Read Part 1 / Part 2
Soon, minutes later, traffic approaching from the opposite direction started slowing down, and people started getting out of their vehicles. Some people were making calls to emergency numbers.
Siddharth watched them. He had switched off his head lights. From his rear view mirror, he could see cars slowing down behind him as well. He knew there was a dirt road that led to a village, a hundred meters or so behind him, to their left. He started the car and reversed the car slowly on the dirt sidewalk itself. Priyanka’s blank eyes still looked yonder at the pile-up. Before considerable traffic could pile up behind them, Siddharth made it to the turn and entered the dirt road.
It was a while before Priyanka realized they’d just left the scene, free from that pesky guy, forever. She wiped her cheeks and turned to Siddharth.
“Do you know the way back from here?”
“I have a fair idea…the rest we can ask around. But first, reach out for your mobile phone and call your folks. Tell them you’re safe, and that you’ll be back home, say in two hours or so.”
“What do I tell them?”
She realized her hands were still shaking.
“Cook up some story – but whatever you do, don’t ever, and I mean…ever, tell them about what happened here. Yeah? Things could get way too complicated. It’s best this way.”
Priyanka nodded, her mind still working furiously. She switched her mobile on and dialed.
“Hello ma..” was all she could manage before falling silent for a good minute or so. Siddharth presumed she was getting a mouthful.
“Yes..yes..listen, arre listen mama - yes, appa.”
Oh, daddy came online now. Great.
“Appa, I’m really sorry, I know..I....what? Amrish . Why did he go there..no, what rubbish. I know this guy. Yes..what..who do you want to believe – that stupid constable or me? I’ll come and explain everything, appa. My mobile just died on me, and it was an emergency…I’ll come and explain.”
She hung up and shook her head. “phew.”
“What ‘emergency’ are we going to tell?”
“I’ll think of something. I believe they went to the cops and those guys asked them to wait for a few hours before actually writing a report. Now they’re thankful they didn’t.”
Siddharth raised his eyebrows.
“They thought you’d kidnapped me, or something,” She said, after a pause.
“Ok, ok…” He turned serious.
Siddharth shrugged. “I don’t know. Seriously.”
“I think we should tell the cops. What do you say?”
“I’m thinking what’ll happen if we don’t.”
“You’re not joking, are you?”
“Oh, come on Siddharth, don’t be stupid. You think they’ll not trace it back to us?”
Siddharth remained silent, and replied after a minute or so.
“They might. Or, they might not.”
“How do you know they will not?”
“Just think, Priyanka…and these thoughts are coming to me only now. I too thought of going to the cops, but think about it. It gets too complicated if we do. But now, as things are, they might not be able to connect us to this person. Consider…”
“Oh yeah? You still have his gun and bag in your back seat, mister. Don’t forget that.”
Siddharth shrugged. “I’ll dispose it off. Both the things.”
Priyanka laughed. “I don’t believe this.”
“What, what is so..?”
“Siddharth. That man just got run over by a car on the highway. We were there, others have seen us...”
“Who has seen us? The guy who ran him over? I don’t think he’d have made that crash. Or even if he did, he’d be too busy trying to avoid our man…won’t have noticed us. We were just another car pulled off the road. See?”
Priyanka hadn’t thought of that. She pursed her lips, and then, “What about other cars that slowed down behind us, after the accident? They saw us.”
“Well, they’d think we arrived after the accident, just like them – and that we were in a hurry, so we reversed and made off into the dirt road. Look..nobody cares, nobody notices, especially in times like this..”
“And our dead friend? What if he was connected with something sinister? Won’t they come looking..and yes, he said his life was in danger..right? What if he has something dangerous in his bag? Shouldn’t we check?”
“I’ll do that, at home. But right now, we need to get you home. That’s first. And I think you should be out of this. Don’t get involved. I don’t think it’s good for you, or your folks.”
Priyanka didn’t know what to say. Then she shifted a bit, reclining against the door, so she could see him straight.
“And you plan to get involved? Is it ok for you, or your folks?”
They looked at each other silently for a few seconds. Siddharth swallowed, and turned his eyes back on the road.
“I don’t have a family here, Priyanka.”
“Yeah. My parents stay abroad, with my brother. I’m single…and..” he stopped.
“And well, I don’t think they’ll know. Seriously. “
“And what if there’s something in the bag that you should report to the police about?”
Siddharth turned to her and smiled. “Then I will.”
To be continued…