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Participate in the 3rd Season of STORYMIRROR SCHOOLS WRITING COMPETITION - the BIGGEST Writing Competition in India for School Students & Teachers and win a 2N/3D holiday trip from Club Mahindra

ketaki patwardhan

Drama Crime Thriller


4.8  

ketaki patwardhan

Drama Crime Thriller


The Life Of Myra - Chapter 15

The Life Of Myra - Chapter 15

10 mins 771 10 mins 771

I take out my mobile.


I open contacts and search for Viraj. I find it.


“See. This is his number,” I say.


“Dial it,” Rishi tells me.


I dial. The network is busy.


“Busy,” I say.


“When you call your own cell number, it is always busy,” he says.


Flabbergasted, I check the number. It is indeed my number.


But how is it possible?


Is that why even though I saved the contact, his name kept disappearing from WhatsApp?


“Wait, how did you know that I had saved my own number as Viraj’s?” I ask.


“You had given it to SI Patil,” Rishi says.


Oh right! Why didn’t I realize it then?


And now coming to think of it, I was the one who kept speaking, that night at hotel Sitara, rather than Viraj. I kept talking, about my life, my childhood. And he never said anything. I never got anything out of him!


“The same day, Anish spoke to Mahika, and everyone tried to ask you to talk to me. But you refused to listen to anyone. In fact, you lied to Mahika that you had met Viraj online and that you were dating him.”


“So we all met at Mahika’s place and decided to work together to get to the bottom of what was happening with you. I was already trailing you digitally, and my driver was keeping tabs on where you went and what you did. At the hospital, Dr Shantanu and your colleagues kept a close watch on you, and kept updating me.”


“That night again you spoke to your imaginary friend Saloni, and chatted to Mayank at around 3 am. The next morning after reaching home, you checked Madhumita’s update in which she had posted a photo of hers with Anish and Vanya, posing in front of one of Vanya’s painting. I know because your online fake profile, Lisa K, liked that particular photo. But what we didn’t anticipate, was what you did next.”


“You went to the same hall at lunch hour, dressed in a black cover all. You didn’t take your car, so you gave Nishant also a slip. It was a time when no one was watching you. You sneaked into the hall and painted that painting in black paint, destroying it completely.”


“No! I was asleep at home…”, I say, though I am really not sure anymore. Was I?


“You have been caught on the CCTV footage, Myra. I will show it to you,” Rishi says, and I don’t know what to say anymore.


“It was much later, when someone raised an alarm, and the CCTV footages were checked, that we realised it was your job. This turn of events was unexpected for us. When we were sure that it was indeed you, we convinced Vanya not to file a police complaint, and that we would handle it. Mahika called you to see if you would tell her anything, but apparently you had no conscious recollection of what you had done. You were, in fact, having dinner at Sitara, with imaginary Viraj. That is why Viraj disappeared from the middle of your date, after you got upset following your phone call with Mahika. He was there till your mood was good, and he disappeared when you were in distress. The CCTV footage from Sitara hotel, and the waiter who served you, both have confirmed that you dined alone there that day, speaking intermittently to someone imaginary, laughing alone.”


I just stare at my fingernails. I can’t even look up and face Rishi, if all of this is indeed the truth.


“The next morning, Nishant was again tailing you, just to be sure you weren’t going anywhere you were not supposed to go. Your colleagues saw you talking to yourself again that day. I assume you thought you were speaking to Saloni,” he says.


Of course, I remember telling her about my date with Viraj, and his mysterious disappearance.


"While you were at the hospital, I went to your flat. Since we were dating, I have a spare key to your apartment. I installed CCTV cameras in your living room, to keep a watch on you – what you did when you were alone, and whether you spoke to imaginary people at home as well. I was very discreet, and took care not to make any noticeable changes in the apartment. The watchman knew what we were up to, and helped us. As I watched the footage later, I realized you immediately understood someone had been in your flat. You almost seemed to be having a mini panic attack, but then, you seemed to control yourself.”


He had installed CCTV? Does that mean – does that mean he saw me speaking to Jigyasa as well?


“So, it was you who signed the register as Lisa K?” I ask. 


“Yes. It was me. Then, as we had decided, Anish sent you a message, warning you to stay away, threatening that he would otherwise go to the police. I was watching the CCTV to see how you reacted to this. But your reaction was the most unexpected. You got up and went straight to your car. As Nishant followed you, he called to tell me that you had reached the police station.”


“We were not prepared for this. Thankfully, the police inspector, Mrs Dalvi is a class mate of Shashank, Mahika’s husband. He called her up and summarized your case, even as you filed the complaint with SI Patil. That is why she called him mid way your complaint to ask brief him about your mental status.”


I remember how SI Patil was suddenly interested in what I had to say after stifling so many yawns, and how he had been summoned midway through my statement, leaving me wondering if I had made a mistake by going to the police station.


“On your way back, you realized that Nishant was following you, and you took him on a wild goose chase till he gave up finally.”


“But the real shock came to me later, when you were alone at home. You snoozed off on the living room sofa, and when I thought you were fast asleep, and was about to switch off the footages, you suddenly got up, startled, and began speaking to someone. That time the audio was low and I couldn’t make out what you were saying. But later when I replayed that footage with amplified audio, you were clearly asking someone whom to kill.”


I remember, very clearly, Jigyasa, asking me to kill Madhumita.


But how do I make Rishi understand? I will agree that probably Saloni, Viraj, Mayank – all were in my imagination. But Jigyasa was real. I know Rishi couldn’t see her because she was in my dream. My prophetic dream. How can he see her when I saw her in my dream? But that doesn’t make her non-existent in any way! She is real. As real as him and me!


But I don’t say any of this, it will just add to their hypothesis that I have lost my marbles.


Rishi continues, unaware of my thoughts. Well, thank God technology is not so advanced that he can read my thoughts, I ponder. If he could install CCTV inside my brain, he would know what I was thinking.


Or has he?


“But what led us to confirm that you had indeed irreversibly relapsed, was the fact that you began writing again in your dream diary. That was what you had begun doing while you were under the influence of Abhinandita. This time, we knew we had to access the dream diary to figure out what you were thinking.”


“Next day, after your duty, you went to the City mall with Rosy”.


“What? No, I had gone with….”, I stumble, unable to continue.


“I know. You think you had gone with Saloni. Because you kept calling her that, in spite of her reminding you many times that her name was Rosy,” Rishi says.


“Since I had sent Nishant to Pune that day, Mahika was following you, to keep a watch on you. Rosy noticed a change in your demeanour after she told you about seeing Dr. Shantanu and Dr. Samira together, but at that point of time, we just assumed it to be one of your mood swings, which you have been having very frequently of late. We never thought you would ever…”, he trails of.


Does he imply that I did something to Dr.Samira? I would never do anything like that, I guess. Or would I?


“Anyway, somehow you spotted Mahika and tried to chase her. You even called her. And then you left Rosy abruptly and left. She immediately informed me what had happened.”


“The same night you tried to call on Mayank’s number. The man who has the phone blocked your number, so you couldn’t get through.”


“The next day, Rosy called you, just to check on you. Without giving it a second thought, she mentioned seeing Dr.Shantanu and Dr.Samira together again. It was only retrospectively that she realized she had committed a grave mistake. Because the same day, dressed in the same black overalls, you went and injected Dr.Samira with an anaesthetic drug that knocked her off. She was lucky the peon found her, or else…,” Rishi pauses. "You went in an auto, exiting your building through the back gate to your apartment, so this time too, Nishant failed to trail you".


This is all too hard to believe. Yes, I did have a crush on Dr.Shantanu, and I did felt jealous and possessive when I heard about him dating Dr.Samira. But I would never do something like this.


“I know what you are thinking Myra, but we have the CCTV footages from the hospital corridor. And an eye witness who saw you that afternoon, wearing the same outfit,” he adds.


Rasika!


I don’t know how much of this I should believe.


I agree I may have some psychiatric illness. And yes, maybe my imagination has been playing up a bit, as a sort of defence mechanism. But somehow I have a feeling that Rishi is taking advantage of all of this, and blaming me for things that I haven’t done. And probably this whole bunch of people are in on the scheme. Including the cop. How much money is Rishi paying them?


“It was time we intervened. We couldn’t let you go on stalking and hurting people, unconscious of it half of the time. But we wanted to catch you red handed. To show you exactly what you were capable of. Under the influence of your ill mind.”


“Your fake profile had liked Madhumita’s update of attending the musical event the next day. You also had a few more imaginary encounters with Jigyasa asking you to kill her. So we decided to catch you before you could do something to her.”


“The night before, when you got to know about Dr Samira’s attack, you seemed genuinely taken aback. Reeya found you having a panic attack in the pantry, but you seemed to gather yourself. Later, you again tried to call Mayank’s number.”


“Next morning, I decided to step in and meet you. But to my surprise, instead of heading home, you began trailing Dr. Shantanu. You waited outside Sapphire hospital, and since I was following you, I also waited in my red sedan, outside the gate.”


“The police had interrogated Dr.Shantanu, and since he had been at the police station the entire day before, we had not had the time to let him know about your involvement. So we had decided that Madhumita would talk to him in person, rather than on phone. Since Dr.Shantanu had realized that you were trailing him, to put you off his trail, he came out and took a cab to Madhumita’s house.”


“But you followed him there as well,” Rishi says.


But it had been Viraj whom I thought I followed from Sapphire hospital to Madhumita’s apartment. That is what stamped my belief that Madhumita was doing all of this to make me seem insane. I still can’t believe that Viraj is not a real person.


“Later you gave up the chase and decided to head home. I thought this was the perfect opportunity to talk to you and see if you had any insight left, but you just fired me off".


"So we were left with the last option. To catch you red handed”.



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