12. STRINGS ATTACHED
Read from First Chapter here.
Read Previous Chapter here.
Previously on The Bike Babaji: Police personnel had decided to go after the suspect behind the bike thefts. Inspectors Harish and Doug were employing plans for the same.
4th Monday November, 12:44 p.m.
"Babaji, the owner has come out..." shouted Vinod and calling out to James without turning his head. He seemed to be intrigued by the nature of this new job of surveillance. "He is walking in front of the door Babaji. He seems to be in a phone call..."
"Idiot" yelled James. "I don't want a running commentary on what he is doing every second. Just observe and let me know in brief what happened when I come back in the evening"
Vinod was embarrassed and felt guilty. "Okay Jimji."
James couldn't control his frustrations. He was growing tired of Vinod and his idiocy. He left the terrace and came out of the building. He walked toward the main road and boarded a city transport bus.
"Where to?" asked the conductor as James stepped into the bus.
"One ticket to St. Peter Church" replied James and sat in a window seat. The bus was traveling within the city interiors. The gusty winds were blowing hardly onto James face with a tinge of freshness and recollected some past memories.
5 Months Before...
James and Samuels were being chased by a police officer. Suruli had already been shot. They had planned everything and come for this invasion; The residents were out of station, silent and calm area where people didn't care about what's happening in the neighborhoods. Things were rolling out exactly as they had planned. But then it happened all of a sudden. Just when they were sneaking out of the house through the bedroom window facing the street, a police vehicle in rounds caught sight of them. And the chase began. All James could see was one police officer giving them a tough chase. When he was about to shout 'Let's get separated'' to Sam and Suruli, he heard a gunshot and saw Suruli falling down to his death.
Sam quickly pulled James towards him and ran into the narrow streets. Just when they seemed to be getting away, there was another gunshot. Sam groaned in pain. James turned back to see Sam falling down on his knees. He was shot but alive. Then he noticed in distant, the cop had tripped over and fell down. There was no time to lose. He quickly went near Sam and found that he was hit below his chest on his back, and bleeding heavily. He removed his t-shirt and tied it around the injury to stop the blood loss. And then he carried him over his shoulders and disappeared into the dark corner of the streets.
With Suruli dead, the identity of Sam's mob would be a liability. He can't take him to a hospital with a bullet in his body. At the same time Sam needed immediate medical attention or else his life will be in jeopardy. Amidst this panic ridden situation he could think of no one other than the Reverend Father Antony of St. Peter Church. He took Sam to the Church and met Father Antony furtively at the vestry room.
"Oh God James! What did you guys do?" asked Father Antony worriedly.
"Oh Father... please forgive me... Jim didn't do anything... don't be angry with him" Sam wailed in pain as he was beginning to lose consciousness.
"Father he is shot. He needs treatment immediately. Please Father help us" said James, his voice shaken. "He is the only person I have in my life now. I don't wanna lose him"
"Well I've been telling you from the beginning James. You didn't listen to me. Now you are facing the implications". Father Antony was angry.
When James parents died, Father Antony had took him in and decided to groom him personally; to inculcate scruples and make a virtuous man out of him. He didn't want James to get into the world of Sam. James was faithful but he had lionized Sam since his childhood for Sam had been a great godfather to James. So, eventually James chose to go the wrong way. Neither Father nor Samuels could do anything. It was James decision.
Father Antony agreed to treat Sam on one condition: Once Sam recovered, James need to give up this nefarious life behind and come join the Church. James promised that he will do so. Initial diagnosis showed that Sam life's was in critical condition. His left kidney was severely injured and stopped functioning. The other kidney was affected due to the blood loss demanding dialysis now. And the liver was failing too. Sam needed advanced medical care for weeks or may be months. The expenses will be recurring and double the amount for it must be performed clandestinely without inviting any suspicions from the outside world. And so, James bike adventures began for the first and the last time.
[To be continued]