“Mr. Raizada is here to see you,” the guard informed Shyam, making him sigh in relief.
He’ll get me out of here, Shyam thought.
“About time,” Shyam said as a way of greeting, taking the seat on the other side of the glass. “They arrested me this morning, claiming multiple charges. I have no clue what they think they are doing. I’m glad you’re here to get me out.”
Arnav stared at Shyam silently for a minute, measuring up his opponent. As expected, he came up short.
“Why would I get you out of here when I worked so hard to put you where you are?” Arnav said, leaning back in his chair.
“What?” Shyam asked, laughing disbelievingly. “I’m sorry, I thought I heard you say…”
“You have many problems, Shyam, but your hearing isn’t one of them,” Arnav said. “I am the one who orchestrated your arrest.”
“You’re my attorney!” Shyam yelled, incensed. “You can’t do that!”
“Oh but, I just did,” Arnav gloated, smirking. “Did you really think you could get away with everything?”
“What are you talking about, you bastard?” Shyam asked, getting up from his chair and slamming the glass. “You know what? I am done with you, Raizada. You’re fired!”
Arnav pulled a device out of his coat pocket and turned it off. “I am so glad you said that, Shyam. Now I can go after you in earnest.”
“What is that?” Shyam asked, staring at Arnav’s hand.
“A recorder,” Arnav said, placing it back in his pocket. “I had to get it on tape that you fired me. I have to take care of that pesky detail called Attorney-Client privilege, you know? Now that you’ve fired me, I can go after you in earnest. Akaash could only do so much on my behalf.”
“Go after me for what?” Shyam asked, smirking. “You have nothing on me.”
“I admit, you did a good job covering your tracks,” Arnav admitted. “If I didn’t know what I was looking for, I might not have found it.”
“You’ve gone crazy, Raizada,” Shyam yelled, turning around to leave the room, only to have the guard block the door and look at him menacingly.
“Let me go,” Shyam yelled, glaring at the guard.
“I’m afraid I can’t do that,” the guard said.
Shyam turned around to see Arnav nodding at the guard.
“How did you…?”
“You’re not the only one with money, Shyam,” Arnav said, leaning forward. “Sit down.”
Shyam took the seat, looking at Arnav apprehensively.
“The assault charge, the one your soon to be ex-wife filed against you,” Arnav explained. “The countless number of sexual assault charges, and a law suit by Scorpion, the firm from which you stole your Heartbleed bug fix. Those are some of the reasons you are here.”
“How did she…?” Shyam exclaimed, shocked.
“I am still digging,” Arnav said casually, interrupting Shyam. “I will bury you and your company by the time this is all done, Shyam. Mark my words.”
“I believe you were about to ask me how your ex-wife managed to make her charges stick?” he went on, ignoring Shyam, who had gone deathly pale. “You see Shyam, the thing about paying people off? Once another party who pays better comes along, they cheat on you.”
“Why are you…?” Shyam asked, swallowing in fear.
“Because someone told me that you’re a Scumbag, Shyam. And I agree with her,” Arnav said, glaring a hale through Shyam.
“That bitch?” Shyam yelled, forgetting his fear. “What? Did she get to you too? Anjali isn’t a fighter. But Khushi, now that’s one feisty woman. I wouldn’t be surprised if she whored herself to you….”
Arnav grabbed the front of Shyam’s shirt through the tiny opening in the glass and smashed his face against it.
“Don’t you dare utter her name, you filthy piece of shit,” he growled.
Shyam laughed boastfully.
“You will pay for this, Raizada,” Shyam said. “I have connections. You will be ruined by the time I am done with you.”
“The connections that are scrambling to cover their asses right this minute?” Arnav asked, pushing Shyam back into his chair.
“You see, Shyam, there is one thing more powerful than money, than greed…fear,” Arnav explained. “I deal with high-profile clients every single day on my job, politicians, police officers, businessmen. I make it my job to know all their dirty secrets, once that would ruin them if they got out. Do you really think anyone would help you, knowing that I made it my personal agenda to see you ruined?”
Shyam’s shoulders slumped in defeat.
“You’re going to die between these four walls, Shyam. I will make sure that you never see the light of the day again,” Arnav promised, before indicating to the guard that he was done.
“Mr. Raizada?” Khushi asked anxiously, answering her phone. She sent a prayer up to Devi Mayya, asking for the situation to be resolved without having to draw Anjali into the media spotlight.
“I think we are past the stage where we call each other by our last names, Khushi?” Arnav asked, smiling.
“Fine! Arnavji,” Khushi said, testing out his name. “Better? Now tell me what happened. I heard on the news that Shyam was arrested?”
“Yes,” Arnav said simply, getting into an elevator.
“Yes? That’s it!? How? Why?” Khushi questioned.
Her home bell rang, interrupting her interrogation. She walked over to the front door to open it, as she said, “Would you explain how you managed this? I mean, you’re still his attorney.”
Arnav cut the call and smiled at Khushi, who was staring at him slack-jawed.
“Was. I was his lawyer. He fired me,” Arnav said, entering the house without being invited.
“What? Why?” Khushi asked, hanging up her phone. “And what the hell are you doing here?”
“I will explain it all, over…”
“Oh, not again!” Khushi exclaimed, exasperated.
“…a date,” Arnav concluded, with a smirk.
Thirty years later…
Brandon approached an old couple, who were sitting on a bench in the Central Park, and seemed to be sharing a joke. There was such an aura of love and warmth surrounding them that he couldn’t resist asking them for their story.
“Would you be comfortable with me taking a picture of you?”
Khushi and Arnav looked up to find a man dressed in jeans and t-shirt smiling at them hesitantly. He had a dSLR hanging around his neck and a notepad in his hand.
“Brandon, right?” Khushi asked, excitedly. “I follow the HONY page religiously.”
“Yeah, and cries just as religiously as well,” joked Arnav, only to be rewarded with a hit to his shoulder.
“That’s great to hear,” Brandon said, his smile widening, “Would you mind telling me how you met?”
“He was representing my best friend’s ex-husband in a trial, and I marched into his office to inform him that his client was a lying scumbag.”
“And what did you think as she was yelling at you?” he asked, turning towards Arnav.
“That’s a good looking woman,” Arnav replied, staring at Khushi.
“What did he do when you yelled at him?” Brandon asked, turning towards Khushi, fascinated.
“He asked me out on a date,” Khushi said, making Brandon laugh.
“Did you say yes?” Brandon asked, as a follow-up.
“No, I called him a jerk,” Khushi said, staring into Arnav’s eyes and smiling.
As Arnav smiled in return and leaned forward to kiss Khushi, Brandon snapped their picture.