“Tanya… Tanya…” Rashmi, Tanya’s Mom, called out her name at the top of her voice as she barged into their house from outside.
“What has happened Ma’am…? Tanya Bibi went out some time ago… She got a call and immediately went out… I asked her, but she didn’t say anything to me…” Maya came out from the kitchen and blurted out everything before the lady of the house.
“Oh shoot… This girl will put us all in deep trouble…. Oh, God! Please be with her…” She looked worried as she tried to call Tanya for the third time and there was no response from her.
When it started to getting late, she called up her husband saying, “Honey, Tanya is not picking up my phone… I saw ten missed calls from her a while ago… I am afraid she is in some mess… Please come home so that we can do something about it… I am distraught now.”
“Why are you so worried Rashmi…? She must have been calling you to inform you that she will be late… She must be at some friend’s place… calm down and wait patiently. She will be back… I will come little later. Do not panic and think negative.” He replied assuring his wife and hung up.
But Rashmi was restless as she was suspecting something was going on in her daughter’s life for last few days which she was observing at a distance. To add to her dismay, Rishi reached after some time searching for Tanya. As he came to know about why Aunty Rashmi was worried for he revealed whatever he had studied and understood about Aditi for last few days and they both rushed out of the house towards Aditi’s house without wasting any time.
“Get on your knees stupid girl or else I will shoot you…” Aditi screamed at her. She has a gun in her hand aiming at her friend who was shivering in fear so much that she could not even utter a word.
As she sat on the chair, Aditi tied her tightly with a rope which she kept ready. Her planning was flawless. There was no one in that farmhouse. It was only she and her friend, one is the predator, and the other is her prey.
“Now, tell me your last wish before I pull the trigger…” Aditi commanded.
“Moooooo…moooo….pleeeehhhh…” Her friend could only utter these noises from her mouth desperately as she struggled with the tapes tied on her mouth as well.
“Oh… poor you… Can’t you speak haan? Soon your spirit will start talking after I kill you… What do you thought you would do everything you want under my nose, and I will not know… How dare you go against me and the things that are so much important to me and still escape?” Aditi was in a frenzy.
Tears rolled down from her friend’s eyes who could only wish upon a miracle to happen and save her from this vamp named Aditi… She tried to scream one last time…. “Mmuummiiee”. Alas, her Mom has no trace of her daughter.
“Shout! Scream!… Yell more… call out to your Mom… to your Dad…” Aditi mocked at her victim’s helplessness.
“Aditi!!!…. What are you doing??? What the heck are you up to?” Another feminine voice shouted on the back entrance of the hall where both Aditi and her captive were there. Aditi got the shock of her life when she saw Tanya at the back door. Tanya thanked God that she could manage to reach the farmhouse on time after she received Priya’s message – WITH ADITI… IN DANGER, SAVE ME. It was not difficult for Tanya to understand and trace them out, being Aditi’s best friend she knew about all their hideouts.
“Tanya!!! What are you doing HERE? How did you come to know we are here?” Aditi asked staring back at her with a wrecked look.
“Why, I shouldn’t be here? OR you weren’t expecting me to come to YOU?” Tanya was about to march towards Aditi when she was warned not to come…
“Stop!!!… Stop right there Tanya, or else I will pull the trigger on this stupid girl Priya.” Aditi said looking down at a tied and cowering Priya, which froze Tanya, She didn’t move a muscle.
“Aditi!!! Please just listen.” Tanya said thinking fast, trying to comprehend everything, the facts were hard to swallow, but she had to stay tactful to talk Aditi out of this. Tanya took a deep breath and silenced her fears and shock “Why are you doing all this? I know I might be your next target but before that, I want to know why are you doing all this?” She was feeling so sorry for Priya who was almost fainting in fear of being killed.
“Now, Tanya, please don’t move, JUST STAY!… This Priya tried to come between me and …..” Aditi was interrupted by Tanya.
“You and Rishi… Right?” Tanya finished for Aditi with watery eyes and trembling lips; it was unbelievable that Aditi would stoop to these levels. “Then you would tie me up and kill me as well because Rishi doesn’t love Priya, he loves ME…” Tanya said out loud with clarity and determination.
“That is the punishment for everyone who comes in your way, right? I now know it was you who killed your Pug because it showed its affection towards me, not you…And you were angry with Kartik as well, and probably he fell from the hill all because of you, because you couldn’t take it that he was my partner, not yours… Am I right Aditi?” Tanya fumed confronting her best friend.
“Yess…” Aditi said with a manic smile on her lips as her eyes lit up, “Yesss……everything you told is correct… I did it all…..but…” Tanya screamed before Aditi could finish.
“I am glad you dare to acknowledge that you did it all out of sheer jealousy because they all chose me over you.” Tanya spat as hot tears flowed from her eyes. “You were envious of my Secret Admirer too…..Wow! What a friend I have… My bestie… I took pride in you, I poured out my heart to you with every joy and pain and this is what I get in return, you consider me your enemy and wanna kill me…” Tanya shrieked at the top of her voice, overwhelmed by emotions. Her eyes and face turned red in rage and grief.
“Nooo… Nooo… Baby! That’s not the truth… I.. I.. I… I…” Aditi stammered looking bewildered.
“Shhhut up! Just shut your mouth Aditi…..Don’t you dare call me by any terms of endearments anymore…..We are not friends anymore, I have got nothing to do with you.” Tanya warned hyperventilating with rage.
Aditi’s hand flung to cover her mouth as she fell to her knees, tears rolled down from her eyes, lips shivering and body trembling, all the fight had gone out of her. She gazed at Tanya for a long minute and said in the soft wispy tone, “Nooo… Nooo, Tanya… Please don’t say that… I did kill that dog… I even buried it in the woods added a plaque over it that said: TANYA IS MINE, Mine and ONLY MINE!!!”
Tanya thought she heard wrong and did a double take, squinting at Aditi.
“Yesss… I did that because your attention was diverted from me to that stupid dog. It was me who tied Kartik’s shoelaces together; he fell because he tried to get in between both of us…” Aditi spilt the truth as the gun in her hand shook. Tanya was covered in sweat and goosebumps with Aditi’s shocking revelation. “I… I… schemed with Priya and Rishi against you just to make them seem ugly in front of you so that none comes between you and me… I came to know about Rishi long before Priya even know about it… I plotted to torture you with those letters from your secret admirer…” Aditi continued.
Tanya’s mouth fell open while her eyes grew wide with each truth.
“Yesss… I framed it all. There’s NO Secret Admirer” Aditi said with tears in her eye. “I just wanted to make these two look evil and villains to you Tanya because I was disturbed by the fact that you, MY Tanya will someday get married and go away from me… Rishi’s feelings for you posed a threat to ‘US’… I was in deep distress and did all these… Everything was going on well till this Priya poked her nose inside my matter… Her one-sided love for Rishi made her spy on my activities, and she was about to message you about Rishi’s love for you when I caught her and decided to punish her…” Aditi looked back at Priya, and the poor girl quivered with Aditi’s enraged glance.
“I’m… am not understanding Aditi… What’s the point… I mean…” Tanya was confused what to say as she was unable to comprehend what Aditi just said.
“I did all these because I LOVE YOU!!!” Tanya said lowering the gun, looking lost.
“I don’t like it when your attention is diverted. I don’t like it when you gave importance to someone else. I am your bestie… I could not see your attention and care being shared with anyone else other than me… I am jealous of everyone that comes close to you my love… You are mine… ONLY mine.” Aditi said as her hand holding the gun went limp and hung by her side.
She blinked as if coming out of some trance and went on “I mean… don’t misunderstand me… I… I… don’t love you romantically, but I love you and unable to digest the fact that we might have to part when we grow up further… when you marry, or I marry … I mean… Ahhh…” Aditi couldn’t speak anymore, she heaved and choked on her words as she broke down and wept bitterly, sitting down resting her whole weight on her palms. Her tears were pooling on the floor making Tanya and Priya perplexed of her behaviour. They both were in tears as well. Tanya started sobbing as she considered Aditi’s heart and her condition, it was too much turmoil to take on.
The gun was still in her hand and Tanya was not sure what to do at that moment… She didn’t know how to react, how to behave… She just took her name…“Aditi…! My dear, dear friend… Can you come and hug me, I want my best friend back…?” Tanya stretched her hands as she sobbed herself.
Aditi lifted her head and looked up; she was seeing blurred as tears clouded her vision and nodded with a shadow of a smile playing on her lips. She got to her feet, threw the gun aside and hugged Tanya rushing towards her. They felt as if all their fears vanished in a split second. The hard feelings simply washed away with tears of pure love and friendship.
Tanya pulled Aditi into a hug and cupped her face gently, “Babe, love does not envy, it never delights in evil… in fact, there is no fear in love. And perfect love drives out fear. Who can take me away from my shadow, Aditi? No lover, no husband, no other person in this world can separate us, my babe… I am yours, and you are mine… we were and will always be like this… even when we get married, have children, grandchildren. Till death do us apart!! Our friendship will never go… It’s my promise to you, today and forever… We might not give the whole of us to each other, but we will have the best of each other. You are part of my being, and you can never lose me to someone, anyone.” Tanya said taking a deep breath, stress leaving her muscles, replaced by compassion and empathy.
Aditi nodded and hugged Tanya tighter, sobering up, “I am sorry for all that I did……I….I….” her words caught in her throat.
“It’s okay… you told me the truth, and everything is fine now… Now can we let Priya go dear?” Tanya asked politely and lovingly, still holding her arms firmly. Aditi looked back at Priya who was still in tears… She looked at Tanya and nodded, “Yes, I think so… But please don’t call the police…” She pleaded.
“Of course not… All that happened will be a secret only between us three, and we will carry it to our graves, right Priya?” Tanya asked looking at Priya as she untied her. Priya nodded immediately without uttering a word.
Tanya let Priya and Aditi hug each other and made sure that everything is cleared out in those four walls of the farmhouse of Aditi’s father.
As they were walking towards the door, Tanya suddenly asked looking at Aditi, “By the way, who’s that pan stained Sameer and his stupid friends?”
And all three of them giggled before Aditi told that Sameer is their house maid’s son and he brought his friends along with him for money.
When they walked out of the farmhouse they saw Rashmi and Rishi reaching there, Panic written on their faces.
“What were you all doing here… Tanya, are you alright?” Her Mom, Rashmi asked caressing her cheeks and shoulders while she scanned from one face to other.
“Yes, of course, Mom. I called you many times to inform you that we three were planning a day out here… as we were planning against Rishi…” Tanya said assuring her Mom and looked away as she lied to her but she winked at the girls for what she said about Rishi, and all three of them laughed teasing Rishi.
They all returned to their respective homes with peace.
Later, on Tanya’s earnest request Aditi went for therapy as she was suffering from Obsessive Love Disorder. But their friendship never wavered again through the test of time life brought to them.