Chapter Sixty Two - Mansi and Uncle

The more she thought about it guiltier she felt. People had the right to know. Especially the peon who juggled three different jobs, to take care of his mother and two siblings – younger brother and a sister. Others had the right to know as well. Manish had the right to know. She had the right to know.

Despite trying not to worry about the situation she could not stop feeling scared. She had depended too much on this job. She could feel the anger rising in her. How could she be so stupid? How could she put her entire faith in her father, the one who had never been with her growing up. Earlier, when her father had said that he could not let her stay with him because his son was visiting, she had felt sorry for him and sorry for herself. But, right now, she felt angry. Angry on him that he treated her like a part of his life he was ashamed of, she was angry on herself for letting him treat her like that.

Mansi rubbed her forehead. The headache was back. She willed herself to calm down. Her entire life was about to fall apart. She should have not come to Mumbai, she thought. Had she stayed back home, her step-father would have raped her and maybe kept using her like his mistress. Coming to Mumbai had not really helped, he had raped her on the streets of Mumbai. If she had the guts to kill him while in Mumbai, she would have perhaps been able to gather enough courage to kill him at home. At least there she would have been with the people she knew, she could have lived a simpler life and a secure one. Only after tasting the salt on her lips did she realize that she had started to cry. She fell back in the bed and continued crying.

She needed someone to talk to. She thought about calling Pallavi but then remembered what Manish had told her. Pallavi had lied to her about her whereabouts, it meant she wanted Mansi to leave her alone. She was not going to go back to Pallavi, crying and discussing her pathetic life. No. She had been a fool all her life but now she was going to take control of things. She had checked the balance earlier using her mobile, which was the registered number for the bank account. She opened her purse and took out the pocket book where she noted all her expenses. It was time, she thought; she would talk to Uncle about the money. She had the right to secure her future. She would return the loan and ask for the remaining money. It was not much but it was hers. She had the right over the money. She kept the pocket book back inside and picked up her mobile. 

“We need to talk” she texted her father. She could not wait until the next day when she would come face to face with him. She did not want to come face to face with him. She had been working shifts for Pallavi but now, she was not going to do it anymore.
She would start her night shifts and tell her father to find someone else to fill Pallavi’s shift. It was high time she had to start thinking about herself.

Her phone rang. She checked the display. It was her father. She took a deep breath and answered her phone.
“I got your text” her father said “Let’s meet and talk.” He added.
“I will stop by the office tomorrow morning” Mansi said.
“Stop by? What do you mean? You are quitting the job?” her father asked. She could feel the sadness and shock in his voice.
“No. But, I need a day off tomorrow and from day-after tomorrow I would like to work the night shifts.” Mansi said.
“Okay. Will see you tomorrow.” He said and disconnected the call without waiting for Mansi to respond.

Mansi felt bad about the conversation. She had not told him what she wanted to talk about. If her father was depressed only on learning that she wants to work night shifts how would he feel about the fact that Mansi wanted to get her financial affairs in order. He had obviously taken it personally, assuming that she wanted to work night shifts because of the conversation they had earlier, about her request of staying with him and his refusal.

He disconnected the call and stared at the phone for a while hoping it would ring again. He had disconnected the call without properly finishing the conversation with his daughter. He knew he had disappointed her. He was a failure. He had always been proud of his achievements; but right now, nothing seemed worth. Not being able to help his daughter made him feel worthless. He had not been there for her mother, he once had a chance to be a part of her life but he had let his ego govern his decision. Now, he could not be there for his daughter because he was helpless. 

He had set-up this office for her. He had told her and the other staff that he had convinced his son to request one of his clients to outsource their activities to this office but it was a lie. Everything he had said and done was a lie. So many people trusted him, depended on him and he was about to disappoint all of them. Because, he was not man enough to stand up against his own son.

He stepped out of the cabin and looked around at the empty office. It was way past the working hours and he was sitting alone, wondering what to do to avoid the inevitable. Soon, there would not be any office. Soon, all his employees would be jobless; soon his daughter would not have a job, soon she would be separated from him. He would not let that happen, not so easily.
He had earned enough to retire and live a luxurious life, he had earned enough for his son to lead an equally luxurious life but his son had lost it all. In the beginning, his son had taken over the responsibilities overseas and had expanded the business. He had been very proud of his son when he had learned that his son had started a sister company and was multiplying the profits.

Then, few months ago things had started to fall apart. The business collapsed. His son had gotten addicted to gambling and had lost a lot of money. He lost the sister company and not only that the entire business overseas was falling apart. After wasting his share of the money, his son was now coming back to handle his affairs. His son owed a lot of money to wrong kind of people. Fleeing the country and coming back to India was an attempt of his son to avoid being beaten by the people he owed money to. It was obvious that his son intended to take the affairs in his hand, liquidate as much property as he could and try to pay-off the debt. And, he could do nothing to stop his son. Had his son been a responsible person, he would have tried to help him.
Had he not been worried about Mansi’s future, he would have willingly given money to his son to pay the debts. But, he felt responsible towards Mansi and he was going to try his best to secure her future.
He had not taken the required legal steps yet, had not made it official but he had planned to give Mansi the share she deserved.

But, things changed and his plans were put on hold because of sudden arrival of his son. He should have stopped his son from taking a flight back home. He should have asked his son to stay away from his affairs. He should have done a lot of things but he did nothing. He was more worried about his son finding about Mansi, his half-sister. He knew his son would never approve of the relationship.

That was the reason he had decided not to tell his son about this office but he had found out.
“What the hell are you doing?” his son had asked.
His son thought that he had started this office to legitimize his illegal operations. He let his son think that. He was not going to tell his son about Mansi.
Two days ago, his son had demanded to see the account books for the office. His son was overstepping, he was crossing his boundaries. He had done everything possible to secure his son’s future, it was not his fault that his son had failed miserably in his life.

He walked towards the main door of the office and stepped out. He locked the office and pulled down the rolling-shutter. He took a few steps back and stared at the office. And then, he got into his car and asked the driver to take him home.
He had to take care of some affairs before his son came home from one of his parties. Few days after coming home, his son had started to spend money on parties and escorts. His son had friends who were always available to have fun at his son’s expense.

He reached home and went to his home-office without wasting time. He opened the locker and took out the documents. He went through the papers. This was the only illegal thing he had done in his entire life. The act was illegal but his intentions were pure. He wanted his daughter to have a future; even if that future excluded having his family name. He had forged documents for Mansi, given her an identity. He took out a passbook from the locker, the one he had opened for Mansi. Even if he could not help Mansi with the loan, he was going to make sure she got the money she deserved.

He had his suspicions that Mansi wanted to talk to him about the same thing because he had seen the worried look on her face when he had told her that he could not give her the loan. He had seen her pretending to work, he had seen how disturbed she was. He knew his daughter, he knew it was killing her from within to have the conversation with him. He was going to save her the embarrassment. He was going to handover the money to her before she asked for it.
He sat down on his chair and switched on the computer. He was going to transfer the money to another account he had opened for Mansi.

Chapter Sixty Three - Mansi and Rohan 

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