A loud thud and a scream, Steve lay dead in his house. It was the 20th of October.He was stabbed three times in his heart. It was a still evening; the scene lay untouched and quiet. The scream of sirens had died down and the officers stood slightly away from the scene. His wife Becca stood beside his body, she did not say a word. The murder of the most gentle and kind man in the neighbourhood shocked everyone. Coming home after a week and seeing her husband dead was too much for Steve’s wife. The officers present at the scene asked her a few questions but she refused to speak: “state of shock!”, someone exclaimed. But was that so? The officers left with Steve’s body to transport it to the morgue for identification and examination. Becca was a mystery, a beautiful twenty-seven year old. Her mother died when she was two. She was the only child. Her father was one of the richest men in town. He loved Steve and wanted her to marry him and she did. She had been married to Steve for 7 months. She hardly spoke to anyone in the neighbourhood, nor did she have any friends. She loved Steve, everybody knew. Whenever they were out in public everyone could see the love, or that was what she wanted everyone to see. That day she could not sleep. Killing her husband was not something she wanted to do. But she had no choice. It was cold that night. She lay wide awake on the couch, beside the spot where she had stabbed him. The next day she was awakened by a loud banging on the door. She ran to open it. A tall, muscular, fairly handsome young man stood there. He had another man behind him.“ Hi! I am Ron and he is Mr. Adams. He and I are the officers who will be investigating your husband’s murder case.” Becca did not say anything but found herself staring at him. Noticing his eyes and lips as he said these words. It was the first time she had noticed someone. She followed them as they entered. “Will you mind if I take a look at your house?””Not at all”, she replied. She was sure she had left no evidences. “ I hope I did not disturb you. Please take rest.” This was the first time someone had spoken to her with so much care and she could not help but gaze as he continued his work. After thirty minutes of examining things he asked her if he could ask her a few questions. She agreed. “You were not at home when your husband was murdered right?” “Yes, my father died a week ago. He was diagnosed with cancer a month back. I visited him frequently.I was at his place then as well.” “Did your husband have any enemies?” “None.” “How were things between you and Steve?” “Like things should be between a married couple. I am sorry I will prefer not answering personal questions,” she said. “ Ma’am, you are supposed to answer all the questions asked,” Mr. Adams snapped. “Let it be, Mr. Adams we will return for further investigation,” he replied, even though he found the reaction weird. He too stared back at her this time, mesmerised by her beauty, looking her in the eyes. This concern made her admire Ron even more. She could not help thinking about him after he left, looking forward to seeing him. Ron went to the neighbouring town the next day, where Becca’s father lived. He entered the house and inspected each and every corner. He found her father’s diary which said that Steve wrote to him every week. He looked everywhere for his letters but could not find them anywhere. Then in the kitchen behind the jar of sugar he found the letters which amazed him . Steve did write to him every week and the letters proved the fact that the equation between Becca, her father and Steve was great. Surprisingly, he found letters only till the third week of September, that is, before he was diagnosed. He looked for the rest of them but found nothing. While leaving the house, near the gate, he found ashes of paper. On one of them he found 3rd October written. He knew they were the letters from Steve which were burnt. Nothing could be deciphered from the ashes but he knew not much love existed between the three. The next day Becca was called to the police station for interrogation. She was taken to a room and saw Ron and Mr. Adams sitting on one side of the table. Ron looked at her. She wore a lovely black dress, the most beautiful widow. She sat on the other side waiting to be questioned by Ron. Forcing his mind to return to the case from her attractive beauty he asked her about the letters. “Steve wrote to dad every week. They loved each other. I have no clue about how the letters were burnt. No one else stayed in the house other than dad.” “Then you must have burnt them?” asked Mr. Adams. “I am sorry for his tone,” Ron replied. She smiled, the most wonderful smile. They both knew they were falling for each other. Her beauty and charm and his care and concern did all the magic. “I would kill anybody who would hurt my dad. Steve’s letters made my father smile. That would be the last thing I would do.” “Did your father tell you anything about the letters of last month?” Ron asked. She was pleased to hear his voice. “I never interfered in their relationship.” She was asked to leave. While leaving Ron went up to her, “Becca I am sure you are having a really tough time dealing with everything. If you do not mind will you go out with me just to take a break from things?” She was pleasantly surprised and agreed instantly. Ron’s behaviour and her reaction made Mr. Adams suspicious. All knew she loved her husband and it had just been three days. He decided to keep an eye on her. Later that evening, Ron and Becca met up for dinner. They both seemed to enjoy each other’s company. It was the first time Becca let anybody enter her life. “My passion is writing. I always write notes for others and hide it in my secret heart.” He told her about his love for painting. “I loved my dad a lot. He was the best human.” “Wherever he is now he knows he has the best daughter.” She knew he had won her heart after this. She was in love; in love with the man investigating the crime she had committed. The evening continued with lots of smiles and lots of lovely feelings and confessions. During the evening Mr. Adams asked Steve’s neighbours about them. “Steve was a lovely person. They were a beautiful couple. Nothing could have been wrong between them. Becca is a mysterious girl and talks to no one but I guess for her, her husband’s company was enough.” The fact that she agreed to meet Ron now made him suspect her even more. Ron dropped Becca home. Mr. Adams watched her as she went in and Ron left. He waited for an hour or so. Nothing happened. Then at around eleven in the night he saw her leave. He followed her. She went to her father’s place. She shut the door and went in. He again waited for her watching the house like a hawk. The lights were turned off soon. He was awake the entire night. The next morning he decided to go in. The door was surprisingly open. He went in. He looked in each and every room but she was nowhere to be found. He drove back to Becca’s house but she was not there as well. He called Ron. Ron looked for her everywhere. He was shocked and hurt. He wanted to see her beautiful face again. Weeks passed. There was no sign of her. But her impression on Ron’s mind and heart was huge. He could not stop thinking of her. Even without her presence his feelings seemed to prevail. A month later he went to her house. He looked at her pictures just to see the face he had fallen in love with. There in the drawer he found a picture of her with her dad, their only picture together. Behind the frame there was a huge red coloured heart. He remembered about her notes and ripped the back of the frame open. It had a note. A single note named Ron. “Ron, if you ever read this, I want to tell you I love you. But I loved my father even more. I killed my husband. I committed the crime. Steve wanted my father’s property after he was diagnosed with cancer. I never fell in love with Steve but my father wanted me to be with him so I did. My dad really loved him and his behaviour broke his heart so I stabbed his heart. The letters were burnt by me. I am sure Mr. Adams must have told you about me spending that night at my dad’s place. That was the last time I wanted to spend time with my dad, his memories and tell him about how much I loved you. Your care made me fall for you. How did I go and where did I go you will never know, but if you meet me again give me a kiss and I will happily let you do your job and stay in prison with you as the prison-keeper forever.” Ron silently took the note and kept in his pocket. “ I love you too” was all he could whisper looking into her eyes in the picture.

 

Shivani Dasgupta

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