Trail of the lights was endless, that reflected on a recently cleaned floor of the hallway. On the other side of it was a closed door that concealed many questions that were left unanswered. The night inched closer to midnight as the city was fast asleep but in that hallway lay a soul that was recuperating from a shock he witnessed moments ago. The black coat laid on the chair and the starched white shirt was soaked in blood sticking onto his arms. Reyansh was advised he should clean up, but he wouldn’t move an inch away from the door till the answers came through the other side. The elevator door was opened once again and this time it wasn’t the ward boy or the lazy old nurse. The group hurried towards Reyansh as he got up from the chair.
“Man, I have an extra top wear, change into that, now!”, this was Ayaan who reached him first.
“No, it’s okay. I’m…”
“How is she? And what happened exactly there?”, Shreya interpolated, her face that had lost all the cheer and fullness from the evening.
“I know nothing, other than that a fucking bullet came from nowhere and hit her”, stuttering lips and watery eyes exclaimed.
Radhika made him sit down again as the others gathered around him,
“Don’t worry, she’ll fine. You met with the doctors yet?”
“No, they are inside. Won’t tell a thing, those guys until I don’t know when”
Sahil and Advait came in last with some bottles of water.
“Did you inform anyone from her family?”, passing on a bottle to Reyansh, Advait asked.
“Yeah, I did. Called on the landline. They must have left already. What about the others from college, anyone knows?”, sipping some water he asked.
“I don’t know, I think saw Kunal leaving early from the joint, which was surprising, but no, that was before I called you”, Sahil said.
“Wait a second, how did you got Mayera here?”, Shreya asked.
“Mr Tripathi! He was there asking us if wanted a lift. He drove us here!”
“That was very fortunate, where’s he now?”
“In the lobby, filling up the…”
Just then there was a commotion in the front of the hospital gates. Reyansh went up to the window that overlooked the front roads leading to the hospital. Blazing LEDs cutting through the midnight fog galloped towards the gates. The Audi turned at the curb and stopped right in front of the gates, followed by two more SUVs.
“That must be them!”, Mr. Tripathi exclaimed as he looked over the shoulders of six faces that stared from that window.
“Oh! Hello sir! We all are very grateful for whatever you did tonight”, Shreya said.
Mr. Tripathi was undeterred. He was still looking on the motorcade that drove in the hospital compound. He was well in his 50s but had broad shoulders and a receding hairline. The glasses dropped down on his nose as he turned his gaze onto the group of six.
“What? Thank You? Oh, come on guys the college is over, I won’t be handling the internals now, will I? “, he said cheerfully that brought a smile on everyone’s face.
“Just hope that the poor girl recovers well and fast from this”, adjusting the bifocals he said. The bifocals now turned to the elevator that opened.
A group of sturdy men was leaded by a relatively tiny little man. Dressed in pristine shade of white kurta that ran down to the knees and countenance that exuberated impatience searched the hallway anxiously and rested on Reyansh. The ceiling lights reflected on his parted, oiled hair as he hurriedly walked towards Reyansh. Everyone stood up including Mr. Tripathi as Reyansh walked to greet Mr. Singhania.
“How is she? And how are you?”
“I’m fine uncle and she will be too, the doctors are going to come out anytime now”
“This must be Professor Tripathi I think”, sensing an aged person in the crowd, he acknowledged “Professor I have no words to thank you for whatever you did for my daughter! You were godsend in that critical hour and we owe you a lot, sir”
Shaking his extended hand, Mr. Tripathi said, “Say no more, Mr. Singhania, she’s my daughter’s age and I think I was destined to be there to save her along with Reyansh. Also the paperwork is done away with”
“Also, the paperwork regarding your application for an extension at the college will be reviewed at the latest!”
“I’m certain it will be accepted, with you on the committee. But first, we need to solve this matter at our hand!”, as they both looked at the enclosed doors.
“I have notified the police on my way here, whoever is responsible for this won’t be spared, a bullet on my daughter, that’s outrageous, simply unacceptable!”, he sounded more serious now. The cheeks went red and slowly the father was giving way to the politician that he was. He turned back to his men and some whispers were heard by the group as they sat down again.
Just then the light went away from the translucent glass of the door, as two silhouettes grew as they approached it. And it was opened!
Hands in the apron pockets, the doctors looked relaxed as they greeted Mr. Singhania.
“Absolutely no need to worry, just some minor amount of blood loss. Minor, I say because of the timely arrival of the girl. She’ll up and running in a couple of days”
The sombre mood in that hallway turned lively with many smiles and some sighs of relief. Reyansh looked through the door that was left ajar and saw her staring cluelessly across the room. She grinned widely as she saw just that one face, that face which was the last one she saw before being slumped into the abyss of uncertainty, smiling back across the room at her!