Reena’s enigmatic smile struck him as odd. How intriguing, he thought. Despite being colleagues for five years, she had never even smiled at him.
Her angelic eyes were fixed on him with an unfathomable expression. It made him sweat. His forehead was warm, his throat was parched.
He gulped water hastily and choked.
“Deepak, does it happen often with you?”
“Do you choke when someone looks at you?”
“Nnn…not ssommeone, YOU,” he emphasised.
She held his hand and pulled him to a secluded corner of the room.
“Wh..what are you doing Reena? Don’t tell me you have found a friend in me.”
He left the room hastily.
Reena’s hopes were dashed.
She was pinning on him for executing her plans.
Though Reena never spoke to him, she had observed how dedicated and sincere he was in his work. He was in the good books of the bank manager. She thought, like others, he too would fall for her charm. But he was different.
‘I shouldn’t have rushed. But my plan is getting delayed and if someone gets the hang of it, all my dreams will be shattered. Cool, Reena. Don’t give up. He is the right choice. Everyone trusts him, and no one will suspect him or me when the mission is accomplished. Being with such employees has its benefits.” The vicious smile contorted her beautiful face.
Deepak, unaware of her vile thoughts, was bewildered.
‘What was she trying to do? Seduce me? But why me suddenly? We have never spoken to each other; she hardly looks at me. She has her own friends’ circle. It’s all puzzling.’
She was irresistible!
He couldn’t focus on his work.
He could hardly concentrate when the manager called him to discuss the upcoming events.
“Deepak, you seem lost. All good?” He sounded concerned.
The manager looked at his drawn face.
“You look tired also. How about a cup of tea?”
“That’s nice of you sir, but I am good.”
As he walked to his cubicle, he saw Reena give that bright smile that stole hearts.
Involuntarily his lips curved into a smile.
That was the magic she unleashed.
“Deepak, this is a perfect plan. The stage is set, the hacker is ready and our passport and visa are ready. As soon as we get the money we can fly. That will be my dream come true moment. No one will suspect us. We have submitted our resignation letters and so we are safe.”
“We have worked here and have earned the management’s trust….”
He could neither say no to her (that was the hold she had) nor could he cheat the bank.
Giri, the Dy Manager, was the hacker! None knew that he was ‘installed’ by a hacker team. He waited until he reached a seniority level that gave him access to the bank server. He was well aware of the cyber security features and its loopholes. His team worked out a plan that would safeguard his identity and still have access to the bank web server. Once it was decoded, he could access all the bank details.
Reena had chanced upon Giri’s secret dealings. She wanted to plant someone as his partner in crime. Trustworthy Deepak was the sacrificial goat.
“Sir, I just want to alert you about a crime that will seal the future of your bank……”
He removed the SIM card and disposed of it. He felt relieved.
The server was untampered, and the bank was safe.
Reena punched the mattress and sobbed inconsolably. He had betrayed her. Dream shattered.
She will neither forget nor forgive.
The heavy downpour and the dark clouds matched her sagging spirits. Her dreamy eyes had a veiled look. Once the proud owner of a beautiful complexion and features, she looked haggard and worn out now. Life betrayed her and she didn’t dare to accept it. Or did she betray herself?
‘Life would have been smooth, but for that blunder.’ Her regret was a futile attempt to exonerate herself from guilt.
“But the crime did not happen. Don’t wallow in self-pity and guilt.’ His words did not alleviate her guilt.
‘Now, now, I am dying to taste that soup you promised to make for me.”
Her hands trembled as she held the fragile bowl.
As he sipped the hot broth, she said, “Now it is done.”
Giri’s conscience was clear.
She had erred!
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