Meena sat perched on the side table and looked lovingly at the clean shaved man who was lying half naked on the bed. She had never been a big fan of arranged marriages and had tried hard to not get married to a taxi driver. But she relented when she found that Raj was working with Ultra cabs. It was a matter of prestige and those plying these ultra luxurious sedans were considered a notch higher than the other lowly regular cab drivers.
Two years post their marriage and after having faced numerous hardships Raj was able to get the vehicle registered in his name. It had been a struggle with long working hours and putting in extra time to compensate for the fluctuation in daily income.
This was a special day for Meena as her test results had turned out positive and she was debating on how to break the news to Raj. After much deliberation she had thought of the perfect way to surprise her husband. It was crazy indeed but she had never been so excited and wanted it to be special for both of them.
By the time Raj woke up Meena was ready with her special spread of breakfast. It was beans on toast, chapatis and lassi. Normally such extravagance would be reserved for birthdays and anniversaries and as such it seemed strange. He tried to inquire about the reason but could not get any response. In the end he gave in and dug in to the sumptuous meal. It was so delicious that he started feeling dizzy and felt like going back to sleep. He quickly shook his head and went to the washroom to get ready for the day. Meena was eyeing him from the corner of her eyes and was not able to contain her excitement.
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Raj was soon on the main junction honking through the early morning joggers who had decided to encroach on the road. He chose a quiet spot and parked his car. After chanting a few prayers he switched on his phone and logged in to the server. Within a couple of minutes he got the alert to reach for a fare which seemed just two blocks away. He called the passenger and inquired about the location. Apparently it was just opposite the building that he had parked. He quickly reached the spot and alerted the passenger that he was before time. Sometimes he would put in the early arrival alert even if he was a few kilometers away. This would help him get some extra waiting charge. Normally the customer would make a fuss but he would apologize or just say that he did by accident.
An old guy sat in his car with his wife and instructed him to take them to the central park. It was hardly more than three kilometers away and it really made him angry that the first fare of the day was a short haul. They were arguing on some family issues and the only thing Raj could not understand was that the old guy was not taking his medicines on time and her wife was concerned that he ate too many sweets in some party last night. They reached their destination in the next few minutes and paid by the application itself. He was hoping for a tip but there was none to come.
Patiently he keyed in his credentials and started looking for the next fare. It took about half an hour and he had to travel for two more kilometers to reach his next passenger but it was worth the wait. This was a young lady who had decided to wear shorts and a sleeveless tee. To add to it she had to travel a good fifteen kilometers to reach her destination. It was his lucky day. He always liked to look at such pretty creations. Their glowing skin always excited him. Though he dearly loved his wife he had always wanted to have an extra-marital affair. But who would date a taxi driver? Even Tinder was of no use and he had never met a decent match.
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As the day progressed it was tougher to get a fare and he was getting frustrated by the lack of rides. By day end he could manage only seven rides, three of which were short hauls. He cursed at his luck and started driving towards his house. He did not want to show his displeasure to his darling wife and as such decided to have a beer to cheer himself up. By the time he left the bar he could not even walk properly. He called his wife and told her that he will be home in the next ten minutes.
As he was driving towards his chawl, he saw a veiled woman standing on the road. It was just two blocks away from the entrance to the lane that lead to his house. The woman lifted her hand and indicated for the taxi to stop. Raj sped towards her and inquired where she wanted to go. Apparently she wanted to go to the Lover's Park and it was hardly five kilometers from that point. He decided to take a last trip and then return home.
Lover's Park gets deserted in the evening and there is very minimal police patrolling. While driving, Raj could smell the women's perfume. It seemed vaguely familiar but he could not recall anything. He was toying with the idea to take advantage of the woman and was plotting to see if it can be done without any violence. Suddenly he put on the brakes and told the woman that he wanted to go pee.
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Fifteen minutes had passed and Raj was nowhere in sight. The woman got scared and stepped out of the car to check what was the matter. She could sense that the driver was drunk but had decided to go ahead with the ride for some reason. It was pitch dark as the street lights were due for repair. It seemed like a small bridge as she could smell a garbage pit nearby. Suddenly something hit her hard and she went blank.
Raj was back in his house and was now fully sober. He had even bought some fruits on the way to pacify her wife in case she got angry. The house was locked.
Meena's body was recovered after a week. Her husband had filed a missing person's report.