Shreya and her friends Deepa, Ritu, and Soni were excited to reach the venue for their new year celebration, a quaint farmhouse in the suburbs of the city they lived in.
The farmhouse belonged to one of Shreya’s close college friends Tina and her dad, who was also present there with some other guests.
The farmhouse provided a refreshing change for everyone present there, as compared to the usual hotel banquet halls or disco joints, to welcome the new year.
Since the girls arrived there much before dusk, they decided to stroll outside the farmhouse, to enjoy the scenic view of the area around.
While roaming on the path to the highway which was not far away, and back to the farmhouse, Shreya and her other three friends turned towards the woods, just for the sake of adventure.
They had crossed about 10 meters when Soni observed something glittering into the bushes, which was a bit strange enough.
Moving closer to find the object, Soni alerted everyone. And finally, after finding out what they all had witnessed, they together shrieked with disbelief.
The girls had found the missing diamond ring, a very expensive engagement ring which belonged to Tina, their host, who had got engaged only a month back. Shreya had recognised the ring instantly.
So Shreya picked up the ring, to return it to the owner. She still could not understand why it was lying in the woods as if it was thrown out here. She had heard Tina getting reprimanded by her father for losing the engagement ring.
After reaching the farmhouse, the girls went straight to Tina’s room. Tina looked up at Shreya (who returned the ring) and said,
” Why did you return this, I had purposely thrown this away, to get rid of it.”
” But why Tina?”
” Because I am in love with someone else, with whom I’m planning to run away tonight, after the new year celebration. I’ll meet the guy just on the highway, who is arriving on his bike past midnight. He’ll call me up.”
” Gosh… Tina, why did you get engaged in the first place?”
” Shreya, that’s because my dad is against the choice I have made. And he will kill us both. That’s why we have made this plan. And please don’t tell my dad about it… I beg you.” Tears rolled out of Tina’s eyes.
Post midnight, when everyone in the farmhouse was cheering up to the celebration, Tina after getting a call from her boyfriend, silently crept away to lead a life of her choice.
Shreya’s pulse rate had increased after Tina’s escapade. What in case she’s grilled by the Uncle, who’s a big shot in the political circles of the city.
But what worried Shreya the most was that, for how far away, and for how long Tina and her boyfriend remained alive, even if she and her friends kept mum forever.
After fleeing from the farmhouse new year celebration, Tina with her boyfriend Mihir took refuge in his bachelor’s pad.
It was 2 am now, and Tina’s dad-Mr. Tarun Choudhary was mad for not finding his daughter around. He and his staff looked at every nook & corner of the farmhouse.
Fearing for the worst, Mr. Choudhary questioned all the friends of Tina.
” When did you see Tina for the last time, please tell me honestly, dear?”
” Uncleji, we all saw her going to the washroom, just after wishing each other a happy new year, that’s all.” Ritu was shivering like a leaf.
” Then why are you all sweating in the cold month of January?” Narrowing his eyebrows, Mr. Choudhary asked with suspicion.
” Ohh that… Uncle, we had been dancing for too long here.” Deepa tried hard to hide her nervousness.
” You know what, Tina, despite getting engaged, was seeing her bloody boyfriend. I had threatened her not to do so, but she did not comply. I am afraid that she has fled away from here. Did she ever tell you anything about it, being her close friend?” Mr. Choudhary was getting sterner.
” I swear Uncle, I know nothing about this. But Tina was not happy at this party, as she used to be during our college days, two years back. When asked, she just remained silent.” Shreya looked down while telling this lie.
” Hmm… okay, I should believe you. You all can take a rest in the guest room now, before leaving for your homes in the morning. Tina’s phone is still silent.” Mr. Choudhary then let them off from the living room.
Stay tuned to read the sequel of this story, titled- Trekking through the woods, they ran for their lives (Part 2).