He was really confused. It was as if he had been put in the sea and asked to cross it and he didn't even know how to swim. But he was damned if he didn't give it a very good try. He decided to consult his lawyer the following day. Raghav was a very experienced lawyer who had a flourishing law practice in the city. He usually dealt with commercial matters of
Krishna's company but he had already fought penal cases as well. He passed the night with great difficulty.
Next morning he got ready early. When he came downstairs there was no one around. So far, so good. He didn't want to explain to everyone what was going on. Of course, the day will come when he'll have to tell everyone but that day was not today. He arrived at Raghav's office. As expected, Raghav was already there.
Krishna didn't know how and where to start. What if Raghav told about this visit to someone in his family or worse, to Arnav? He couldn't take that risk.
As Raghav offered him a cup of tea, he continued to think things over. At last, he gathered courage.
"Raghav, today, I have come to discuss a very important matter with you."
"Of course, anyone could understand the importance of the matter by the fact that you deemed fit to descend to my office so early in the morning. Usually, you simply call me up or send me an e-mail or if it was really so important then you'd have sent one of your employees. But today you've come yourself. On top of that you've been fiddling with that pen ever since you entered my office."
Krishna looked down and saw that he was indeed fiddling with a pen. He forced a smile but it refused to light his eyes.
"What is the matter? Is there something wrong with the contract that I drew for you the other day?"
"No, it was perfect, as usual."
"Well, it is a very important matter and I would like to know if you can keep a secret..."
"You no longer have faith in me..."
"No Raghav, it's not that. Of course, I have faith in you but this is a very delicate matter and I want to be sure that no one will ever find out about it."
Krishna, you are my biggest clients and your family owns almost half the businesses in this city..."
"Yes, but I don't want anyone, not even my family to know about this discussion."
"OK, here's a confidentiality contract..." said Raghav handing him some papers, "but anyways, as an advocate I am already liable to be stuck-off from bar if I reveal any discussion with you. But hopefully this will help you have more faith in me..."
"It's not that Raghav. It's just that the matter is very delicate," said
Krishna going through the contract. He seemed satisfied with the clauses, "Let's sign it."
They signed the contract.
Krishna kept one copy of the contract in his bag and left promising to return in an hour or so. He returned home. He went to his room where he kept the envelope in his safe and went downstairs. The whole family was gathered at the dining table. He sat there with everyone quietly absorbed in his own world while everyone continued to chatter about mundane things.
Krishna, is everything all right? You are very silent today," asked his mother. She looked worried. Krishna gave a weak smile and remained silent. He didn't know what to say. He loved Sneha too much to subject her to this humiliation. He wanted to get Arnav punished but he didn't want everyone to know about what had happened. He knew what may happen if everyone knew the truth. Sneha had always been so nice with everyone and this wasn't her fault. Now it was up to him to ensure that she was safe and away from harm. He won't let anyone harm her. He was the first to finish his breakfast. He wasn't really hungry anyways. But now what? He had no choice but to wait for everyone to finish and he wanted to be away from it all. At last, everyone finished breakfast and he could leave.
He almost rushed out of the house. Everyone looked at him in surprise. What was he up to? But a look at him and they knew that he wasn't going to tell them anything. They remained silent and continued with their daily chores.
Krishna went immediately to Raghav's office. Raghav was waiting for him.
"Raghav, something terrible has happened."
Raghav looked at
Krishna with surprise. Had he lost all his money? He wasn't a gambler. Had someone cheated him? Had he been ruined? Or had he done something illegal? But Krishna wasn't someone who had ever considered doing something illegal. He was a law-abiding citizen. But the matter appeared to be serious and the way he was acting was almost as if he had committed some crime. Raghav prayed fervently that may his suspicions be unfounded. But he was worried. Krishna's family was one of his best clients. His reverie broke with Krishna's voice.
"It's Sneha," he was saying, "We need your help and advice to do something about it."
Evidently Raghav had missed an episode. Now he understood that it was Sneha who had done something illegal. Sneha... sweet Sneha, obviously she wasn't what she appeared to be. Someone had once said if something seems too good to be true then it surely is.