Read part 1
Arati felt like she wasn't alone in the car. She looked at the rear view mirror and her heart stopped for a minute. Was it her imagination or did she just see someone duck in the last row of the SUV, as her eyes fell on the mirror?
"Any...anybody there?" She mumbled feebly, feeling stupid the moment she said that.
She slowly pulled the vehicle over near a park and killed the engine. She lowered the window and looked around. It was a bright and sunny day, traffic milled all around her, pedestrians walked by, giving her and her ride the usual curious looks, doing as they normally do looking at something different on the roads. She just sat there for a minute soaking in the atmosphere, feeling normal.
She chuckled. "Aru, you're a nut case," she said out loud. What could possibly be wrong in the car?
Her brother's call again startled her. She cursed him under her breath and picked up the phone this time.
"Aru, I'll kill you...where are you?"
"Relax, chotu - am fine, and..what's with you? What's the big deal if I took the car, huh? Your friend's not gonna return today and snatch it back, right?"
Nikhil was the younger sibling. And she could bloody well take his car when she wanted. She shook her head and disconnected even as her kid brother was shouting on the line.
She looked at her cell phone for a moment. What if he actually had a good reason to stop her from driving it? Nikhil was known to have some rich kid friends who she suspected were involved in what would otherwise be perceived as nefarious. Could be anything - incriminating evidence...maybe controlled substance of some kind. Boy, this kid.
She turned and looked around the SUV. It smelled nice, surprisingly. She hadn't noticed it. She'd have thought it reeked of alcohol or cigarettes. None of that. Pleasant fragrance. Manly, she noted especially and smiled. On a hunch she released the boot and got out.
She looked around and slowly walked over to the rear of the car. She clutched the handle and slowly opened the door. Nothing. It was clean. Hmm, that was strange. She could've sworn there was someone. "Shit, Aru, now you've really lost it. That happened only in movies."
The cell phone on the front seat rang out again. She swore and walked over to the front again.
It was an unknown number.
"Get out of the car now, and walk away."
"Excuse me?"She frowned and turned. Was someone watching her?
"listen girl..you don't want to be in that car now. Just walk away."
"Hello, you listen. Just fuck off ok?" She hung up and dialled Nikhil's number.
Funny, now he wasn't answering. She looked around for some more time, then got in. She half expected cops or commandos, or whoever it was they showed in the movies, to surround her from all over and command her to exit, their machine guns pointed to her. She laughed at the absurdity. "Too many films, Aru, too many..." she chided herself.
She sighed and brought the car to life. Sweet. Oh boy, what the heck. She'd always wanted to drive one of these. She stepped on the gas and roared into the main road, leaving behind a cloud of dust.
(Now...what could happen next? Watch this space)