“I am sorry mom. I am really sorry, but I have to do this. I’ll return this as soon as possible.” said Sahil to himself.
“Somebody’s been stealing from my purse.” said Shanti to her husband. “I had Rs 30000 with me. They were meant for Sahil’s school fees and I couldn’t find them this morning.”
“What? Have you looked everywhere? You may have dropped it somewhere. Don’t jump to any conclusions.” replied her husband.
“I have looked everywhere, but I just couldn’t find it. I am telling you, I am sure Shanta Bai must have stolen it.” Said Shanti
“Fine, we will question her tomorrow morning.”
“Where is the money Shanta, tell me! Tell me, or I’ll call the police!” screamed Shanti at her maid servant.
“I don’t know miem saab. I didn’t steal it.” She sobbed.
“She won’t confess like this. Shekhar darling, please call the police. Call the police now!” said Shanti looking towards Shekhar.
“No miem saab please don’t call the police, I didn’t do anything!” Shanta sobbed kneeling on the floor and catching hold of Shanti’s legs.
“It’s ok Shanti just let her go. Rs 30000 isn’t a big deal for us. I don’t want to make this a huge issue.” replied Shekhar.
“Ok, I am letting you go. But, don’t you dare show your face here again, you get it?” said Shanti angrily.
As Shanta ran out of the door sobbing, Sahil entered the house. Unaware of the events that just took place; he looked at his mother with a puzzled look.
“It’s nothing beta, she stole money from my purse and now she is shedding her crocodile tears. Anyways where have you been all night? I don’t remember seeing you at all last evening.” replied Shanti.
“Err… Nothing mom, I was… err… in my room studying. Exams are round the corner right.” Sahil replied with a smile.
“Very good beta. Study hard and do well this time around too OK?” she said with a smile.
Shekhar Malpani was an average upper middle class man, who counted himself among the elite. Sahil was Shekhar and Shanti Malpani’s only child. He was a bright, well behaved and very friendly fifteen year old kid. Everything was going well until a couple of months back, when Shekhar started sending Sahil for mathematics tuitions to a nearby coaching center where most of the rich kids used to come.
****one month back****
“Can I come with you guys?” Sahil asked Aneesh, a twelfth class student studying mathematics at the same tuition center Sahil went to. Unlike Sahil, Aneesh was known for creating a nuisance everywhere he went.
“You want to come with us? We aren’t going to a playground, kid. Go, go do your homework.” Replied Aneesh and the rest started laughing.
“Hey! Don’t you dare call me a kid! I am no kid, you get it! I am no kid!” retorted Sahil angrily.
“Hmmm I guess, let him come with us. He may just be some entertainment for us. But hey, don’t expect us to pay for your stuff. You want the stuff, you pay for it yourself. Be ready tomorrow night.” said Raghu, one of Aneesh’s friends.
“I told you not to bring these kids in here didn’t I?” replied Salim Bhai.
“Aree its ok Salim Bhai, he’s a friend and hey, don’t call him a kid, else you are gonna get a piece of his mind too.” said Aneesh giving a pat on Sahil’s back.
Although Sahil tried pretty hard to pretend that he was ok with all that was going on, deep within his heart was beating really hard.
“Raghu, pass it on to Sahil and then to me.” said Aneesh.
“Err…Aneesh, how much does this cost. I have Rs 100 with me. Will that do?” asked Sahil.
“What? You got just Rs 100 with you? You aren’t here to have a pizza, this is serious stuff. Dude, you will have to add a couple of zeroes more to it. It’s ok, I’ll pay for you this time, and you can pay me later. Now come on, have fun.” replied Aneesh.
“Thanks Aneesh. You are amazing buddy!” said Sahil.
“Oh come on, it’s just for this one time. Who’s going to have this every single day? Tomorrow I’ll go and ask dad for some money to be given at school and pay Aneesh off. After that it’s all over. I’ll soon return to my earlier life” Sahil tried to convince himself.
****The next day at the tuition center ****
“Here’s your money Aneesh. Thanks for everything.” said Sahil.
“No problems buddy. Anytime! Hey, we are going there again tonight. Wanna come?” asked Aneesh.
“Err… no Aneesh, you carry on. I am done with this.” replied Sahil.
“What? And I thought you weren’t a kid. But I guess I was wrong. Sigh! It’s ok; you can go to mommy and have your milk.” Aneesh said mockingly.
“Hey come on! I tried it right? That proves I am no kid. The point is, where will I get the money from? My dad isn’t as rich as yours, you know that.” retorted Sahil.
“Where there’s a will, there’s a way my friend. Ok fine, this one is a treat from my side. Happy now!” said Aneesh in his sweetest tone.
“Yay! Thanks Aneesh, you are the best!” replied Sahil.
This soon started becoming a regular affair. Sahil started to steal from home and started selling his things to generate funds for his new hobby.
That night, as Sahil was sitting in his room studying, he heard someone whistle below his window. He knew it was a signal from Aneesh. He was going to take a step higher today.
****The next day****
“Hello.” said Shanti, as she picked up the phone.
“I am really sorry to hear the news about Sahil, Shanti.” said the voice on the other side.
“What? What news?” asked Shanti.
“Oh my god! You guys don’t know? Go read the newspaper.”
Shanti picked up the news paper lying on the table. It read, “Fifteen year old boy dies of drug overdose.”
Every year drug trafficking claims lives of thousands of young teenagers all over the world. It’s really sad when bright young kids like Sahil spoil their lives getting addicted to drugs. When they all try it for the first time, they all feel there will be a return to normal life one day, but, in most case, there is no return. Even if there is a return, it’s a very painful journey.
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