A New Friend – Alternate Version
“Come sit me with me, son” called the friendly neighbourhood uncle, as he saw him run into the drawing room. He shuddered and ran to hide behind his mother, who exclaimed, “Oh, he is still shy, ever since we moved in here, he has been acting kind of strange”.
“Maybe it’s just because it’s a new place that he is unable to adjust, you didn’t tell me where his father is”
“He’s on his ship for 6 months, and is not expected to come any sooner, this has been hard for him, missing his dad”
“Come on now son, let us be friends, I have toys for you, come, I’ll show you” tried Rakesh uncle once again. And he still remained hidden besides his mother, shivering!
Amrita was surprised, “say hello to uncle, baby, you want new friends don’t you?”
“Maybe he is just nervous, no worries, I’ll meet him some other day!” said Rakesh, as he rose and began to leave, “just let me know if you both need anything, I’ll see what I can do” he said as he went out the door.
Rakesh couldn’t sleep that night, something needed to be done, and he, grew restless as he thought about it, and tried, but in vain, for sleep couldn’t find him.
He started following Ajay since next day, for he knew that it was the only way to know if he was right, if his hunch was right.
It was his third day following him and he was feeling hopeless, maybe it’s not what it seems, he thought. Ajay was returning from school hurrying along the path.
“Now that’s something weird”
Rakesh started picking up pace without arousing much attention, hoping Ajay wouldn’t recognise him. It was a complicated task, for the road was empty save him and Ajay.
“NO, please don’t hurt me” came the shriek, and he was startled, Ajay was nowhere in sight. Rakesh then decided to probe further ahead, where did he go, thought Rakesh.
“No, leave me alone” again came the shriek, Rakesh was sure, he heard it from behind the tree, and he drew his pistol as he quietly neared there, fearing the worst.
“Come on now, do as I say and you won’t get hurt“ came a second voice, and a familiar one at that.
When Rakesh reached, what he saw was enough to surprise him, standing in front of him, was his servant, and Ajay, who was crying sitting on the ground. Ramesh was fidgeting with Ajay’s clothes.
He looked startled and gasped, “sir, you? I was just helping him, was I not, little one?” as he let go of Ajay and looked at him with a deep gaze.
“Shut up you asshole, how dare you? I will have you punished for this.” raged Rakesh, he grabbed Ramesh’s collar and slapped him, “People like you are what is wrong with this society, and I will have you arrested”
“S…Sorry, s…sorry sir, it was a mistake sir, I won’t do it again sir, I have little kids sir”
“SHUT UP, you people figure it’s all fun for you, have you thought about this little kid, and what he was going through” thundered Rakesh, as he again pointed the gun at Ramesh, and called his colleague at the police station.
As the sirens blazed behind him, he felt satisfied, for he was right, and moreover Ajay was saved from further damage.
“Come son, let me drop you home now, and don’t worry about him ever, I’ll see to it that he never comes near you” said Rakesh extending his hand towards Ajay.
This time, Ajay didn’t shiver, for he had found a new friend.