A day at Westside

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Non-Fiction  |  House: Booksie Classic
This is a short account of the experience of two best friends, who go out for shopping on the fateful day and end up getting get robbed. Who actually stole their money and how, is actually quite interesting to know and keeps one on the edge of their seat till the very end.

Submitted: June 26, 2014

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Submitted: June 26, 2014

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Hi! I am Tia, a 22 year old girl. I live in Delhi with my parents and will start working from the next month since I have completed my graduation lately. One day, I woke up at around 10 am in the morning when my phone started to buzz. It was my friend, Ruchi, my best friend, who was calling me.

I picked up, “Hey Ruchi, sup? Why the hell are you calling me so early??”

She replied, “Get up Tia, how much more you want to sleep?? Well I have something to tell you”

“What?” I asked.

“Well, there’s this sale in Westside, I’ve heard it’s a flat 50% off, wanna have a look there with me today, eh?”

“You’re asking me something I can never refuse, meet me at 12, in CP”

“hahh c ya, bye”

“bye”

I reached CP almost on time around 12:10. Standing near the metro station I waited for Ruchi. She was as usual late and that was irritating me. I don’t like standing alone even for god’s sake and letting people stare me when they go by. It sucks to wait. So, I called her up. She picked up her phone on the 2nd ring itself. “Where are you Ruchi? I am waiting for you since the past 15 minutes, standing alone, and letting people stare at me”. She replied excitedly, “Just count till 30 and I’ll be there”.

She always did like that. She always said count till so and so and I’ll be there. But she was always late. Not that I actually counted and kept calculating it every time, but waiting for people always seemed longer to me. And I hated people who weren’t punctual. Anyways, when she actually did turn up, I just gave a scary sort of stare to her and we started to walk.

We went to Mc Donalds first, cuz I was sort of hungry since I hadn’t had my breakfast. Ruchi wasn’t very hungry but she said she’d join me anyways. So we entered there and I decided to go for a Grilled Chicken Burger meal and Ruchi wanted an ice cream shake. I placed the order and was taking out the money. But suddenly Ruchi came out with her slice of note and paid while I was busy taking out my wallet. She always did that, I dunno why. She always paid whenever she could.

I gave her a staring look and said, “you know, you don’t need to do this every time, you aren’t my boyfriend who has to impress me by paying off for things”

She smiled and said “It’s okay, we’re friends, I can do atleast this much for our friendship.”

“No you don’t need to do anything for our friendship, and you won’t pay anything the next time we go out, you got it, eh?”

“Okay okay, fine, got it.”

Ruchi didn’t belong to a very rich family, as I had supposed. I mean obviously I hadn’t seen her parent’s bank statements or anything but it’s something I knew being her friend. I had visited her house a couple of times, and it wasn’t a very beautiful house to live in. It was a small sized 2BHK flat, overloaded with furniture and so there was always very little space to walk. The walls looked as if they were well due for a white wash and there were spaces on the wall where the paint was completely rubbed off, probably cuz of the rain or something. But contrary to her style of living, her style of spending was quite extravagant. I was never able to comprehend how she afforded to buy all the branded clothes and also insist on giving money whenever we went out for a lunch. But I never spent too much of my time thinking all this, it just came as a momentary thought, and I just let it escape since it was none of my business.

So when we were done with our eating bit, we finally went to our destination, Westside. Contrary to what I had expected it to be on a Saturday afternoon, it wasn’t actually that much crowded. I could hardly see many girlies like us. Anyways, we just went to our section, and started checking out the latest jumpsuits and palazzos. They were decently priced and had a 50% off as promised. We were happy to be at our place and I had already pulled off two jumpsuits and three tops from their hangers to try. I finalized a jumpsuit, a top and a palazzo to buy for myself and Ruchi was happy to buy a single dress.

We were standing in the queue near the counter to pay the bills and were chatting about when we will wear our new dresses. When it was our turn, I handed over mine and Ruchi’s dress at the counter and asked the cashier to do separate billing for both of us. He smiled and replied, “Sure ma’am”.

We continued our chit chat till the cashier interrupted and asked for 3000 and 1200 bucks from me and Ruchi, respectively. I opened up my purse, and looked around where I had kept my money. I was always like that, I used to keep my money but always forgot in which pocket I had kept. I searched through my purse but I wasn’t able to find it and suddenly my heart beat started to increase. I knew for sure that I had kept the money and wondered why it wasn’t there. Some sweat started dripping over my face cuz I had surely kept 5000 bucks and I couldn’t find any of it. The queue behind us kept on increasing and I had to do something.

I told Ruchi, “I am not able to find my money, it isn’t there in my purse”

She exclaimed, “what? Are you sure?”, while she was busy taking out her own money.

“Yes”, I said, “I can’t find any of it”

I kept looking at her while she was busy peeping in to her own purse.

I repeated, “Ruchi….. Um... Ruchi say something, what do I do, fast?”

After a big pause, there came her reply, with a stint of bit on her face, “Umm... Even I can’t find mine.”

Whuppp! There we stood stranded in between strangers with our money getting stolen and none of us could actually believe it. It came as a shock to us. The excitement of buying new dresses suddenly turned into a rue of getting robbed. We dropped out of the queue and Ruchi asked me to calm down since I was almost about to cry. But she herself was very upset and I could see that on her face. She still kept searching her purse, if by chance she finds her money. But, I knew, it was gone. And the point was, how?

Now the choice was ours. Either we call the manager and tell him the issue or we just leave the place doing nothing. Ruchi kept saying me that we should speak to the manager cuz somebody from the staff would have stolen our money. But I wasn’t too sure if I wanted that sort of a fuss. I was just getting more depressed at the thought of my money getting stolen and I just wanted to leave the place.

So, we left.

While our way back, I kept silent. I didn’t feel like saying too much. But Ruchi was all in a bad rage. She kept saying that we should have complained and we shouldn’t have just backed off. All she repeated was, “It’s so dumb of us, to keep quite like that.”

That day, I just reached home, locked my door and slept, not talking to anyone about it.

A week after, when that incident happened, my mother came up to me and told me that we had a dinner party at The Barbeque Nations. I hadn’t spoken to Ruchi since that day and I thought of giving her a buzz. I sort of missed her. As soon as I picked up my phone to ring her, my mother called me for some work, so I wasn’t able to call her.

I got ready for the dinner party and as usual we all reached there on time. The party was organized by my father’s friend and there were quite some unrecognizable faces there cuz I had hardly met any of them before. I greeted all the elders and sat next to my mother. Then suddenly, in between all these strange faces, I thought I had seen a face that seemed familiar to me. I stood up to get a closer look. She was a lady I had seen somewhere but I couldn’t remember where. I kept staring at her, when suddenly she caught my eyes. She looked at me and then came up to immediately as if she had recognized me.

She said, “Hey, you were the girl in Westside the other day, right?”

Aahh, then it suddenly strike me. I met her at Westside that day, outside the trial room. She had asked me to take care of her one or two year old baby till she comes back from the trial room. I waited for her outside the room for a while but then asked Ruchi to hold the baby when another trial room got vacant and went to try on my clothes.

I replied, “Yes yes, I was the one.” I smiled. “Let me tell you, your baby is very cute.”

She gave a fake smile and then tried to speak something but then she like seemed like giving a second thought to whether she should speak or not.

She finally spoke, “Did you find your stolen money?”

My eyes went wide open. I never told anyone about it. How come she got to know that I got my money stolen that day? I was eager to know everything.

“No”, I said, “But how come you know about this?”

“Well, the same day even I got my money stolen”

“Oh god! How much? Did you complain? You know who did it?”

“I carried about 8000 bucks that day in my purse. All of it got stolen and I couldn’t just keep shut about it. I straight through went to the manager and complained him. I asked him to check each and every employee and he gave me the assurance that no employee would be left unchecked. But he said he won’t be able to check the customers.”

I interrupted, “So it was one of his employees, right?”

She continued, “Well, the manager had another plan. He directly went to the security department and asked for all the CCTV footage while I was present there. One by one, we went through all the videos and then suddenly, we found the video that we wanted. I was shocked to see what I saw!”

“Who was it?” I asked with a low voice.

“It was your friend”, she replied with a poker face.

I stood there stunned, not believing my ears, staring at that woman and expecting that she would say that she was kidding me. But, she wasn’t.

“What did you see?” I exclaimed.

“Before you went to the trial room, you handed over my baby to your friend. My baby had my clutch in her hand; she loves to play with it. You even handed over your purse to her. I saw her taking out my money first and then yours, not realizing that all of it was being recorded.”

I didn’t know how to respond to that because I could have never imagined my best friend doing that. I was falling short of words. Plethora of emotions were flowing through my body, not realizing which dominated the others.

The lady continued, “But why didn’t you complain that day, why did you just left? We could have caught her together and would have got our money.”

“I’m glad I didn’t complain that day, I really am” I said and continued after a pause, “Because I couldn’t have seen my best friend doing that, with my own eyes” and I left.


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