The 7 Innocents

John 7:24
'Look beneath the surface so you can judge correctly.'



Isaiah 64:6
'But we are all like an unclean thing, And all our righteousnesses are like filthy rags;'


It was when their problems seemed to wane that they escalated. The Australians all disappeared, and the seminary shut down. They were told to run for their lives. Told if they didn’t, their families would die. Told if they did, their families would still die.
They endeavoured to solve the mystery – one that threatened to destroy them and their families – but soon realised that to end it all, they must first find the Australians. But the closer they came to finding them, the more they began to see they should run and never come back.
The question, of course, is why they didn’t call the police.
The answer is simple.
You can’t avoid being condemned unless you’re innocent.
And these men are not.

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6. Chapter Five: The 7 Improvisers

 

‘I have already briefly explained one point to you, ladies and gentlemen, and so now I will continue to the second. My next action is one that you all seem to consider highly controversial, but it what really a very simple matter.’

          Gopi’s fellow workers didn’t really seem to believe him, but he knew it was all a façade. If they hadn’t been just as convinced as he was that it was the best call, then they wouldn’t have followed him. This was all just a safe guard, or a game. They were trying to protect themselves from something – perhaps IndAid, who was determined to destroy them – and show him they were in control.

          He laughed a little inside. He was in control.

          ‘I do hope you are going to explain all your actions.’ The supposed boss spoke up. Gopi nodded quickly.

          ‘Yes, sir.’ He answered, as respectfully as he could manage. ‘All my actions, and all the actions of IndAid. Their actions will explain some of mine, as we simply had to retaliate.’

          The workers were listening intently now, and he felt his confidence swell.

          He had them all right where he wanted them.

 

Every-one was having fun. Even Arjun, who wasn't dancing, was enjoying the party. Only Chandan felt isolated. He felt sick. Queasy, as if he were about to vomit. His heart felt strained, because it too was sick. He just wanted to cry. He felt trapped, trapped inside his own life.

                It had been a weird day. For now, everyone was content to congratulate him, but he knew eventually they'd ask how he had learned to fight so well. Then what would he tell them? Chandan could feel he was starting to shake, so he crossed his arms.

                It was so dark. He hated the dark for so many reasons. He was scared of the dark, and had always been teased for it. But he'd managed to hide it from his seminary friends for a long time now. Taking a deep breath to hold back tears, he pressed a button on his watch. The hands lit up, and he took refuge in the small light.

                He just wanted to go home. Not to Arjun's house... not even to his house.  Chandan sighed, and spoke aloud in an attempt to organise his thoughts. The loud music drowned his words.

                'I don't want to be here.' He muttered. 'I don't want to go here.' He paused, as he began to lose control of his tears. Then, a new thought entered his mind, and all control was lost.  'I don't want to be alive!' he cried to himself, realise it was the only natural conclusion.

                Desperately, he ran to the bathroom, locked himself inside a cubicle, and sobbed.

 

Arjun was exhausted when he flopped onto his bed later that night, but that didn’t mean he could sleep. He was seriously distracted.

                He thought of Astha and smiled. She knew a lot about him. Even more than his family, in fact. That was why he found it so easy to talk to her, so comforting. In a world where hardly anybody knew who he was, it was nice to know at least one person did.

                He closed his eyes and smiled as his thoughts drifted again – only this time he let them.

 

He remembered the day she had invited him to play that silly game with her. It was a large social event, but no-one had ever thought to invite him. She had.

            She was the most beautiful girl he had ever seen, though he had never seen anyone quite like her before. She stood out – she ought to have stood out – and yet fit right in. She was small, delicate, and sweet. So sweet! He knew it was that that had made her beautiful. It was that which had drawn him to her in the first place.

            He was a shy person; so was she. They drew each other out of their shells slowly, until, this one night, they finally had a conversation that really meant something.

            They had been sitting on the steps, just talking, quietly as always. They were both very quiet.

            ‘Do you like it here?’ Arjun had asked, leaning towards her a little (they were quite a way apart), and the girl had nodded brightly.

            ‘It is very beautiful. There are not many places that are strangely beautiful like this.’

            Arjun had managed to frown and smile at the same time. ‘What do you mean?’

            ‘Well… I mean, this place is crowded, and dirty. And it smells too.’ He had laughed. ‘And yet… I think it’s gorgeous. The only place I can think of that’s like that is Australia.’

            ‘Australia? What is that place like?’

            The girl had looked out into the distance wistfully and began explaining the country in sharp detail. ‘The grass is green, but it’s either a very bright green, or a dark, dusty green. Alternatively it’s just brown and dead. The mountains are really just hills, though there are the Grampians and Blue Ranges – they’re mountains. And they’re spectacular. But again, even in the lush places there’s always that dark green, sort of grey colour.’

            He shifted uncomfortably, turning onto his side to face her and holding up his head with his hand, leaning his elbow on the top step.

            ‘Not in Tasmania though. Tasmania is like another world altogether. It’s green, and lush, and parts of it are so wild they haven’t even been explored.’

            ‘What are the trees like?’ He shifted a little, so as not to fall down the stairs.

            ‘In Tasmania? They’re tall and thick, good for lumber. Otherwise native Australian trees are ugly – Gum trees. They’re basically just overgrown, woody weeds that fall whenever there’s a slight breeze. And yet…’ She had paused.

            ‘They are beautiful.’ Arjun finished for her, and she nodded.

            There was a pause, and he realised how close he was now. He hadn’t meant to do that. He decided he should move back, and yet didn’t move. And… neither did she.

            ‘Exactly.’ She did look away, refusing to keep eye contact for too long. He made sure to look away every so often too. ‘But I haven’t even mentioned the red soil yet. Ayers Rock – I used to think it was ugly. Just a rock in the middle of a dirt patch. But it grows on you.’ She had smiled her sweet smile, her eyes lighting up and her dimples appearing. He had risked eye contact at that moment, and she had held it, trying to pretend it did not bother her and yet colouring a little.

            ‘I do not understand that.’ Arjun had admitted. ‘Ayers Rock is a rock in the middle of a dirt patch.’

            The girl had only shrugged. ‘Maybe. But you know what they say: beauty is in the eye of the beholder.’

            Arjun decided his position would be interpreted oddly if anyone saw him, so he quickly sat up. He was a lot closer than had been at the start of the conversation though.

            He had smiled and looked away shyly, not sure of what to say next. He knew what he had wanted to say though. Did he actually say it?

            ‘Sometimes, though, everyone can agree that something is beautiful.’

            Yes, he had said it, and she had been so clueless. How had she replied?

            ‘Well, that’s true. I don’t know many people that don’t think the Taj Mahal isn’t beautiful, for one thing.’

            Arjun had laughed a little then. ‘I was talking about people.’

            ‘Oh. Um… I guess so. I can’t think of any examples though.’

            ‘Maybe not. But that does not matter. The worth of something – or someone – is not measured by how many people value it, but by how strongly even one person values it.’

            She had liked that very much, and stared into the distance thoughtfully. ‘That’s quite poetic. Did you come up with that yourself?’

            ‘Yes, I did.’

            There had been a pause then, one that had made Arjun feel awkward. He finally interrupted the silence by saying, ‘you have had many people here say you are beautiful, so you must be worth a lot.’ Then he had laughed to make it seem like a joke.

            The girl had laughed too then, beginning to cotton on to something. She shifted a little away from him – he thought she hadn’t noticed the way he was progressively moving closer – and looked away. ‘I have not heard anyone say that, so you should not make things up.’

            She had stood up, so Arjun jumped to his feet.

            ‘I would say it.’ He said seriously. ‘But you would not believe me. So I will only tell you that I am very appreciative of your friendship. You are a good friend, and I value you very highly.’

            The girl hadn’t known how to reply to that one, and so she changed the topic. She had invited him to play a game with the others – she had gotten herself out of the one-on-one situation. And then she had asked him about exams, just to make things were perfectly clear.

            He had taken it as a bad sign, but – looking –back, he began to see how it wasn’t. He began to see how she had understood him so easily, understood the juxtaposition of the two ideas – beauty and value – and understood what he was trying to say. She had understood, and yet she had continued speaking to him.

            He laughed, and rolled onto his side, staring out his window at the mountains. It reminded him of something from a fairy tale. The mountains, his memories, his life (assuming things turned out well)….

            … and he promised himself he would make her life a fairy tale too.

 

Suneep slept in the following morning, and when he awoke felt groggy.

                'Suneep!' He heard Brayna calling. 'We are visiting your home town!'

                Suneep's eyes widened and he sat up instantly. 'What!?' He cried, his voice a little higher than he would have liked it to be.

                He heard Arjun say something softly to his sister, after which she cried out, 'sorry! It is Bikram's home town!'

                Suneep sighed in relief, and collapsed into his pillow.

                'Are we staying?' Bikram asked, sounding strangely nervous.

                'If you like.' Arjun replied.

                Bikram said yes, but he clearly wanted to say no. Suneep raised his eyebrows and smiled.

                'He has secret.' He muttered to himself. 'Secret within a secret....' Here he stood up and rubbed his eyes. Then, looking at himself in the mirror, he winked. 'Today I feel bad.'

 

By the time the group was ready to leave, an hour had passed.

                'Who is not here?' Arjun's father asked, looking round.

                'Suneep.' Arjun replied. Then, much louder, he repeated himself. 'Suneep!'

                The door to Suneep's room opened, and the man stepped out. Slowly, he walked over to the group. As he walked, the room fell dead silent, and everyone's mouths gaped.

                'I am ready.' He said, stopping.

                Arjun looked his friend up and down.

                Suneep was wearing black nail polish, and thick eye liner. He'd spiked his hair, and wore completely black clothes. To complete the look, he wore leather boots with buckles down the side.

                Mehmet spoke first. 'Is that real leather?'

                Suneep nodded. 'It is all leather. Except for the T-shirt, of course.' He added.

                Brayna smiled. 'You have make-up?' She giggled.

                Her father gave her a rebuking push, whereas Suneep slowly smiled. 'Yap.' With this, he took a confident step forward, and walked out of the house.

                Arjun shook his head. 'It is never good.' Following Suneep he distractedly repeated, 'never'.

 

Every-one slept on the way to Bikram's house. When they awoke, they did so grudgingly.

                'We are here.' Danny pointed out the obvious.

                'Let's unload.' Mehmet added, climbing out of the packed van.

                Arjun kept a close eye on Suneep, who jumped confidently out of the van. He waited for every-one to exit, and then did so himself.

                Bikram's parents came out, and searched the faces for their son.

                'Where is Bikram?' Arjun asked Mehmet.

                Mehmet turned to Sara, right next to him. When she shrugged, he turned back to Arjun. 'We don't know.'

                Arjun turned back around and realised Bikram was still in the car. He seemed to cowering in the corner, shivering in fear. Arjun opened the door, climbed in, and shut it again. 'What is wrong?' He said instantly.

                'Nothing.' Bikram replied, far too quickly, and in a very high, small voice.

                Arjun smiled a little. 'What have you done?'

                Bikram shook his head. 'Nothing.'

                Arjun noticed his hands were firmly clasped. 'Hold your hands out.' He suddenly said.

                Bikram laughed, and crossed his arms. 'No.'

                'Why not?' Arjun challenged him.

                Bikram laughed again. 'Because. I do not want...'

                Arjun leant forward and pulled Bikram's arms towards him. Bikram sighed, as Arjun's face filled with surprise.

                'They are shaking very badly.' He said. 'Far more badly than I thought.'

                Bikram frowned, and pulled his hands away. 'Leave me alone.' He ordered.

                Arjun shrugged. 'Okay, but...' The van door was suddenly opened, and Bikram was forced to smile.

'Bikram!' His parents cried.

                Bikram excitedly jumped out of the car, leaving Arjun alone.

 

Arjun felt very isolated – he often did. When he felt that way, he liked to make it a physical reality. That night he did so by sitting in the dark on the balcony. He stared up at the moon, enjoying the silence and beauty of the night. He jumped when somebody sat down next to him.

                'Don't do that.' He said, turning back up to the moon.

                His sister smiled. 'We are leaving soon.' She said. 'You are all staying here?' Arjun nodded. Sara put her hand on her brother's shoulder and for a long time there was silence. At length, however, Sara began speaking slowly. 'There is more to Mehmet's story, isn't there?'

                Arjun nodded. 'Not much.' He admitted.

                'But it is important?'

                'Yes.'

                There was a pause.

                'Will you tell me what it is?'

                'No.'

                Sara smiled again. 'I did not think so.' She stood up and made her way over to the door. 'You may want to come say good bye.'

                Arjun nodded and stared back up at the sky. 'Good bye, good bye.' He muttered. 'Always goodbye.' Then he too stood up.

                Not much longer until bedtime, he comforted himself.

 

Despite the comfort he gleaned from going to bed and finding himself alone in the dark, Arjun had learned to hate night time over the past few years. He had come to realise that while there was light (or pretense of light) it wasn’t too hard to forget. But when there was only darkness – when light was no longer there…. All the memories came gushing back.

                He could not escape.

 

                Escape.

            That was all he had wanted for them. All he had been trying to achieve. Yet, something told him what he had done had only contributed to the problem and made matters worse.

            7 copies – one sheet of paper. Surely it meant nothing. Surely, even if it did mean something they could just give it all back. He didn’t even want it anymore. The paper was useless.

            What was Balraj even doing with something like that? All it was was a long list of incidents where offices had been blown up, or sites had been hacked. Arjun had searched all the links provided, but hadn’t found any of it particularly interesting. A few government offices had been destroyed and a few banking websites shut down; in some cases the money had even been siphoned into an unknown account.

 

                What did that have to do with Balraj?

                What did that have to do with anything?

He only hoped it had nothing to do with the trouble they were in now.

 

                He had found it early on in his stay at the BSI, back when Balraj had still been tutoring him. He had struggled with spelling (English was not an easy language) and Balraj had been keen to help him advance his skill.

            The man had said ‘come in’, and the paper had just been sitting there on the desk. It had been such a weird scenario, it was such a weird scenario, because Arjun never picked up items that weren’t his.

            But that day he had. And Balraj had walked out to see him reading it confusedly.

He had told him to keep it. Told him he would appreciate someone to look after it for him.

 

            Arjun gave up trying to sleep and turned on the light. What had happened next? That’s right, the BSI shut down. What had Balraj said?

 

            ‘I thought I gave you a copy, but I did not. You have the original, Arjun. Please give it to me.’

            He’d disappeared before he’d been able to.

            Then Arjun and his friends had been wondering out on the streets, where they’d been told to wait for Balraj, and instantly, all these alarm bells went ringing in his mind at once. The paper was important. It had to be. And Balraj wanted it.

 

                Balraj. Was he a friend or foe?

 

                So he’d kept it. Against his better judgment and his instinct he had kept it. That stupid piece of paper – and he’d copied it. 7 copies. One for each of them. Who knew where those papers were now; probably scattered in their homes, maybe even thrown out.

               

But Arjun knew exactly where his copy was.

                He opened his wallet and pulled out the piece of paper – the original. The one Balraj had wanted. Sighing, he shook his head.

                ‘What are you, paper?’ He groaned, wishing he could just go to sleep. ‘What do you mean?’

 

The group did not plant to stay long at Bikram's house – he didn't seem to want to. The idea was that they'd leave after lunch the next day, after Bikram had warned his family. But – come one o'clock – Bikram still hadn't done anything. Arjun was growing impatient.

                'We are being picked up in ten minutes!' He hissed. 'Say something!'

                'I don't know what to say!' Bikram hissed back. 'Don't come to Australia? They cannot afford to! And if I told them not to come, they would think I was keeping something from them!'

                'You are!' Arjun replied. 'You are keeping a lot!'

                Bikram laughed bitterly, and walked out to the balcony. Arjun followed, and closed the door behind him.

                'Go away!' Bikram cried. 'I don't need your help!' He rushed past Arjun and maneuvered his way through the busy house. Arjun barely kept up with him, and soon found him sitting on the front step of his home's porch.  Arjun took a moment to calm down and sat next to him. He said nothing. After five minutes, Bikram spoke quietly.

                'I have a good family.' He muttered. 'My father works so hard. My mother is wonderful. My brother is a doctor! My bhainee – my sweet little sister - will make and excellent wife. My father... he... he worked so hard to – just to put us through school. My brother made up for it by becoming a doctor. But me?' He laughed bitterly. 'I have failed them!'

                Arjun was deeply concerned. 'Don't say that! You are doing a great work! You...'

                'I failed class 12.' Bikram muttered.

                Arjun stopped. 'What?' He asked in disbelief.

                'I failed class 12 and they don't know.' Bikram explained. 'I only spend three nights here maximum since I failed. I went straight to BSI Seminary, and filled my holidays with work in other parts of Nepal. I have told them nothing.' Arjun was in complete shock. 'You see my problem.' Bikram stated, not looking up.

                Arjun nodded slowly. 'Yes.' He admitted. 'But you have to tell them.' Bikram nodded. After a while, Arjun asked, 'how? How did you fail?'

                Bikram replied with an obvious amount of shame. 'I didn't care. I had fun with friends. I would sneak out while my parents thought I was studying.'

                Arjun didn't know what to say. He sat next to his friend completely speechless.

                'I have to tell them now, don't I?' Bikram asked.

                Arjun took a moment to reply, as he had to snap out of his daze. 'Yes!' He said quickly. 'Yes, you do!'

                Bikram sighed, stood up, and walked inside. His mother smiled instantly. 'Bikram! There you are!'

                Bikram smiled back weakly and said, 'I failed class 12.'

                His mother was more than a little confused. 'No you didn't...?' She said, beginning to wonder.

                Bikram's father walked over, and replied sternly. 'Don't joke around, boy. Tell us honestly. Did you really?'

                Bikram nodded. 'Yes. I failed. You cannot believe how sorry I am, or how relieved I am to tell you.' The van could be heard pulling up, and Bikram smiled. 'I have to go. But first, one more thing: do not go to Australia. Ever.' With this he hugged his stunned family members and walked out.

                Arjun smiled and put his arm around his friend. 'Too easy.' He joked.

                Bikram smiled. 'It is such a relief!'

                The two found themselves a seat in the car, and the others piled in, as stunned as Bikram's family members.

 

About an hour or so into the trip, Suneep noticed Arjun was staring at him, smiling smugly.

                'What?' He suddenly said. 'Why are you smiling at me?'

                Arjun smiled tiredly. 'You are very funny. That is all.'

                Suneep raised his eyebrows. 'What is that supposed to mean?'

                Arjun shook his head. 'Nothing.'

                'You do not like my outfit?'

                Arjun smiled. 'It is fine. It reminds me of old times.'

                Suneep smiled a little too. 'For me, it reminds me of old, old times.'

                Arjun smiled again.

                He turned to drink in the surrounding scenery, his eyes feasting on everything he saw. This was a mountainous part of Nepal, so the road was close to the edge of a cliff. One mistake and they would go tumbling down the side of the mountain, but he was not worried. He had been on this road a thousand times.

                He could see the snow on the Himalayas and smiled. He wondered what it would be like to stand on top of the mountain, looking down on the world and realising just how small it was. He liked to be reminded of things like that every so often.

                'Oh no.' Mehmet suddenly muttered.

                Suneep turned to him. 'What?'

                The driver spoke, and the car came to a standstill. 'It is broken.'

                Danny turned to Arjun. 'How far away are from your house?'

                Arjun suddenly snapped out of his daydream and replied, 'an hour.'

                Suneep looked at the sky and frowned. 'Looks like rain too.'

                'It has been forecast for a long time now.' Bikram added.

                Josha looked angry. 'This is typical!' He cried. 'Can any-one fix the stupid car?'

                The men turned one to the other, and shrugged. 'We can try.'

 

Half-an-hour later, rain began to fall. Suneep looked up and frowned. 'This can't be good for the engine.' He reasoned.

                Josha – on the other side of the car – also frowned. 'Could things get any worse?'

                There was a deep roar, followed by a frightening crash. The rain bucketed down.

                Suneep frowned at Josha. 'Nice one, bhai. You just made it storm.' The wind began to howl, and Suneep shook his head. 'This is so predictable.'

                'Everything always goes wrong.' Josha muttered. 'Always.'

                Suneep shrugged. 'Is not so bad.'

                Arjun rushed over to the two, concerned. 'I do not have reception.' He said. 'No one has, except for Danny, and he has no credit.'

                Josha glared at Suneep, who simply raised his eyebrows. 'Is not my fault.' He muttered. 'Besides, is still not too bad. After all, we are stuck on Nepali highway!'

                Arjun nodded hopefully as Mehmet came rushing up. 'The driver says the road has been closed.' He shouted over the rain. 'Trees fell over at access points. He heard on the radio: we are stuck!'

                Arjun and Josha both turned to Suneep this time. The man seemed stuck now. 'We are still alive...?' He tried.

                'Do not say that!' Josha barked. 'One of us will die!' Suneep pulled a strange face, half smile, half frown.

                'What will we do?' Mehmet asked.

                Bikram jumped out of the van and started spinning around. 'Woo-hoo!' He cried, as lightening crashed. 'Just like Martin Luther, we are stuck in a storm!' There was thunder, and Bikram began dancing. 'I'm singing in the rain! Just singing in the rain!'

                Suneep smiled. 'Good idea, brother. I am getting no-where with this car. It is dead.' There was more thunder, and Suneep scuttled onto the roof of the van. 'What have we done, oh thunder god?!' He screamed.

                Arjun frowned a little. 'Do not be foolish, dai.'

                Suneep turned around suddenly and slid off the car. 'I have idea!' He cried. 'Fantastic idea!'

                'Oh-ho.' Josha scoffed. 'I remember last time you had an idea. A fantastic idea. It was disaster!'

                Suneep spun around. 'Hey. That was not my problem.'

                'Of course it was!' Josha retorted.

                'No, you made bet. Not me.'

                'A good friend would have stopped me!' Josha suddenly screamed.

                Suneep froze. 'Where is this coming from?' He asked. 'We are stuck in a storm, on the freeway, in Nepal! Why are you bringing these things up?!'

                There was more thunder, and Josha screamed, 'because you are an idiot!'

                Arjun stepped in. 'Josha! Calm down! Why are you so upset all of a sudden?'

                Suneep rolled his eyes. 'Who knows?' He muttered.

                Arjun looked at Suneep for a moment. Then, slowly, he spoke. 'You haven't caused trouble all day.'

                A cheeky glint came into Suneep's eyes, and he smiled. 'Thank you, bhai.'

                Arjun was silent for a moment. Lightning struck, and Josha jumped. 'Fool!' He cried aggressively, for no apparent reason.

                Suddenly, something clicked in Arjun's mind. 'Your outfit.' He muttered. Suneep's face fell. 'You wore it deliberately.' Arjun's eyes flashed with anger. 'Trouble maker!' He cried. 'Apologise to Josha right now!'

                Suneep smiled smugly. 'I do not want to.'

                'Idiot!' Josha cried, as Arjun yelled, 'Apologise!'

                Mehmet was a little more than confused. 'Wait... what is going on?' He asked. He turned to Bikram who shrugged.

                'Apologise!' Arjun cried again.

                'No.' Suneep said flatly.

                Josha's face became twisted with rage, and he lunged towards Suneep. Suneep cried out as he fell over.

                'I hate you!' Josha was screaming.

                'Whoa!' Mehmet cried. 'What are you, bi-polar?'

                'Suneep!' Arjun cried. 'Why did you have to cause trouble!?'

                'He was a little slow about it!' Suneep shot back.

                Arjun rolled this information over in his mind, and sighed. 'Peanut butter chicken. We had it for lunch.'

                'Wait... what?' Mehmet said again.

                Bikram chuckled, and began singing again. 'I'm still singing in the rain!' There was thunder. 'It's thundering again!' He jumped, as the lightning struck the earth.

Arjun shook his head, remembering that day….

 

'Josha!' Braj had shouted. ‘Is this peanut butter chicken?'

            Josha laughed. 'Yes, brother!'

            Braj's face fell. 'Brother! Did you put it on my meal?'

            'Yes!'

     'Josha!' Braj screamed, standing up. All fell silent, and everyone stared at the man. 'Did I never tell you?'

 

                Josha had begun punching Suneep, who was obliged to fight back.

                But he didn't.

                'Stop hurting him!' Arjun cried. 'Stop it, Josha! Dai, what is wrong with you?!'

                'Why do you not fight back?' Mehmet questioned Suneep.

                Suneep laughed as his nose bled. 'It is good, dai. It is good.'

                Danny came out of the van and panicked. 'What on earth...?' He cried.

                'How come Arjun always seems to know what's going on!'?' Mehmet shouted, frustrated at his confusion. He would have been even more frustrated if Arjun had of told him he should have known exactly what was going on.

                'I'm singing in the rain! Watching bi-polar Josha punch Suneep!' Bikram sung.

                'Bikram, shut up!' Josha cried. 'Or I will punch you too!'

                Bikram giggled, but stopped.

                'I am so confused!' Mehmet began singing.

                Arjun finally began pulling Josha off Suneep. 'You are both idiots!' He cried, using all his might. Finally, he managed to pull Josha off his friend, and released the man. Josha instantly kicked Suneep violently, and then ran back into the van.  Suneep doubled over in pain, but made no sound. His nose was bleeding, and his eyes were black.

                Mehmet was so confused. 'What on earth just happened?' He asked.

                Arjun ignored him and bent down next to his friend. 'Are you all right?' He asked.

                Suneep nodded, a strange look of contentment on his face. 'What are we going to do?' He spoke quietly.

                Arjun looked up at Mehmet, who had turned to Arjun.

                'We will sleep in the car!' Bikram cried.

                'But my family will worry.' Arjun pointed out.

                Suneep laughed for a reason that no-one understood. 'You are lucky.' He muttered.

                Arjun was confused, but didn't want to waste any time. Turning to Mehmet, he asked, 'did we work out what was wrong with the engine?'

                Mehmet turned to Suneep, who nodded. He began rattling off problems and solutions in Nepali. Then, half-way through a sentence, he made a small cry and doubled up violently.

                'Are you all right?' Arjun asked quickly.

                'Fine, fine.' Suneep promised, looking a little pale. 'Fine as always.'

                Mehmet slowly turned away from his friend and towards Arjun. 'So we cannot fix the car.' He concluded. Arjun and Suneep nodded.

                Dandin jumped out of the car, and smiled at his friends. Mehmet only laughed and said, 'it is getting dark.'

                Danny clicked his tongued. 'Do not be racist. Now, listen to Josha's idea. He thinks he can fix car with things that aren't even tools.' Every-one shrugged, willing to give Josha a chance. 'He says he can fix our problem.' Danny persisted, just in case they weren't.

                'Can you walk?' Arjun asked Suneep. Suneep nodded, jumped up enthusiastically, winced, and bent forward a little.

                'You are not all right.' Mehmet worried.

                'I am fine!' Suneep said, far too enthusiastically. 

                Bikram giggled, and ran up and gave his friend a tight hug. Suneep's face filled with pain, though he said nothing for a while. 'Bikram, stop now or I will shoot you.' Bikram chuckled nervously and backed away.

                'Get in the car!' Josha suddenly screamed. 'I don't need any supervisors! They're annoying!'

                Arjun turned to Mehmet, who rolled his eyes. Then, laughing, he turned to Suneep and said, 'get in the car.'                

                Suneep defiantly hobbled into the car and his friends followed.

 

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