AN UNEXPECTED ENCOUNTER – IX

And it appeared on the screen!

Pragya was right. happygolucky had written beyond ‘Why not’. May be the Mumbai rains had slowed down the internet signal strength at her end for which the full message hadn’t appeared the other day.

“Why not, if you feel you’ve found the right one this time! Only one life on earth. Live it without regrets.”

This was the complete reply.

Ah! So, here it was! The most awaited reply. There was another reply from happygolucky as well – a recent one, the ping of which had reminded Radha of her last blog. Radha scrolled further down. Just one word –

“Convinced?”

Pragya flopped onto the bed just then and gave a teasing nudge on seeing that she had her blog page open.

Prags, why is this person so interested to know if I am convinced by the reply?“, Radha asked raising her brow thoughtfully.

Oh . . . hello . . . look who is asking . . . as if you never wanted this happygolucky to reply . . . huhh!!”, replied Pragya turning away from the screen. “But wait, don’t read too much meaning into the replies. Let the virtual world remain virtual. Be the practical person that you always have been. You may consider the reply of your readers, more specifically of this particular blogger. But, then that should be all to it. Don’t get into foolish fantasies“, said Pragya curtly.

Just then the door bell rang.

It’s the old man“, said both simultaneously each looking at the other with the “you go and open the door, please” look on their faces. Finally, Radha got up and went to open the door.

Meanwhile, Pragya remembered the card that Akash had left behind that morning. She picked it from the shelf and typed his details in the browser after minimizing Radha’s blog page. As details poured in, she went on reading them one by one. Indeed, he was a successful orthopedic in New Jersey. There were several open Facebook links of pictures of him with his wife and three children in happy times.

Radha came back just in time to see the pictures on the screen. She recognized Akash from the meeting earlier in the day and then realized that the others must be his family.

How did you manage to get into Akash’s account and why? There was no need. This is spying. You shouldn’t have . . .“, started Radha with her chiding.

Stop it, Rads! No one is spying, here“, said Pragya pointing to Akash’s visiting card. “He had left it on our table this morning. You left for office hurriedly and I had picked it up. Just occurred to me on hearing the old man at the door to check on Akash“, said Pragya.

Ok . . . ok . . . I take my words back. I’m too drowsy. You continue. I’ll go off to sleep“, said Radha arranging her pillow.

The shrill alarm woke her up the next morning. She carried on with her routine household chores shouting a wake up call to Pragya every five minutes with no result. Finally, she sprinkled iced water on Pragya and scooted off for the door as Pragya woke up with a jolt and a scream.

Radha reached office on time. 

She opened the door to Vansh’s cabin to pick up some files and was surprised to see him present that early. Vansh was on the phone. “I can’t ask her. How do I know if she isn’t committed to someone? No . . . don’t compel me”.

Radha’s eyes widened as she overheard Vansh.