The First Demise – Chapter Seven

Prathap recorded the call when Vimal played from the recorder. He kept hearing Ajay’s last words, again and again.

I have loved you a lot dear Christie.

But I’m not worthy to live anymore.

I should not have done this to you, I am sorry. Forgive me.

It did not sound like a suicide note to Prathap. It was much like a confession; a confession that had come from the deepest depths; a confession that carried regret and sorrow. The convict has accepted his crime. Is the case closed? But, where is his body? Where to proceed now? How to proceed? Is all my work gone in vain? Prathap was deeply affected by the unexpected end of Ajay.

He went to Samantha. She was sleeping calmly lying on the rear seat. Her face looked placid like a lake with no ripples. He hesitated to disturb her. He wished to just look at her sleeping. He felt some ease deep inside his heart. But he had to tell her. She did not respond to his knocks. Is she alright? Has she fainted? Prathap’s mind ordered his hands to knock louder. He unwillingly obeyed, still no response. He opened the door and jerked her, ‘Samantha!’

She sprang up, slowly swimming out of her dreams. He held her hands; he was afraid she would not bear his words. He told her about Vimal’s call and Ajay’s suicide. She was in immediate tears, ‘Why did he kill Christie? Now why should he regret for it? Why should he kill himself? Will Christie come back because he’s gone? He should have killed himself before killing Christie. She would have lived happily.’ Prathap consoled her. He was in a different kind of trouble, within. His case, the very first case he’s handled with much flair has gone nowhere. He shared his grief with her. The very first case, after a long day’s work, was over. ‘No Christie, No Ajay, where should I proceed now?’ Prathap had to speak off his mind to spew his gloom along with his words.

‘But where is Nina? Did you get any information on her?’ Samantha’s questions ignited a spark on Prathap’s mind; a spark that lit a light of hope in him. He called Vimal immediately, ‘Have you started?’ When Vimal’s reply was ‘no’, he told Vimal to search Ajay’s hotel for information about Nina. He went inside with a new energy and he was excited.

The medic showed his DNA results. Prathap saw M2 was still trying to get the DNA from the saliva trace. Prathap asked medic to test for toxins. ‘The blood is very little to proceed for toxin test.’ The medic’s reply did not bother Prathap. ‘Any other method?’ he asked the medic. The medic skimmed through the possible options in his head. ‘I’ll go with urine sample.’ Prathap approved. His walk was quick. His body was refreshed and he felt a new urge to proceed with the case.

‘What the..!’ The medic’s yell drew Prathap closer to the report.

‘GHB..?’ Prathap was in utter shock. So was the F-team. How could this be possible? The tablets did not have GHB. If Ajay is the killer, then why should he use such a drug on his own wife? Why a Gamma-hydroxybutyrate? What was the urge for using a sedative on his wife? So, is the killer not Ajay? Some Mr. X has come here? Has that X tried to rape her? Prathap was searching for answers inside. But all he got were questions, more and more questions, leading to hundreds of thoughts which he felt were going to eat him up. His nerves had chilled out long back. He felt colder now than when he heard of her murder. He controlled his tongue which was trying to leash out a loud cry.

Just then, it happened, that which no one has expected, which no one could believe. A man entered the house. He looked troubled and terrified. And the others looking at him were equally terrified. He was Ajay. He had tears, as he knelt down near the body. He cried and screamed. Prathap was speechless. Somehow, he came back to senses. He asked Ajay, ‘How are you back? What happened in your hotel?’

Ajay stared back at Prathap, ‘How do you first reason this, my wife’s death?’ He shouted, with his tears screaming louder than his words.

‘Was it not you who killed her?’ Prathap did not ask it. He felt the tears were real, expressing real grief. He understood Ajay did not kill her. Prathap explained all that happened to him, all the findings, all the complexities and all that which ended up being an unsolved puzzle.

‘I am not guilty,’ Ajay was saying it the fifth time. ‘We had a fight last night. But I did not think it would lead to such bizarre consequences. I am such a bad husband.’ His eyes seemed to draw blood from his heart to pour out as tears. Prathap felt bad for him. He could not console him. He wished him to spew out all his emotions. Ajay was walking aimlessly out of the hall, his eyes forgotten to blink, being busy bleeding tears.

M2 was done with his DNA tests by then; he gave the DNA result to Prathap. He checked it with that of the medic. First he did not infer it quickly. His eyes took time to reveal the fact that both the DNA were of a female, with only X versions of the chromosome allele. If it was a male’s it would have been an X and a Y. So, she should have taken the tablets for suicide. As he was thinking, ‘What would be the reason behind GHB then?’ he checked the next part of the report. Both the DNA patterns did not match. Both were of a female, but different DNA patterns. Does that mean they’re of two different women? Prathap yelled, ‘What is happening here?’

Ajay, who was sitting on the steps outside, looked back in awe. Why is Prathap shouting? Just then something hit his eyes. He sprang up, ran towards it, it was the shoes. ‘These are Nina’s shoes’, Ajay screamed, ‘Where is she? Is she still here?’

Prathap was confused, ‘You knew Nina came here?’

‘She told she would come to see me, but I did not reply her. She usually switches off her phone if she gets angry on me. So I thought she did switch off and so my calls did not reach her.’

‘What’s there between you and Nina?’

‘She’s my friend’s sister. She lost her brother last year. I’m taking care of her now. She could not have done this to Christie. It was Christie who did not like Nina. Last evening Nina messaged me that she met him in a café.’

‘Met who?’

‘Mickey. He was troubling her for long. He used to send her obscene messages and disturb her a lot. I called him and chided him badly last night when I was in my office. I told I had his messages and I would go to police. Maybe because of that, he tried to kill me today. He hit me hard on head. When I woke up, I was tied up and was sitting in the bathtub. He was aiming a gun on me, but luckily his bullet missed my life. I heard the recorder that was nearby. I found Christie was in trouble. So I came here. Now, where is Nina?’

‘She’s not here. I’ve looked around inside the house.’

‘Did you check everywhere? Did you check the basement?’

‘You have a basement?’

They ran with him to that dark room which the inspector told had checked already. At the very corner of the room, there was a carpet, which had a door to the basement. Ajay sped inside. Prathap switched on his flashlight. The basement grew bright. It showed the body of the woman, lying dead. But it also showed slight movement in the body.

‘She’s not dead. Nina is breathing,’ Prathap told Ajay. Ajay took her in his lap and screamed, ‘Christie..!’

They carried her to the hall. The medic was trying to keep her live. Prathap was standing there still. He took the mobile phone, which Christie was clutching tightly. Ajay told it was Nina’s. Prathap checked it. A message was open. It was from Nina to Ajay. And, it read, ‘I’d like 2 hug u tightly nd kiss ur tong dear’. He checked the next message, it was worse. The next one was even worse. Message after message it was getting more ungracious. And he came to the last message in that folder, which read, ‘Dear Ajay brother, I’m sendin al msgs Mickey sent me. I’m not able 2tolerate r tell any1. Kindly help this li’l sister.’

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