Shadows of Truth

She is busily writing an article for her agency’s monthly magazine, all imbibed in her work. She is Tarini Bisht, an ace journalist at EthicalEdge Media Agency. Her best friend, Mahika Saxena, pays a surprise visit to her after office hours. Tarini gets happy when she learns that Mahika will be staying over. A few minutes later, both friends settle into the bedroom with coffee mugs in their hands. There’s a lot to catch up on since the two have been busy lately. Mahika looks at her friend; she wants to ask her something.  “Tarini, why didn’t you agree to that party at Sam’s house?” Mahika asks her first question, concerning their colleague.  “Mahika, I don’t want to go. I am not a party person.” Tarini responds plainly. “This is not the answer to my question, Tarini. Why do you avoid office parties and gatherings? I sense there's more to your story.” Mahika says this while looking at Tarini.  I've always given you space, Tarini. But I need to know what you're keeping from us. Even the boss knows, so why not me? Your distance is affecting others," Mahika urged. Tarini remains silent. She is ecstatic, she knows she can't hide the secret from her anymore. She glances at Mahika, who's gazing at her questioningly. Her eyes turn watery, and she knows that there's no use in hiding the secret. She retrieves a hidden file. Mahika is stunned to find it contains evidence of a long-standing criminal case involving a dangerous family. She spots a particular photo and confronts Tarini about it. Tarini sighs deeply.  "This is why, Mahika! I avoid parties and emotional ties to protect lives, even yours," Tarini reveals with teary eyes. "Dad named me Ruhana Dhanraj, and he loved me a lot, but he had a dark side about which I was unaware. When I joined the agency, I discovered they were criminals involved in trafficking and illegal activities. I exposed them and have been hiding my true identity as Tarini ever since," she admits softly. “Why didn’t you reveal this to anyone?” Mahika asks, and she’s astounded to learn the truth.  “My identity can be dangerous, Mahika. I must keep it hidden to protect those close to me, including my mother. I can't trust anyone now," Tarini says with teary eyes. Mahika remains speechless for a moment, absorbing the revelation. As she gazes at her friend, she sees Tarini silently shedding tears, understanding the immense weight of her sacrifices. Tarini, who exposed her own father's crimes under an alias, is now emotionally wounded and unable to trust anyone, not even her friends or colleagues. At that moment, Mahika could only offer a comforting hug. "Truth wields immense power, Mahika. It can either illuminate your life or shatter it. This truth is my constant companion, one I can't escape or deny," Tarini confides during their embrace, leaving Mahika in awe. Indeed, certain truths can inflict irreplaceable wounds, leaving voids impossible to fill.     Penmancy gets a small share of every purchase you make through these links, and every little helps us continue bringing you the reads you love!