Madhav and Arjun hid behind a bush, their eyes resolutely scanning the bridge with increasing desperation for any signs of life.
‘You sure he had picked this spot’, Madhav asked his friend for the third time. Exasperated by his queries, Arjun unlocked his phone and showed Madhav the message. Midnight, on the bridge. Come alone.
‘Yes but was it this bridge?’, Madhav asked, rubbing his pale hands to control the shivering that ran through his body. It was a cold night and a chilling breeze was blowing.
Madhav didn’t care to answer him. He put his hands into his coat pockets and breathed deeply. He looked at Madhav and immediately regretted his decision to tag him along. He was tottering on the edge of delirium and was constantly scratching his hands and face. But nevertheless, he couldn’t do this alone. A thousand things could go wrong and he earnestly prayed to God that He would have mercy on his soul.
A few minutes later a man appeared on the bridge. Madhav and Arjun jumped to their feet and squinted through the bushes analyzing the man’s every move. The drug dealer looked around for some time and casually walked to the foot of the bridge. He would wait for ten minutes and then he would get going. Arjun knew that and at once fished out the revolver from under his shirt. He checked the cartridges and cocked the revolver. He tried his best to conceal his anxiety and the tremor that had gripped his hands. He had never fired a gun before.
‘I can’t do this man. I can’t do this’, Madhav burst out in the lowest possible voice he could manage. He was crying. Without hesitation, Madhav whispered in his ears and told him to go and wait in the car.
Madhav looked at his friend silently and crawled away from him in shame. He tiptoed to his car which was parked a few meters away, quietly but impatiently waiting for the gunshot. His instructions were simple. Once he heard the gunshot, he would start the engine and wait for his friend to get inside the car and then dash.
But he didn’t hear any gunshot. He waited for ten minutes which then turned to twenty. But there was still no sign of Arjun. He popped his head out of the windows and looked in the direction of the bridge. A morbid peacefulness had fallen over the place. Madhav shuddered. His heart was pounding mercilessly.
After much deliberation, he finally walked over to the spot finding his friend’s lying in a heap at the foot of the bridge. His bloody face was beaten to a pulp beyond any recognition and the ground around the limp body was soaked in blood. His friend was beyond help, Madhav had decided coldly without approaching the body. He cringed as the cold wind blew once more and walked back to the car.
Like a hundred times before, he had abandoned his best friend.