August Nightmares #4

Episode 4: The Tardy Lover

Deephika had been working long hours in her office room and wanted to stay there until morning since it had been late hours.

A text arrived on her phone and it was from a private number.

Text: Hello D. Do you think Kabini is really safe?

Deephika replied: Who is this? And WTF.

(dot dot dot)

Text: Some surprises are left unsaid. And speaking of surprises, do you remember what’s today all about?

Deephika: It’s my anniversary day but I have work. Stop texting me.

Text: You’re going to miss a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. If you do, tomorrow is going to be unbelievable or unforgettable.

Deephika: STOP!

Deephika exhales — “Shucks! Which stupid is this?” and immediately scrolled through the contacts and rang Kabini.

The dial tone took long and the ring tone was heard. Kabini did not pick up for a long time and picked up at the final second. A long screech and a crunch were heard while muffled thudding noise was heard.

“Kabi? I can’t hear you. Hello! Speak up” and she immediately heard a heavy breathing noise and the line disconnected.

Immediately she rang up her neighbor Revathi whose house was 100feet away from theirs.

Revathi — “Hello Deephi! How are you?”

Deephika — “Revathi! Just run outside and check if my upstairs balcony light is on.”

Revathi — “I’m outside only. But I see other lights ON, not this one. Why Deephika? Something wrong?”

Deephika — “Nothing Revathi. See you later. But keep an eye on the house can you? Bye!”

Then Deephika in a hurry left her phone, laptop and grabbed her purse and car keys ran to her car, and drove home.

I kept looking at Deephika after she finished her side of the story. The room temperature of the Investigation room at the station was pretty warm and I was getting sweaty. I signaled via the two-way mirror to reduce the temperature inside.

Deephika — “Come on, Mr. Sangeet! I said my story twice for now. Could you please let me go?”

Chucklingly laughed for a few moments to reply to her — ‘Oh Dear D! You never mentioned anything about the phone call with Revathi last time. I wonder why!’

Deephika — “What? I was clearly in a state of…”

Jeff from the console via mic — “Euphoria?”

I yelled — ‘Shut up, Jeff!’

Deephika gave a sharp-angry look towards the console but she actually stared at herself though. The room temperature was getting colder every minute as they cranked it way too low. I could sense a white foggy smoke coming out of the vent. Deephika was starting to shiver slightly and the foggy smoke abruptly stopped.

“Oh, that should be a problem” and I turned towards the mirror and asked, ‘What now?’

Jeff — “Sorry man! AC is busted. Hurry up”

I sat down to confront her — ‘Deephi! Come on! If you tell the truth, I could save you. I am debasing myself with the inspector just to talk with you here. It should’ve been the Inspector. Tell me..’

Deephika banged the table and replied, “But Mr. Sangeet, what if it was Revathi herself?”

Stood up and said, ‘Yeah! You may be right..’ and walked away then I abruptly stopped.

‘…just to double back. She confirmed that the balcony light was turned off but she also confirmed that your car never left the compound.’ And Jeff turned on the lights in the console that made everything visible from either side of the glass.

There stood Revathi and Jeff, both smiling. Or just Jeff being pretentious, I presume.

‘So, Now would be a good time Mrs. Deephika, you said your real story. Oh sorry, should I say Ms. Deephika?’

Revathi gasped as Jeff yelled — “What?”

Smirked as I said, “Now that’s an appropriate reaction Jeff” and unbuttoned my long coat and took out a couple of folded papers and threw it over the table as it slides near Deephika — ‘Oh, I’m sure you’d be familiar with those.’

Deephika asked without laying a finger on the paper — “What are these?”

I strutted towards the glass and flicked the mosquito that had been in the same position since morning. ‘These madam… are your divorce papers from 2 months ago, I mean June! I’m sure you’d remember the month because you made this decision on the month you decided to throw a party for your friends during the 10th-month celebration of your relationship with Kabini which unfortunately got canceled due to a huge misunderstanding the day before. And I’m sure you were never really at work since your Hotel was closed due to Tax Evasion and I-T raid.’

Deephika’s face turned red and her eyebrows rose high while her ears twitched.

I swiftly walked towards my chair on either side of the table and sat. ‘Now! Tell me Deephika. What really happened that day? Who killed Kabini?’

~to be continued

Co-Writing the Story of this World :)