Late-night Dinner

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The night was glowing with the full moon right above the sky. Sheena waited impatiently under a streetlight for her husband, who promised to pick her from work for the grand dinner. He was supposed to pick her up at 8 pm, and it was almost 9:30 now. She tried to ring him, but it was switched off. As time ticked by, her heart started to pound, “What if something bad had happened to him?” She waited for another 5 minutes and booked a cab to his office. She kept trying his number but didn’t get a positive response. The cab driver sensed it and asked her, “What is it miss? You look tensed- boyfriend trouble?”

“I… I am late for work.” She didn’t like when others pried into her life, but she didn’t want to sound rude either.

“Oh, I shall get you there in 5. Don’t worry Miss.”

She could only smile at him for his good gesture. As the cab reached there, she paid him and ran to the reception. 

“Hi, I am Mrs. Patel, May I know if Rahul Patel is still in the office? He was supposed to pick me up at 8 and.”

“Let me check Mrs. Patel.” The receptionist smiled and checked the number to his cabin. Sheena waited eagerly. Even if the dinner is canceled, she just wanted to know if her husband is safe.

“Sorry Mrs. Patel, no one is answering the call. I think he might have left his office.”

“Oh thanks.” She walked towards a chair placed for the visitors and tried calling her home. It ranged for two seconds, and somebody picked up the call. “Rahul, is that you?”

There was no response from the other side. But just some fuzzy noise, and the call got disconnected. This time some of her thoughts were running wild. Did someone find out their secret? No, it isn’t possible; they have been careful. She tried to calm herself. She decided to go back to her home anyway; whatever happens, she needs to save her husband.

She booked a cab again. When the cab arrived, she realized that it was the same cab driver who drove her to Rahul’s workplace. The cab driver was surprised to see her too, “Did they not allow you to enter the office Miss?”

“No, I felt like not working today.”

“Are you sick Miss? Should I take you to the hospital.”

“No, please drop me at my home.”

“Sure.”

He tried to communicate with her, but she was worried about her husband’s fate. As she reached home, she used the spare key to get in. She slowly made her way to the living room. She tried to turn on the lights, but it looked like the power was down. She looked for candles in the kitchen without making any noise. She opened the kitchen drawer and found a candle and lighter near to it. She quickly tried to light it. She could sense the presence of others in the house, but she wanted to ignore it. Suddenly, she heard someone whispering her name; it sounded like Rahul. His voice sounded so weak. 

“Rahul, where are you?” she whispered back and tried to follow his voice. She followed the voice to the movie room near the kitchen. She slowly opened the door to find Rahul tied up with bruises on his face. She ran to him in a hurry to untie him. “Rahul, speak to me. Who did this to you?” She slowly stroked his hair and tried to untie him. Her heart was raging in anger. Suddenly she heard footsteps behind; She turned around with her blazing eyes as she transformed into Nagin, shielding Rahul from further attack. Her tail circled Rahul, protecting him; Her face grew fangs with poison dozing off to attack the ones who had hurt Rahul.

Rahul, in pain, shouted, “Sheena, don’t let them know, you don’t understand. It’s not what you think it is. It is…”

Before Rahul could finish his sentence, Sheena hissed; she felt pity for her husband. She thought he had become weak; her Nagaraja couldn’t save himself from these pathetic humans.

Then suddenly, out of nowhere, the lights turned on with a great noise coming towards the movie room, “Surprise! Happy Anniversary Patels.” shouted the crowd. It was too late for her to transform back “completely.” When the guest saw her, they thought she was in a costume to surprise Rahul. “Did we ruin your surprise Sheena?” asked one of them. Sheena tried to act embarrassed and said, “Nah… Let me change to something nice.”

“We got you real, didn’t we?” asked one of their friends. 

She stared at Rahul and said, “You got me real good Charlie, Can I have a talk with my husband for sometime please?” She smiled politely and pulled Rahul along with her to their bedroom.

“Are you out of your mind, Rahul? Do you know how much worried I was? Who would plan a surprise party with a back story of my worst nightmare? What would have happened if I had attacked them?” She ranted, almost crying. Rahul knew he had risked her identity.

“I cannot think of losing you, you know that better and I would do anything to protect you.” 

Rahul came closer and placed his hands on her face. “I am so stupid to throw a surprise party for a Nagin. Literally who would do that?” He placed a kiss on her forehead. “Now get ready; our guests are waiting.”

She wiped her tears and dressed in her finest clothes. That night, however, turned out to be the most frightening and happiest in her life. All thanks to her husband for the surprise party he planned. She sighed, for the secret was still safe with them.

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