Chapter N: Need
Advaita was in shock after seeing the portrait of his father on the wall. He did not know how to respond to this. Shadow who was behind him now sensed something was wrong. She touched his shoulder from behind asking him if he was ok. He did not respond. She turned him towards her and asked “what is it?” A few seconds of silence followed.
“Who made this mural?” he finally asked. “Oh, this? Uncle Tip made it when he was around our age.” she was excited to talk about it.”Isn’t it very good? The person in the right is my father general Thomas White”she laughed as she said that. “The centre one is our king Aiden Rich and last person is…” she stopped trying to remember something. Advaita was waiting to know, he looked at her and asked “who is he?” “His name is Rob as far as I can remember. The four were very close friends.” she said. “Where is he now?” asked Advaita. “Father had said he died even before we were born.”
Rob was not his father’s name. Could this be a person who looked very similar to his father he wondered. He felt the need to tell everything to Shadow. “Son, you always need someone with whom you can share everything you feel” his father had said and he knew that it was Shadow. He thought and decided to wait as he was not very sure on this.
“What is it Advaita?” She asked him. He smiled and said “I just thought I had seen that guy before.Maybe it’s a different person.” she smiled back. Shadow knew he was hiding something but she trusted him. Advaita knew that Shadow knew he had not told her the complete truth and she would understand. Such was their love towards each other.
“Shall we go out then,” she asked wrapping her hand in between his. He nodded. As they came out Advaita praised Tip’s work. A soldier came looking for Shadow as Princess Margaret needed her assistance in the palace. Shadow left saying bye to everyone. There were only two days remaining for the royal wedding.
Cully and Tip decided to get the Mural done in Cully’s room after the wedding. Cully soon left the place as he had some work with his father regarding the security matters of the wedding. Tip assured Cully that he himself would drop Advaita at General’s house. Advaita argued that it was not necessary. As always Advaita lost the argument of words.
Advaita said he would like to walk when Tip said he would arrange for a couple of horses to drop him. As they walked Advaita asked “The Mural on the right wall on that room with three guys, shadow said that third guy is dead. What happened?” Tip was surprised and confused by this sudden question by Advaita. “Oh! That was our friend Rob. We were pretty close back in those days. I don’t want to talk much about it” Tip replied with a weak smile. Advaita could see sadness on Tip’s face.
Advaita had reached the General’s place. He was in his own world wondering the different possibilities. Later he met everyone during dinner. Shadow could see Advaita was not his usual self. After dinner Advaita asked General Thomas “Did the Dacoit we capture say anything?” “The dacoits have been looting in that area for food and money for some time now. He confirmed the same. At least this incident will make them question their actions” General Thomas replied back with a smile.
Later that night the mystery of his father’s face on the wall kept him awake. He needed to solve this mystery.