"i Did Not See This Coming"

Continuation of the sin series...“I have no idea. There was some relationship problem. Amisha wasn't a sharer. She would keep things to herself mostly. So I don’t know.”

"I see. Do you think Amisha's ex-husband Kunal may have a hand at this?" "No. I don't think so. Kunal isn't even in the country. He settled in the US after the divorce when he got a job there. Hasn't been back since then. It's been two years." "Did you inform him about his ex-wife's death?" "I did. He is devastated. He wanted to speak to you guys, so I gave him the number from where I got a call earlier today. Hope that's okay." "That's absolutely fine." "What about Amisha's family?" Rohan asked. "I don't know. She never talked about them. I asked a lot. She just told me she was alone in this world. I just guessed she must be an orphan." "Oh. Do you know Aditya Rao? That's him." Shruti asked, showing the picture of Aditya. "Uhm, no."

"Ever heard about him from Amisha?" "No. Not that I recall. Who is he?" "He was murdered at the same time as your friend. In fact, she had visited his apartment just a few minutes before her death." Shruti gave a screenshot of the footage where Amisha could be seen coming out of the society. "I have no idea. Though seeing this, I recall something. I have a feeling now this may be related." "What is it?" "It was around three months back when I saw her aloof. She was generally a quiet person, but still, it looked like she was thinking something… you know… and I asked her. She said she had been noticing someone following her day and night." "Who was it?" "Some guy. He would follow her, and she said she could sense that he was taking pictures too." "Did she suspect anyone?"

"No. She was clueless. She said she wasn't brave to confront him, so she started sleeping at my place for a few days since she didn't feel safe. I told her to go to a police station, but she refused. A week later, the guy stopped following her around, and she went back to her routine." "When did this happen? Any specific dates that you can provide me with?" "Uhm… It was in December. Uhm… 1st week or second week. I don't remember. Sorry." "Where did she tell you about this? Her house? Your house? Her workplace?" "It was at a restaurant, actually. We had gone out for dinner to celebrate her promotion that had happened that day, and that's when she told me. Which is why I could make out something was bothering her. She should have been happy, but her smile wasn't reaching her eyes." "Which restaurant?: "Sublime restaurant. MG road." "Thank you for helping us, Rishika." "This is the least I could do. I want her to get justice." "I understand." Rishika stood up and left the cabin, and Shruti turned to Rohan.

"Find out when did Amisha get a promotion in her company. And when?" "On it. And then I look up for CCTV footage previous to those dates." "Yes. As well as the footage of that restaurant on that particular date. If Amisha was disturbed on a day she went to celebrate her promotion, she sure as hell would have encountered that guy on that day too." "Done." "There has been another murder?" Sameer came storming inside. Shruti looked up. "Yes. Amisha Mishra." "When were you going to tell me?" "Never." "Just because I know the victim's girlfriend. Don't you think that's harsh?" "No. By the way, I still haven't met Shikha Kulkarni. She is so important to the case, yet here we are waiting for her to be alright." "I will call her. But I have to be there when you talk to her." Shruti thought for a moment. "Okay."

"What has been the progress on my boyfriend's death?" A very stoic Shikha Kulkarni sat in front of Shruti. Sameer sat beside her, and Rohan sat next to Shruti. "We are still investigating…." "Then why did you call me?" "To shed some light on this case. After all, he was your boyfriend. You were living with him, and I am sure you would know more about him than anyone else, right?" "Yes. You have no idea how much this has been a shock to me. It's not easy to talk after such tragedy." "I understand. Did you go to work on Thursday?" "Yes." "What time did you return?" "Around 6 pm." "And then?" "There was this friend's birthday party. I left for that." "And Aditya didn't accompany because he hated parties." "Yes." "What time did you leave for the party?" "In half an hour. Around 6.30 pm." "And when did you return from the party?" "Uhm... I guess around 10." "Such a short party?"

"I…I wasn't feeling well." "Oh, okay. So 10 pm? But your security guy says you came back at 9.30 pm." "Is it? Then that must be it." "But you gave a panic call here at 10.02 pm. Right, Sameer?" "I…" Shikha sat tongue-tied. Sameer stared at her. "Did you carry your cellphone with you the whole day?" Shruti asked. "Yes. How can anyone leave their cellphone behind?" "Yes. That's true." Shruti opened the drawer and showed a paper. "That's your location. You came back home at 9.28 pm. Your phone records show that. Matches with the security guy's statement." "Then I must have come at 9.30. What are you getting at?" "What I am getting at is that you come home at 9.30 pm. You see your boyfriend's dead body, but you give a call to the police and to the ambulance after 10. What were you doing for that half an hour?" "Shruti, that's unnecessary…." Sameer started to say. "I am talking to a suspect. Kindly don't interfere now, Sameer." "I was in shock."

"Shikha, when we see a loved one stabbed with blood oozing out, the first thing that a normal person would do is check whether they are alive, give a call to the ambulance in the hope that they are saved. But you sat there in shock for half an hour is beyond my comprehension." "Enough, Shruti," Sameer said. "One more word, and I will ask you to leave." Shruti raised her tone. "Everyone reacts differently. I was shocked. But I did check whether he was alive. He wasn't breathing." "How did you know that?" "I listened for his heartbeat. Also checked his breathing." "You bent on him to check for his heartbeat?" Sameer asked. "Yes." "So bent down and caressed his blood-soaked shirt to listen to his heartbeat and Yet miraculously saving your high neck satin blue gown as well your face from the blood which was all over his body? Because clearly, we didn't see any blood on you when we reached there. Please don't tell me you washed it off. That's highly improbable." Shikha gulped hard. "Are you telling me I killed him?"

"Absolutely not. I am just trying to understand the sequence of events. Anyway, you were in shock; what did you do after coming out of the shock?" "I gave a call to Sameer at the police station." "Why didn't you call on his cellphone. I mean, for all we know, he may not have been at the police station at that time of the night." "I didn't have his number." "How so?" "We weren't in contact for a long time." "How did you know where he worked?" "I... I had heard in our college group that he worked here." "Then?" "Then I… I... googled the number." "Are you sure?" "What is happening? Why would you…." Sameer started to ask when Shruti glared at him. "Last warning." "Why these questions, officer?" Shikha asked.

To be continued...

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