Note: This Chapter was written by Mr. Anirudh Shetty…he wasn’t available because of some unavoidable circumstances so i am filling in by posting 🙂
Too Late For Atonement – Chapter 9
The room was not very large and it didn’t help with stacks of newspapers piled and scattered everywhere. Dimly lit and windows bolted, the room was shut and had a distinct pesticide like smell. He sat at the center with newspapers stacked all around him. His eyes looked around the room, before it settled on a particular stack which seemed fresh.
He checked the date.
18 September, 2012.
He pulled the stack towards him and kept them on his lap. His eyes were now frantically scanning the paper, searching for something.
He took it from the pile and read a few headlines of each page. On reaching the last page, he kept the sheet back.
He pulled it by its ends and started reading at a faster pace. Few headlines, rest of it was small news articles squeezed between advertisements. He placed it back on the same pile again.
Times in India
He crumpled the papers now as he lifted the newspaper. His mind couldn’t register any words anymore and he was now searching for pictures. Many photos of accidents went by. He turned the pages but none seemed to fit his required criteria. He threw it carelessly.
He tried lifting the next sheet by its edge, but he dropped it midway. Agitated, he threw the rest of the newspapers which were on his lap and he had reached his saturation a little too early today.
He extended his feet and kicked away the stacks in front of him. He fell back, keeping his arm below his head and stared at the ceiling.
He couldn’t read or search anymore.
Gathering 20-25 different newspapers from the newspaper stands spread across the city, and scanning them page by page for the expected news had become his everyday routine. Every morning for ten days now, he started this task with an excitement and ended it with disappointment.
The expected Headline was not there!! Oh how sure he was that night. After what he had seen, there were no doubts.
He closed his eyes and the scenes replayed in his vision.
The screeching of the tyres, BMW toppling and doing somersaults, the look on the driver’s face. At last the silence inside him with chaos and crowd around.
Business Tycoon found dead, drunk driving mishap
A Perfect Cover Story, yet missing in those worthless pieces of scrap called newspapers.
He was agitated, it was not that he wanted a show but he was looking for a proof.
He knew that there was no evidence, but he was searching for a testimony in those newspapers.- a confirmation!
Else what would I tell her?
His face twitched and he furiously scratched his chin. Did he survive? Did I bail out too early? I should have stayed to confirm maybe.
It didn’t seem logical that the news-hungry journalists could miss to cover the story of The Joseph Kurien’s accident. He would always be in the Business news section, It was now his time to find space in casualties, or at least an obituary.
He may not deserve veneration of an obituary, but in this fast-paced world which always goes behind money, it was not about what you deserve. Rather, it was all about what you could buy.
Interrupting his thoughts, he heard someone banging at his door.
Though startled, he remained quiet. He crawled into the bathroom, opening the door slightly and made way inside. He hid there.. till the visitors at the door were tired of banging.
Even after they were gone, he didn’t come out..