15th October 2008:
@ 5 am:
A call is interrupting my sweet dreams with Rishi.. Hmmmmmmmm.. Let me check who is calling me so early in the morning!!! OMG, it’s my mom!! Where am I??? How can I forget that today is my wedding with Rishi?? Shame on me..
Sorry friends, let me introduce myself first.. I am Diya, a bubbly girl with an angelic face (ok, ok don’t look at me like that… a girl with reasonable features).. Today is going to be my marriage with Rishi at K.M.Mahal, the biggest marriage in my city. My dad had planned my marriage in this hall when I was 5 years old. We are in the second floor, Rishi’s relatives and friends are staying in the first floor. Rishi and Sudheep are staying at the ground floor. Lucky bastard, he is.. None of my friends offered to stay with me.. I am happily sleeping in my room all alone forgetting that it is going to be the most memorable day in my life. I have been waiting for this day for the past 15 years. That’s a long time isn’t it? Yes, it is..
Now that I am awake, what do you think I would do? Yes you guessed it right, I am going to call Rishi to wake him up for our most awaited special occasion. Oh wait, I did not attend my mom’s call yet.. Let me call my mom first..
“Hoi mom, what’s up?” I am asking my mom casually
“Stupid, casual dog…. Come to my room soon” My mom is yapping at me from her room..
I knew that any further delay would get me a lecture from my mom at how immature I am and how I am going to manage in my in-laws’ place :(..
@ 5.15 am:
I have managed to brush my teeth and take bath within 10 minutes for the first time in my life!!! Don’t you all think it is a great achievement.. I am going to reach my mom’s room in 10 minutes from the time I cut her call.. She is going to be dumbfounded on seeing me!!! Wait let me send you a pic of her shocked face..
There she is, getting ready as though she is the bride… Of course, she looks younger and brighter than me.. But my Rishi is enough to make me feel that I am the most beautiful girl on earth.. OMG, I am a stupid casual dog like my mom told.. I have forgotten to call Rishi and wake him up..
Tring Tring Tring Tring Tring.. The person you have called has not replied.. Please try again later..
Pick the call my sweetie pie, don’t you have to look like a hero today? I am imagining him in the wedding suite that I carefully selected after a day’s search a week back.. Oh sweetheart, let me get ready or I might look relatively ordinary before you, cos you would look quite exquisite in our wedding suite..
@ 5.30 am:
“Mom enough of acting like a bride.. First help me get ready..” I am crying to my mom feeling helpless as the time was ticking by. Only two hours to go my dear, then I am going to be your Di Ri(Yes, that is how he calls me, short form for Diya Rishi)..
Mom immediately starts working on me along with the beautician.. She is running here and there like P.T. Usha for every request of the beautician.. I am finding tears welling in my eyes thinking that I am going to miss her true love for me..
“Sorry ma’am did I hurt your eyes while applying kajal, your eyes are wet?” asks the beautician concerned..
You always show emotions at inappropriate times.. Have you faced situations like this friends?
I am just giving her a meek smile and letting her know that she din’t hurt me..
“Can you just give me 2 minutes, I need to make a phone call..” I am asking the beautician as though my life depends on that call..
“Sure ma’am take your time..”
Tring Tring Tring Tring Tring.. The person you have called has not replied.. Please try again later..
Dumbo, isn’t sleeping like a log during our wedding day too bad? Din’t your mom wake you up? When are you planning to get up? Friends, why are these guys like this? 😦
@ 6.20 am:
My beautician is almost done with the saree draping. I am wearing a turquoise blue with peacock green colour Kancheepuram silk saree with elegant peacock design in a pleasant golden colour.
I am going to check on my lazy lovable idiot..
Tring Tring Tring Tring Tring.. The person you have called has not replied.. Please try again later..
This time I am quite worried.. Once the saree draping is done, I am going to check out what he is doing in his room.
@ 6.25 am:
Saree draping is over finally. The beautician has not started applying any make-up. I am just having a normal bindhi which he likes and a normal golden stud on my ears. I am starting to his room now. Wait dear, here am on the way to blast you..
Here I am standing before his room door.. I am knocking the door.. I have knocked the door for 10 times still no response. I am turning to leave, when the door is opening.. He is coming out and pulling me inside.. I am feeling stunned at this sudden act of his.. I am getting totally confused.. He is wearing our wedding suite and all dressed up.
He locks the door and starts coming near me and tries to kiss me telling “I wanted to see you before make-up, I knew you come running to my room before make-up time worried as to what happened to me.. You look gorgeous without makeup..”
I am pushing him aside blushing and warning “No kisses before marriage.. bye”
I am opening the door and rushing to my room thinking about his mischief, blushing all the way..
I am informing the beautician to apply light make-up, as I do not want my face to look odd..
@ 7.15 am:
I am getting all set for the marriage with the final touch-up.. My mom is exclaiming on seeing me “Oh my, you look really beautiful, Rishi is going to faint on seeing you..”
I am again blushing thinking about his mischief..
@ 7.25 am:
Rishi’s mom is coming near me to take me to the stage.. Time is nearing to become DiRi.. I am feeling my heart skip a beat due to the excitement building inside me.. I am going downstairs from first floor, when I am able to feel two eyes staring at me.. Friends, are you able to guess the person??? Yes, yes, it is my Rishi 😉
I am blushing now and I am looking down at him for our eyes to meet once before marriage.. I am feeling a powerful current passing through our eyes. He suddenly is winking at him.. I am unable to react and am shifting my head to another direction for hiding my shyness.
Friends, these guys know when to do certain things to knock your socks off.. You can never fully love or hate them..
We are exchanging rings. He is gently tying the sacred thread. Now we are being declared husband and wife.. People are coming and wishing us good luck for our married life.. Now our relatives are leaving us one by one for having their breakfast. I am waiting for the opportunity to be with him all alone. I am sure that he is also waiting for the same opportunity.
We are giving different poses as instructed by our photographer thinking of the memories going to get collected in these photos. Now the photo session is going to end. We are asking our parents to have their breakfast.. Yes, the photo session is over now and I am leaving him for going to my room for refreshing and changing my dress before having breakfast.. I am hurrying to my room lest it would become late for him to have breakfast.. I am getting excited thinking about my married life in our new flat all setup according to our taste.
I am going to enter my room, when I am feeling someone hugging me tight from my back.. I am realizing that it is my Ri.. I am blushing feeling the warmth of his body.. He is kissing me on my cheeks.. I am feeling my entire body becoming warm due to fear and excitement.. I can never forget this moment in my life.. We are starting the wonderful path of our married life..
So friends, how was my love marriage?
I thanked God and slept peacefully…
Next day, I woke up, totally forgot about my dream.. I casually went to office when I suddenly got a critical deliverable to be delivered on the same day…
Only I had to work on the deliverable, since many of them were on leave that day….
I got totally lost in the world that I forgot to have lunch, look around, have water or even go to restroom…
Suddenly I got a call from my manager:
Manager: Hi Rinki, are you done with the work???? There is lot of pressure from onsite to get this work done at the earliest..
Me: Hi Suresh, I am almost done with the work… It would take 10 more minutes to complete the work….
Manager: Oh that’s great!!!! Thanks for your hard work and dedication… This would surely be considered for your appraisal…
Me: Oh thank you so much Suresh!!!!
I completed the deliverable and sent a mail to Suresh…
I suddenly looked at the clock!!!!! I was shocked to see the time, it was 11:15…
Oh God!!!!!!! That was when I remembered my dream :’(… But I was happy that I had seen the time 30 minutes earlier…
Still my hands and legs started trembling… I felt that I was going to faint… When I suddenly heard someone scream my name…
I got even more terrified…
Slowly I checked my bay and other bays near my bay… There was no one… I became sure that it is proceeding exactly according to my dream….
But one thing struck me which I dint think in my dream, why don I call someone and ask them to come immediately????
As soon as I was about to take my mobile, someone took my mobile and my mobile was flying in the air… Then the door opened and I heard my mobile getting crashed….
Now I was helpless as I had been in my dream…
When I was about to move, a white board came near me and it was written “Do you think you can escape this time?”
I thought “What this time ah?”
I closed my eyes and started running like anything… When I opened my eyes, I was in the same place….
I tried to run again, this time I was able to run…
I came out of my bay and ran to the pantry to check if someone was there… I could not find anyone but I could sense noodles smell… I thanked God and went inside the pantry room and found that noodles was being prepared but there was no one inside….
I constantly heard someone screaming my name…
I felt three hands touching me, one caught hold of my hair, one my hands and another my face….
The one that was holding my hair, suddenly pulled it so hard that I shouted at the top of my voice but I could not hear my voice… I started to cry but tears dint come out of my eyes…
The one that was holding my hands, gave a twist and I could hear my bones getting broken and I could also feel the pain but I was not able to express it just like the previous case….
The one that was holding my face pulled me towards it and suddenly smashed my head on the wall…. I sensed blood oozing out, but it did not drop on the floor, it suddenly stopped oozing out…
I fell on the floor, I was totally drained…..
With my will power, I stood up rushed to my bay took my bag and started running when someone kept their legs in between, and I fell on the floor with a thud….
On the same white board, “YOU CANNOT ESCAPE THIS TIME…. YOU ARE GOING TO DIE”
I could not get up, I was feeling too weak due to the continuous attack… I was lying down without any movement to regain my strength…
When I was about to get up again, I felt a blow on my head….
After which I collapsed….
When I woke up and saw the time, it was 11.55, I do not know for how long I had been lying down on the floor like this….
I started running for life…
I dint wait for the lift, I directly went to the staircase…. I started jumping down the stairs, when I reached the ground floor, I suddenly saw the bucket with sand and then I felt a heavy blow on my head with the bucket, I was sure that I was dead.. I blurred out….
Suddenly I heard the screaming voice nearing me, I was glad that I was still alive…
I felt a heavy blow on my back, when I opened my eyes, I saw my mom…
She was staring at me more terrifying than the ghost I saw in the dream 😉 …
Mom: Idiot, how long am I screaming Rinki Rinki???? Can’t you get up soon on your own….
Me: What the problem, I can go to office late as many of them are on leave today and there won be much productivity…
Mom: Oh is it???? Your manager called you 10 minutes back and asked you to reach office by 10 as there is a critical deliverable…. That is the reason I was screaming your name these many times…
Me: What critical deliverable ah????
I thought to myself: Ok now that I have 2 dreams continuously about the same situation… I need to handle the situation in a better way….
I went to office…
Me: Suresh, mom told that you had told that we have a critical deliverable today…
Suresh: Yes Rinki, we need to complete it by today itself… I will give you the details….
As soon as he gave the details, I drafted a plan as to what all needs to be done at office and what can all be done at home…
I did all that should be done at office first… Left the office at 8 sharp…. I reached home and worked at home till 12.30(nothing happened 😉 ) as my mom was sleeping near me and I was hugging my mom with one hand….
I sent a mail to Suresh and slept off peacefully….
I had a critical deliverable to deliver, so I dint bother to see the pings or turn around, look at the clock…
Suddenly when I tried to stretch my body… I found that the girl who sits near me(who used to work till late night everyday) was missing…
I stood up and searched the whole bay to see if someone was there, but nooooooooooooooooooooooooooo one was there!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
I checked the nearby bays, I found that no one was working there also….
I saw the time in my system, it was showing 11:45… I had never worked in office later than 9.30…. I was shocked to see the time!!!!!!!!!
When I stood up this time, my legs started shaking… My hands were shivering, I dint know what to do….
I started walking towards the restroom, when I felt someone was following me… I thoroughly checked all the bays around my bay to confirm no one was playing with me…. There was no one, confirmed!!!!!
After I swiped out and came, I would have kept two steps ahead when I heard a swiping sound… I saw the bay door getting opened but noone came out(at least as far I knew)…. I felt like, I need to run but I could not move my legs….
After sometime, I dunno what happened but I was able to move my legs….
There was no security in our floor… Only in the reception we had security…
I was in the 11th floor :’(…
I went to the restroom… After I closed my door, I heard like all the other doors were getting closed and opened… Suddenly I felt someone catching my hand, literally I got a heart attack….
I closed my eyes to relax myself, but I could see only several horrible figures… So I never dared to close my eyes after that….
I immediately rushed out of the restroom and washed my hands when I felt that someone was pushing me towards the mirror…
I could not stand it anymore… I immediately rushed to my bay, again I heard a swipe sound after mine… I took my bags….
Suddenly the keys in my keyboard got pressed on its own and my system got unlocked…. A notepad got opened and keys got pressed again and i saw “I am going to kill you” typed in it….
I began to run, I saw one chair coming near me… It tried to stop me, but I just fled aways… Swiped out again….
I went near the lift area….
Our lift area had dim light settings…. The lift opened, since there was complete silence before that, the sound of lift opening was terrifying….
I got afraid that if I get caught with a ghost in a lift how to escape so I dint enter into the lift….
I went near the stair case door, opened it and just fled away…. Suddenly I felt someone pushing and I fell on the ground, my heart started beating fast…
I jumped down in the stairs and atlast reached the ground floor…. I saw the time, it was exactly 12.00 AM…
When I opened the ground floor, I saw the most horrible ghost I have ever seen…
On seeing the way she looked at me, I just fainted….
After falling down only, I realized that I had fallen down from my bed and it was just a dream….
I thanked God and slept peacefully again….
It was on a rainy day, when Chimmi came into my life. She looked like an angel when she passed the glass window of my classroom. I saw her side pose, her chubby cheeks, her long cute earrings which kissed her neck in regular intervals, her sharp nose, her thick eyelashes and a strand of hair falling on her cheeks. Suddenly she entered our classroom with her dad accompanying her, she was closing her eyes. I was admiring her round shaped rasagulla face.. Her face was absolutely flawless. I knew that from the moment I saw her, I wanted to be her friend.
Her father was talking about her to our teacher, I was least bothered to listen to what he was talking. I kept on looking at her and waiting for her beautiful eyes to look at me. Her father left the classroom.. Our teacher told “Welcome your new classmate Chimmi.. Treat her with utmost care and love, she is a very lovely girl..” Saying so she helped Chimmi to sit in the first bench.. I was sitting in the last bench as usual.
As soon as our teacher left, I rushed and sat near Chimmi. I whispered in her ears.. “Will you be my friend?”.
Kiara, Diya and Rishaan were the last to board the flight. Kiara had a flawless face with an innocent smile, which could draw any strangers’ attention. Diya had a serene face with a curvy body, which was an irresistible combination. Rishaan was a good-looking guy with an athletic body. Diya took the window seat, Kiara sat in the middle with Rishaan by her side.
In the middle of the flight, Kiara woke up to go to the washroom. When she returned, she was too lazy to push her way into the middle seat. And with Rishaan readily offering to shift seats, the seating arrangement changed. With 20 minutes still remaining for the flight to land, a sleep starved Kiara took another power nap, this time holding Rishaan’s right hand more firmly. Rishaan’s other hand, though, nervously moved to touch Diya’s. Her heart skipped a beat. Diya pulled her hand away. But a defiant Rishaan held her wrist again, this time firmly and more reassuringly. The changing behavioral dynamics between the three perhaps gave out a foreboding of what was to come in Goa. When the flight landed at the Dabolim Airport, Rishaan felt uncanny…his excitement seemed replaced by an unknown fear that he found very difficult to decipher. Kiara was sparkling with happiness holding Rishaan’s hand. She did not want to leave Rishaan’s hand. Diya silently walked away from Rishaan holding Kiara’s hand. She did not want to give him an opportunity to make advances. Rishaan on the other hand, craved for the elusive touch
They reached their resort. The Leonardo Da Vinci’s paintings added charm to the already stupendous cottage. The large living room had two bedrooms on the right, a fully loaded kitchen cum dining on the left and opened up into a balcony with a breathtaking view of the picturesque cyan colour beach with glistening sand. He dreamt about spending time with Diya in one of the rooms. They placed their luggage and started to the restaurant.
At the restaurant:
“What do you like for breakfast?” asked Rishaan
Kiara replied “I will go with whatever you order!!!”
Rishaan ordered “3 Malvani chicken curry”
Kiara sounded excited about the menu. Her eyes were filled with love for Rishaan. Diya was flabbergasted since she knew that Kiara hated chicken.
Diya told “I am not feeling hungry, I will just roam outside and be back in a while”
Rishaan was shocked since he could sense that Diya was famished but still she chose to be apathetic. Rishaan was feeling creepy. He started pondering why Diya was behaving strange. He wanted to hug, kiss and tell her how much he loved her but he was holding himself back since he was bothered about Kiara’s reaction.
Kiara reflected “Why is she behaving like this. Is she really not interested in Rishaan or is she keeping her intentions to herself because of me?”
Rishaan wondered “What is happening around me? Kiara is becoming so close to me and Diya is not even looking at me. Is she hiding her feelings just because Kiara is around? Should I be happy that Kiara is close to me or should I be sad that Diya is avoiding me?”
After the breakfast, Kiara started pestering Rishaan to accompany her to the beach. Diya joined them half-heartedly.
At the beach:
Kiara dashed to the beach and started playing in the water. Diya was not interested in getting drenched. Rishaan decided that it was the best time to have a personal chat with Diya, when Kiara was not around. But before he could collect his thoughts, Kiara dragged him into the waters.
Suddenly Kiara sensed that she had upset Rishaan. She told him in a sweet voice “Do you mind playing with me in the water?”
Rishaan softened on listening to her voice and replied “No! Not at all… Let’s play.”
Kiara was in a blissful state. Kiara realized that she loved Rishaan very much and was looking forward for a delightful future with Rishaan. Kiara was concerned if Diya would play spoilsport.
Even while playing with Kiara, Rishaan was thinking of ways to impress Diya. He realized that Kiara was mad about him but he was not able to give her, his undivided attention because of his love for Diya.
She was still not out of her past relationship. She could not let anyone know about her sufferings. She was not able to decipher the sudden transformation of Kiara’s attitude towards Rishaan.
On the way back to their cottage, Kiara put her arms around Rishaan, kissed him on his cheeks and told “Thank you so much for the wonderful day. I am very happy.”
Rishaan kissed her back and told “Thank you dear.. I am glad that you enjoyed the day”
At the cottage:
There were only two rooms. Rishaan wanted to stay with Diya. Diya wanted to stay with Kiara. Kiara started unpacking her luggage in one of the rooms. When Diya entered the room, Kiara shouted “I want this room for myself. I do not want anyone to be with me”
Diya without any option, went to Rishaan’s room. Rishaan pulled her inside and locked the door immediately. He tightly hugged her and begged “Why you are doing this to me, if you were not interested in this marriage, you could have been candid. Now that we are married, is it right on your part to keep avoiding me? What is your problem? Don’t you like me? Are you afraid that Kiara would mistake you if you get involved in another relationship soon after your divorce? Speak out what is in your mind. Don’t kill me by avoiding me?”
Diya pushed him aside and started crying. Then she retorted “I was not interested in this marriage in the first place and it was our parents who forced me into this. Though I know you well, I am not ready to believe any guy in my life again. Please don’t touch me. I do not want my parents to get hurt, so my only request to you is to pretend as though we are leading a happy married life, in front of them. Otherwise, I wish that we lead a independent life as strangers under the same roof.”
Rishaan banged the door open and went to the living room. He cursed himself for changing his mind for his parents’ sake. Though he had a good opinion on Diya, he was not sure if this would work. He recollected how the love of his life had died in an accident just before his eyes and tears started flowing down his cheeks. He had concluded that there is no life after Sara’s death but ever since he decided to marry Diya, he was confident of a peaceful second innings. This was a huge unexpected blow for him.
The next day, when Kiara saw Rishaan in a pathetic condition, she was shattered. She rushed to him, lifted his head with her palm and kissed him on his forehead and started crying out “Rishaan, you do not know how much I hated my previous father for his betrayal. He pretended as though he loved and cared for us. Suddenly his behaviour started changing and one fine day, he vanished into thin air. We were worried and searched for him all over the city and finally found him at mom’s dearest friend’s place. We found them in an intimate situation and we left the place devastated.
One day, he came back and compelled my mom to sign the divorce document. She was stubborn. He pressed a burning cigar on her lips and forced her to sign the papers. She did not relent as she felt it would have a lasting effect on my life. That night, while we were asleep, he barged into the house with a cricket bat and thrashed me. I started bleeding profusely. On hearing me scream, mom was agitated and agreed to sign the divorce papers immediately.
If mom said something rude to you, I am sorry but she has gone through a very tough time. She does not want me to suffer again. I will talk to her about this. I like you very much and my conscience tells me that you would not cheat on her. I am confident that you will not only be a doting father but also an affable husband.”
Rishaan explained “After the death of Sara, I had been longing for a company for a long time. I wanted to become close to Diya and start my life again without knowing her agony. Do you think that everyone is happy in their lives except your mom? I wanted to end my life and join Sara a dozen times in the last couple of years. Everyone has to move on and accept their present. What is Diya going to gain by being indifferent? Will she be happy then?”
Diya was listening to this conversation and was sobbing inconsolably on recollecting her horrendous past.
Rishaan went out leaving Kiara and Diya at home. Kiara was searching for the AC remote when she found out a letter from Rishaan.
“Diya, I do not want to be like a stranger in your life. You need not have agreed for the marriage. If you think you cannot be happy with me and if you want a divorce, I am ready to even give that. I do not want to burden you for my happiness. But I would be happy if you could leave Kiara with me. I believe she loves me truly and I feel that she could make me come out of my loneliness and bring happiness into my life. I assure that I would be a lovable father to Kiara”
Kiara placed the letter in Diya’s lap and stepped out of the cottage in search of Rishaan. He was standing at the dark corridor leading to the lawns, preoccupied in his thoughts. Kiara went and hugged Rishaan and did not leave him until she slept.
Rishaan decided to cut short the trip and advanced the tickets by a couple of days. There was an uneasy silence and not a word was spoken during the hour long drive to the airport. As soon as they boarded the flight. Kiara chose the window seat. Now Diya and Rishaan had no option other than sitting next to each other. Diya sat near Kiara and Rishaan took the aisle seat. Rishaan did not even look at Diya. When the flight took off, Diya’s hand nervously moved towards Rishaan. His heart skipped a beat in excitement. Rishaan pulled his hand away with a fake indignation. But a defiant Diya held his wrist again, this time firmly and more reassuringly.
Yes, this is the first time I have set my foot on a foreign country.. I am going to experience an enjoyable change in my daily routine..
I have so many plans lined up for treasuring moments before I leave back to my native. Bally Money tops the list.. Though it was eerie looking in the pic taking during the night time, the pics taken during the morning time was simply awesome..
Even before landing in Ireland, on seeing the pic, I felt like going for a slow walk all alone in that pleasant environment surrounded by mist, where I could just get mingled with nature and enjoy the chill weather which was quite impossible in my native.
I decide to go on an adventurous trip to the Bally Money alone that too during the night :P…
The fact is that, after watching a horror movie at home, I do not leave my mom’s hand till I fall asleep for at least 20 days..I know what is going on in your mind… Fate some times drives you crazy to follow your heart in the path you never even dream of..
I reach Bally Money at 7 pm.. It is slightly dark at that time.. I feel pretty bold right now… I am happily listening to all the cool romantic breezy songs that I have loaded in my mobile along with the cool breeze. I start singing in a loud voice as no one can tease me that ‘I am not even fit to be a bathroom singer…’
I notice the time only when I get bored of listening to the songs that I have loaded and switch to the FM Radio… When I check the time, it is 9.30 pm…
It is spooky dark.. That is when fear started growing in each and every cell of my body… To add fuel to the fire, the song that is being played in the FM is that of the horror movie Pizza…Even a minute pin dropping sound would have made me afraid of my own shadow, that is when my friend Revathy woke me up asking me to get ready to visit Bally Money 🙂
January 23rd at 8 pm:
A group of guys were thrilled to see Rachel. She was impeccably dressed. She had long, thick wavy ebony-black hair which plunged over her shoulders. She had chocolate brown eyes with velvety eyelashes and slender eyebrows. With a straight nose and full lips, she was stunningly gorgeous. She looked like a decade younger than her actual age. She sat in the Starbucks cafe, sipping her coffee and staring out of the window. The blood stained knife lay next to her handbag, covered with her blue silk scarf.
They entered the cafe and could not trust their eyes when they noticed the knife. They felt totally disturbed.
A ten member group in the cafe, was busy gossiping about her. A girl from the group quipped “I heard that she had an ex-lover who was stalking her for a while. She might have killed him.” A guy sitting next to her added “I thought she got married recently but had a turbulent married life because of her secret lover. She might have killed her husband.” Finally a girl concluded “Let’s wait until the media comes up with a detailed coverage on this.”
A guy who was in his mid-twenties took photos of her with the knife and posted in Facebook. The post attracted thousands of likes and comments within minutes. Soon the news spread like wildfire. Not just the customers but even the baristas were worked up due to this.
An old couple was least bothered about the flurry of activities around them and was happily enjoying their coffee.
She watched the mirror next to the window and silently made a note of the gossips and the expressions. She found it hard to hide her mischievous smile and enjoyed every moment of what she was going through. She ordered a Milk Choc Chunk Cookie and just enjoyed every bite of that.
Taking note of the events unfolding around her, she quietly wiped off the blood using a tissue paper and tucked the knife and the scarf inside her handbag and left.
As soon as she left, the cafe came to life with boisterous conversations about how she had kept her cool after having committed a cold blooded murder.
January 23rd at 7.26 pm:
Lily Gardens was a redbrick baronial apartment in the countryside surrounded by lawns, flowerbeds and shrubs. The peaceful life of the people at Lily Gardens was interrupted by a shrill scream from the fifth floor. The guy next door was alarmed and rushed to Remo’s place. He tried to open the door with kerchief in his hand, but the door was already opened. He cautiously stepped inside and found a maid in her late fifties with a pale face.
He was shocked to see Remo in a pool of blood and felt sick to his stomach. He went on the lookout of the murderer but he could find none. He went back home and informed the police immediately.
The police arrived at the scene after fifteen minutes. Inspector Mark was a tall, well-built man in his mid thirties. The maid was still panic-stricken. He started enquiring her about the victim. She gave detailed information about her owner, the renowned actor Remo.
Remo had been living in that house for more than 3 years with his wife Ria, who was then at her mom’s place after delivering their first baby few months back. The maid had been appointed two and a half years back. She generally came at around 7’ o clock and she was given an additional key to their home to carry on with her work when Remo was not available. Only Remo, Ria and the maid had access to their home. She had come around 7.25 that day, when she saw Remo lying in a pool of blood.
Mark checked the entire home to confirm whether the motive of the murder was burglary. He also instructed the maid to check if there had been a burglary. She checked and confirmed that most of the things were in place.
Mark asked her to leave for the day but informed her that she might be called for enquiry over the next few days. She returned home terrified. He ordered his subordinates to collect all the incriminating evidences and meet him at the station. A useful fingerprint was lifted from the entrance to the portion in which the murder had taken place. The weapon used for murdering Remo was missing.
Mark noticed that there was a CCTV camera installed at the entrance of the apartment. He checked with the security and got the detailed video of the visitors on that particular day. He observed that the maid had left the apartment before 11 am. Other than that, he saw a lady carrying a handbag enter the apartment covering her face with a blue scarf at around 6 pm. The silhouette of a lady of similar height was seen exiting the apartment at 7 pm. She also had something draped in a cloth. Mark was on the lookout for something extra, but the minimal lighting in the lounge ensured that he had his homework cut out.
The reporters started rushing to the place to collate the sensational development about the murder of the famous hero. Any additional information on the case would set up a rewarding career for the young journalists. Mark provided information about the CCTV footage and the lady with the blue scarf and informed them that the investigation process was on.
The papers had the photo of the victim and the lady with the handbag and blue scarf. The news rang a bell to the guy who had the thought of flirting with Rachel in the cafe the previous evening. He immediately called the police and provided the detailed information of whatever had happened at the Starbucks cafe.
When Mark received this information, he was reminded about Remo and Rachel’s recent interview where they had displayed intimacy. He checked the CCTV footage again and the height of the lady in the video matched with that of Rachel. His suspicion grew stronger. So he decided to land up at her place to enquire her. She wore a dress which sat on her body as if it had been made for her. Its satin folds hugged her figure following her curves and the deep blue colour was gorgeous against her ivory skin. The moment he saw her flawless face and innocent-looking chocolate brown eyes, his heart skipped a beat and he was overwhelmed with remorse for having to enquire her. But being a conscientious cop, he did not let his personal prejudices impede his duty.
Mark informed her about Remo’s murder and Rachel was shattered. When he showed Remo’s photo, she squealed and dropped the photo. He was her cousin Ria’s husband and what a wonderful pair they were. He had been by her side, whenever she needed him. She could not quite digest the fact that Remo was dead. Mark wanted to gather some more background before enquiring about the handbag, blue scarf and the knife that she had with her the previous night at the cafe. She gave an unconvincing reply and Mark found it hard to believe that a famous writer could carry a blood-stained knife to a cafe for the sake of her next story. He told her that he would require her to come to the police station for collecting her finger prints and other evidences and escorted her to the police car.
She was still coming to terms with what she just heard and felt terribly embarrassed about being in the eye of the storm. She had planned to write her next novel based on real time experience and it had been fantastic to draw together people’s reactions instead of just trying to visualize the events. But she never thought that it could change her life drastically. She was totally helpless, as she could not convince the cops that all she had was a knife dipped in blood from a butcher shop. She resigned to the fact that there was no escaping the gallows.
Her entire body started trembling as it was the first time she was going to step inside the police station. She watched scared stiff as police officers were whipping people with sticks half the size of their bodies. She had written stories with characters getting hammered in police stations but never ever dreamt of becoming one. She wondered whether they were going to thrash her in similar fashion. There was a silent tear which she tried to hold back and somehow managed to project herself as a brave woman.
When she was questioned, she could hardly speak, her throat went suddenly dry. She felt pathetic and was unable to even open her mouth. She signalled that she needed water. She had been used to drinking bottled water all her life and here was a guy who put his soiled hands inside the glass of water that was fetched from what seemed like a ‘stink tank’. She felt like throwing up immediately. But she had no other option than drinking that ‘substance’. She regained composure after ten minutes and answered the questions that Mark had for her. They took her finger prints, photo and recorded her oral statement. She now had a firsthand account of the treatment meted out to criminals and she loathed herself for going through this.
After around two hours, Mark allowed her to leave home with two policemen to keep tab on her. This had been the most humiliating day in her life. As soon as she entered her apartment with the policemen, people gave her a repugnant look. Her heart sank. She was eagerly waiting to get rid of the policemen and be alone to come to terms with the day’s events. As she entered her empty apartment, she had a better companion in solitude.
She was not allowed to leave her house the entire day. She took an oath that she would never ever try something stupid like this again in her life. Playing pranks would look good in a story but not in reality.
January 25th at 5.30 pm:
Mark came back to convey that her fingerprints did not match with the sample collected at the crime scene. When he was about to leave, he saw her chocolate brown eyes brimming with tears of joy conveying how appreciative she was for the news. She briefed him about how supportive Remo had been. When he explained the details of the case, she suggested that she might get a clue if she could have a glimpse of the CCTV footage. She was shaken on seeing the lady in the footage. She was not able to cork up her emotions. Before she could stop herself, she mumbled “It is Cathy” and tears started flowing down her eyes. She started sobbing and she couldn’t keep things to herself any longer. She decided to bare her heart to Mark.
A decade ago:
Remo, Ria, Rachel and Cathy did their schooling together. They were bosom friends and were the ‘Famous Four’ of their college. They did not have an iota of doubt about Remo and Ria falling in love. Rachel was hurt that Ria did not discuss this with her. It came as a bolt out of the blue sky when they declared their intention to get married.
It was one of the best marriages Rachel had ever attended. The couple was made for each other. Ria had been a loner from her childhood and Rachel felt really happy for her as Remo was the only one who could make her mingle with people.
Few months after the Marriage:
One day, Cathy came to Rachel’s place intoxicated. She was taken aback on seeing Cathy in such a pathetic condition. Cathy started sobbing inconsolably and swore that she will kill Remo for marrying Ria. Rachel had the shock of her life but was quite confused when Cathy behaved absolutely normal the next day. Since Cathy had been pretty normal ever since, Rachel never bothered about that incident.
January 26th at 6.30 am:
Mark got dressed and sprung into action. He reached on time with his subordinates before Cathy could leave her apartment. He ordered his subordinates to thoroughly check her apartment. One of them returned excitedly with a blue scarf resembling the one in the CCTV footage. Mark carried on with his usual investigation process. Cathy was asked to wait till they got the results of the fingerprint analysis.
Cathy started thinking about the wonderful time she had with Remo during her college days. He had been the most handsome guy she had ever met. She had tried in vain to subtly express her love for Remo during several occasions. When she came to know of Remo’s love for Ria, she wanted to kill him somehow for betraying her.
That was when she had decided to meet Remo in his apartment. He was happy to see her after a long time. But she was seething in rage. When he gave her a friendly hug, she stabbed him in his back. Giving vent to the flurry of emotions, she stabbed him erratically in all directions shouting “Why the hell did you marry Ria?”.. After cruelly murdering him, she returned home happily in the hope of never being traced.
Little did she realize that one of her long term friends Rachel would prove her wrong!