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One Night in a Hotel

Arvind was seated on a sofa in the swanky lounge of a five-star hotel in South Delhi. The lounge was starting to bustle with new guests as the night was stealthily setting in. He had checked in the hotel, a couple of hours back. He was busy preparing a presentation of his work on his tab. Arvind has become one of the most promising young scientists in the country. He has recently developed a patent of novel cancer therapeutic which could ameliorate the disease without any significant side effects on the patients.

His patent has been accepted and it has already created quite a stir in the scientific community. But Arvind has kept the formulations of this medicine totally under the wraps. The Health Ministry is quite impressed with his work and tomorrow morning he will have to reveal his formulations before the minister and reputed senior scientists for upscaling the production of his therapeutic.
Arvind has already received requests from numerous reputed international pharmaceutical companies who are quite keen to buy his patent at a humungous price. They were compelling them to withdraw his patent from the government and sell it to them. They are also aware of tomorrow’s meeting and two representatives from a leading international company had just come to visit him about an hour earlier. They seemed quite desperate since they knew that this was their last chance and they even wanted to double their initial price. But Arvind was hell-bent that he had to serve his nation, he could not let his patent to be purchased by an international company.
Arvind was busy making last-minute changes to his presentation when suddenly he saw Nayanika. She came near his sofa, “Hey Arvind, how are you? You have become a renowned scientist, always making headlines these days. I should not have dumped you. I should have realized your prospect back then”. Arvind smiled but was silent. Nayanika has not changed a bit. She looked just as ravishing and was as outspoken as before, all these years has failed to deter her beauty. She was draped in a stunning long red gown. Arvind replied, “But I had heard that you are married to a rich businessman. He must be keeping you happy with all his wealth at your service.” Nayanika replied, “He was a drunkard and an absolute lech, Arvind. I have filed a divorce and have been waiting for the final verdict. I had come here to visit an old friend, but now I have found you, Arvind, I did not expect this.”
Arvind replied, “Yes, it’s indeed a pleasant surprise for me, also. You have not changed even a bit, whatever transpired between us, we were really good friends, Nayan, it’s great to see you again after so many years. I must admit that you have maintained yourself beautifully, you have not aged even a bit”. Nayanika blushed and replied, “Let us go somewhere Arvind, and talk in a quiet place. There is a lot to tell you. I am quite lonely these days, Arvind. I would love to spend some time with you. You should not have a problem with this. You are still a bachelor after all.”
“I don’t think my wife would have felt insecure in your presence, even if she existed, after all, you are an old friend”. Arvind said. Nayanika laughed, “I am not just any old friend, Arvind. Your eyes tell a different story, the reason behind your eternal celibacy.” Arvind was silent and then he said, “Where can we go Nayan? I would also love to have a long chat with you”.
“Let’s go to your room, Arvind.’’ Arvind hesitated at first but then he relented. They sauntered towards the elevator. Arvind’s heart was skipping at a rapid pace as his thoughts drifted to that day, which was no less than a nightmare. “We are just friends, Arvind. I can never imagine you as my boyfriend.” These were the words that haunted his mind for a long time. They were good friends in their college days and after some time, Arvind developed a strong feeling towards Nayanika. But Nayanika never felt attracted to him and she bluntly rejected him. Soon, Nayanika started ignoring Arvind and their friendship also ended.
But Arvind could never get over Nayanika. He kept himself completely aloof from all the earthly matters and immersed himself in studies and research. This was his blessing in disguise. Arvind did receive a lot of female attention and even direct marriage proposals. But some unknown force was always restricting him from settling down with anybody else, even after knowing that Nayanika had got married.
Maybe God had some different plans which he can now decipher. Nayanika entered his room and seated herself on an overstuffed chair. Nayanika chatted for a while and then surprised him by taking out a bottle of rum from her bag. “I had brought this for my friend. Let’s drink together Arvind. Cheers to our reunion.’’ Arvind drank heartily while Nayanika ordered herself a glass of whiskey since she was never quite fond of rum, and had just brought it for her friend. Arvind also ordered some dinner; he was completely in a trance. This was all too good to be true for him, it was becoming the night of his life.
Nayanika was enjoying his company and it was quite evident she seemed quite interested in him. They were even making plans of returning to Kolkata together. After some time, Arvind started to feel a bit dizzy and in a few minutes he dozed off to sleep.
Arvind woke up with a heavy head. He started recollecting the events of last night. But he could not find any trace of Nayanika. Where is she? Was it a dream? But the remnants of last night’s dinner were still evident in the room. Then suddenly Arvind noticed that a page was opened in the notepad and it read, “Sorry Arvind, I have hurt you once again. I can never love you. However, I have got what I needed; thank you, dear, for everything.” Arvind now realized that the rum Nayanika brought was spiked. He then hastily ran off to find his tab and his pen drive where he had stored all the important documents of his patent.
But he could not find them, even after rummaging the entire room and he soon realized that one of the international companies must have already got hold of those formulations. They must have gathered information about Nayanika and had deployed her as a honey trap. Arvind sat on the floor of the room completely distraught.

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