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The Rooftop (Final Edit)

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  • Tip Bones

On Sunday morning, I received a call from Simi, my gf. It was 7 o clock in the morning but still I answered the phone,#bfduties. I went to the roof to answer the call. She started arguing and I tried to process her sayings and answer her. She got to know from somewhere that I had mentioned how displeased I was with the relationship whereas in reality…I was displeased. But still, being a desperate one, I tried to bring out a positive response from her. When I asked her, who told her about it, she refused revealing the person.

As I was arguing with her, I roamed on the roof from a corner to another paying no heed to the surroundings. Fed up with the argument, I made an excuse and ended the call. When I got my senses back, I noticed a person lying unconscious on one of the corners and I couldn't stop staring at it. I looked around to check if anyone noticed me there.

I don’t remember a lot of what happened next because a thousand thoughts were going on in my head. Sam entered the scene. He didn’t notice me or the body at the instant. As he looked around, he saw me sitting with support of one of the boundaries.

He raised his eyebrows, spoke a few words and walked towards me. I broke the eye contact and looked towards the ‘dead’ body. This made Sam notice it. Sam got taken aback, literally. He looked at me confused.

“Is he alive”, he asked me. “I don’t think so”, I replied. He checked its pulse. The person was dead, Sam implied by his body language. “What do we do now?” The first thought that came to my mind was to inform the police. But the filmy part of my brain opposed this idea due a very well-known reason i.e. we both would be the first suspects. Even with this theory, I proposed the plan to Sam and… he immediately disagreed. A strange event followed this. Dan came upstairs. We were expecting him to get shocked and so he did but just after taking a look at the body, he left the roof, locked the door and ran downstairs.

We shouted at him but he didn’t listen and trapped us on the roof. We just got deeper in an already messed up situation. For the next half an hour, we both shared some really inventive ideas to disperse a body but then went into some other topics. By the end of this time period, we were discussing about different types of toilet found in Japan.

This somehow led us to discuss my relationship status. I explained him how messed up I currently was and this brought our conversation to a hold. After a short pause, he spoke, “Hey Saad, would you try not to react furiously after reveal a small secret?” I agreed and he revealed. The next moment was me chasing after him like a bull chases red. Sam had leaked my words to Simi. I being extremely passionate about it, chased him down and was about to kill him when an interruption occurred.

The door opened and Dan entered. He went directly to the dead body. Sam got his chance; he freed himself from me and ran towards Dan. I too followed him but wasn’t able to hit him due to the Dan. Dan just kept starring at the body for a minute or two. My anger too cooled down a bit. Dan took a corner of the roof and sat there. I and Sam too took corners for each of us. Being curious, we asked why did he run away. He replied in a vague manner that he had a similar dream with a really bad end, it horrified him, and he just ran based on his instincts.

After this conversation, we went into thinking mode. None of us spoke for 10 minutes, the only exception being my constant gaze at Sam which made him really uncomfortable. The tension just kept rising. As I and Dan were sitting a bit closer to the dead body, smell too did reach our respective noses. Just as the 10 minutes ended, all three of us sped towards the center of the roof, Sam being an exception. We stood as a human triangle. I spoke, “We should throw him behind our house, no one will notice.” “I agree”, Dan replied. I and Dan moved towards the body. I held its hands and he, its feet. We took the body till the last corner but Sam stopped us. “Have you both gone nuts?”, he shouted. “I’ve a better idea.”

“Then please, speak up mister.” He unwrapped his idea, “You remember the series I’ve been recommending you, Breaking Bad. It has the best idea; we dissolve the body in acid and no trace is left.” I and Dan were oblivious to this idea of his. We thought that he was joking but with an extremely serious tone, he continued, “First, we’ll get a container that doesn't melt in contact of acid and then the obvious, get acid.” His idea seemed bizarre but was the only possible logical way out. I and Dan still had doubts. After running a number of thoughts, we finally agreed due to the lack of any other options. But we had no idea of how we were going to pull of this ‘mission impossible’.

“I know of a shop that sells acids.”, spoke Dan. This statement of his didn't quite made us feel great. Even though, we knew the shop, none of us had even ten rupees with us. But then, we thought of something not so noble, ‘theft’. We decided that we were going to be a thief for the first and last time in our lives and went on to plan it.

The plan was such, Dan would conduct the theft which he tried to condemn but we made sure that the one who had the idea carries it forward. Sam was responsible to carry up the container from the ground floor, our grandfather had a container shop so he had brought a sample of a container similar to what we needed. I was to stay on the roof looking at the dead body and so I did. I got the easiest part only due the internal battle I was fighting with my anger which was about to take a physical form. Sam completed his task and now it was both of us on one plane, this was a dangerous position for Sam to be in because I was having an strong urge to kick him such that he falls 3 floors down and doesn't die so that I get to do the same act again but… I controlled.

After about 15 minutes, Dan was back and that too successfully with three litre of acid. Thus, our plan was successful or we thought so. Everything was going well; we had poured whole of the acid in the large container and were about to put the body in it and… Dan got a call. He did put it on loudspeaker. After a formal hii, hello, the man spoke, when Dan asked him who he was, “I’m your friend's father who sells acid or may I say, the shopkeeper from whom you just stole. Now what I want is, either you bring my product back to me or bring me money in 10 minutes time, or else I'll bring police with me to your house whose address I know, thank you.” The call ended.

Our hearts missed a million beats, Dan literally had a drop or two urinated. Whole of our life, we had been trained to never be involved with police in any manner, now we were standing on the edge of it. I and Sam stared at Dan tirelessly. This just made him awkward and the situation worse. We should have had informed the police at the moment we saw the body, all of us thought. The fear wasn’t that we were going to be caught, it was the criminal charge that might get put on us. We weren’t ready to be called murderers. As Anupama Chopra puts, we were hit by life with the subtlety of a sledgehammer. Sam spoke, “I’ve money, enough to quench his thirst.”

Sam was talking about the money he had saved for his dream of having a high-quality YouTube channel. Only I and he knew about it. I asked him to reevaluate his decision. He said he was sure. My attitude towards him softened, now instead of throwing him from 3 floors, I thought it would be better to throw him from 2 floors, less damage. “What! You had the money? You could have avoided all of this. Both of you are two great pieces of shit.” Dan reacted and we did apologize for it.

Both Sam and Dan went downstairs where Sam gave Dan the required money. Dan rode his scooty to the shop. In the meantime, we completed the last step of our plan. I held the body’s hands and Sam held the legs. We put it in the container slowly in order to avoid splashes on ourselves. We moved the container to one of the roof’s corner. This was difficult but somehow, we did it. The dissolution of the body took place with the dissolution of the conflict between myself and Sam, it felt good. Now we waited for Dan to bring in the good news. Another fact, we didn't have any kind communication device, so yeah, life's great.

As we heard noise of a two-wheeler nearing us, we went running towards the main door similar to the way Jaya Bachchan did for SRK. But before him, our shopkeeper arrived with a policeman. Just after getting a glance of both of them, we ran to one of the rooms on the 1st floor and hid. The officer closed the main door. Currently, even 3 litre adrenaline wasn’t enough to cover up our anxiety. This was just an epic scene going on, a police officer searching for two criminals on run, I was afraid but also loving’ it until it was spoilt. Dan arrived. “Open the door you idiots.”, he shouted. The door was opened, just not by us.

The next day, we were in jail. The good side was that we were in it not for dissolving a body but for stealing acid which is comparatively a much safer crime to commit. How long we were there or how did the officer or anyone not notice the container is a story for another day. I was just delighted that this experience had a semi happy ending.

In jail, Dan spoke some words worth mentioning, “Hey you both, listen, I had a thing to say. You might have found the body’s face a bit similar. (Sam nodded) He... was my friend. I killed him... accidentally.” “What!” was our reaction. Yeah, Dan killed him. Since we had lot of time to spare, we asked him to give details. The reason in his words- “I had taken my relationship a bit too seriously. My friend revealed a secret of mine to my gf. It hurt her so much that she wanted a break up with me. I had called my friend home to take my anger out on him but I ended up killing him... accidentally, of course.” Sam was sitting beside me till this reveal. After Dan ended, he looked at me as if I was the most dangerous person alive, stood up and sat in the corner of jail that was farthest from me. Nothing big, all of us just realized two small things, not everything is meant to be taken seriously and reality can teach us a thousand things which fiction wouldn’t. It is surely stranger than fiction.