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Amatullah Padghawala

Tragedy Crime


4.3  

Amatullah Padghawala

Tragedy Crime


The Return Of Dora

The Return Of Dora

9 mins 23.1K 9 mins 23.1K

Lying outstretched on the bed with heaps of clothes around her, Hazel was busily reading a novel. She loved detective novels and would often get engrossed in them as she read for hours together. She would sometimes skip her mom's call for lunch and dinner which would compel her mom to go upstairs and especially lay before her the 'invitation'.

Coming to the present, Hazel was reading her favorite Agatha Christie's novel 'Murder at the Vicarage'. Her mother Ms. Julia D'Cruz called out to her to clean her room. But as usual, Hazel unintentionally ignored the call as she was so into the story. Thus, her mother entered the room to find it a mess. Ms. Julia D'cruz was in her late 40s and had separated from Mr. Frank Roberts, Hazel's dad, 3 years ago. Hazel would more often miss her dad and would wish to be with him. However, fate had taken a cruel turn as Hazel's dad expired in a car accident, a year back which left her hopeless and helpless. Such was the sorrow for poor Hazel that she gave up being an extrovert and that is how she glued herself to books and started seeing her dad in them. She distanced herself from friends and slipped into depression. However, the good thing is that she has recently recovered and made new friends.

She has two great friends whom she trusts in confiding to. They are Elizabeth and Fiona. They knew the entire life story of poor Hazel and comforted her. They were there for her at all times. Hazel would often have parties at her house with the two of them. Yes! You read it right! Just the two of them!

The present situation of Hazel in the story is way better than her past. Her studies are going well. Scores are average and relationships with friends are good. Her college, The Brown University was just a 10-minute walk from her home. The story further unfolds in her college.

                                                               

 II

The next day, Hazel woke up to find herself quite fresh as compared to other days. She seemed enthusiastic to attend college which she hated the other days. She woke up, dressed, had breakfast, and rushed to college. After the day ended, she was about to make a move to home when a girl yelled out to her. She assumed it to be one of her friends, but when she turned, she saw a stranger. That girl whatsoever her identity, was beckoning to Hazel. When Hazel expressed her discomfort to meet her, she started walking towards her which made Hazel suspicious. At that time, she felt that sprinting to home was the best option and that's what she did. Many days passed. The girl would incessantly try to talk to Hazel but Hazel would avoid her.

Fed up of the girl's antics, she decided to speak to her and know what she desired. Thus, she spoke to her and came to know that she was Dora. Dora came from a middle-class family and lived in Manhattan itself. She had a similar life story as Hazel's but the difference was that her mother had expired and she was currently with her father. Dora had a younger sister Lisa who expired with her mother in a plane crash. Since Hazel resembled Lisa, she wished to be friends with her. Hazel was quick to sympathize with Dora and decided to befriend her. Hazel was friends with Dora for only a month when suddenly, Dora disappeared. It seemed as if she vanished completely. Hazel tried investigating Dora's home but was unable to make out anything. Instead not just Dora, but her father too disappeared. A police search was on but it never bore fruit because she was never located. Eventually, as years passed by, the police search ceased too.

Hazel, now an adult was pursuing her career in engineering and was quite occupied. Sometimes, she would ponder upon her strange friend who she lost track of 5 years ago. She would ponder upon her location and pray to god for her safety.

Some more years passed by and Hazel got married. At this point, Dora was completely out of her mind. Once, on a Sunday mass, as she visited the church for prayers with her husband, she thought that she caught glimpse of a familiar face. She tried to get hold of that girl but in vain. Thus, at home, she tried recollecting and wondering as to who that girl could be. But she couldn't identify her at all. "Is my brain aging as my youth?" wondered Hazel.

The next Sunday, while in the church, she again caught sight of the girl. This time that girl had her eyes fixated on Hazel. This actually creeped her out and she made a quick move to home. The next time while walking home from work, a car stopped right beside Hazel. The glass windows lowered to reveal the same girl from the church. The girl smiled at her sweetly. Hazel, who was already paranoid of the girl, tried eloping when the girl shot out of the car and said "You haven't changed a bit, Hazel. You are the same suspicious little girl I saw in college who tried avoiding me." Hazel was shocked and then suddenly she could put the pieces together as she recollected as to who this girl could be. She was Dora! Yes! The same girl who disappeared for ages! She was back! Tears of joy flowed involuntarily down Hazel's cheeks as she met her friend. She hugged Dora and asked the reason for her disappearance. "I will tell you everything with highlights, Hazel. I will tell you everything."


III

Hazel and Dora were sipping coffee at Starbucks with Hazel having her Americano as usual and Dora relishing on her Cappuccino. Hazel, wholeheartedly confined to Dora, revealing her achievements and her newly married life. Dora went on listening attentively with her eyeballs planning to escape the eye sockets! On one hand, she continued sipping coffee whereas, on the other hand, her eyeballs seemed to have frozen on Hazel. "I am done. I confided considering you my true friend. Now it's your turn to disclose the series of events that occurred in your life and caused you to disappear." Dora, who was still frozen didn't respond. "Dora! Dora! Speak up." Dora was still as a statue. She seemed completely lost. Hazel shook Dora, giving her a nudge, which brought Dora to her senses. 

"Oh sorry, I didn't realize when I entered the state of trance. Indeed your story was occupying and I feel really good for you. Congratulations on your wedding. I would really love to meet your husband." 

"Forget that. Tell me your story now. That's what I am here for." Said Hazel. 

"Hazel, mine is a story of betrayal and is quite serious. Can't we discuss this later?"

"NO. I want to hear it now." 

 "Fine, if you insist. My dad is the villain in my story. Remember I told you that my mom and my sister Lisa died in a plane crash?" "Yes, I do." "Good, I.. I am sorry Hazel, that was a lie. My mom and my sister were murdered. But I did not want to disclose this information to people so I made up this story."

"Who murdered them?" enquired Hazel. "It's actually…m..my Dad. It's very embarrassing that my own dad killed them and I couldn't let others know this shocking piece of information which made me lie to all." Dora went into fits of weeps as she said this. 

"How could your dad kill his own family members? Why did he do it?" asked Hazel.

 "Actually, my dad divorced my mom for some other women. My mom opposed the divorce and wouldn't tolerate my dad's domination over signing the papers. That's when all hell broke loose and my dad stormed into the kitchen, looked for the butler knife, headed straight to my mom, and stabbed her. I was a clear witness of all that. He was so cruel that he continued piercing the knife into her body till she finally breathed her last and we were left, orphans." Dora wept whereas Hazel who was horrified was tongue-tied, but yet forced herself to ask "And what about your sister Lisa? How was she killed?" 

"After my mom's death, my dad married the woman he had been dating. That woman became our stepmother, however, she hated us. She asked my dad to kill us, luckily he was reluctant to do so but when that woman forced my dad to choose between us and her, he gave in. Thus, he started looking for a suitable opportunity to plot our demise. He is the worst father to ever have. He mixed poison in our food. Fate was on good terms with me as I dropped the bowl of food accidentally and survived whereas my poor sister who wasn't aware of it devoured the food. Poison took the best of her, as she died and I was left alone in this crooked world with my treacherous so-called parents." 

"Oh Jesus! This is not right. Your father deserves to be punished. But still, this doesn't answer the question." 

"Yes, after killing my sister he was on the verge of killing me as I luckily survived his first attempt. Acknowledging the fact, I decided to leave the house. My state was that of a destitute as I had nowhere to go. I lived at my aunt's house for some days but they too started disliking my presence for a prolonged period of time. So, I left their house and decided to look for a job which I received to my serendipity as a maid in a luxurious bungalow and a home to some noble affluent people who after listening to my plight accepted me wholeheartedly. They paid for my education and got me married. Currently, I live with my husband in Chicago. He is extremely kind and loves me dearly. I really have started believing in the existence of god." 

"I am so happy for you Dora. But what about your father? We need to get him convicted for his heinous crimes." 

"Oh! Don't worry about him. After listening to my story, the mistress had actually filed an FIR against him. After years of investigation, my dad and his wife have been apprehended for brutally murdering my mother and Lisa. My dad has been subjected to capital punishment whereas my stepmother has been sentenced to life imprisonment." 

"That's amazing Dora. You have actually received justice." 

"I certainly have."

"Ma'am, the cafeteria is on waiting. Could you kindly vacate the table if done?" interrupted the waiter. "Yes, certainly. Sorry for the inconvenience caused because of us." Said Hazel. Hazel bid farewell not before giving a bear hug to her best friend and promising to meet again.


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