Fiction

LIGHTS, CAMERA & MURDER

(A TALE OF LOVE, FAME, BETRAYAL, JEALOUSY, SUSPENSE, DRAMA, BLOOD & MURDER)

A MURDER MYSTERY BY ADITYA SAMADHIYA

Chapter 1

December nights can be chilly as chilly as ice sometimes, And today was nothing less. Chilly wind was blowing outside and people who were sane enough kept indoors and others, well others, braced themselves with every piece of clothing they had and moved out on their endless cold journeys.
But for me, everything was different. I was, as usual, stuck with the files piling up on my table. But I had no interest in cleaning the mess or in working them out. All I could think was how I had gone wrong. How I could not see what was already being shown to me from the very beginning.

“I should have known.” I thought to myself. I took the writing pad, wrote down everything, again, from the very beginning. Logically and in sequence this time. As Poirot says I made my grey cells work this time.

*******************************************

It was 2 months ago. The weather was not what it is today. I was, as you might expect, in my messy office, sitting behind my table but of course, not working but eating my favourite French fries. It was then when I was intervened by my secretary, Ms. Lucy Robbins.

“Joseph you have a visitor.” Lucy said.

“Not now Lucy. I am eating. Can not I eat my French fries in peace, ever??” I whined.

“Well, not when you are an investigator in demand.” Lucy chuckled.

“I tell you woman, being famous has its own side effects.” I said her and added, “Who’s the visitor by the way??”

“Some person called, Mr. Ansh Aggarwal. He says you know him” She said.

I tried racking my brain who this Ansh was because I don’t remember knowing him. Nevertheless I asked Lucy to ask him in.

“Joseph”, Lucy turned around before exiting the room, “Please clean up your room a little before he enters. You would not want to make such a messy impression on your client at the first sight itself.”

“You are absolutely right Lucy. Sometimes I wonder what I would do without you. I would surely be doomed.” I teased.

She rolled her eyes and went out to the reception. But what I said was true. She was indeed a boon for me. She has helped me a lot in coming over from the distressful state of mine. And I will always be grateful to her for that. Whatsoever I took to tiding up my office so that it looks presentable to my client. And after five minutes I called up Lucy asking her to send Ansh inside. 

After a while, a young man in his late twenties entered my office. He was tall; maybe six feet in height, fair, had black and thick lock of hair. Something about him seemed vaguely familiar to me, like I had seen him somewhere; met or even talked. But nothing came to my mind at that moment. At least not until he, himself introduced himself to me.

                                      Chapter 2

“Hello Mr. Brown. How do you do??” Ansh greeted me and held his hand for a shake.
I smiled at him and took his hand. He had a firm grip, I noticed.

“Hello Mr. Aggarwal. I am fine, thank you. What about you??” I asked back, still trying to remember where I had seen him.

“With everything going around how can you even expect me to be fine!” Ansh replied.

“Sorry, but I have no idea what you are speaking about.” I replied.

“Of course. Of course. I am sorry I am being so indistinct. I am Ansh Aggarwal, Roshni’s boyfriend. You remember Roshni??” He asked again.

“Roshni Sen?? The model who was found dead in her room last month??” I asked back.

Ansh nodded and added, “I am her boyfriend. We both met you in the party early last month in the pub, if you remember.” He said.

“Yes. Yes. That’s where I saw this young man.” I thought. But just nodded at him.

“Well, I came here seeking your help. Actually I want you to look into the murder of Roshni. The police had been really fuzzy with the case. They have not investigated the way they should have been. And the murderer is still at loose. I want you to find him, nab him and put Roshni’s death to justice. I am ready to pay you anything you want.” Ansh said, with tears brimming in his eyes.

“Okay. I will take up the case. But Ansh, I hope you don’t mind my calling you Ansh, I will need every little detail you can provide me with.” I said to him.

“Oh, you can call me anything you want. And thank you for taking up the case. I am really grateful to you.” Ansh said dabbing at his eyes with his handkerchief.

“Okay, now tell me everything you know. And by everything, I mean every single thing, even if it is a trivial matter. Do you get that Ansh??” I asked.

He nodded and started with his side of the story while I took out my writing pad to write down whatever he said.

“On 25th of October I had a party to celebrate the success of my show. It was a grand party and every known name of our industry was present in my party. Roshni, too, was a part of the party. In fact she was the main element of my party, in the sense that, I was going to propose her for marriage. The party was just an excuse. She came to the party directly from the show. She was in a black dress. You must have noticed her,” Ansh stopped and looked towards my direction, I remembered a single girl sitting in the corner of the room, and thus I nodded. And I signaled him to continue.

“So that was the only fateful day. I was on the stage thanking everyone for coming to the party and how much it meant to me. And then I proceeded to call her on stage for the proposal but I, then, realized that she was nowhere to be seen in the room. I tried looking everywhere standing there like a fool but could not spot her.” Ansh continued, while I could sense anger in his tone.

“You were angry because you did not find her in the room, right?” I asked him.

“I was upset. I was upset she was not in a place she was supposed to be. I regarded her to be an essential part of my life but for her I was nothing but a money vending machine. “ Ansh said, realizing that he had spoken way too much and immediately directed to what he was saying previously. “So I was there looking for her everywhere.”

“You did not ask anyone??” I interjected.

“Huh?? Well, I did not want anyone to know that she was not in the party.” Ansh said. I noticed him not meeting my eyes while saying it.

“Okay. Go on.” I insisted.

“Okay. So I was looking for her everywhere. In the bar, restaurant, the washroom. But she was nowhere to be seen. I even tried calling her, but she did not answer; left a number of texts on her phone asking about her whereabouts but there was no reply from her. It was only then that I walked to the roof of the hotel for some fresh air and some time for myself, and heard some sounds. The sounds were basically muffled and hushed. And as I proceeded towards the door for clear understanding, I knew that those were not just noises but were noises of a couple making out. At first I was ashamed, flushed at the thought but then I suddenly felt aroused and decided to steal a look.” Ansh said, evidently blushing at his deed. Acting indifferent to the information he was revealing I asked him to continue.

“Well, I should not have looked but I just could not subside my urges and opened the door a little and took a look at the couple. I could not clearly make out who the people were but somehow the silhouette seemed familiar. Someone I knew. So I pushed a little and stepped in. The couple, of course, was not interrupted by my arrival. But as I walked closer, my heart leapt at the sight. It was Roshni and Arjun. Arjun Singh. I was furious. I did not know what to do. Apart from being furious I was ashamed at the fact that I had to confront my own girlfriend infront of a guy who worked for me. By then they realized my presence and Arjun turned back to have a lucid look. He stepped back, as soon as he realized it was me. And as predicted he went away leaving Roshni there alone to confront. Roshni tried confronting but I was too angry and upset to listen to anything. And it was only then that I slapped her and went away leaving her there alone. But trust me it was just instinctive nothing planned or crafted. And I regretted the second I slapped her and was really feeling sorry for it but my ego was too big to go to her and apologies’; and after a while when I enquired a waiter I came to know that she had left the hotel.” Ansh said wiping away his tears, which were rolling profusely rolling down. I handed him the tissue.

“This is exactly what happened Mr. Brown. And believe me I am telling the truth. The police suspected me just because I had slapped her. The thing they did not realize is that I could slap her but not kill her and I FUCKING loved her!!!” Ansh shouted.

“Calm down Ansh. I’ll try finding out who is the murderer but you have to provide my every little detail about her schedule, her friends, and the people she worked for, the people who worked for her everything. E-mail the information to me as soon as possible.” I said.

Ansh nodded. As I tried thinking every pros and cons of the case, Ansh made his way out of the office. But before everything I googled Roshni Sen and found out a lot of interesting links.

 

                               Chapter 3

“And The Winner of Miss. Beauty with Brains is, ROSHNI SEN. Yes, your favorite Roshni. C’mon Roshni, come ahead, the crown is all yours.”

At first Roshni couldn’t believe her ears. It was her first beauty peagant, she was never serious about entering the modeling world but a bet made her do so. And now after winning the title, she had made up her mind to be a supermodel, a superstar of fashion world.

Roshni Sen, a young girl in her early twenties, just out of the college, with a dream to achieve heights but with no plans how to reach there. She was glamorously beautiful and she knew it. A tall girl with the kind of curves every girl desires of, light brown eyes with big eyelashes and rebounded long brown hair. Her face was spotless with a smile to die for; always dressed up according to the latest fashion. And her ego was as high as her heels.

She had many fans in the college; so many guys had their crush upon her. But Roshni had her crushes only for those guys who could pay her shopping bills. All her boyfriends were rich brats, for whom she had no attachment but dated them for their money. As soon as her one boyfriend stopped paying her bills, she used to dump that guy and find the next target the very next day. Her beauty made it all the more easy for her.

She was not only popular in guys but girls too. Almost every other girl was jealous of her. They all hated Roshni on the face but wanted to be just like her. She had a very small group of friends who were not jealous of her but still they were with her to be in the popular’s list in the college. The jealousy among the girls and fan following among the guys was quite justified because she was indeed pretty.
On prom night, when she was about to win the title, her competitor Ria, who was always jealous of her got into a fight with her.

“So you think you are a queen? You can’t just take away everything from me. First you took away my friends and then my boyfriend and now even the prom queen title? It won’t happen this time bitch. I’d kill you before you do that.” Ria was fuming in anger.

“Hey hey hey! Easy man! It isn’t my fault that you aren’t that pretty. And mind you, your boyfriend came to me. I didn’t snatch him from you. And please, my standards are not that low that I’d compete with you.”

“Don’t be too confident about your looks Roshni. If you think you are that beautiful then go prove it. Win some big title and then flaunt.”

“You are challenging me? Okay cool, I’d take the challenge. Just watch it bitch.”

And then she was there; standing on the stage, ready to be crowned.

“Congrats Miss. Roshni.” A tall handsome guy forwarded his hands towards her. She shook the hand saying thanks. And then adjusted her crown for the picture.

“I am Ansh, director of The Diva Maganize. I hope you have heard about it.” 

“Oh, of-course sir, who hasn’t. it’s really nice to meet you.”

“Well, you were awesome there, on the stage. You have got the spark that I’m looking for. So would you like to join me? I-I mean my company?”

“What? Seriously?” She was surprised to hear his offer.

“Yes, if you don’t mind. I can take you to the top. Here, take my card. Give me a call as soon as you make up your mind. See you later.” Saying this he left the place.

“This is it. I know what I have to be. A SUPERMODEL” posing in front of the mirror, delighted by Ansh’s offer, she was talking to herself. The next morning she called him up telling her decision so he called her to his office to do the necessary paperwork.
And that is how she entered the fashion industry to rule it.

                                   Chapter 4

“Hey, I am Roshni, Roshni Sen. I have an appointment with Mr. Ansh.”, she informed the receptionist who asked her the purpose of her visit.

“Roshni, this way.”, a husky voice called her name. She turned to her left only to find Ansh standing in the elevator waiting for her. He looked mind- blowingly dashing in his black business suit. Roshni was standing there thinking how smart he is when he again took her name and brought her back from her thoughts. She got into the elevator and wished him.

“So Ms. Roshni, how are you? And did I mention you look gorgeous?” Ansh was a flirt, and being in this industry he dealt with beautiful models day and night. So he knew the tricks to impress a girl.

“I am fine. Infact awesome! I won a title last night and today I’m going to sign a contract with you. You can imagine how can I be.” Saying this she sighed with a bright smile and battling her eyelashes. “And yeah, you forgot to mention”, she winked.

Ansh laughed and gave her a look. “My apologies Miss. I promise I’d make up for it.”

After this little conversation they both entered his cabin. There were Awards n photos placed all over the shelves. He offered her a seat n sat in front of her. They conversed for a while, mostly flirted before his assistant entered the office with contract papers.

“Okay Ms. Roshni, let’s talk a little about the reason you are here? I mean the contract. Shall we discuss it?”

“Oh, yes. Sure sir. I’m too excited to sign the contract.”

“Call me Ansh. Sir makes me feel too old. Everyone in my office calls me Ansh only.”, he winked. “Jenny, what’s the term of Roshni’s contract?”

“Two years Ansh, just like with every other model.”

“Make it three. Roshni is not like every other model.” He told Jenny without taking off his eyes from Roshni.

Roshni was surprised to hear this and as she was about to say something, he interrupted her, “After all, I had to make up for not telling you that you looked gorgeous this morning.”

Roshni was delighted. She signed the contract with a broad smile. “I don’t know how to thank you Ansh! I mean, a thank you isn’t enough.”

“This smile of yours is making me do such things gorgeous. And yes, you have a point. Thank you isn’t enough. So what say we go out tonight and celebrate?”

“Sure. My treat.” Roshni was dancing in her thoughts. 

“Great. Be ready by 8 pm. I’ll pick you up.”

Roshni left the office but Ansh’s eyes followed her till the time she didn’t disappear in the elevator. Jenny who was silently noticing all this, threw the contract file on his desk and went out fuming in anger.

Not being able to put his concentration to his office work anymore he made his way to the Salon he usually went to.

“Ansh darling, it is so nice to see you. How have you been sweetie???” Javed, Ansh’s personal stylist exclaimed when he saw him.

“I am good buddy. What about you??” Ansh replied while he cursed Javed for using ‘darling’ and ‘sweetie’ for him inspite of his warnings.

“I am busy as usual. You know how it is with all the hot shots of the city coming to my Salon. I hardly get time to breathe!” Javed replied swinging his hand to indicate his exasperation.

Ansh laughed at Javed’s over acting and said, “Well but you do have some time for me right, Javed??”

“Of course darling. You are my all time favourite.” Javed replied and took Ansh to the cabin, inside, for his beautification treatment.

All the while Ansh was in the Salon, he could not stop his mind from wandering into the thoughts of Roshni; her beautiful smile, her thick brown coloured hair, her big black twinkling eyes, her beautifully curved lips.

“Her lips. Yes, her beautifull small lips. How nice it would be to kiss them. Kiss them till the break of the dawn, till we both can take it nomore!” Ansh thought to himself. The mere thought of kissing Roshni was enough to make Ansh feel aroused. He could feel the pressure building in between his legs, he could feel the urge. And he knew then and there that it was just not a ‘sort-of-date’ thing that would happen in between Roshni and him but much, much more.

*************************************************

It was already 7 pm and Roshni could find no piece of garment that could make her look all the more beautiful and also catch Ansh’s attention.
She knew what effect she had on boys and Ansh was no different. He might be the Director of a nation wide famous magazine but deep down he was a guy. A guy with needs, sexual needs. And Roshni knew very well how to extunguish such needs for her own benefit.

After much pondering, Roshni settled for a black dress. The dress was perfect for the occassion. It was sexy yet not too revealing which added to the air of mystery. She paired with a shiny black stilleto and a pair of black earrings with her hair tied to a tight ponytail. To add to her beauty, a layer of red lipstick was added to her perfect lips.

“Perfect!”, she told herself as she looked at the mirror.
At dot 8o’clock Ansh came to pick her up. He was amazed to look at Roshni, she looked hundred times beautiful than she did early in the morning. He wondered how anyone could look so beautiful.

“You look just perfect, Roshni.” Ansh complimented Roshni as she got into the car.

“Thanks, Ansh.” Roshni replied with a blush.

The rest of the journey was spent talking about their respective likes and dislikes. They both were alike in various aspects, yet strikingly different. The difference between them was what attracted Roshni to Ansh all the more.

As they reached the famous restaurant Paradise, they were escorted to their already reserved seat by the manager. While the couple walked to their table, every head in the Resturant turned to look at Roshni. The men out of lust and the women out of jealousy. And though Ansh was not Roshni’s boyfriend yet he felt a different kind of pleasure in having Roshni walk by his side.

The dishes ordered for the dinner were all according to the lady’s choice. The conversation was an easy one. Both of them talked about everything. Roshni told Ansh about her friends and he told her about his foes. Ansh told her about his long list of girlfriends and Roshni told him about her ex’s.

The dinner was more like an excuse for both of them to spend time together as they hardly ate anything. It was time the waiter asked them what they would want to order for dessert to which Ansh told Roshni that they would have the dessert somewhere else, a special place.

“Thank you for this wonderful dinner. This was supposed to be a treat from my side.” She hopped in the front seat of his sparkling blue range rover. Ansh did not say anything but winked with a smile while closing her door. They kept on looking at each other till the time Ansh did not take over his driver’s seat.

” Get ready for a wonderful dessert in Ansh’s style.” Saying this he shifted the gear of his range rover and took her to one of the most amazing drive.

                                Chapter 5

“You have a lovely car, Mister.” Roshni said.

“I know.” Ansh replied and chuckled.

Ansh zoomed his way to the destination in full speed and Roshni enjoyed the fast drive to the fullest.

For dessert, Ansh did not stop his car near a big snack store or an ice-cream parlour but near a ‘gola wala’. He was not sure if Roshni would like it, but when he saw the glow on her face, he was glad to see her happy.

Before Ansh could get down from his car, Roshni had already reached the gola wala and was deciding upon her flavour. 

“Bhaiya give me a mixed one.” Roshni told the golawala while Ansh asked for an orange flavoured gola. Ansh was delighted to see Roshni dancing with joy.

“I love gola so much, I can’t tell you Ansh but because of the society I live in, I can not have it. It’s been so long I had one. I’m so happy” Roshni was behaving like a child expressing his joy on getting a candy.

“Well, I love it too. So every now and then I come here but alone. The same reason you see. You are the first one I brought here with me.” Ansh winked.

Roshni was standing with the car’s bonnet support while Ansh was paying for the golas. He came near the car holding the golas in his hand when he saw Roshni struggling with her heels. He asked Roshni to hold both the glasses. She was confused but held them. As she took them, Ansh lifted her up and made her sit on the bonnet. She laughed on his act and handed him his glass.

“So did you like my style lady?” Ansh bowed in front of her.

“Ummmmmmm, hmmmm” Roshni was busy enjoying her treat. When Ansh looked up he couldn’t help but laugh. He just kept on looking at her while she was busy eating the dessert. Within a few minutes she was done and got off the bonnet to throw away the glass.

“You haven’t finished it yet? It’s melting Ansh.”

“Yeah, I’m a bit slow. I like to enjoy it slowly. Come let’s sit inside. Seems like it’s about to rain.”

They both went inside the car when Ansh had his first bite of gola. While Ansh was having it, Roshni said nothing but just kept on staring him.

“What? Is something wrong?” Ansh asked her bewildered.

“Can I taste your gola?” Roshni said with a puppy face.

Ansh laughed out loud and forwarded his hand to give her a bite. She had one bite but didn’t stop. She winked at him and had another. She was playing like a child. He also had a bite. They both started fighting over the gola. When Roshni was taking a bite, Ansh took a bite at the same time and accidently bit her lips.

“Ouch.. Careful Ansh.” Roshni left the gola and placed her hand on her lips.

“Ohh, I’m so sorry Roshni. Let me see.” He immediately held her face to see if he injured her.

They both were so close at that moment that she could feel his breath on her face. She was getting turned on with his touch. She closed her eyes while he held her so close. Looking at her reaction, he placed his lips on hers and kissed her gently.

“Does it feel better gorgeous?” he winked.

“Yeah, a bit.”

He pulled her towards him and kissed her again. This time she responded to his kiss. He sucked her lower lip while biting it in between. She gripped his hair in her fingers and pulled him closer. He rolled his tongue into her mouth and caressed her bossoms from above her dress. He made his way down her neck while kissing her softly. He was gently biting her neck, and she was enjoying this sweet pain with pleasure.

They were so lost into each other that they almost forgot that they were in the car. The moment he was about to make his way from inside her clothes, a car’s headlight distracted him and he came back to his senses. It was a patroling jeep which was heading towards Ansh’s car only. Sensing the trouble they might get into, he threw Roshni back on the seat, geared up his car and fled away on a high speed. He didn’t stop or talk to her till the time he was sure that the cops were not following them.

At first, Roshni was shocked at his act but when she realised that those were cops, she understood him and didn’t say anything to him. While he was busy speeding up, she was busy setting her dress and hair right. When he was sure they were safe, he stopped the car at a corner. They both didn’t say anything but just looked at each other. After a minute’s silence, they both burst out into laughter.

“This was indeed an interesting drive Ansh, I won’t forget it.” She said laughing.

” Same here.” he chuckled. “Let me take you back before I lose my senses again.”

He dropped her back to her place with a promise to meet her in the office tomorrow. It was now clear in his mind that Roshni would be his next girlfriend. And for Roshni, well, she got her new Atm card. Roshni was doing great as a model. And Ansh was doing great as a boyfriend. Yes, they were dating now. But this was a secret relationship. They went out on dates, outdoor shoots. Whenever they got the opportunity they made out, whether it was his office, her make up room, his car and what not.

“Ansh, not now! You will spoil my make up. I have my photo shoot in five minutes.” Roshni pushed him away.

“I just want a kiss babe. Just one kiss. C’mon.” Ansh made a puppy face.

Saying this Ansh leaned forward and they starting kissing. They were so engrossed in the kiss that they didn’t realise that someone was standing on the door. He faked coughing, giving Ansh the signal of his presence. Roshni immediately started blabbering.

“Yes Yes, you are right Ansh. We’ll think about this.”

Ansh turned back to look who the person was. “Hey man! You are back. I missed you. Come here, let me introduce you to the new face of our company. Roshni, this is Arjun. Arjun Singh. And Arjun, she is Roshni Sen.”

Roshni turned to look at him and found a handsome hunk standing by her side. Ansh got a phone call and left the two there.

Arjun forwarded his hand and Roshni shook it. “I must say you are beautiful.” Arjun complimented her.

“Thanks.” This was all Roshni managed to utter as she got a call for the shoot.

As she was about to walk out of the room, Arjun held her hand, brought her close and whispered in her ear, “I think you would want to set your lipstick first before going out.”

Saying this he left the room leaving Roshni surprised at his act.

                                   Chapter 6

“Who was that guy, Ansh??” Roshni asked Ansh adjusting the bedsheet so as to cover her already naked body.
“Who guy??” Ansh asked absent mindedly, trying to get some sleep.
“Are you even listening Ansh??” Roshni complained.
“Yes baby.” Ansh replied and then sat up to say her about Arjun Singh.

Arjun Singh. A hot and ravishing guy; with a built that could kill every girl, height that of a perfect model and a smile that could make any girl fall for him, was as perfect as PERFECT could be. He was totally the opposite of Ansh, physically as well as emotionally. Where Ansh’s looks commanded respect, Arjun’s look was that of a sly jackal; where Ansh got emotionally attached to people, Arjun used people to meet his own benefits. Though opposite in every respect, Arjun and Ansh were great buddies. It was for Ansh that Arjun got his BIG BREAK, he was always grateful for him but that did not stop him from being a bitch to Ansh. He was smart and witty and good looking and knew how to bend the rules according to his own needs.

“So this is all about Arjun. And if you are done with his enquiring can we start over with our last session??” Ansh asked Roshni, looking coyly at her.
“Like you should even ask!” answered Roshni and pulled Ansh for a deep and passionate kiss.

As Ansh made love to Roshni, all she could do was think about Arjun and how erotic their nights together could be.

“You should come for the shoot!! What will I do without you??” Roshni whined.
“I want to come too, but you see how it is here in the office. Nothing works without me.” Ansh replied in between his kiss.
“I’ll miss you baby.” Roshni replied pulling him closer.

And as Ansh responded to her kiss, someone knocked at the door.

“Perfect!” mumbled Ansh while Roshni chuckled and straightened her dress.

“Arjun, buddy, what is it??” Ansh asked Arjun. 
“I wanted to talk to you about the shoot. Is it necessary that I go for the shoot?? I mean there are better male models under you, then why me??” Ansh enquired.
“Well because, my little princess wants you to come along. Says that she cannot trust anyone else other than you.” Ansh replied pointing at Roshni.

A call, asking Ansh to come down to the meeting room left Roshni and Arjun alone in the office.

“Do you have a problem in coming to the shoot, even now, Mr. Arjun Singh??” Roshni asked Arjun in a seductive way.
“Not now, when I know I’ll be accompanied by a perfect gorgeous.” Arjun replied and made his way nearer to Roshni.

Few days after that incident both Roshni and Arjun alongwith the crew left for the shoot. They would work all day long and then party all night. It was a wonderful outdoor shoot. Beautiful. Little did they know that this outdoor shoot was the only thing that would change all of their lives.

One night after a usual party, Arjun offered to drop Roshni to her room. They both were, though, staying in the same hotel. As he was about to make his way to his room leaving her at the doorstep, Roshni called after him.

“Would you not care to come and join me for a round of drinks?” Roshni asked Arjun.
“If you insist pretty lady.” Arjun told and winked at her.

They were pretty much already drunk and five more rounds of vodka shots were enough to throw them out of their senses.

“You are hot, you know that right?” Arjun asked Roshni.
“Would you please say something that is new to my ears??” Roshni played.
“What are you doing with that douchebag, then??” Arjun asked.
“Why?? Should I be with someone else??” Roshni asked making her way towards Arjun and then sat on his lap.
“Uhumm..” Arjun said, kissing and nibbling and biting her neck.
“You can’t imagine how long I have been waiting for this!” Roshni said and started ripping off every piece of cloth that adorned Arjun’s body.

Arjun kissed her passionately and with full of hunger. They both were, indeed, hungry. Kissing each other like they had never been kissed, biting one another’s lips, playing with their tongues. With great speed, Arjun made his way to unbotton her shirt. He kept on fondling her breasts as hard as he could; while Roshni kept on moaning with the pleasure and pain of it. Kissing, they made their way to the bed, while Arjun ripped Roshni’s every shred of clothing. Naked, both of them made love all night long. Hard and passionate love; biting and nibbling and moaning and groaning.

The shoot was over within two more weeks, but that did not stop Roshni and Arjun from making out. They would make out at every chance they got, and Ansh being busy with a fashion show and his magazine, chance of making out were higher. 

But, on the other hand, Ansh was falling in love with Roshni all the more. He would do anything to make her happy, he wanted her to be with him forever. And Roshni knew how fat was Ansh’s wallet and thus did not offend him by having a public affair with Arjun. And Arjun was same as Roshni. He knew where his benefits lay.

“This isn’t just an after success party, you know Arjun. It is a very special party.” Ansh said Arjun while having their drinks.
“Really?? What’s so special about it??” Arjun asked, already doubting about what was to come.
“I am going to propose Roshni for marriage tomorrow in the party. It’s a surprise, of course. She does not know anything about it. You keep it to yourself okay?” Ansh said.
“Of course, pal. Your secret’s safe with me.” Arjun smiled encouragingly.
To which Ansh nodded and then asked, “How was your shoot by the way?? I got no time to ask you about it. I hope my princess wasn’t much demanding.”
“Absolutely not. She’s a delight. You have made a great choice, Ansh. I am sure she’ll keep you happy.” Arjun said and winked at Ansh.

Ansh invited each and every limelight of the city to his party. Mr. Brown, being a famous detective, was there too. It was a grand party which marked Roshni’s success as a supermodel. But little did Ansh expect he would be ditched by his love and his best friend. After he caught them making out, he slapped Roshni and left from there.

“Where are you going Ansh? It’s your party.” Jenny stopped Ansh who was making his way out of the party.

“Jenny I can’t stay here anymore. Please handle the party for me.” Ansh replied.

“But what’s the matter? First Arjun left the party in a hurry. Then I saw Roshni going out wiping her face and now you too are leaving?”

“Don’t take their names in front of me; I swear I could do anything when ever I hear their names.”

Saying this he put his car in gear and left the place leaving Jenny clueless. He was furious and was having flashes of what he saw up in the terrace; and this added to his fury all the more. He was driving dangerously. He was drinking beer after beer, throwing the bottles out on the road. When he couldn’t handle the alcohol anymore, he was about to hit a bike. That was the time he realised what he was about to do, so he left his car and went home in a cab.

After he reached home, he directly went to his room and had as much alcohol as his stomach could handle. He was heart broken. He never thought Roshni would do such a thing behind his back and that too with his best friend. The mere thought of them made him furious again.

“It must be a misunderstanding. Maybe Arjun was forcing himself upon her. Maybe she did not want any of it. I should have listened to her atleast.” Ansh talked to himself and added, “I will talk to her early in the morning. But before that I must make sure none of the evening drama has been aired.”

Ansh switched on the television and settled at a news channel. The news airing in the channel only left Ansh shocked and dumbfounded.

“SUPER MODEL ROSHNI SEN FOUND DEAD IN HER APARTMENT!”

                                  Chapter 7

Ansh could not believe it at first. He was in a state of shock. He was brought back to his senses when his phone rang. It was some head of a media channel who wanted an update from Ansh regarding Roshni’s sudden death.

“Hello Mr. Ansh? This is Bector from Daily News. We heard about Ms. Roshni’s death. Would you like to comment on it?”

Ansh was too shocked to say anything. He disconnected the phone and now it started ringing profusely. He surfed the channels but found the same dreadful news every where. He grabbed the car keys and ran towards his garage. Within seconds he was out on the road on an unimaginable speed heading towards Roshni’s home. He reached her place and found an ambulance and so many cops standing there who were trying to keep the media away from the place. As Ansh made his way towards her house, he was stopped by a police officer.

“Hello Mister? Yes, you. Where are you going? You can not go inside.”

“I’m Ansh, Sir. Roshni’s boy… Roshni’s boss. As soon as I heard, I came here. Please tell me what happened?”

“She had been suffocated to death. Rest we will be able to tell after the post-mortem only. We are taking the body away and sealing this place. You come with me. My incharge would want to ask you a few questions about the victim.”

Almost the whole night Ansh had to wait in the police station for the Police Officer to return from the Crime Scene. The house that he had gifted to the lady of his life, the house he had spent almost all days and nights making love to her had, now, become a crime scene.

It pained Ansh to see everything in such a mess. He cursed himself for letting Roshni be alone that night and all the past scenes of the last night palyed infront of him; Jenny’s words asking him about his sudden exit were clearer than ever. “Where are you going Ansh?? First Roshni leaves then Arjun and now you! What’s wrong with you people?”

“Of course. Of course. How can I even overlook it. Arjun is the murderer. He killed my Roshni. Yes. Yes. That is it!” Ansh thought to himself and rushed inside the ACP’s room.

“Sir, Sir I know who did it. I know.” Ansh shouted.

“Mr. Ansh, we’ll call you. Please wait outside and when we call then tell us what you know.” The ACP said, agitated.

“No. No, Sir. You don’t understand. You cannot waste a single moment now. Listen to me atleast.” Ansh replied losing his breath.

“Rich people and their impatience.” the ACP mumbled to himself while instructing the inspector to arrange the interrogating room.

“Yes Mr. Ansh, tell us what you know.” the ACP said.

“See the person who killed Roshni is Arjun. Arjun Singh. He is my employee. I can give you his every personal information. I’ll make a call to Jenny right now and you can have it immediately.” Ansh said and fiddled for his cell phone.

“What’s the hurry, Mr. Ansh?? We are in no hurry to make an arrest.” the ACP replied.

Ansh gave the ACP a puzzled look and asked, “What are you saying Sir??”

“We know how you people are. Always high in every thing. What do you people say that??” the ACP chuckled and looked at the inspector near him and added “Oh yes. Adrenaline rush. That’s the word right??”

“I don’t understand what you are saying.” Ansh told the ACP while he fidgeted with his hands.

“Of course you won’t understand. Of course. Let us make it simple, eh? So when was the last time you saw Roshni? I guess during the party where you had a spat with her because she was making out with your ’employee’.” the ACP said straining the word ’employee’.

Ansh looked at the ACP with astonishment.

“You thought we would not find out??” the ACP chuckled and added, “It is just not a cliche but is indeed true, ‘Kanoon k haath bohot lambe hote hai’, Ansh ji. So now you tell me why did your girlfriend cheat on you with your employee?? Was she not happy with you?? Could you not give her what she wanted?? We hear that rich people stay in a relation only for two things- money and sex. So which one did she not get?? Money or sex.” the ACP cracked up in laughter at his own joke.

Ansh was furious. But he knew it was not the right thing to lose his temper. It would only affect him.

“So as per our information, you both had a dirty spat. You even slapped her and said that you could do anything if you heard both Roshni and Arjun’s name again and then you left the party. Roshni and Arjun had already left the party with a gap of 5 minutes. We know about Arjun’s whereabouts. And we also know that Roshni directly went to her apartment. Which leaves you Mr. Ansh. Where were you between 12-1.30 am??” the ACP interrogated.

“I was at my house Officer. I was upset about the incident and so had left the party and went directly to my home.” Ansh replied keeping his tone in check.

“Oh really Mr. Ansh? You went back to your home after 1:30 am. Your gaurd confirmed it. And, your car has been found on a street just a block away from Roshni’s apartment. Don’t fool us Mr. Ansh.”

“I… I left it there because I was too drunk to drive.” Ansh was finding trouble while answering him. “Believe me Sir, I didn’t kill her. I was at my place.”

“You are still drunk Mister. Anyways, do you have any alibi Mr. Ansh ??” the ACP asked back.

“Alibi?? What for?? I did not kill Roshni. And why should I. I am the owner of such a big franchise and she is the love of my life. Why would I kill her!” Ansh shouted and broke into tears.

“Mr. Ansh, do you?” The ACP asked furiously.

“No, I don’t. But…”

“Mr. Ansh Aggarwal tears don’t work on us.” the ACP said and directed his sub ordinate to arrest Ansh on the ground of doubt and put him in a cell.

                                   Chapter 8

After about a week, with the help of his money and his best lawyer, Ansh was out of Jail. As soon as he came out of the jail, he wasted not a single moment and went to find about Roshni’s body.

“It’s still in the medical, Ansh. Her parents did not come to claim her body and I thought you would want to cremate her body.” Jenny said.

“Thank you, Jenny. I want to see her for the last time. Thank you for waiting.” Ansh replied with tears in his eyes.

“You can have the body Mr. Ansh. We have finished the post mortem. There’s some paper work left though.” the sub inspector informed Ansh.

“Stop refering her as a body, will you?” Ansh replied breaking down once more while Jenny and Ansh’s lawyer escorted him out of the Police Station.

“He cries every time we talk about Roshni, he is not the murderer, Sir.” the sub inspector told the ACP.

“Do you want to be the BEST officer, Rathore??” the ACP asked.

“Yes sir.” Rathore replied with utmost confidence.

“Then you must keep your fucking emotions in check!” barked the ACP and then added, “Now get hold off that Arjun Singh. These rich people kill and die and then we need to lose our sleep, food and everything.”

The police was trying to get hold of Arjun ever since Ansh was in the jail but Arjun was nowhere to be found. He had not come to office and was not at his apartment too. It seemed like he vanished into the thin air, and it made the police all the more suspicious of him.

The last rituals of Roshni’s death were performed by Ansh and he was accompanied by Jenny and his other employees and the very few friends of Roshni. Arjun was nowhere to be seen since the murder and thus, Ansh, too, became all the more positive that Arjun was the only one who murdered his lady love.

Escaping from everybody’s notice and knowledge, Arjun sat in his friend’s apartment all day long. He did not know what to do; he knew that the needle of suspicion would be pointing towards him but he did not want to face the police interrogation and disclose his whereabouts of that fateful night. He, from his sources, had come to know that Ansh had to face a very tough time infront of the investigators. Deep within he, too, believed that Ansh was the one who could kill Roshni. Drowned in deep thoughts, Arjun drifted off to a dreamless sleep.

He woke up to the sound of the calling bell ringing continuously. Still in sleep, Arjun did not bother to ask who it was and opened the door to a group of policemen standing infront of him. He tried to shut the door on their face and runaway inside but was surpassed by the policemen and was taken to the police station.

“So Mr. Arjun Singh, I heard you tried to run away. Is it true??” the ACP interrogated.

Arjun did not dare to meet his eyes and just nodded.

“That means you are THE murderer otherwise you would not try to run away.” the ACP retorted.

“No sir. Of course not. My running away was instinctive nothing planned or anything. And I did not kill Roshni. Why should I!!” Arjun shouted.

“Why should you?? Well because she was you boss’s would be fiancée. And it only meant that all your make out sessions would come to an end, you spending her money would also come to an end. And most importantly, don’t you have a record of having abusive relationships even in the past??” the ACP asked.

Arjun was dumbfounded. His every little detail was known to the police officer. He felt like being naked infront of the officer. Vulnerable he felt.

“Answer me Arjun!!” the ACP shouted.

“What you are saying is true, I agree. But I would never dare to kill someone sir. Never ever. Believe me sir.” Arjun pleaded.

“Well then you must say us where you were on the day of Roshni’s murder. You were seen to leave the party right after Roshni. Where did you go after that?? And Arjun Singh, do NOT dare to lie to me!” the ACP warned.

“Uhm.. Uhm.. Sir.” Arjun mumbled.

“Stop mumbling and start speaking!!” the ACP barked again.

“Sir we both were making out on the terrace of the venue of the party. I mean Roshni and I but Ansh found out and was furious and I did not want to lose my job by offending him more; after all it was Roshni who was crazy for me and not the other way round. I would not like to lose my job for her infedility. So I left Roshni alone with Ansh. I, then, made my way to the party but I was frustrated. Uh.sexually that is. And so there was this girl in the party, she was hitting on me and so I decided to spend my time with her.” Arjun said.

“Do you people have any other work other than having sex??” the ACP asked and then looked at his sub-ordinate and said, “It is fun though, right?? Having sex with everybody. Ah..the thought itself is arousing.” the ACP chuckled while his sub ordinate blushed.

“Okay now tell me if that girl can be your alibi.” the ACP asked Arjun.

“Sir, it was just an one-night stand. I do not have her number or any other such information. But I am saying you the truth, believe me!” Arjun pleaded.

“The law works not on belief but proof. You bring one and you are free but till then, you are supposed to stay in the cell.” the ACP said and directed his sub-ordinate to take Arjun to the cell.

While the ACP sat in the interrogating room pondering over the case, a constable came in to inform him about a boy who wanted to see him regarding the murder of Roshni. Agitated at the interruption, the ACP slowly made his way out to meet his new visitor.

A young boy, who looked timid was waiting for the ACP. His physical apperance was much different than that of both Arjun and Ansh; lean and thin, and with average height, he looked like he was suffering fron malnuitrition.

“You wanted to meet me??” the ACP asked the boy.

“Sir, I heard you are incharge of Roshnis’s murder, is it so??” the boy asked back.

“I am the Officer here young boy. I do the asking, while you people talk!” the ACP replied agitated.

“Uh.. Sorry Sir. I did not mean to offend you. I just came here to say you something, which I think will be important for you.” the boy replied.

“What?? Say it fast. I don’t have time to play your mind games.” the ACP replied, impatiently.

“Sir, I live in the opposite apartment of Roshni’s. I have had this huge crush on her since our school days. We were from the same shool and college, too. But then she was the famous girl and I was just some another guy and so she never showed any interest in me. I even doubt if she ever knew me.” the boy said but was interrupted by the ACP.

“Did you come here to tell me that you were not manly enough to go and confess your love for her??” the ACP said.

“No no. Let me complete, Sir, please.” the boy said.

“This better be important lad!” the ACP said already losing his temper.

“So Sir, since I could not get her, I used to stalk her. I would go everywhere she went to, I would see everything she ate, I even used a binocular to look inside her house. The day she was murdered was also no different, I was looking into her apartment. By that time she had already reached home and when I looked through I saw a girl. She was dressed in a black jacket and trousers and had scraf wrapped around her face. I had never seen her before at Roshni’s place but I don’t know why, I remember seeing her somewhere. But I just cannot remember where!” the boy said.

“My my! Where were you so many days, boy?? You had such a vital piece of information with you!” the ACP said looking astonished and added, “Now all we can do is find who that girl is!”

                                   Chapter 9

The police enquired everyone about the girl dressed in black but it seemed like nobody knew who that girl was. No one at the party had noticed a girl dressed in all black.

Jenny even remarked, “Please Officer, it was a party and every other girl was in a black dress. I was in black too. Does it mean I am the murderer??” she said and burst out laughing at her own little joke. But then when she saw the serious face of the Officer she shut her up and added, “And anyways how the hell am I supposed to know who’s the girl you are talking about!”

But the boy that lived opposite to Roshni’s apartment, Abhay, was adamant that he had seen a girl get into Roshni’s apartment.

“Are you sure?? Did you mistake Roshni to be some other girl??” the ACP asked, all concerned.

“No. No, Sir. It cannot be. I am sure it was NOT Roshni. It was someone else!”

“Then why the hell has not anyone seen her!!” the ACP shouted punching the table and then added, “Rathore, you need to find this girl. I put you in charge of this.”

“Sir, we can have the CCTV footage of that party and can ask Abhay to recognize the girl if she’s there.” Rathore suggested.

“Brilliant!” the ACP replied beaming with happiness and then added, “Order the manager of the hotel to send us the footages immediately.”

After about an hour the Manager of the hotel, himself, came and handed over the CD of the footage of the party to Inspector Rathore. Rathore alongwith Abhay watched the footage until Abhay found that same figure in the footage. Aloof from everyone, the girl sat and drank and watched Roshni intently. And when Roshni left the party, the girl too, left the party as quietly as she had entered.

The only mistake she did was when she left the hall, she looked directly at the camera, which exposed her face.

“That. That is Ria. Ria Malhotra from our college. She was in the same section with Roshni. At each others dagger’s dawn they were; always fighting over boys or titles or anything. Infact it was only because of the challenge with Ria that Roshni, entered into the modeling world.” Abhay said everything in a single breathe.

“Okay now Abhay you need to give us her address and phone number.” Rathore told Abhay.

“I don’t have her number but we can take it from her facebook profile, though.” Abhay said and quickly logged into his account and got hold of Ria’s number.

“7389954241. Here it is Sir.” Abhay handed over the number to Rathore.

Rathore took the number and went to his Officer.

“Sir we know who the girl is. She is Ria. Ria Malhotra. She was from Roshni’s college, both were each other’s enemies and as per information Roshni was also the reason behind Ria’s failed relationships. She was really envious of Roshni’s achievements Sir. She had every motive to kill her.” Rathore told his officer.

“I don’t think just because of some boyfriends a girl would kill someone. There has to be lot more, Rathore. Look into this Ria and find out everything about her. And by everything, I mean every damn thing, okay?” the ACP said and then added, “And yes, before that make a call to her and ask her to come to the Police Station tomorrow sharply at 4. Am I clear then??”

“Yes Sir.” replied Rathore.

The next day at 4 o’clock nobody turned up at the Police Station, the ACP called Ria but every time it went to her voice mail. Realizing the game Ria was trying to play the ACP alongwith his team of officers made their way to her home.

Ria was at her home, sitting alone, nervous at the thought that the police might show up at her door; but then she had ordered the security of her building to not let any policeman enter the premises. Little did she know that before Police Officers everyone had to kneel down. And thus, the security guard let in the police officers and he himself escorted them to Ria’s apartment.

“Ma’am there’s someone to meet you.” the Security Guard said.

“I don’t want to meet anyone. Go away.” Ria shouted back.

“They insist Ma’am.” the guard said again.

Ria walked towards the door of her apartment shouthing, “Don’t you get anything or what, you bloody ass.” and she opened the door only to find a group of police officers standing infront of her door.

“Miss. Ria you were supposed to visit us, but since you did not come, we decided to pay you a visit.” the ACP said, showing her, his beaming smile.

“How.. How did you find my house??” Ria asked.

“Kanoon k haath lambe hote hai, Miss Ria.” the ACP chuckled and then added, “I said the same thing to your would be husband too, you know?”

“Would be husband? What are you trying to say?” Ria asked, stunned.

“C’mon let us go to the Police Station and you will understand everything.” the ACP said while a lady constable tugged Ria behind.

When they reached the police station the lady constable took Ria to the interrogation room and the ACP and Rathore followed them.

“So Miss Ria speak the truth now.” the ACP said.

“Sir, I don’t know why you brought me here and about what truth you are speaking of!” Ria said trying to be indifferent.

“Ah.. Whom are you trying to fool Ria?? Are you not the one who hated Roshni?? Who could never stand her achievements, and her beauty and everything?? Don’t lie to us Ria. We know ‘everything’.” the ACP said stressing the word ‘everything’.

“She was just my class-mate. That is it. She was like a nobody for me.” Ria said.

“A nobody who snatched away your boyfriend, right?? A nobody who snatched away your prom crown and yes of course not to forget your chance to be successful too.” the ACP said and then looked in the direction of Rathore and added, “What did I miss more, Rathore??”

Rathore said, “A nobody who was even the reason after her canceled marriage with Ansh, Sir. And even someone whom she promised to kill sooner or later.”

“Ah yes. How could I forget that!” the ACP cried.

Ria looked at both the ACP and Rathore with bulging eyes. She never thought that every detail of her would come to the limelight. Out of fear, anxiety, Ria started crying.

Rathore being a warm hearted person reached out to her and gave her his handkerchief. The ACP threw him an angry look and made him withdraw the little offering. After that he left the room briskly.

“I agree. I agree. I hated Roshni. Infact I despised her. She took away everything that rightfully belonged to me. My boyfriend, the prom crown, the lead role in drama, the model competition and even my Ansh. She even snatched him away. We were supposed to get married by the end of this month. But Ansh was in love with her and so he left me. He left Ria Malhotra for that slut Roshni. I knew she could never be faithful. I knew she had something cooking up between her and Arjun. And so I wanted to teach her a lesson. I was at the party. Without anybody’s knowledge I had gone to the party. I noticed her all evening and when she left the party I left after her. But.. But, believe me Sir, I did not kill her. She was already dead when I reached her apartment. She was there on the bed, lying dead with her neck slayed and half naked. But I have nothing to do with it Sir. Please trust me.” Ria told the ACP and broke down yet again.

“She was dead before you arrived?? I hope you ar not bluffing Ria.” the ACP said, concerned with the new fact.

Ria shook her head vigorously.

“Sir could you come out for a while?” Rathore called the ACP from the door of the room.

“What is it Rathore??” the ACP asked, closing the door of the interrogation room behind.

“I don’t think Ria is the murderer Sir.” Rathore said.

“Why, because she cried infront of you??” the ACP snorted.

“No Sir. Because the post mortem report of Roshni says that she was sexually assaulted after she was killed.” Rathore said, leaving the ACP silent and then added, “Of course if she had no other compliance with her.”

                                 Chapter 10

“What? And you are telling me this now? Rathore I wasted an hour interrogating that girl. You know how precious my time is.” The ACP shouted at Rathore.

“But Sir, the report..”

“You are useless Rathore. I am not going to bear….”

“THE REPORT CAME JUST NOW.” Rathore shouted at the top of his voice with closed eyes as he had interrupted the ACP in between.

ACP gave him a stern look but as it was not Rathore’s fault so he said nothing to him and went back again where Ria was adjusting her kohl which had been smudged because of the tears. Watching the ACP back, she immediately kept her purse aside and again made a crying face.

“If you are done with your make up, shall we continue?” ACP questioned her sarcastically but didn’t bother to wait for her answer instead started interrogating her again.

“So tell me, did you plan all this alone or you had an accomplice? Because slaying someone like this isn’t an easy job for a fragile girl like you.”

“Excuse me, what do you mean inspector! I’m not some fragile girl.” Roshni was infuriated on being called fragile that she didn’t pay attention to what the ACP asked her.

“So you mean, you killed Roshni yourself, eh?”

“I did not say that. I did not kill her.”

“Then who the hell did that job for you?” ACP shouted on her making her more nervous.

“I told you everything Sir, I didn’t kill her. She was already dead.” Roshni was again in tears.

“If she was already dead, why didn’t you inform us?” ACP was now fuming in anger.

“I.. I got scared. Running away from the place seemed to be the only right option to me.”

“Such is the youth of this country. They’ll run away instead of reporting the crime to the police. You can leave for now but you can not leave the city until we clear you.” Saying this the ACP left the room going back to his office. Rathore followed him quietly.

“Sir, what next?” Rathore asked him with a confused look.

“Do I really need to tell you this? Rathore, don’t piss me off, go get that fucking report.” The ACP was really furious, as it was now more than a fortnight and he still had no clue who the murderer is.

Rathore came back to his office with Roshni’s post-mortem report. The ACP read the report thoroughly, which mentioned that Roshni was suffocated to death. Her neck had marks of something as if she had been suffocated with a cable. And then her neck was brutally slayed. *He slayed her neck to make sure she dies. Weren’t you satisfied killing her one time that you killed her again? Bastard.* The ACP thought to himself. His eyes turned Red with anger when he read the part Rathore had told him earlier. She was sexually assaulted.

“Son of a bitch. I want him behind these fucking bars ASAP Rathore. Put more men on this case. And find that bloody asshole.”

Rathore had never seen him this angry. But then he understood ACP’s trouble. He had always solved such cases within a week and this time he wasn’t even a step ahead. As he opened the door to leave, ACP shouted on him,
“I am not done yet. Call that skeleton back again. And interrogate him. He might be the crazy killer.”

Rathore called Abhay and interrogated him. But they could not find any lead. Abhay came out clean when the doctor told the police that Abhay was impotent. Also, they didn’t find any fingerprints of Abhay at Roshni’s place.

The ACP went to Roshni’s place and found nothing but just the usual stuff. They have been looking for clues at her place for weeks now. They found prints of Ria, Ansh and Roshni at her apartment. On the other side, Arjun’s lawyer got him bailed as the police had no solid proof for his involvement in the murder. Roshni’s murder was now all over the news and the poilce department was getting defamed as they were not able to solve this murder’s mystery.

“How can you bail Arjun? He’s the killer. He is my Roshni’s killer.” Ansh snapped at Rathore when he came to know about Arjun’s bail.

“The law did that. We do not have any proof against him so we can not keep him behind the bars. Just like you Mr. Ansh.”

“I will myself find the killer now. You guys are useless.” Ansh left the headquarters blaming them for not finding the killer.

It was more than a month now since Roshni’s murder. Police was unable to find any lead in the case. Also, the news channels stopped reporting anything about her. So the case got a set back and was closed. But for ACP it was a personal defeat, which he couldn’t bear at any cost. So he continued his personal investigation without any help from the police department.

On the other side, Ansh started his own investigation. He started collecting information about Roshni’s past.

“You think it’s easy Ansh? When the police failed to solve this case, how would you do it? Just let it go now. She’s dead. Move on now.”

“No, Jenny. I can’t just let it go. I loved her and I will love her always even when she is not with me. I know it’s not easy but I won’t give up.”

“You have gone crazy Ansh. You are not a detective.”

“Oh, thank you so much Jenny. You just made it all the more easy for me. Detective is what I need.”

Ansh looked for the best detectives, asked many people who knew detectives but could find none. He was disheartened. Somewhere deep down his heart was also feeling hopeless, distraught.

But one fine day as Ansh was scanning through the daily newspaper he found an article that talked about a detective called Mr. Brown who solved a long forgotten case with ease. And then it struck him that Mr. Brown was there in the party.

“How could I forget about him!” Ansh asked himself in disbelief.

Quickly he made a call to Jenny asking her to text him the number of Mr. Brown. Within minutes he had the number of Mr. Brown and an appointment, too, to meet him. Finally after days of gloom, Ansh noticed a ray of hope.

                           Chapter 11

“Thank you so much. I’d be there on time.” Ansh got the appointment on the phone.

He was waiting for the day to get over so that he could meet Mr. Brown the next day and then soon the murderer would be behind bars. He didn’t sleep the whole night. After every few minutes he used to look at the clock to see if the time has passed. Every single minute for him was difficult to pass. The moment the sun rose, he called up Jenny.

“Jenny? You’re still sleeping?”

“Ansh, it’s just 6 am and the office starts at 10. What do you expect me to do at this time?” She was frustrated with Ansh’s call early in the morning.

“Ah, whatever. Listen, I won’t be coming to the office today so cancel all my meetings. I have to go and see Mr. Brown today.” Saying this he hung up the call without waiting for Jenny’s response which made her all the more frustrated.

The weather has now started becoming chilly early in the mornings as winters were just about to knock the door. Ansh was sipping his coffee standing in the balcony when he remembered one such morning with Roshni.

“Ansh, what are you doing up so early? Come back to bed.” Roshni said in a sleepy voice when she found Ansh sitting in the balcony with his laptop and coffee.

“I’m working honey. I had this meeting today in Malaysia but I didn’t want to leave my beautiful girl alone. So I was having a video conferencing with the clients. And guess what, you and Arjun would be flying to Malaysia after three days for their shoot.”

Ansh had a tear in his eye, and thought to himself that if he hadn’t sent Roshni to this shoot, she would still have been here with him because he still believed Arjun to be the killer. He had his apointment within few hours so he got dressed up, collected all the information, he thought the detective might want and left for his office.

He thought that it would be a big professional office but to his surprise he found this huge old villa in a deserted area. He confirmed the address on the phone again, only to find himself standing outside the right place. He went inside and found a beautiful girl, in her late twenties sitting across a desk which was full of mails and cards and a telephone which rang now and then.

“Ms. Robbins? I have an appointment with Mr. Brown.”

She adjusted her spectales to look at the person and found a handsome man standing in front of her. She was mesmerized for sometime as she hasn’t come across any handsome man lately. Ansh’s voice brought her back from her kingdom of dreams.

“Umm Yeah, may I know your name Sir?”

“Ansh, Ansh Aggarwal. Is Mr. Brown here?”

“Yes, have a seat, I’d just go and inform him.”

Ms. Robbins, secretary of Mr. Brown was his only employee who handled all the work, except herself being the detective. Without her help, Mr. Brown was a complete mess. She went inside his study, which he had converted into his office, and informed him about Ansh. His office was a mess too. She was now tired of asking him again and again for keeping a maid for the cleaning but he always dismissed the idea. So she scolded him with frustration to clean his mess before Ansh enters his office as she didn’t want Ansh to have a bad impression.

“For God’s sake, CLEAN YOUR TABLE. It looks like a heap of garbage. I WANT YOU TO CLEAN IT BEFORE I SEND MR. ANSH INSIDE.”

“Ohhh, okay ma’am.” Mr. Brown said it in a kiddish tone.

After about five minutes of secretly looking at Ansh and admiring him, she signalled him to go inside to meet Mr. Brown. Though Mr. Brown was invited to his party but he personally had never met him.

He went inside a found a man of around mid thirties sitting in his chair and eating French fries. He had his eyes closed and was enjoying french fries as if it were not french fries but some chocolate or ice cream girls go crazy for. His hands were rough like that of a sportsman. His forhead had lines but the rest of the face was like as if made of wax. Ansh got a strange vibe looking at this man but nevertheless he was here with the best detective to find out who killed Roshni.

“Mr. Brown? Ansh Aggarwal.” Ansh forwarded his hand towards him.

Mr. Brown was brought back from his fantasy fries eating with Ansh’s voice and he opened his eyes to look at him.

                       Chapter 12

“Hello Mr. Brown. How do you do??” Ansh said as he entered Mr. Brown’s room.

I was busy making my table look presentable when I looked at the person standing infront of me. A lad of 6 feet height, fair in complexion and dark lofty hair; well built, a body that any girl would want for her boyfriend and any boy would want such a figure for himself. As I looked at Ansh making his way towards me, I could not but notice my protruding belly.

“Ah! How I wish I would get that figure too!” I thought to myself, sighing.

“Hello Mr. Brown. I have heard about you everywhere. It was lovely; the way you solved your last case that is.” Ansh said, lifting his hand.

After cleaning my table with my bare hands, it had turned dirty and I hesitated to put forward my hand and thus just nodded my head.

“What a foolish impression I must have made!” I mentally thought and kicked myself for it.

“Sir, I came for a help actually.” Ansh said and then added, “I am uh.. Umm.. The boyfriend of Roshni Sen. The supermodel. I want you to look into the murder of her Sir. The police has been trying their best but they could not find the culprit, and I don’t want the murderer to escape. Please Sir, please do something and find out who that person is.”

Saying this Ansh started to recount the day of Roshni’s murder to me. He ended the story with sobs and requesting me to put the culprit behind bars.

I said, “I will do everything in my power. Trust me.”

“I knew it. I knew you were the right person to talk to.” Ansh said, smiling weakly and then added, “This is all the information about the case that I could assemble. If you need any more help, please give me a call.” saying it Ansh handed me his visiting card and left my office.

After he went, I flipped through the pages of the file and came over the name of Inspector Rathore. He was my junior in the academy. I smiled at the easy way I could get the Police File from him. But before that, I decided to visit Roshni’s place, the murder scene.

“Lucy, I am heading to a place for the current case will you please do me a favor.” I asked Lucy.

“Of course. Say what you want.” Lucy replied.

“Dig for as much information as you can about Roshni Sen. Professional as well as personal. Okay?” I said.

“Roshni Sen, the supermodel?? Are you telling me you got her murder case??” Lucy asked dazzled and then added, “I need a hike in my salary, Mister.”

I smiled at her and made my way out for Roshni’s place.
But then suddenly, I came to a stop and turned back and asked, “Lucy, do you remember where I was on the night when Roshni was killed?”

Lucy looked up from her computer and gave me a disbelieving look and said, “You?? Well, you were drunk like a dead person and lying in your office. I had to shout on the top of my voice to wake you up the next morning. And as I entered the room, I could smell alcohol everywhere.”

I flushed at the thought of the day and out of embarrassment made my way out of the office briskly. I made my way to Roshni’s apartment to examine the crime scene. The police had now given up on the case so now it wasn’t a sealed property anymore but still I had to sneak in so that no one saw me entering through the main gate. It was a beautifully built house but now it appeared like a haunted house with no lights, scattered stuff and dust all around.

I made my way to her bedroom, where she was killed. The bed sheet still had her blood stains. I examined the room very carefully, every nook and corner of it and to my surprise I found a silver bracelet lying under the cupboard. I took the bracelet from under the cupboard. The bracelet had a very small piece of cloth struck with it’s lock. *How can the police miss such an important clue! Stupid people.* I thought to myself and left the place to give that bracelet to my friend who worked in forensics and to meet my lovely junior Rathore.

“Hello Rathore, how are you? I hope I didn’t interrupt you while working.”

“Mr. Brown, it’s been years. Please, have a seat.” Rathore was surprised to see me.

“Well, I won’t take much of your time. You must be a busy cop solving crimes, looking for clues and … Anyways, I am here to get some details about Roshni Sen murder case.”

“But the case has been closed Sir. And giving you the details is against our rules. Why do you need it? Are you solving this case now?” Rathore asked with a confused look.

“You owe me this much at least for teaching you some skills. And Don’t worry kid, you won’t get into any trouble. Just make a copy of the report and hand it over to me tonight at my place.”

“But Sir, are you handling the case now?”

“I just want to look into it. That’s all. I’ll leave now. You continue leaving behind clues.”

I was done with my work for the day so I stopped by a restaurant and ordered some french fries. After all, I needed to refill my energy level for playing criminal case.

On the other side, the frustrated ACP was still trying to find out some lead in this officially closed case. He was just not ready to give up. While he was busy shuffling through the report again and again, he received a call from his mentor, his ex boss and he immediately left to meet him.

“Sir, you wanted to see me?” The ACP asked his mentor while saluting him.

“Have a seat Dixit. How is your case going?”

“The case has been closed officially. But I can’t sleep peacefully till the time I don’t solve it. So I am trying to investigate on my own.”

“I called you here regarding your case only. I read it in the paper yesterday. Dixit…”

“What is it Sir?”

“This is not something happening for the first time. Remember the case I was trying to solve two years back, after which I took retirement?”

“The one, you couldn’t solve even after five months?”

“Yes, Shruti Murder Case. A young girl who got murdered at a tender age of 20. Well, your Roshni’s case is just like Shruti’s case. Roshni is famous that is why her murder came into limelight but Shruti was just a normal college going kid so nobody knew much about her murder.”

“What do you mean Sir?”

“I mean, Shruti was also first suffocated to death and then her neck was slayed. After she died, the murdered raped her dead body. Just like your Roshni.”

“You mean…..”

“Yes Dixit, you are dealing with a serial killer. You better find him and kill him before he kills another innocent girl.”

                                 Chapter 13

“Are you serious Sir?? Like do you really know what you are saying, Sir?? Oh my God! We are not just dealing with some murderer but with a maniac.” the ACP, Dixit said.

“Exactly, Dixit.” said his officer and then added, “I don’t want to burden you, but I really want this murderer behind the bars at any cost. Do anything and everything, Dixit but get him. I’ll help you in every possible way, but you need to get that bloody slayer!”

The ACP could see rage in his officer’s eyes. And he understood that it was no more a case concerning the prestige of the Police Department but the safety of girls.

“I’ll do everything I can, Sir.” Dixit said and then added, “But before that can you please hand me the case file of the Shruti-case?? I would like to have a read.”

“Of course. I’ll make a call to my sub-ordinate and you can have the file.” the Officer said and made a call asking for the case file of the Shruti murder case.

“You’ll get it in this office.” the Officer said and scribbled down the address on a paper and handed it to the ACP.

“Thank you Sir.” Dixit said and then made his way out of his Officer’s house.

The office that Dixit had to go was an old one and it mainly consisted of files of cases that had been closed without any results. In a corner it had a computer for use. The rusty look of the room, indicated that it had not been used since ages.

“You’ll get anything you want related to the Shruti murder case here, Sir. And the case file is right there on the table.” the young police officer told Dixit and took his leave.

Dixit looked around the place and wondered how so many cases remained unsolved. He was overwhelmed at the thought of all those people who were denied justice.

Pushing all those thoughts, the ACP sat to do his work. And as he read the case file of Shruti’s murder case he came across the names of the witnesses, suspects, her family, friends, boyfriend. But something was not falling into place. 
So he switched on the computer and googled about the murder case. There was not much information regarding the case since it did not include any high-profile suspect or victim. But after hours of searching he finally found a link about the murder of Shruti.

Shruti, a college going girl was mysteriously found dead in her apartment. The girl was first suffocated to death and then the murderer had slayed her neck, and then was raped. The fact that the girl was raped came to light only after the post mortem. The most interesting thing was the girl had no marks of struggle in her body, like she knew her murderer and he/ she whoever it was did not have to force upon her.

The ACP tried hard to remember if Roshni had any such marks on her body. But to his utter shock he could not remember any such marks. The mere thought of resemblance shook Dixit a bit and he went on reading the article. As he continued he found a link that opened to another case in a different city where the girl, Debolina, was murdered in the same way. And the case was closed due to lack of proof.

“This thing is much complicated than what we have been thinking.” Dixit thought to himself while noting down the addresses of the other two girls.

*******************************************

After I collected the bracelet I took it to Dr. Upadhyay. He is like my Dr. Watson. Examining thins and crime scenes for me. And every case I win, it is because of his flawless work.

“Hey Upadhyay, guess what I got for you!” I shoute to Upadhyay as I entered his cabin.

“Must be french fries again!” Upadhyay replied sounding a little bored!

“Ah! French fries. Now that you have named it, let’s have it.” I said and got hold of his phone to order two plates of french fries for both of us.

“look at your belly, Brown. It seems like it grows per hour. You should really give up on those french fries!” Upadhyay said.

“I cannot.” I said and then my hand went to my pockets and I jumped out of excitement.

“What’s wrong??” Upadhyay asked, concerned.

“It’s the bracelet I came for. I am on a new case. The Roshni murder case; that’s my case now. I had gone to her place where she had been killed and I found this bracelet under a cupboard. It has a piece of cloth attached too, which I don’t think is of the victim’s. If you will have a look Upadhyay.” I said.

“Of course. Of course.” Upadhyay said and took the bracelet and headed to his laboratory.

As Dr. Upadhyay worked in his laboratory, Brown waited in his chamber. After about an hour, Dr. Upadhyay came out of his laboratory, shaking his head.

“I did not expect it from you, Brown. How could you forget to pick up the bracelet with a handkerchief?? Now all this bracelet has is Roshni and your fingerprints. It is of no use now.” Upadhyay said.

“I.. Uh.. I cannot believe I had been so careless. This could be a vital information and I ruined it!” I said, furious at my own deed. “Anyways, does the piece of clothe say anything, Doc??” I asked.

“That cloth needs to be checked thoroughly. I’ll only be able to tell you about it tomorrow.” the Doctor said.

“Okay. I’ll take your leave then.” I said and left his office and made my way to the restaurant where I was to meet Inspector Rathore.

                            Chapter 14

Boarding his train for Nainital, all that the ACP could think was his conversation with Rathore. He had been in Police as far his memory could go and he could say if somebody was lying only by looking at his face. And Rathore, for sure, was lying to him. Going through the last conversation he had with Rathore again and again he could not but feel all the more frustrated.

“Rathore bring me the file of Roshni’s murder.” Dixit told Rathore.

“What Sir??” Rathore asked back.

“The file. File of Roshni Sen’s murder case. Bring it to me. I need to see something.” the ACP said, already losing his patience.

“The file Sir?? Why Sir?? Why so suddenly??” Rathore asked back.

“Why do you question so much, Rathore?? It’s your duty to oblige by my orders and not ask question.” the ACP growled.

“Sorry Sir.” Rathore mumbled and left the ACP’s office.

“What will I do now! From where should I present the case file, when it is actually with that senior of mine.” Rathore punched on the wall nearby. “What do I do! What do I do!” he thought to himself.

After some time, that actually felt like ages for Dixit, Rathore entered the ACP’s office and said, “Sir, I tried searching everywhere but the file’s nowhere to be seen. I don’t know where it is gone. I have asked everybody but they don’t seem to know anything about it either.”

“Are you fucking kidding me, Rathore?? How can the file of a recent case be lost??” the ACP asked, shocked.

“I donlt know Sir.” Rathore replied not meeting Dixit’s eyes.

“Tell me you haven’t misplaced me. Tell me and I’l spare you.” the ACP warned peircing into Rathore.

“I am not a new kid that I’ll misplace important files, Sir. Stop treating me like some piece of shit!” Rathore shouted at the top voice, trying to fake his anger and walked out of the ACP’s office.

“Rathore had never behaved in such a way before even when I had behave more harshly with him. The anger he showed seemed not real at all. What is that he is trying to hide! What!” the ACP thought to himself.
“So all that you are trying to say is Ria and Roshni were always fighting with each other.” I asked Abhay.

“Yes Sir. Absolutely. They fought over every single reason. For boys, for drama, for contests, dresses even. I still remember their spite after the prom night. That was the fight that made Roskni go for modelling career. And when she won it we all were there to witness it, Ria was there too. She participated in that contest but could not go through the third round. Had she known, Roshni would win the contest, she would never stay back. So when she saw that person crowning Roshni she was very much angry and even swore that she could kill Roshni had she the chance. Of course we never thought she was serious or something but when I heard about the news I was sure it had to be Roshni. Infact I saw someone in her house that day. I told the police about it.” Abhay said.

“What did you exactly see, Abhay. Can you tell me in details??” I asked.

“Mr. Brown all I saw was a different figure. I have watched Roshni everytime and I am very much familiar with her figure but the figure I saw was someone else’s. Dressed in all black with a scarf around the face, that person had mysterious look. I could never forget that figure because it seemed strikingly similar. As if I had seen it somewhere.” Abhay said.

“But are you sure the person was dressed in black?? Because the evidence says something different.” I said.

“Different??” Abhay asked shocked. “It cannot be Sir. It was definitely black. I am so sure.”

“How can you be so sure Abhay?? Roshni’s apartment is quite at a distance, then how can you be so sure unless you were there!” I said him.

At this Abhay was startled and said, “Of course. Of course I can make a mistake but you asked me what I think.”

“No. I did not ask you what you think. The thinking part I’ll do. I asked you what you saw.” I said.

“It was a moonless night Sir that day. Maybe it was yellow and I mistook it for black.” Abhay said scratching his chin.

“Aha.” I said and added, “By the way Abhay the security guard of your apartment said that you had gone out that very night for a while and was dressed in a yellow shirt. Is that true??”

“Uh.. Umm.. I did go out sir. but it was way before the murder time.” Abhay said.

“Are you sure Abhay?? Because your security guard said that you entered the house only 15/20 minutes before the police arrived.” I said.

Abhay was shocked at the amount of information I had and did not utter a word.

“Okay. I’ll take your leave now and let you think over about your timings.” I said and smiled at him.

“I always thought that he was saying things that were not relaible. How can a person living in an apartment in a totally different building so clearly see the dress of a person! He is for sure misleading the police.” I thought to myself as I chomped on my plate of Chicken Snacker and French Fries.

“Now my next victim would be Ria.” I paused. “No. No. It would be better if I talk to one of the ex-boyfriend of Roshni. That guy who was Ria’s boyfriend but then dumped her for Roshni. What was his name!” I rummaged through my brain.

“Ah! Right Varun. Varun Malhotra.” I said clapping my hands but then immediately withdrew them when I saw people around, staring at me.

As I made my way out of KFC I called Lucy and asked her to get Varun’s number and an appoinment. After that I went to Dr. Upadhyay’s for his final report on the piece of cloth.

“What did you find, Doc??” I asked as I entered his office.

“Brown, the cloth it seems really mysterious to me. Come over here and have a look.” Upadhayay said heading into the laboratory.

The cloth was a yellow coloured cotton piece. Torn from a garment. If someone only saw it’s outer features, he would find nothing extraordinary but from the eyes of a forensic specialist, one could see what was hidden underneath.

The cloth had small almost neglegible blood spots and when put under strict observation one could find nail prints on it.

But the most shocking part of all was; the cloth had traces of male sperm.

“I think it was what Roshni was wearing that night.” Upadhyay said.

“No. It is not what Roshni was wearing that night; rather it is a piece of cloth from the murderer’s dress.” I said with an affirmed look.

“How can you be so sure??” Upadhyay asked me.

I smirked and said, “See, if this piece of cloth had been of Roshni’s it would not have traces of a women’s nail. Because the presence of the trace of a woman’s nail means there had been a duel between the murderer and the victim.”

I showed him how the duel must have been that night.

“But the thing that amazes me, Upadhyay, is, according to the report, the victim was sexually assaulted after her death, then how come the cloth had traces of sperm, assuming the duel to take place beforehand!” I looked at Upadhyay.

“She might have known her murderer and the cloth must have torn when she clutched him as he caught hold of her neck.” Upadhyay said, scratching his forehead, his way of indicating doubt.

“Excellent!! That’s the reason. Of course. How could I not think of it!” I cried and looked triumphantly at Upadhyay who wore a hurtful expression, probably from my previous comment. 

                               Chapter 15

After a day long journey ACP Dixit was finally in Nainital. The inspector of the area was in the station to welcome him, but the ACP was not in any mood for such things. His only motive was to get to Shruti’s place and enquire things about her, her family, her lifestyle and everything.

“Leave all these and take me to this address NOW!” the ACP shouted at the inspector who was trying to offer him a garland.

The inspector stunned at the sudden outburst of the ACP mumbled a yes and made way to the police car.

After an hour drive, they were at Shruti’s place. The house was a duplex, had a beautfiul garden infront, with big brown gates. A white Honda City stood infront the doors of the house.

“Simple girl, Sir said. Such big house and simple! Hah!” Dixit thought to himself.

A middle aged man came and opened the door to Dixit and his compliance.

“Whom do you want??”, the man asked.

“Is Mr. Sing inside??” the ACP asked.

“Yes. Please come in. Sir is in his study. I’ll call him. Make yourself comfortable, please.” the man said and made his way inside the house.

It was a huge drawing room with large and beautiful sofa sets and a chandelier in the middle of the room. The walls were adorned with beautiful paintings, but one wall that caught the ACP’s eyes was the one which were adorned with pictures of the family. From the pictures, he could see that Shruti’s family had four members in total; her parents, sister and herself. As he was busy scrutinizing the photos, a tall, dark man came down the stairs towards him. The way the person walked was enough for Dixit to know that he was a man of great esteem, someone with lot of pride.

“Hello Sir.” Dixit said.

“Hello.” Mr. Singh replied, rather stiffly and added, “How can I help you?”

“Well Sir I am here to ask you about the murder of your daughter Shruti.” the ACP said explaining further, “I, actually, think that we can get hold of your daughter’s murderer if you help us a bit.”

There was a sudden wave of emotion in the man’s face. It went stiff, in a way as if he did not want to talk about the bygone episode. After about a minute’s silence Mr. Singh spoke up, “I am happy that you have come to me, but I cannot help you.”

Dixit was shocked at the reply. He did not think that his hope to find something would go out so soon.

“I know it must be very hard for you to recount that episode again but it will be of great help, Sir. You don’t understand the intensity of the case. The murderer we are dealing with is just not a simple one but very dangerous.” the ACP said, stressing the word dangerous.

“I understand but I cannot help you in any way.” Mr. Singh said and rose to leave the room.

“You just cannot be so indifferent. Your indifference will only lead to more deaths. Your daughter’s killer is a serial killer and he is on loose. If we don’t get hold of him then I am afraid but you may lose your second daughter too.” Dixit shouted. 

The moment Dixit said those words, Mr. Singh stopped in his way. The ACP was well aware of how to play with people’s emotions and to get things out of the bag. And indeed he was successful. Mr. Singh turned to look at the ACP, the stiffness in his face was gone and now it was replaced with a feeling of fear, his eyes were brimming with tears, his lips shivered, his hands trembled a bit and his composure was gone long.

“That girl was a disgrace to the family when she was alive and now, when she’s dead she’s a danger to my little daughter.” Mr. Singh said and sank on the floor.

The ACP alongwith the other inspector helped him up and took him to the sofa. While the other inspector went to get a glass of water, Mr. Singh started with Shruti’s story.

“She was my darling. My first daughter and hence she got everything she demanded for. I would pamper her to the zenith. That was the fault that I made. As days went by, she became all the more moody, would never listen to what her mother or I had to say to her. She would do anything and everything she wanted to. By the time she had passed out of college she already had two abortions. Of course she said nothing about it to her mother or me, but such things don’t stay under the cover for long, you see. And one day I heard my employees talking about her and all about her flings. I was ashamed at it. I never thought I would be ridiculed by my own employees. It agitated me. I was in great fury, I was not in my senses. Not at all. And I threw her out of my house. Said her that she was dead to me. And from a month to that she was found dead. It is all because of me. All. Had I never thrown her out of my house, she would have been alive today!” Mr. Singh said and weeped.

“Mr. Singh please do not blame yourself. It is not your fault. The killer would Shave found her anyways. Do not blame yourself for something that was bound to happen. I know it is easy to say, but trust me, Sir this killer will soon be arrested. I promise you Sir.” the ACP told Mr. Singh looking him into his eyes.

“Thank you. Thank you so much. Any help you need just ask me. I’ll be glad to help you in any way I can.” Shruti’s father said assuring.

The ACP and the other police officers made their way out of Mr. Singh’s house after about an hour. The police officer then left ACP Dixit in the rest house and went out to search where Shruti lived after she left her parent’s house.

After a tiresome day, Dixit stood near the window of his room with a cup of coffee in his hand admiring the scenic beauty of Nainital. He had never been to Nainital before and thus was magnetised by the beauty of the place. He could have a glimpse of the lake Naini flowing through, the hills surrounding the city. It all semeed so tranquil and serene to his eyes, which were otherwise always accoustomed to blood and wrath and violence. Though it was summer season but the weather seemed real cold and a beautiful breeze always blew. He was enchanted by the beauty of the place as a whole.

The peaceful atmosphere had a positive impact on the ACP and he drifted off to sleep as soon as he lied on the bed. Little did he know that the silence pertaining was not a peaceful one but an indication to the violent storm coming along.

                              Chapter 16

The next morning Dixit woke up to the constant knocking at his door. It was the officer from Nainital to whom Dixit had handed over the responsibilty to find Shruti’s case details.

“Easy man. I’m coming.” Dixit opened the door in a sleepy state.

“Good Morning Sir. Sorry to disturb you this early but it’s important. I found out where she spent her last month. She lived with her boyfriend at a place close to Nainitaal.” The officer said all this in a single breath.

“This is why you woke me up so early? You fool! You could have told me this when I had come to the station.” Dixit was frustrated to the core.

“But Sir… That guy is leaving for Boston in about two hours. We need to leave now.” As soon as he finished speaking, he saw that Dixit wasn’t there in front of him. He stepped inside to look at him, he banged into Dixit who was ready with his gun and a file. He didn’t bother to even change his night gown.

“What are you waiting for, dumbass? Didn’t you say we have an hour? C’mon we need to leave. NOW!”

The officer followed him without saying a word. They reached that place within an hour. The whole way Dixit slept with his mouth open. The officer called the gaurd who was at the gate and asked him to inform Dev about this visit.

“Hello officer. What happened? Why this surprise visit? All good?” Dev shook hands with the officer with a confused look.

“Mr. Dev, this is ACP Dixit. He’s here to ask you a few questions about Shruti, your girlfriend who died two years back?”

“Shruti? What about her? She’s been dead for two years now. And I’m leaving for Boston in an hour, I’m getting married this month. I don’t want my past to haunt me now when I’m finally ready to start afresh.”

“Don’t worry man, I just want to ask a few questions and then I’m out of here. I have re-opened Shruti’s case as I suspect her murderer is a serial killer.” Dixit said while settling himself comfortably in the couch. 

Looking at Dixit, Dev also sat down quietly as he didn’t want to mess with the cops. Watching him getting scared, Dixit smiled at himself and started his interrogation.

“So Dev.. Tell me everything abput Shruti. Whatever you have got to share.”

“I met her six months before she died, and fell in love with her. You can call me mad or what, but it was kind of love at first sight. I got so blind that I couldn’t see what kind of girl she was. We were in a relationship. And after sometime she moved in with me, saying that her father had a problem with her relationship with me so she left her house. We were doing fine and then suddenly one day, I found her dead in my apartment.
The reports said that she was raped and murdered. The police couldn’t find any proof so the case was soon closed. One thing that always bothered me was if she was raped then why there were no signs of struggle on her body. It appeared like she knew the person as there was no activity of breaking in. I was devastated with her death as she was the love of my life but then after sometime I came to know she was cheating on me. Not with one but many guys and that she didn’t leave her house, but thrown out by her father because of her reputation. And that cleared all my doubts. She must have been killed by one of her, what should I name them, customers. Huh”

Dixit felt like he was hearing Roshni’s story only. But from a different person. He didn’t react and continued with his questioning.

“Do you know Ms. Roshni Sen? If Shruti knew her by any chance?”

“No, I can not recall of any Roshni Sen, that Shruti knew about. I knew all her friends well. Though she was cheating on me but I was her official boyfriend so everyone of her knew me and I knew everyone in her social circle well.”

Dixit left Nainitaal with all the details but still couldn’t figure out the motive behind the murder. With a strange feeling in his heart, he left for Delhi, where he had to gather information about the same type of murder. The murder of Debolina, a typical city girl.

He had already given the case details to the local officer so he wouldn’t have to waste much of his time investigating himself. So while on his way to Delhi, he called up the officer and asked him to be ready with the case report. The officer, being a smart and intelligent cop, was ready with the details as he didn’t want to give Dixit any chance to scold him as he had heard alot about Dixit from other officers and he was a fan of his work.

“Nice work my boy. You impressed me. You’ll be a high grade officer very soon.” Dixit praised the officer when he handed him the file.

“Sir, her name was Debolina. She was from Faridabad but was living in delhi since her college. After college, she got a job here only in H & H Co. Ltd, a very reputed company here. She was engaged to Harry Chaudhary, son of the famous businessman, Mr. Akash Chaudhary. Her parents had died in a car accident when she was in college so she was living on her own here, her only sister being married and living abroad. She was found dead in a farm house party which Harry had organised celebrating his first successful business deal. She was found dead on the terrace with her neck slayed and umm… And..”

“Go on lad, and what?”

“And naked. There had been some sexual activity. Firstly, fingers were pointed at Harry but he came out clean. The case was closed after few months because of lack of proofs.”

“No other suspect?”

“I was coming to that only. Harry put in a lot of money and effort for finding out the murderer. As he dig deep, he came to know that Debolina had many flings behind his back, that same night she was making out with some guy who confessed it to Harry as he was scared of being accussed for the murder. After knowing her loyality facts, Harry stopped bothering about the case.”

“Just like Roshni, except the fact that Ansh is still trying even after knowing how loyal she was! Anyways, any links between her n Roshni?”

“No Sir, no links at all. Nobody knew about her. Nothing that could relate her with Roshni.”

“Thanks boy. I don’t understand why did the killer killed them? I can no see no connections among the girls. But they all had been killed in the same way. There must be something common that I am missing. That would have made the killer kill them. But what!” Dixit was trying really hard to relate all these murders.

“Even, I studied the cases but couldn’t find anything common except that all were cheating their partners with some other guys.”

Dixit immediately rose from his seat as if something struck him. “You really are brilliant boy. If he really is psycho then he might kill them for this.”

“Kill for what?”

“For being bitches my boy. For cheating on their partners. For being dis-loyal.”

And there on the other side, in Mumbai, Mr. Brown woke up all sweating and panting because he had a nightmare, the memories of his childhood that he never wanted to remember got refreshed.

                              Chapter 17

I woke up to those blurred memories of my childhood which haunted me now and then. Those memories, though were never clear but still had the power of affecting me deeply. All I could see in those nightmares were few blurred images of a lady and a few men, could hear her cries and shouts of the men. I could see myself as a child, watching something bad happening but couldn’t figure out what as everything was blurred. I used to feel so suffocated as if I would die and that uneasiness used to wake me up, all sweaty and panting.

It wasn’t the first time this dream, rather nightmare, woke me up in this condition in the middle of the night. Whenever I had such dreams, I would lose my mind and would act violently, so I was taking medication for this. As I was busy investigating for Roshni’s case so I forgot to take my medicines since I started investigating. That is why these nightmares were back to trouble me. I looked for the tablets but couldn’t find them. I called up Robbins to ask her.

“He- Hello? Lucy?” (breathing heavily)

“Sir, you alright? What happened?” Lucy got tensed.

“I couldn’t find my medicines. Do you know where I could have probably kept them?”

“Sir, in your study. But I’m coming right away. Just reaching in a few minutes.”

**************************************************

She hung up without even waiting for the reply. And within seconds, was in her car driving towards Mr. Brown’s place. As soon as she reached, she ran inside and found him sitting in his chair staring at the lamp. She called his name while moving forward but he didn’t answer. She stood in front of him but he didn’t look up. His eyes were red as if there was some kind of rage in them. She called him again but he kept staring at the lamp. She kept her hand on his shoulder and called him again. He looked at her with rage and held her from her neck. She struggled but his grip was so tight that she was not able to release herself. She moved backwards but he still didn’t leave her. He pushed her near the wall and her head got hit really hard. It felt like he would kill her. She was now suffocating and was losing consiciousness. Everything became dark and she couldn’t struggle anymore.

Meanwhile, on the other side of the town, Ansh, who had become a drunkard after Roshni’s death, was losing his patience. He wanted to see Arjun behind the bars but instead he was on the tv screen. This made Ansh more frustrated than he already was and in frustration he took few more gulps of the whiskey he was having.

“Stop it now Ansh, you have almost finished the bottle. You have had more than enough for the day.” Jenny was shouting on Ansh.

“No Jenny, I have just started.” Saying this, he threw the bottle at the tv screen as he couldn’t bear looking at Arjun anymore.

“What the hell! You have gone mad Ansh. That bitch Roshni even after her death is not letting you live peacefully. I wonder if she were alive what would your condition have been.” Jenny couldn’t keep her hatred for Roshni inside her anymore.

“Shut up Jenny. You have no right to say such things about my love.” Ansh was finding it hard to speak.

“I won’t shut up now. Why can’t you see it Ansh, she was just using you for money. She didn’t love you. She was cheating on you. Not just with Arjun but one of her college friends too. Yes, Ansh she was cheating on you. Look at me Ansh, it’s I, who love you truly. She didn’t love you but I do. Why can’t you just forget that death whore and be with me?” Jenny was holding Ansh’s face in her hands and kissed his lips.

Under the effect of alchohol, Ansh forgot everything and kissed her back. For the next few minutes they were lost in each other. Ansh, who hadn’t touched any girl after Roshni was now finding it hard to stop as he was getting that physical pleasure that he got deprived off after Roshni’s death. And Jenny saw it as an opportunity to let her feelings out that she had kept as a secret in her heart.

Suddenly after sometime, Ansh pushed her away and went out of his office without even looking back at her. He took his car and drove to the bridge he used to go when he used to be in tension and needed some time alone. As he reached there, he was suprised to see Arjun, who was already sitting there with his drink and smokes. Ansh then realised that he had been there so many times with his best friend Arjun when they had something to celebrate. But this time, there was no celebration, no more friendship but just hatred that that drifted them apart.

“What are you doing here, you son of a bitch!” Ansh shouted at him.

Arjun got scared finding Ansh there and for a moment couldn’t speak a word.

“Ansh, I need to talk to you. We… We really need to talk. See it’s not like what you think.”

“I know what it is. And you will soon pay for it.”

“I didn’t kill Roshni. I was with a prostitute that night. You caught us making out and I needed to finish what I had started to I went to a prostitute. I didn’t see Roshni after that. Believe me.”

“Why would I believe you bastard. I know you killed her. You both backstabbed me. She is dead, I loved her but yeah she deserved that and you deserve it too. You deserve to die.” Ansh was outraged and alchohol was making him even more angry. Saying this Ansh punched Arjun so hard that he almost fell down.

Arjun could see blood in Ansh’s eyes and he knew he won’t listen a word. Arjun tried to save himself but Ansh didn’t give him any chance but started hitting him really hard. Arjun was injured badly but he somehow hit Ansh with a rock who fell down and lost consciouness. Hee got up and stepped backwards without realising it was the dead end. Before he could realise anything, his foot slipped and he fell down.

Ansh woke up as the sunrays were too harsh for his eyes to bear. His head was paining and he couldn’t sit up straight. He found himself lying near the bridge. He couldn’t remember a single thing from the last night. He somehow drove back to his place, went to his room. As he was heading inside the bathroom for a shower, he stopped to look at himself in the mirror. He was shocked to see blood on his shirt and for the next few minutes he couldn’t move. For he now remembered each and everything of the eventful night.

* I killed Arjun. * was all he managed to speak.

                              Chapter 18

*I killed Arjun.* Ansh went into a state of shock and kept on repeating this. He felt terrible and scared of what would happen next. He regretted going to the bridge and just wished if somehow he could change it. So many thoughts were coming to his mind. He thought of surrendering but then he was too scared of the punishment. He was in a dilemma if he should surrender or stay quiet.

“What if I don’t say a word but then gradually the police finds out the truth? There is also a chance they won’t get to know anything and I would be safe. I didn’t mean to kill him. But somehow I did. It was a mistake. No one would listen. I would be thrown in jail for the rest of my life or they would give me a death sentence.
No.. No I won’t surrender. They won’t come to know just like Roshni’s death.”

Ansh was talking to himself in a state of shock. He wasn’t able to process all this so quickly. Just as he mentioned Roshni’s name, he went into deeper shock.

“I killed Arjun last night in anger and didn’t remember it at first. What if I were the only one to kill Roshni! I was drunk and so outraged that night also. What if in a state of anger I did kill her? Oh my God! What have I done!”

Saying this Ansh broke down and started crying like anything. He couldn’t believe he could do this. He was now blaming himself for both the deaths.

**************************************************************************************

She felt a sting on her arm but she was too weak to get up. She somehow managed to open her eyes and saw a doctor with a syringe. She moved her head to look around. It was a room that looked familiar to her. As she looked towards her right, she saw Mr. Brown sitting on a chair, looking at her with tensed expression.

“Lucy you are up. Thank God you are fine. I was really worried.” Mr. Brown held her hand when he saw her awake.

Ms. Robbins recalled the incident and immediately took her hand away. She was afraid of him and wanted to run but her condition made her stay on the bed.

“Do you remember what happened to you last night? I woke up in the middle of the night and found you lying unconscious in my study. When did you come here? And what happened?” Mr. Brown was asking her if she remembered anything.

She looked at him with her eyes wide open in surprise. He had such an expression on face as if he actually didn’t remember a single thing from the last night. She was confused but didn’t say a word because it appeared from his actions that he won’t harm her. After the doctor left the place, she called Mr. Brown.

“Sir, you don’t remember anything of the last night?”

“I told you Lucy, I found you lying on the floor in my study. I tried to wake you up but you didn’t respond. Your pulse was weak so I got tensed and called the doctor. Now if you would tell me what happened to you? And what were you doing in my study in the middle of the night?”

Lucy narrated the whole incident to Mr. Brown. At first he was not ready to believe. He remembered waking up because of the nightmare but he had no memory of attacking Lucy. He thought that she must be making this all up because of the shock and under medication so he didn’t say anything but just apologised. On the other side, Ms. Robbins forgave him for she knew why it happened.

**************************************************************************************

Dixit collected every detail of both the murders and left for Mumbai. He was now fully determined to put the killer behind the bars. He was finally happy to find some lead in Roshni’s case and a ray of hope to get justice for Shruti and Debolina.

“Welcome back, Sir. The place had been a ruckus without you.” Rathore told the ACP.

“I don’t have time for all this, Rathore. Tell me you got Roshni’s case file. We desperately need it.” the ACP growled.

“Uh.. Umm.. Sir, we don’t have that file, yet. But we will Sir. We will.” Rathore assured Dixit.

“You know what Rathore?? It is not the place that’s in ruckus, it’s your brain that is in ruckus.” the ACP shouted at the top of his voice. “Get hold of that goddamn file, Rathore. If you don’t get that file, I am afraid I’ll have to complain that the file lost under your survilleance.”

Rathore’s face went pale. He knew that his officer was a man of his words. He would not just threaten Rathore but would actually prove his words. Mentally, he made a note to go to Brown and get the file back again.

Right then the phone in Rathore’s office rang and when he answered the call, his face went pale.

“What is it??” Dixit asked Rathore.

Rathore who was not in the state to say anything, went ahead and swicthed on the small TV set that was in his room.

“Super model Arjun Singh found dead near a bridge in a mysterious way” read the headlines of every news channel.

More than Rathore, it was Dixit, the ACP who was numbed by the news. He had not seen it coming. He was betting his everything on the serial killer, but now after Arjun was dead how could he believe in his thoery. How could he think about a serial killer who only killed girls. Because now a boy was killed.

                             Chapter 19

The news of Arjun’s death left the ACP as well as Rathore in utter shock. They did not expect such turn of events. And Dixit was actually counting on the serial killer. His only hope was that somehow he could find the links among all the murders and the person behind it and put him behind the bars. But now how could he! Especially after Arjun’s death. The serial killer would not want to kill Arjun. Infact, what will he get by killing Arjun as he was already in the list of the suspected murderers.

And that’s when it struck Dixit. “What if, Arjun knew who the murderer was and was blackmailing him to get money. And the murderer in a fit of anger killed him so as to make himself safe!”

“Rathore, get in contact with the inspector at the sight of the incident and tell him to report to me as soon as he gets all sort of information. Go right NOW!” the ACP shouted.

Rathore sensing the urgency in his mentor’s voice wasted no more time and went ahead to execute the ACP’s orders.

*******************************************

“Lucy, could you please come in for a minute??” I called out to Lucy.

As she entered my room I could see terror in her eyes. As if she did not want to be present in the same room with me. As if she feared her very existence when I was around.

“Please have a seat, Lucy.” I said urging her to sit, in the friendliest way possible.

“I am fine, Sir. What is it that you need to say??” Lucy replied in a stiff manner.

“Lucy, listen I really do not know what happened last night. I just remember that I had one of those nightmares and then maybe I must have passed out but when I woke up, I found you near me lying, all wounded. I tried waking you up but you were unconscious and I was at my wits end. So I called the doctor. Swear on God, Lucy I did nothing wrong. I swear.” I said, trying hard not to break down.

“It is okay Sir. I know you did not want to harm me. Maybe it was because you had not taken your medications. But it is fine now Sir. We are fine, Sir. I have promised to stay with you till the end. And I will. You don’t worry.” Lucy said.

I looked up at her, she had a smile on her face which assured me that I was not going to lose her like all others.

“Thank you.” I mumbled.

“Stop thanking me, Joseph and get back to your work. Don’t forget you have a high-profile case under you!” Lucy said as she walked out of my room. She, using my first name to refer, was a sign in itself that everything was returning to its normal place.

The mention of the case brought me back to reality. The reality of Roshni Sen and her unsloved murder.

I picked up my phone and made a call to Ansh. The call went unanswered at first. I knew what a busy person he was and so decided to try again later. But within ten minutes, Ansh called me back.

“Hello, Mr. Brown.” Ansh said.

“Hey Ansh! I actually had a news to give to you.” I said.

“What is it??” Ansh asked and I could sense nervousness in his voice.

“Well your doubt about Arjun being the murder was baseless. I have enquired about his whereabouts on that day and my source have revealed that after he left your party, he actually went uh.. umm.. to an escort or prostitute to be precise.” I said adding again, “He was, after all, telling the truth, Ansh. He was not present in Roshni’s apartment or anywhere nearer to it when the crime took place. He was with that girl till the break of the morning of the next day.”

“Are you sure, Mr. Brown?? Are you sure that Arjun is not the murderer??” Ansh asked again and again. In a way that seemed to me that he was not trying to confirm about Arjun’s innocence but was trying to convince himself about it.

“Yes Ansh. I am 100% sure that the murderer is NOT Arjun. This case is not as easy it seems, Ansh. We’ll have to restart our investigation in a new way now and..” I was halfway through my sentence when I heard a click on the other end of the phone line.

I was puzzled at what happened and perhaps, shocked too. But then, it somehow assured me of my doubts about Ansh being the murderer.

Suddenly I heard Lucy shouting out my name and urging to come out of my room. I hurriedly made my way out of my office and to the reception area.

“What is it Lucy??” I asked.

She said nothing and just pointed towards the already switched on television set.

“Model cum Actor Arjun Singh found dead under a bridge. The police is yet to make any arrest though the investigation is still on.” the news reporter of the channel shouted over all the noise from the background.

“Interesting.” I mumbeld to myself while Lucy shot me a disgusted look. I quickly made my way into my office again and switched on my computer to learn about the Arjun case a little bit more.

As I googled for the required information, a link read, “Ansh Aggarwal, employer and a very good friend of Arjun Singh has not made any public comment regarding the unseen death.” 

Again another link read, “Fingers of doubt raised on Asnh Aggarwal regarding both Roshni Sen and Arjung Singh’s death.”

Somewhere all of this made sense. All of it. Roshni found dead in her own apartment, strangled and slayed and sexually assaulted and then Arjun Singh found dead near a bridge. I was convinced that it is Ansh who is behind all these murders. He had the motive to kill both of them. He loved Roshni but she was cheating on him with Arjun Singh who was Ansh’s employee and apparently his best friend. It all made sense.

I picked up my phone to make some calls to my sources for some solid proof, when Dr. Upadhyay called.

“Ah! What timing Upadhyay. I think I have found the murderer.” I said.

“Not now, Joseph. Not now when I am about to give you an interesting piece of information.” Upadhyay said.

“What is it??” I asked, too eager to hide my excitement.

“The bracelt you brought me which had Roshni’s and your finger prints??” Upadhyay said.

“Yes. Yes. Carry on.” I urged.

“Well there’s something else that I found.” Upadhyay said, adding again, “I found traces of human skin in the interior part of the bangle and on furhter investigation, it came out that the fragments of skin were that of a girl” Upadhyay said triumphanlty.

“What a bizzare information you have given me Upadhyay!” I said irritated. “Of course the bracelet would have a girl’s skin fragments. It was Roshni’s bracelet, remember Doc?? And as per information she was a GIRL!” I added.

“No. No. You don’t understand, Brown. The skin fragments I found are not that of Roshni’s but of some other girl. Someone who might have been present in her apartment, an accomplice of the murderer.” Upadhyay said.

“Oh!” I replied stunned at the new piece of information.

Everything that seemed to be falling into place, was actually breaking down like a sand castle hit by the strong waves of the sea. For the first time in my life, I felt lost while solving a crime. It seemed nothing made sense, like everything was falling apart. Like nothing had any possiblity. And then I took out my notepad and started writing the case from the begining, with all the little details. This time, making my grey cells work.

*******************************************

“Arjun did not kill my Roshni.” Ansh thought to himself as he gupled down another bottle of beer.

“It must have been me who killed her mercilessly. Destroyed her and myself. And of course my brother too. I killed him too. I killed two innocent lives. And all this because of my fucking ego!” Ansh thought and threw the beer bottle, which smashed the television set standing infront of him.

“How could I! How could I do such a hineous crime. I have turned into a demon. A demon that nobody would want in their life. It’s all over. Everything.” Ansh thought as he picked up a piece of the broken bottle. “I have been just a destoryer. A bloddy murderer” he shouted as he slashed his wrist. “A killer with no mercy in his heart”, he shouted again as he made another cut in the same spot, this time a little deeper.

“I killed my girlfriend. My best friend. And so I do not deserve to live either.” Ansh said, cutting his wrist as deep as he could.

Ansh Aggarwal, the founder and CEO of the nation wide and internationally aclaimed fashion magazine, “The Diva”, lay down in a pool of his own blood in his apartment, untended and uncared for.

*******************************************

On the other hand, ACP Dixit does everything he can to bring out the murderer who had been responsible for Roshni’s as well as Shruti and Debolina’s.

                                 Chapter 20

“It’s been a day since Ansh have come to the office. He cannot break like this for a girl like Roshni!” Jenny thought to herself. “I must go to his place and get him back to where he actually belongs!” She pondered and left the office to bring Ansh back.

It had been two days since Arjun died and a day since Ansh killed himself. But, of course, nobody knew that the owner of such a world-wide famous magazine was actually lying dead in his room, all alone.

As Jenny reached Ansh’s bunglow she could still notice a few journalists lingering near his house.

“These filthy little headed people, do not leave people in peace.” Jenny thought to herself as she made her way through the entrance gate and towards the front door of Ansh’s big house.

Knocking at the door, Jenny waited for the housekeeper to open the door. But to her dismay there was no one who came to open the door even after 15 minutes. Sensing some trouble, she hurriedly fiddled through her handbag, searching for the spare key of Ansh’s house which she always had.

As soon as she got the key, she opened the door and rushed through the big and well-decorated drawing hall towards Ansh’s room; shouting at the top of her lungs.

Before Jenny opened the door, she did not have the faintest idea that once she opened the door, she would find her Boss and crush lying in a pool of blood, with his wrist slashed. And when she did open the door, she was left shocked and stunned. Jenny grew pale at the sight that welcomed her. Never in the wierdest dream did she think of finding Ansh dead. She was not in her senses and thus she tried to wake him up, shouting his name. She did not know what to do, she was at her wit’s end.

She took her phone and called up Rathore.

“Inspector Rathore?? Is that you?? Please come to Ansh’s place immediately. He is lying in his room with his wrist slashed and blood all over. Please come soon. Please.” Jenny spoke over the phone, weeping.

“Listen, please calm down. I am sending an ambulance to Ansh’s place you just take care of yourself.” Rathore told Jenny.

“Okay. Okay. But, please be fast.” Jenny urged.

“Sir, it’s an emergency. Ansh was found in his room in a pool of blood. I think he tried to commit suicide.” Rathore told the ACP, who was busy going through the facebook profiles of both Shruti and Debolina.

Dixit was shocked. 

“Death after death. What’s going on! This case is going nowhere!” Dixit thought to himself, while he got hold of his revolver and made way out of his office and to the Police Car.

Within minutes they reached the City Hospital where the ambulance had took Ansh and Jenny.
Jenny was sitting in the corridor while, Ansh was taken inside a chamber with the doctors. As soon as she saw Rathore and the ACP approaching towards her, she started wailing.

“There goes the Drama Queen.” the ACP mumbled under his breath.

“What is wrong Jenny?? What happened??” Rathore asked her.

“I don’t know. I swear. By the time I reached Ansh’s place he was already lying on the floor with his wrist slashed. I don’t know what happened or how it happened. Trust me.” Jenny pleaded.

“We’ll see to that Miss Jenny.” Dixit told Jenny in a stern voice.

As they were waiting for the doctors to come out, Ria came running towards Jenny, shouting and asking about what happened.

When Jenny told Ria everything, all Ria could do was accuse Roshni for messing up everything.

“That bitch took everything away from me. Everything. Even now, when she is dead she took away Ansh from me!” Ria shouted.

Dixit and Rathore looked intently at the drama going on without commenting much.

That was when the doctor came out. The doctor did not talk to anyone else but straightaway came to Dixit and pulled him to a corner.

“Dixit, the guy has been dead even before he was found by the lady. It’s a clear case of suicide. There’s no doubt in it. He died due to excessive blood loss. His wrist has been slayed. But, of course, you can get the weapon to be tested if you have doubts. But I don’t think it’s a case of murder.” the doctor told Dixit.

“As a part of investigation I’ll have to send the weapon to the forensic, Doctor. But tell me, is there anything that seems suspicious to you?? I mean anything that seems out of place??” Dixit enquired.

“Oh no. Not at all. Just that there’s traces of alcohol in his blood and nothing else.” the doctor replied.

“Okay. Thank you Doctor.” the ACP said and then left for Ansh’s place with Rathore and his team.

Both Dixit and Rathore alongwith their companions searched the house for any clue but found nothing other than a broken beer bottle, a piece of glass covered with blood and a smashed television set. The piece of glass was sent to the forensic laboratory immediately.

News of Ansh’s death was obviously in every news channel. The news channels broadcasted the news of Ansh’s death and how much bloodshed the elite class of Mumbai had seen since Roshni’s death and how the Mumbai Police had yet been unsuccessful to get hold of the murderer.

*******************************************

I could not believe what I had just heard. Ansh Aggarwal, the CEO of such a famous magazine killed himself. The news came as a shock to me. I did not expect Ansh to kill himself. He had been strong enough to survive his would to be fiancé’s death, then how could he kill himself.

“Maybe I right, after all. Maybe Ansh was the one who killed Roshni and then Arjun too. And then he just could not live with the guilt. It was too much for him. And this guilt made him kill himself too.” I thought to myself.

Whatever the reason be, I decided to drop the case now, since the person who wanted me to investigate the case was dead himself. I saw no point in investigating the case further. Plus, there was the question of money too.

*******************************************

Meanwhile, Dixit reached his office late at night, tired of the activities since morning.

Ansh had commited suicide. It was clear now from the report of the forensic. There had been no one else’s finger prints other than Ansh, himself. The piece of glass which was found in the crime scene, too, had Ansh’s finger prints. Since it was a case of suicide the case was closed right then.

Dixit had gone to his office to collect his belongings and then retire for the night. But when he entered his room, he found his laptop switched on.

Looking at the screen he remembered what he was supposed to do.

“Morning’s drama made me forget about my actual work completely.” Dixit mumbled to himself while going through the photos of Debolina’s profile uninterestedly.

Suddenly the ACP lept from his seat. There was a change of emotion in his face. Quickly he opened another tab and searched for Shruti’s profile.

Hunting down her albums, he found an album which had photos of her and some of her friends from an outing in Goa.

The photo which he was searching for was the last one. And there he found the photo of Shruti and a girl. A girl who was also present in several of Debolina’s photos.

Opening the picture, the ACP found out that the girl was someone called, NANDITA SHETTY!

                                Chapter 21

“Nandita Shetty, lives in New Delhi, from London, England. Hmmm.. Now that is something.” Dixit was talking to himself while looking into the profile of this new girl. He picked up the phone and dialled Rathore’s number.

“Get your ass here A.S.AP” and without hearing his reply, he disconnected the call and started looking into the profile of this girl.

Within minutes Rathore reached the headquarters, parked his vehicle in a hurry and rushed inside as he didn’t want to give Dixit any chance to shout on him again.

“Sir.” Rathore saluted him while catching his breath.

Dixit looked at him with the corner of his eye then turned to look back at the screen.

“Go get some coffee for yourself lad. You look like a dead man walking.”

Rathore was surprised to hear this from Dixit’s mouth. “I just can never understand this man.” He said to himself while making his way out. He came back with two cups of coffee, afterall he couldn’t have brought just one, even if his officer didn’t ask for it. He placed the cup on Dixit’s table and leaned to look at the screen.

“Nandita Shetty. Hmm… She’s hot.” Rathore, for a moment, forgot that he was with Dixit. When he looked at Dixit who was already giving him a stern look, realised the situation and apologised.

“I need every detail about this girl Rathore. She is the only common link between Debolina and Shruti. Yes, finally we found one and I don’t want it to be useless. I never thought this social networking site would be useful. Team up with that officer in Delhi, what was his name…., uh, nevermind. Just call him up and co-ordinate with him. And get me some useful information. I feel sick, so I’m going home to get some sleep.” Saying this Dixit got up and took the coffee cup along with him.

For the first time, Dixit had handed over the full responsibility of investigation on some other officer all by himself, so Rathore felt proud of himself, as if he has been promoted. He checked out her profile thoroughly. She had a lot of pictures with Debolina and only a few with Shruti. She even had pictures of that party night, the night Debolina was murdered. So it became certain that she was present at the crime scene. Rathore called up Delhi headquarters, told the officer that Dixit had worked with, the updates on Debolina’s case. He then made the next call to his travel agent and booked the ticket for the next flight to Delhi.

Within hours, he was standing at Delhi Airport, waiting for Kunal, the young officer from Delhi Police.

“Welcome Mr. Rathore, I have heard a lot about you from Dixit Sir. He always talk about you.” Kunal praised him while shaking hands.

Rathore was surprised to hear this from Kunal and felt proud again. They discussed the details of the case on their way to Nandita’s office. Nandita worked night shift in a USA based MNC, and her shift was about to get over. So they thought that it’ll be the right time to talk to her. As they reached her office, Kunal made a few introductions and went to the conference room where Nandita was waiting for them, all confused.

“Hello Ms. Nandita Shetty. I’m inpector Rathore, from Mumbai Police. And this is Inspector Kunal, Delhi Police. Please have a seat.” Rathore made the introduction while offering her a seat.

“Boss told me you wanted to meet me. What’s the matter inspector?” She took the seat while asking him with a confused look.

“Do you know Roshni Sen, the supermodel, brand embassador of The Diva Magazine?”

“Well, I guess I have seen a picture or two of hers on the Magazine cover but don’t remember now.”

“I meant personally Ms. Shetty. Did you personally know her?”

“You came all the way from Mumbai to ask me that? Well no, I have no connections with her.” She said laughing.

“If you would have had time to check the news then you would have known that the supermodel died two months back. She was murdered. So, even if I would have to go to London to find the killer, I would have.” Rathore snapped at her.

Learning about the murder, she got shocked and tensed.

“But Sir, I don’t know her, I have nothing to do with her murder. I have never met her or heard about her. I told you I just saw her on the cover of the magazine. That’s all.”

“Well, let’s believe it for a moment. But what do you have to say about Debolina’s murder? Didn’t you know her?” Rathore’s tone became more serious.

“Debolina? How… How do you know about her?”

“You are not the cop here Ms. Shetty. Answer my question.”

“I and Debolina, we used to work together few years back and then one night she got murdered. I was not close to her. Just acquintances.”

“We know that you were present at the party, where she got killed. So if you were not close enough then what were you doing there at her party?”

“Umm, okay I agree we were friends but I didn’t kill her. I swear. She invited me to her party. So I went there for sometime with my boyfriend and came back within an hour or so. I got to know about her murder the next morning. You can ask my boyfriend, I mean, ex boyfriend. I was with him.”

“Yes sure we will be doing that. Don’t worry. How do you know Shruti?”

“Shruti? Who Shruti? I don’t know any Shruti.”

“Kunal, will you help Ms. Shetty regaining her lost memory?” Rathore looked at Kunal and signalled him.

Kunal unlocked his phone, and after a few seconds, he opened the picture of Nandita with Shruti and placed his phone in front of her. She looked at the picture for sometime as if she actually didn’t remember.

“Shruti Singh, from Nainital. It’s you in the picture with Shruti. Isn’t it?” Rathore asked with a raised brow.

“Well, yeah that’s me. But that’s I guess… Umm.. Yeah, that’s a picture I took in Goa. Yeah, now I remember, I met this girl in Goa. She was there with her friends. We met in a party and hanged out together for a day or two. That’s it. I don’t know her personally. But she is one sweet girl.”

“She was Ms. Shetty. She was murdered two years ago.”

“WHAT?” Nandita gave a shocked expression. 

“That too in the same manner your friend Debolina was killed. So now drop the act and tell us why did you kill them?”

“What the hell are you talking about inspector. I didn’t kill anyone. Why would I? And if I would have then right now I wouldn’t be here talking to you. I would have been behind bars.”

“That’s why we are here Ms. Shetty. To put the killer behind bars. You still have time to tell the truth, otherwise we will have to take you to the police station.”

“You can not arrest me without any proof against me. I know the law inspector. I’m not dumb. So now, if you’ll excuse me, I’d like to leave, my shift is over.” She seemed confident of what she was saying and got up to move out.

“Well pretty lady, fair enough. But you are one of our suspects. So be cautious, we are keeping an eye on you. And if you know the law, you must be knowing that you can not leave the town until we give you a clean chit.”

Rathore and kunal got up and moved out of the conference room. They were discussing about her when Kunal realised that he had left his phone there only. So he went back while Rathore waited for him in the jeep.

Nandita, who was still in the conference room, when was certain that both of them left, closed the door and dialled a number.

“Hello, What have you done this time? No, just listen to me. Some Inspector Rathore came from Mumbai and interrogated me about Debolina and Shruti. You have taken a big risk killing Roshni. Just be careful. I have handled them for now. And I don’t think they’d come back for me. But you just be very careful. Yeah, okay. Don’t contact me for a few days. They can track my calls. Bye, gotta go. You take care.”

She disconnected the call, and left the place, unaware that Kunal was hearing this conversation from the other side of the door.

                                Chapter 22

Rathore reached the police van when he noticed that Kunal was nowhere near him.

“Now where did this guy vanish!!” Rathore mumbled agitated by Kunal.

“Oh my! I sound like Dixit Sir. Wow!” Rathore thought to himself and smiled at the thought of himself being the ACP sometime in the future. He started thinking about how he, too, could bully his juniors and scold them and threaten and even call them names. He smiled at the mere thought of his future when he was brought back from his reverie by a shout.

“Sir! Sir!” Kunal panted as he came rushing towards Rathore.

“Where have you been, Kunal?? Don’t you know how much each second means to us?? You really need to be a little more sincere, Kunal.” Rathore said without a stop.

“Sir listen to me atleast. You’ll be stunned by the news I am going to deliver.” Kunal said.

“What??” Rathore asked with his ears all open.

“Sir as we were leaving the conference room, I noticed Nandita did not come out of the room. Hence I waited outside and tried to listen what she was speaking. And what I heard was really not what I thought I would listen. I…” Kunal was saying when Rathore interrupted.

“Kunal, get to the point please. I am already fed up from all this mystery of the case. I really CANNOT handle any more.” Rathore said.

“Sorry Sir. I did not mean to infuriate you. I just want to say that I heard her speak to someone about getting into trouble by killing Roshni and that we were interrogating her. I think, Sir, this girl, Nandita, she surely knows our murderer.” Kunal completed his mystery.

Rathore had no idea that Kunal was about to say such a thing. The news left him shocked and toungue tied. He kept silent for some time. And then suddenly he emraced Kunal in a tight bear hug.

“Kunal, you saved the whole lot of us. Especially me. Thank you buddy. Thank you.” Rathore said.

“You are welcome Sir.” Kunal said stunned at the sudden outburst of Rathore.

“Okay now listen what we need to do, we need an all time police officer behind this Nandita Shetty. Someone like a stalker, okay?? And I need full report on her daily activities. Everything. From the time she wakes up to when she leaves home for office, whom does she meet, whom does she talk to, where does she go in her tiffin hours, everything. Just everything. And secondly we need the call details of her number and even the details of the calls she makes from the phone of her office. But mind you, Kunal all these things have to be under cover. Because the murderer, we are handling here, is a very dangerous one and we cannot put Nandita’s life at stake. Are we clear??” Rathore instructed Kunal.

“Yes Sir.” Kunal replied with full confidence. Mentally making notes as to whom he had to meet to carry out the instructions.

After discussing the future work to be done both Rathore and Kunal got into their car. Glancing at the office for the last time, Rathore saw someone standing behind the curtains of the window at the floor where Nandita’s office was. And somehow it felt like the person behind the curtain was looking in Rathore’s direction.

Brushing off the feeling to be just a figment of his imagination, Rathore ordered Kunal to take him to the Police Headquarters.

*******************************************

*I stood near the door looking at my mother surrounded by a small group of people. I could here some muffled voices, hushed up noises and then ear piercing screams.*

I woke up with a start. I was sweating and my hands were shivering like anything. It was again one of those days when I had to be face to face with the same nightmare. And somehow it was turning into an unavoidable thing now. Everyday the moon covered up the sun, everyday the sun made its journey to the west, I could feel my heartbeats go faster; like my life depended on the sun still being in the sky, like it did not matter if my heart pumped blood or not or my lungs sucked air or not. It seemed like my life depended JUST on the sun.

Unable to get back to sleep, I lit a cigarate and stood by the window of my office glancing over the city that never sleeps. I could not but let my mind wander back to my old days, the days which were filled with joy and happiness and laughter. Had it never been for the war, I would not have been here. I could still be in my dream house with the woman of my dreams living the life I had always wished for. But of course, life always has it’s own way to surprise you. What is it that people usually say??

“Ah right. Man proposes; God disposes.” I thought. A part of my heart, still wishes that God had not decided to make my life take such an unexpected turn though.

The next morning I woke up to the sound of furniture being pulled and pushed. I did not remember when exactly I fell asleep last night and neither did I remember about waking up in the middle of the night again.

I walked out of my office to the adjacent room cum the reception. There I saw Lucy renovating the room yet again.

“How many times do you keep on changing the position of the furntiure, Lucy??” I asked slightly irriated.

“Mr. Joseph Brown I am not doing anything to your office. I am changing the room I sit in for the whole day. So get your lazy ass out of my way.” Lucy replied, least bothered about my irritation.

“Can I ever win with you in an argument??” I whined.

She chuckeld.

“Whatever.” I replied and then added, “Lucy, you could go home today. There’s not much work in the office and I, too, have an appoinment somewhere else.”

“Oh. Okay. I’ll leave after I finish remodelling the room.” Lucy said.

“As you please.” I said and made my way inside my office yet again. Though I had an apartment, I never felt like going there and staying for the night. Somehow, the office felt a lot more secure than the apartment. I freshned up and then got dressed and went out on my appoinment.

“Mr. Brown??” the young receptionist called out my name.

“Yes.” I said walking towards her.

“Please be ready. You are next.” She said and went inside the room once again.

I nodded at her disappearing figure and stood by the door waiting for my chance to come. After about 30 minutes a young boy came out of the room and made way to the exit. I looked at his going figure and wondered what problem he must be having; when I heard the receptionist call me again.

I went inside the room briskly and took my seat. The doctor came out from a room inside washing his hands.

“Yes. How may I help you??” The doctor asked.

“Uh.. Umm.. Doctor.” I hesitated a bit. The doctor signalled the receptionist to leave the room and then urged me to go on.

“Sir, I am having this trouble sleeping since a few days now. Everytime I go to sleep, I get this horrible nightmare which leaves me all covered in sweat and panting. I don’t understand the dream though. Just some black figures surrounding my mom and then those muffled and hushed voices and then a ear piercing noise. I can never make out what is it. And the harder I try to remember such an incident from my childhood, the more I tend to forget.” I said, sweating a bit at the thought of the dream.

“Hmm.. Had you been a part of any war, Mr. Uh. Brown??” the Doctor asked.

“Yes Sir. While I was back in the US, I was a part of the army that helped during the 2001 crisis.” I said.

“I see.” the Doctor replied and then added, “See, Mr. Brown all that you are going through is nothing but a post traumatic disorder. It happens with every person associated with war or such circumstances. It is pretty normal, I must say. All you need is some medications and a series of therapies.”

“But, I am taking medicines Doctor. And that is the reason I am here because they are having no positive effect on me.” I said.

“Could you show me the names of your medicines??” the Doctor asked.

“Ah sure. Here they are.” I said and handed him the strips of medicine I have.

The doctor smiled at the medicines and said, “The last doctor you had shown must be an amateur.”

“What do you mean Doctor??” I asked, puzzled at his comment.

“Well the doctor you went for the last time, has prescribed you medicines which are not suited for your condition. Infact they are just some normal medicines which will have no effect on you.” the Doctor said and then added, “But don’t you worry now. You are in the best hands and you’ll know the effects very soon.”

I was in no condition to listen what the doctor had been saying. I was stunned at the new revealation. How could I be taking the wrong medicines all this time, I thought. There must be a misunderstanding. There has to be one.

Final Chapter

I was in utter shock. I asked the doctor to examine me for I was not able to believe that I had been taking the wrong medications all these years. The doctor on my request agreed to examine. I had a CT scan and my brain did not show any sign of disorder.

“I’m afraid Mr. Brown, but nothing is wrong with your brain. It’s just the medicines you have been taking for all these years, these are the only cause of the nightmares and other problems you are facing. I would advice you to stop this medications immediately otherwise you would be in serious trouble some day.”

“But doctor how is this possible? Can you explain what does these medicines do?”

“These medicines are a kind of drug, these have different effects on different people, these causes hallucinations, memory loss, nightmares, like in your case, can totally control your mind and you would behave differently, and like the drugs, you won’t remember a thing later. Some people who are addicts, usually take these medicines and then become the victims of Multiple Personality Disorder though in reality they are not. So Mr. Brown if you do not wish to end up in some Care Center, stop taking these pills.”

“Thank you doctor.”

Saying this I got up, shocked and confused, that why all these years I had been taking these medicines if I had no problem at all. I walked my way towards the office, I was so lost in my thoughts, I needed some time to think. The doctor’s words were echoing in my ears and everytime I remembered him saying this is a drug, my whole body used to go through a electric current like sensation. It’s been so long that I had started taking these medicines that I couldn’t even remember who was the doctor who subscribed me these. I clearly couldn’t remember anything. I went back to my office and was surprised to see Lucy still struggling with the renovation.

“Oh, you’re back. Look I got some new things for the office. I went back but I had nothing to do so I shopped a few stuff for the office. Atleast now it won’t appear dull and boring.”

“Yeah, it’s good. I’ll write you a cheque.” Saying this I went inside my study asking her not to send any client inside as I have some personal work. I sat in my chair and thought about it. I am the one who solves any case within minutes and now I was finding trouble solving my own case. I took my note pad and started writing down every single thing related to my so called disorder. I decided to solve this mystery first. I turned on my computer to gather some information about the poison I was taking and suddenly I came across a folder.

It was my personal diary that I wrote every night but never read anything from it. I just used to write everything down but never read it. I had this weak memory so I used to forget most of my nights so I kept this diary and it seemed like it was destiny’s wish that made me write it, for now was the time it would help me solving my own case.

I hesitantly typed the password and opened the folder. I started writing it five years back, when I came to India. I decided to read it from the very beginning, to re-live all those nights that I don’t have even a single memory of. Reading my own diary sent me into a state of shock. I was surprised to read what all was there but I didn’t lose my courage and kept on reading till the very end. It took me hours to read all of it. When I finished the last page, I turned off the computer and sat quietly for a few minutes. Everything was clear now. Every single thing. I couldn’t understand how should I react. I just sat quietly in my chair with my eyes closed. Tears started falling down my cheeks.

I am a beast.

**********************************************************************

After a day full of thorough investigation, Rathore heads back to Mumbai. From the Mumbai Airport he straightaway goes to the Police Headquarters to give Dixit the information he had gathered.

“Hello Sir.” Rathore greeted the ACP who was busy going through some files.

“Rathore you are back. Tell me everything that you found out about the girl. Uh.. What was her name??” Dixit said scratching his head, trying to remember the name of the girl.

“Nandita Shetty, Sir.” Rathore replied and then added, “Sir, when we interrogated her, we found nothing. Just that she had been a very good friend of Debolina but a mere acquaintance of Shruti. But as we left the office and headed for the van, Kunal heard her talking to someone. She said to the person that he had got himself into real problem by killing Roshni this time. So we are sure Sir that this Nandita Shetty knows our killer.”

“Rathore we need evidence and not theories, you know that right???” Dixit asked Rathore and looked at him. Rathore nodded his head and was about to say him something when the ACP growled, “Where the hell are then the evidence??”

“Sir, I have asked Kunal to send me Nandita Shetty’s call records and even to send the call records of her office phone, too.” Rathore replied agitated.

“Oh. I am sorry my son. It is just that I am already at my wits end with this mystery and I just cannot take anymore suspense.” Dixit said apologizing and the added, “Rathore you have a bright future ahead. I can already see you as the future ACP. Well done.” Dixit patted Rathore’s back.

Rathore, who was proud of himself left Dixit’s office and went to his own one.

After about 3 hours, Rathore had the copy of the call records of Nandita as well as of her office. He did not straight away go to the ACP but looked at the call records on his own. He found nothing suspicious about the call records of Nandita’s personal number. But the records of her office phone number had a number to whom calls were frequently made. Even the day when Rathore had visited her a call was made to that number from the office phone. It seemed a bit suspicious to him and thus he went out to find out whose number it was.

After an hour Rathore rushed into Dixit’s office who was busy sipping a cup of tea.

“Young lad you seem to be in distraught. What’s wrong??” Dixit asked when he saw Rathore running into his office.

“Sir you won’t believe what I found. The person with whom Nandita was always in touch is from Mumbai. Infact, we know that person Sir.” Rathore said.

“Who is it, Rathore??” Dixit enquired curiously.

“Mr. Brown, the private investigator, Sir.” Rathore said with a look of anger.

“Brown. I have known him all my life. he cannot do it Rathore. Are you sure about what you are saying??” the ACP asked.

“Yes Sir I am sure about what I am saying. You can see it on your own, if you want to.” Rathore said.

“I will. I will.” Dixit said still emerged in his own train of thoughts. Rathore left the ACP’s office because he knew his officer needed some time.

After Rathore left his office, Dixit called someone and asked that person to find out each and every information about Brown. Where he had been after he returned from the US, how long he had been in Mumbai, where was he before he came to Mumbai, about his life back in the US.

Before taking any grave steps, Dixit waited for his informer to bring him the required information. He did not want to arrest a person who has always been a supporter of justice, who was one of the brightest student in the police academy and someone whom Dixit, himself adored.

Day gave into evening and there was no report from the informer. Dixit was getting impatient, calling the informer again and again. After a long wait that seemed to be eternal for Dixit, the informer showed up at his office.

He came and told Dixit that Brown after returning from the US was appointed as a private investigator in Delhi by a big industrialist. He was under the duty of finding out if the girl whom hiss son had chosen was right for the family or not. Upon asking if the guy’s name was Harry and the girl Debolina, the informer affirmed that it was. The informer then added that somehow the case had to be dropped as the girl was found dead one day.

After that he had gone to Nainital for purely recreational reasons. The informer could not find much more than that.
And neither did Dixit needed other information.

After giving the required information, the informer left Dixit’s office.

Dixit sank in his chair. He could not believe what he had just heard. 

“Never did I imagine though Brown would turn out to be the murderer. I’ll go to his office today at night and catch him off guard. That way he will not be prepared to run away. This hide and seek game is over, Mr. Joseph Brown!” Dixit said all determined to catch Mr. Brown.

**********************************************************************

I somehow calmed myself a bit and came out of the study only to find Lucy still in the office.

“Why are you still here? I gave you an off day. Can’t you just leave me alone?”

Lucy was surprised to hear me talk like this.

“What’s wrong Joseph. You look all messed up. Are you okay? Have you taken your medicine? Let me get it for you.”

“Just stop all this bullshit Lucy. I don’t need that fucking medicine. I know it all now. I know every single thing.”

“What are you talking about Joseph. I think you are having one of your attacks. Let me call the doctor.”

Saying this she picked up the receiver to call the doctor and I snapped at her and threw the phone away. Lucy screamed at this sudden reaction.

“What the hell is wrong with you Joseph!”

“Me? What the hell is your problem Ms. Lucy Robbins? Why did you gave me this drug for all these years?”

Lucy looked at him astonished.

“Just answer me God damn it. Why were you doing all this? What do you want from me? It’s you who got me this subscription. You are the one who always make sure that I am taking my medicines regularly. Why Lucy, just answer me why? You turned me into a beast. I hate myself. I am a terrible person. I… I could not imagine that I am the one who raped all those innocent girls. I.. I even forced Roshni, my own case, and it’s all because of you Lucy. You turned me into a beast. A murderer.”

“So you know everything now Joseph. Don’t you remember who am I then?” All the fear and terror had gone away from Lucy’s face and she stood there confidently looking me in the eye.

“What do you mean?”

“Ah, yes. As usual you don’t remember a single thing. Do you? Let me help you Mr. Brown. It all started when you visited London, with your group of friends. Don’t you remember that visit? Six years back? I used to work in a bar, I had a family, a little daughter and everything got ruined because of you.”

“Me? But..”

“Yes bastard you. You with your drunk friends drugged me and gang-raped me. You destroyed me. My husband left me and I lost my little girl. All because of you. I had no power, no support so I couldn’t file a case against you. So I decided to take revenge on my own. I got to know you are settling down in India so I came here and joined you as your secretary. I came to know about your problem so I thought of making it all worse for you. And that’s why I gave you all those drugs.”

I got another big shock when I heard all this. I couldn’t believe it and it felt like all my energy drained away and I couldn’t stand anymore. I somehow took the support of the table in order to stand.

“What? Your knees went weak? I won’t let anything happen to you till the time I want. You deserve to hear the whole truth. So let me finish it Joseph.” Saying this Lucy pushed me and I fell on a chair.

“Yeah, so where was I? Oh yeah, the drugs. I started giving you the drugs to let you lose your mind but to my surprise you developed some other sort of thing, you used to behave like some lusty beast and used to forget it all in the morning. And that was when I got you Debolina’s case with Nandita’s help. You got the case and I kept feeding you all day all night about how she fucks every other guy and made you all lusty for her. But that girl, she truly was a slut. You got close and she readily accepted it. After your hot session, you lost consciousness because of too much drinking. That was when my mind played the game. After all, I needed revenge from you. Right? Poor girl.”

“You said I lost consciousness.. So then who…”

“Easy man, stop being a detective now. Your detective days are over. Let me tell you a little secret honey.”

She came near me and whispered in my ear, “I killed her.” and started laughing.

“You think you killed all of those pretty ladies? No, you just had your share of fun with them. But it was I, who killed them. For they were bitches that instead of resisting, gave in when you forced yourself upon them. So when you passed, I killed Debolina, she struggled, but I am not a weak person, I did what I wanted. So in all that process, she got bruised and marks and everybody thought that she was raped. I removed every clue of my presence, it appeared like someone raped her and killed her. I was happy that you would soon be behind bars. But the case got closed. You lucky bastard.”

After all these shocks, now I was just silently listening to her. “And what about the other girl?”

“Relax man, you are too eager. Have patience. Yeah, so when you were not caught, I decided to find another prey for your lusty demon inside you. And that’s when Nandita helped me again. Remember our Nainital’s trip? It was my plan to make you meet Shruti. You and Shruti became friends too soon and then…. Well I do not need to repeat all the story again. You know it. But you know what, you are one hell of a lucky bastard. Even Shruti’s case got closed. Two girls died in vain. It was then, I decided to wait for the right opportunity and then after two years, I found another prey, Roshni. She was famous, so this time I was sure that this case won’t be closed at any cost. So after she left the party, I followed her. And you know what? You didn’t even have sex with her. It were the traces of her encounter with Arjun that showed the sign of sexual activity. And well, I got expert in killing girls so it wasn’t a big deal for me. I killed her and made it appear like a rape. And left your yellow shirt’s thread in her bracelet, threw it under the cupboard. So that this time, you would be caught at any cost. And see, this time the luck was favouring me, that Ansh came to you only for solving the case.”

I couldn’t even in my wildest of thoughts would have imagined Lucy to be the killer. My one mistake, turned her into a killer. So somehow, I blamed myself only for all this. I didn’t know how to react but then those girls needed justice. So I thought of telling the police about Lucy and even thought to surrender for the crime I committed. Just as I took out my cell phone and dialed the number, Lucy snatched the phone from my hand and hit my head hard with something.

“You think, I’d tell you the truth and would let you call the police? You think I’m dumb?”

I was still struggling with the pain in my head when suddenly I heard a shot. I looked up and saw a revolver in her hand. She had shot my cell phone and now was pointing the gun towards me. I didn’t see it coming but now at this moment, I was prepared to die.

“You now know too much Joseph and now it’s time you should get punished for what you did. If not police then fine, I’d punish you. For now I can’t leave you to live. You need to die Joseph. I have waited all these years to see you suffer and now it’s time. I can’t wait anymore.”

“All I can say is, I am sorry Lucy. I didn’t mean to harm you or turn you into a killer but let me tell you, one day you will get what you deserve.”

Saying this I closed my eyes and prepared myself to die. After a moment’s silence I heard a loud noise and within seconds, something hit me so hard in the stomach and I landed on the floor. For a moment I felt nothing, nothing at all. Then suddenly, I felt the blood rushing out of my body and it pained. The pain, being unbearable, I was not able to pull myself together. Within a few more seconds,I heard another shot and saw something falling down. I couldn’t bear the pain anymore and found it hard to breathe. After few minutes of struggle, it all became calm, as if the storm inside me has settled and it all became dark and silent.

********************************************************************

The phone rang in Dixit’s office and Rathore ran to answer it.

“Hello, Inspector Rathore speaking.”

“Rathore, send an ambulance to Mr. Brown’s place and you come here with some officers. I had to shoot the killer because she shot Mr. Brown.”

“She? Wh… What?” 

And the phone was disconnected with a beep.

Rathore sat down with the receiver still in his hand,

“Another mysterious she? Please God! No more.”

                         – The End –

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