"Hey.. C'mon in, Joy"!
Joy was smiling at Rakesh. He smiled at Patil too.
"I was thinking about you", said Rakesh. "C'mon in. Meet His Patilship". Rakesh started laughing aloud.
Patil was trying hard to conceal his disappointment. He forced a smile and greeted Joy.
Joy settled down, beside Patil. Rakesh's eyes were glowing with happiness. Like a child who has been surprised, pleasantly.
"How are you, Rakesh"? Joy had a soft voice, that was very pleasant to hear.
"Oh, just fine. You know how my wife treats me".
Joy looked uncomfortable. But he said with a smile, "Don't worry. Things will get better. Shall I make some tea for all of us"?
"No. Lekha would do it once she returns home. I know, she is at.."
"I will make one for her too. She could join us, once she is back, right"? asked Joy.
Patil felt that he was in an asylum and both the men, beside him were out of their minds. Rakesh had no wife! She was dead, in that accident. He was looking nervously, at Joy.
Joy seemed to read his thoughts. He said, "Why don't you come along with me, to the kitchen? I am not very good at making tea. You might help me".
Patil nodded. And both men, left to the kitchen.
Joy was letting the water boil. He turned to Patil and said, "I am sorry about that. You know, he still thinks that his wife and daughter are alive".
"No. That is alright. What do you do"?
"I am a.. well.. lawyer".
"Oh! How do you know this man.. Rakesh"?
"We are friends. We went to the same college. Who are you, by the way"?
Patil was excited. If this man was Rakesh's friend, he must know anout Mr. Nobody too. But, he must not take a chance- not now.
"I am just a friend, too. He was just telling me about a friend of his from college, whom everyone called a "nobody". Do you know who that is"?
Joy started laughing. "That was me. I was the nobody, he was talking about".
Patil was finding it hard to contain himself. He wanted to punch this man, hard on face and drag him along to station, right now. No. He must not do anything hasty.
Patil tried to sound surprised. "Really? But why was that"?
Joy was smiling. "Oh! I just wrote a story under the name "Nessuno", for a magazine. It means nobody, in Italian. Let's go to the hall. Tea is ready".
Patil was surprised. How can this man behave so well, after murdering another. He acts so cool. But no. He won't be getting out, this time. I'll make sure of that.
He followed Joy to the living room.
Rakesh, was playing with a Barbie. He saw Joy and Patil. He showed Patil, the Barbie.
"This is Mitu. Anu and I play with her, everyday, you know. She is her favourite doll. Look, I dressed her up"!
Joy, politely said to Rakesh, "You had done very well. I am sure Anu will be pleased. Here, take your tea. Look, I made one for your wife too".
Rakesh was suddenly angry. He threw the cup of tea. He was shaking with rage.
"She is not my wife. She was never my wife. I have no wife"..
Joy said, "That is alright. She was not your wife. That is alright"..
Patil was shocked. What was happening?
Rakesh, suddenly started crying.
"You know, Joy. I am not a nobody. I am a great lawyer. You know that".
Joy was trying to console Rakesh. "Yes, I know. Just calm down. Here, have your tea". He look Patil and gave him an uncomfortable smile- which meant to say- "Sorry about that"..
Rakesh was sobbing harder. "He stole it. That Sumit.. He stole my job, my money, my wife"..
"There..There.. Just clam down"..
Patil was staring at both men, not sure if he could have his tea. And startled by Rakesh's statement!
It took a long time for Joy, to calm down Rakesh. Rakesh was now looking at Joy, oddly happy, as though he'd achieved something. He was saying, "I have showed him, what a nobody can do, but"..
Joy looked at Rakesh, sympathetically. "Oh yes, you've! I need to go. It's getting late".
Patil gained back his senses. Let go of his man. Never. But how was he going to get him. Joy had already reached the door, when he suddenly turned back and said to Rakesh-
"By the way, thank you for getting back, my lost diary, my Anamika"...
-------- THE END----------
13 hours ago