talk to Radhika.

But neil surely couldn’t foresee the future……there was lot more than what caught the eye.

……………
Finally.
Apologies. Sincere apologies.
Ugh. I have no idea whats happening with my life.
Anyway, sorry for the late update….but atleast, it a long one.
Yeah…yeah…I wouldn’t even say that I’ll update the next one soon or you know, be regular in my updates….i am being like really unpredictable these days. There are days when I write just half a page and keep toying with it for like 3-4 days and there are days when I write 15 pages in one go…

Even I don’t know what’s the matter with me 😂

Love you all….and sorry, if you found me absent in the comments sections of some of your updates but I assure I did read all of them.

Happy Diwali!!
……….

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