(Continued… from previous part…!)
It was long weekend, and everyone was in a big rush to reach one’s home. Most of the people who came to Delhi NCR needed to get back to their home-town so that they could celebrate the festivals with them. Ritvik did not have smartphone to hire app based taxis. He preferred the most convenient mode of commuting for him to Gurgaon was the Delhi Metro. He was at least familiar with it. He tried for DTC bus first but seeing the over-crowded buses, and jam-packed roads at peak hour, he decided to go by Delhi Metro.
It took around 2 hours for him to reach Gurgaon. The location to the given society apartments was still far away. Luckily he got one shared cab close to the destination and it took another 40 minutes approximately to reach the Gold Souk apartments. Ritvik tried couple of times during his initial journey to contact Aniket, but all the time, his “phone was switched off”.
At the entrance, the security guard asked his identity and confirmed with the owner of the apartment 605, Block A, before allowing him to enter the society.
When Ritvik reached the 6th Floor, apartment # 605, he got the assurance that he was at right place as he could hear loud music coming out of the closed doors. It was not very loud, but still loud enough to understand some “fun and party time with enthusiasm and high voltage vibes” being celebrated inside. He pressed the Door bell gently.
A few moments later, the door opened with high volume of music coming out. A stranger welcomed him, “Hey Ritvik ! come in, we were waiting for you.” After allowing him entry, the guy who welcomed Ritvik closed the door and locked it.
It was an isle from the entrance to the living room cum hall which then was connected further to three bed rooms on three sides of the apartment. It was a big 3 BHK, spacious apartment properly furnished with all necessities and some luxuries of life to make it more comfortable. The ambiance was adjusted to mix the room light with slightly blue-shades from the ceiling, and light shades of moon-light from the ceiling corners. It was looking awesome. On one middle of the front wall was a big home-theater system and sound bars on either sides of front wall. The thundering volume spreading from it was giving it a “party feeling”. There was a 52 inch LED (or perhaps Plasma) TV on one side, aligned with Sofa-sets which was muted but still kept on.
Ritvik looked around, and to his surprise, he noticed only four people, including himself in the apartment. All of them were carrying a glass, probably filled with Whisky. One of them was standing behind him as he just returned from the isle to entrance/exit. The other two were in front of him.
“Hey Buddy ! Welcome to the party”, said one of them and moved forward to shake hands with Ritvik. “I am Arnav, and he is Aditya.”, he gave a short introduction about himself and then pointed out the guy standing behind Ritvik on the isle side, who opened the doors for him. “You’ve probably already met him”, he introduced the third guy standing on his side, without telling his name.
Ritvik looked at the third guy, with curiosity, trying to recognize him. He looked familiar. “Yes, we’ve met.”, said the third guy moving forward to Ritvik after placing his glass of wine on the table. He shook hands with Ritvik and continued, “Aditya and I work with your friend Aniket. We are in the same company.”
“Yeah !… I think, we’ve met earlier but please forgive me I am unable to recall. You did not tell your name”, asked Ritvik.
As soon as this guy held his hand in his hands, Ritvik noticed his firm grip. His palm was wide, and hard, indicating a regular hard-work. His body was toned, and perfectly in shape. Pumped up biceps and curves of his body were confirming a regular workout in gym.
“I’m sorry ! I forgot to introduce myself. I am Rizwan.”, said the third guy wearing a blue color shirt without a vest underneath, still holding Ritvik’s hand in his hand. “We met for the first time, when I visited your room to drop Aniket to you when he passed out during the last party.”
Now Ritivik remembered clearly, it was Rizwan that night, who brought Aniket home with the help of another person and whose penetrating eyes were making him uncomfortable with thorough scan of his body. It was not definitely a healthy or surprised look. It was not just a stare. It was may more than just a hungry look which scared him even after first glimpse of meeting his stranger. He felt those hungry eyes haunting him for days everywhere. Those hungry eyes were yet again in front of him, but a little less wide-open probably because of Alcohol he had consumed.
(To be continued…)