“I don’t know how this happened.” Sam cried. He didn’t know how to make the Mumbai police understand his truth. A day has already passed in the police station and no solution was yet found. He wished a miracle would happen and he would be a free man again. He wondered how he will overcome the sufferings of losing his girlfriend, the house he shared with her, and the best friend who betrayed him.
One morning he was enjoying his lovely time with his girlfriend Priya and the afternoon with the police at his home.
“Sir” Saluted a constable when the head chief entered his office. Sam met series of people and no one came to his rescue. He was not sure if this bulgy, round as a potato, will help him. Mr. Solanki takes his chair behind the desk and Sam stays stranded in the corner waiting for some instructions.
Solanki looks at Sam and then the file situated on his desk. He reads for a few minutes and Sam feels nervousness creeping in him. He hoped Solanki saw something different in him and whatever it was—it was in his favor. Solanki calls him with a finger movement and he moves closer to the desk. But he doesn’t dare to sit.
“Why you think we should let you go?” Sam was surprised to hear that as the 1st question.
“I have done nothing, sir.”
“The data shows you are guilty.”
“The data is not completely true. It is manipulated.”
“You think my department manipulated the facts?”
“No, sir. All I am saying this is not exactly what happened that day.”
“Sit and tell me your side of the story.” Everyone wanted to know his side of story but no one wanted to believe his innocence and he started narrating again.
I returned Mumbai early morning by 6.30 am and reached home by 8.30 am. I wanted to surprise Priya so I never told her that I was returning. I took a spare key from our old neighbour who shifted down on the 2nd floor. When I entered home, I saw Priya in the kitchen cooking breakfast for me. We shared some intimate moments and later sat for breakfast by 10.30 am. I had some work in office so I had to leave but she was upset about it. She stopped me and I decided to chuck my plan. We relaxed a bit and talked about my trip. During lunch time, I had to go out to collect some groceries. When I returned by 2.30, I saw her lying on the floor covered in blood. Mrs. Basra called the police when she saw me holding Priya and rest you know.
“You said you returned Mumbai that same day. Where did you go?”
“I went to Taiwan for business work.”
“How many days were you away?”
“3 days. I left Wednesday morning and returned on Saturday morning.”
“Did anyone know you were returning on Saturday?”
“My office folks and no one else.”
“No. I don’t have many friends but just one good friend. And I didn’t tell him”
“Why is that so?”
“He is a good friend of Priya too. When my work was done a day early, I decided and booked my return flight home. I wanted to surprise her.”
“The record says your friend testified but denied to help you here.”
“It is my pure bad luck that he betrayed me in my bad times. I still can’t understand how he got my house in his name.”
“He proclaims that you gave him the house because you could not return his money. He also believes that it is you who killed her.”
“I loved her, sir. I can never kill her. He is lying about everything. I never gave him the house and I am not in a relationship with my office colleague, Sashi. He thinks wrong.”
“We spoke to Ms. Sashi. She confirms that you are only friends.”
“Because she is telling the truth.”
“Who you think killed your wife?”
“It is a burglary. I lost all the money from my safe and the money I brought along with me from Taiwan.”
“Black money, Mr. Sam. Your company is in great trouble now.”
“It is my work to close the deals. I didn’t know whether it is white or black money.”
“Alright. We will keep investigating till the hearing.”
Sam was taken back to the cell to spend his day there. For the first time in his life he cried and wished to have been killed with Priya.
Two days were passed and same rituals continued and on the third day he was taken to chief’s office again.
This time it was not just him but Sashi, Mrs. Basra, society watchman, gardener and my friend Nirav.
“Come, Sam. You were eagerly awaited.” Sam nods his head.
Solanki walks from one end to the other and starts talking.
“My investigation has come to an end. I declare that Sam is guilty.”
Before Sam could say he stopped him and continued, “Let me tell you all a story. It is quite interesting though. So the story started a year back when a woman who worked in a reputed company was sacked out and moved to a locality where she made good friends. She was in a relation with a man but was not satisfied with her financial status. She tried stealing company money once but failed to accomplish it. Her connection with her boss was very strong that her truth never came out. Well, if her truth did, her boss will also be exposed. She and her boyfriend made a plan. They decided to rob her boyfriend’s best friend. With them, there was one more person involved. Her boyfriend’s mistress—the best friend’s girlfriend. He wooed his best friend’s mistress into a relationship and brought her in the plan.”
Sam could relate where this was going. His eyes burned with unshed tears but he waited.
“One morning the best friend’s mistress and her boyfriend met and were planning how to execute their plan. They knew her boyfriend would be back from his trip any day with the money they had their eyes on. But to their bad luck, he showed up the same day. The real girlfriend calls her boyfriend who was with the best friend’s girlfriend in her house and informed that the target has returned. The boyfriend hid in the house and she welcomed her old boyfriend. When the target boyfriend went out, they stole the money. But the wife was killed. When the husband returned, he was made look guilty.”
Sam couldn’t figure what was coming next. His girlfriend betrayed him? Or Solanki was talking about someone else?
“The good news is that almost everyone is present here in this room. The boyfriend, the boyfriend’s girlfriend and the victim. Sad news is that the best friend’s girlfriend is not there.” He walks to Mrs. Basra and asks, “How did you let your murderer boyfriend sleep with another woman?”
Sam’s hand went to his mouth. He was shocked to see Mrs. Basra was involved and she was the girlfriend of the killer.
“Mrs. Basra, here’s the role you played…” he turns and walks “…Mr. Sam came to you for his spare keys. When he left you called your boyfriend and informed him. Did you not?” She tried denying but a slap from the lady constable made her speak the truth.
“Yes,” She whispered.
“You were planning to run away that is why you sold your flat and rented a house on the 2nd floor.”
He walks to the watchman and says, “You said you saw Sam leaving Mrs. Basra’s place. That proved that Sam was right when he said he went to the 2nd floor.”
He walks to the gardener, “You said that you saw Sam at his balcony with Priya. That meant you saw someone else not Sam.”
He walks to Sam, “What did you see when you reached home?”
“I saw that Priya was in the kitchen preparing breakfast—Oats and butter toast.” Sam sobbed.
“Priya was preparing breakfast for the 2nd time. She prepared scrambled egg for her boyfriend.
I believe you don’t eat eggs, do you?” He asked Sam.
“No. I am vegetarian.”
“Who was the other guy with her than? Do you have a clue Nirav?”
“Why are you asking me? I did not do anything.”
“Than just reply to my question, why get scared?”
“I don’t know.”
“Are you sure?” He pushed head chief and started running outside. After a minute he was dragged by a constable back in the room. He was made to sit on the chair.
“So now will you complete the story or should I?”
“I did not kill her. I only wanted the money. She was not ready to let me go.”
“I killed her,” Confessed Mrs. Basra when head chief gave her a stare.
“Me and Jackie (Mrs. Basra) where in a relation but she wanted money. She married Mr. Basra and got his property signed in her name. But the money was exhausted when she met me. I used to come to meet Sam often and we encountered each other on many occasions. We planned to steal Sam. I came close to Priya so that she falls for me and does whatever I say. She got Sam sign everything in her name—technically, my name. She didn’t know the papers were in my name. She was a fool to fall for my every word. She told me that Sam was going to Taiwan to collect crores of rupees. I told her we will steal it and leave for good.”
Jackie continued, “Nirav stayed at her place for the night. He wanted to convince her with their plan. When Sam came home, they will steal the money and leave. She will pretend to feel sick and stay back home while ask him to go to the market to buy grocery. She will remove the money from the safe and bag it in suitcase to leave. But that did not happen.”
“When Sam came home unexpectedly, I hid in the room and waited. Sam wanted to go to office to deposit the money. I could not let that happen and I gestured Priya to stop him. She succeeded in it and she sent him to the grocery store. We removed the money from his hand bag—Priya knew the password and moved it to another bag. Jackie came up by then and I told Priya to stay put. She wanted to come with me but I told her that I will call her. She didn’t buy it and demanded to come. Jackie told her that she was only bait and we do not need her anymore.
After knowing the truth, Priya got pissed and started yelling. She blackmailed that she will tell Sam and the police. I cupped her mouth close but she bit my hand. Jackie picked a knife from kitchen and killed her.”
“She was not letting my money go. She was going to flop our plan” Jackie shouted.
Sam walks to Nirav and slaps him hard. “How could you?”
“I am sorry. I was blinded by love.”
They were taken and Jackie kept shouting “I want my money.”
“Sam, are you alright?”
“How can I be? My girlfriend cheated me and my friend betrayed me.”
“Love can be heart breaking.”
“How did you know I was innocent?”
“A friend in need is a friend indeed. Nirav should have taken your side even if the world believed you murdered your girlfriend.” He winks at Sam letting him go. Sam was a free man again—in every sense.
Tip: Don’t forget to take your friend’s side when he is the victim and you are the culprit. 😉