It was Friday night,I was reading the ’Moonstone’ before going for bed, just when my phone rang. A harsh, coarse voice on the other side, just made me demented. I was waiting for the night to pass as early as possible.
It was dawn now, birds started chirping and I was getting irritated with the sound.As the clock struck 8:00, I hastened to my car.
I was nervous than ever before, as I had received a threatening call. I was there for a purpose. I let myself into the lift already occupied with 2 others. I had to go to the top floor, pressing 20 button and assuring the blank cheque is safely guarded in my pocket I moved on.The lift started and everything was fine just till it reached 12th floor, it was then when the lift suddenly stopped. I was totally baffled, and started reacting in an indignant manner, screaming loud at my pace. My liftmates tried to calm me saying it will start once the mechanic arrives; they were unaware what time meant to me during that moment.I replied he will kill my son if I didn’t reach in time. I didn’t like to extend my conversation to a stranger. I cried and shouted for help. Then, I again received a call from the anonymous number.
“Come fast and save ur son, what takes u so long? If you didn’t come and give the money in time, I will kill your son”
I was not able to withstand the anguish.I started to quiver and almost fainted. My throat got dried up. Finally within some hours the lift was repaired, I opened my eyes on hearing the yell of service men.
It was difficult to harness my mind, when my mind was actively visualizing the bad things that would have happen to my son.I finally reached the top floor. It was a cafeteria, where many people had gathered for leisure. I knew it was difficult to spot him among the crowd. I started to search the kidnapper. I was told he wore black trouser and blue shirt. My search was not ending and I got exhausted, I stopped near a table for few seconds and suddenly I realised I had lost the cheque.
Within a few minutes of inquisitive searching, I spotted, not the kidnapper, but my wife and my son. I went closer to them,I was not able to speak properly as I was dehydrated. I hugged my three year old son with deep sense of relief. After those dramatic events happened, I sat peacefully, when my wife went to get coffee.
I began to recollect the entire episode. I received a call from my wife.I looked around to know why she was calling. Unexpectedly, she didn’t call me. I attended the call with utmost eagerness.
She anxiously asked, “Ron, where were u? Our son has been missing since morning, I was not able to reach you.
I was Confused, yet i consoled her,’ don’t worry, I will come home now’, I disconnected the call.
‘Ron, Have cappuccino, and relax’, I keenly questioned- where is your mobile?’To which I got an answer- ‘I Forgot to tell you, I lost my phone when I was coming here’.
I remained silent for some time. The circumstances happening around continued to baffle me. I needed to relax, I looked around to snap off my mind for some time. I started to read the newspaper lying nearby. At that point, one of the headlines caught my attention – ‘The Lipstick lady – A modern kidnapper with a lipstick mark’.
The article said that the kidnapper is a lady in her mid thirties, she is very skilled in kidnapping, using new ways to deceive, kidnap and kill people. She was able to mimic many voices of both genders.I didn’t read the article fully,moreover it also Dint contain pictures of the kidnapper, I realized that I should save my son from the lady who sat opposite to me!
I was going through a very tough moment with thousands of thoughts criss-crossing my mind.A voice opposite to me said- ‘Ron, I need 80,000 before this weekend. It is not for me, for my friend who has a little financial issue.’
I started to think of ways to take my son and go out of her vicinity because, the plea was uncharacteristic of my wife, it strengthened my suspection towards the lady, pretending to be my wife.
As all this was occurring around me, attacking my mental agony phase more and more, at that critical moment, a police officer came and started to interrogate the lady. He confirmed, ‘She was notorious for kidnapping and murdering people. We took years to clinch her, and we got an information that she was about to kidnap your son.
Finally, I was breathing.I thanked God for the fortunate thing that happened timely. The police authorities arrested the lady. I took my son and moved to my home, a few miles away from there.
I reached my home and a sweet, desperate voice crossed my ears- “Where did u find him?”,”my dear, where you have been?”, she took our son and kissed with motherly affection.I narrated the entire episode to my wife. She cried yet eagerly listened to my torment.
We thanked God for helping us out from that critical situation, hugged each other, she kissed our son and went inside to continue her chores.I was glad that I was able to safeguard my son, even though I lost the blank cheque.
I just didn’t want to get involved in the thought process of where my cheque would have been lost. I smiled at my son, who was playing with his mother’s bag. It was nice to see him play.He took out all the things one by one from the bag. During that childish play.
His play made me perplexed at a point, i was shocked to see the blank cheque in my wife’s bag. My son was not aware at all about the fuss. My shocking reaction was sealed upto me, Unaware of my shock, he smiled and clapped. In his smile,I not only felt his innocence, but also noticed the pink lipstick mark on his sweet, shining cheeks!!