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The night seemed quite and pleasant with the sky filled with glistening stars. A little far away from the daily hustles of life was a house in one corner of the lane. It was a two storey house and intricately designed with a long sprawling verendah. A low dim light lit in one of the room and Abha lay there stretching herself relaxing after a toilsome day back at office, reading a book. She resided alone in a huge house, sometimes she used to invite her friends to her place and many a times it used to haunt her in her sleep. After sometime, Abha felt sleepy, she slightly increased the temperature of the air-conditioner, slipped into the warm covers of her bed and switched off the light.

“How are you, Abha? It has been such a long time that we went out together.”, whispered a voice.

Abhi, you? Where have you been so long?”, asked Abha. Abha could obscurely make out that it was her twin sister Abhi standing at a distance. Abha was elder than Abhi by a few minutes.”

“I was little busy these days and hardly got time.”, lied Abhi with a hitch. Abha could see bruises on her face which were visible in the distant street light.

“Abhi, are you all right? What happened to that lovely face of yours?”, asked Abha with a hint of concern and started moving towards her.

Before Abhi could reply she was interrupted, “What are you doing here outside again? I told you to remain inside.”, another voice emerged harshly referring to Abhi from behind her.

“Arre, Neelesh, why are you being rude to her unnecessarily? It was just two of us here.”, Abha replied recognizing her brother-in-law.

“Abha, it’s none of your concern. It’s our personal matter.”, replied Neelesh gruffly. He looked intoxicated and his eyes were red like blood shot. He grabbed Abhi by her hair and began to drag her. Abha tried to stop him but soon was overpowered by the beast. Abhi’s helpless pleas for help along with her weeping started to reverberate. Abha returned to life, waking up from her sleep, horrified by the nightmare and looked around her. Her throat had gone dry with fear and she sipped some water from the bottle lying on the bedside table.

 Abha used to have such terrifying dreams ever since Abhi was murdered a few weeks back. Abhi was the only family she had in this world after her parents died at a very tender age. It had been just a matter of time after her parent’s death that Abha got to realize the hardships of life while the two of them started to grow up under the care of their aunt. Abha loved Abhi dearly and always tried her to protect her from any danger just like a doting parent.  She was the first and the only person whom Abhi had called up one day and said excitedly, “Sis, you remember that guy back at college named Neelesh had just proposed to me.” Abha still could remember that how jubilant her little sister looked on her wedding night. But things started to change drastically for Abhi, a few months after her wedding when her drunkard husband started torturing her. Many a times Abha heard her sister weeping furiously over the phone. Abha had consoled her and pledged to take her out of the hell but she failed to keep her words due to immense workload back at office. Once, Abhi even managed to flee away to her sister’s house one day. Abha was shocked to find her sister in such a wretched condition. She had become pale and black scars accumulated beneath her eyes. Her bright and charming face had become sullen. Abha could do nothing except to comfort and console her little sister. Abha somehow blamed herself for not responding to her sister’s aide. After some days, Neelesh came to Abha’s house. He seemed to be a completely changed man. He apologized deeply and felt ashamed for his wrongful deeds previously. He looked remorseful and he said he had come to take Abhi back home and that all wrong deeds be pardoned pledging Abhi to come with him since without her the house seemed deserted. Abhi listened to everything patiently and then asked,” What took you so long then?”

Neelesh replied,” I repented for my mistakes all this while and I couldn’t muster the courage to face you. Please dear please return home. It’s really painful to reside in that huge house without you.”

Abhi still loved Neelesh dearly and she too had been missing him lately so she finally agreed to return with him after she found that he had become completely changed person altogether. For few days, the torture was halted but after that everything resumed just like before and this time in a refined and more oppressive way. Abhi couldn’t bear it for long and one day she committed suicide.

Though Abhi’s body was sent for autopsy to verify the cause of death but Abha knew that it was not a suicide but a murder as she gathered for to perform the last rituals of her sister. Abha resolved herself that she would seek justice for the departed soul of her beloved sister as the enraging fire gulped last mortal remains of her sister. Abha filed a lawsuit suing her brother-in-law. She had also accumulated some evidences in favor of her petition but even before they were to be produced in the court the evidences were misplaced by Neelesh conspiringly. The case had eventually been dropped due to lack of evidence. The incident was a major setback in the way of her struggle for justice. Abha didn’t give up and consulted with many lawyers and other major people who might assist in her struggle but nothing seemed effective.

Meanwhile, one-day while returning from office Abha had been attacked by a bunch of goons who threatened her that to stay out of all this brawl otherwise it can cost her life. Next day, Abha reported the incident to the nearby police station who assured to find her assailants as soon as possible. The incident had left Abha traumatized for few days and she remained indoors for some time. During her stay, one day a little late in the evening she heard a soft knock. She was surprised since she wasn’t expecting someone this late so she took out a long chopping knife and went towards the door. She glanced through the small eye-hole and found a young man waiting outside her door. She opened the door and asked “Who are you?” bringing out the knife demarcating if he had any plans to attack her he won’t be spared.

“Ma’am, I am from the police department. I have something very urgent to discuss with you. Were you busy cooking?”, replied the man coolly bringing out his identity.

“Oh, oh, yeah sure sure come in, please.”, replied Abha embarrassedly putting away the knife.

“Hi, I am Karan. Actually, the people related to the assault that took place on you few days back have been identified. After, a round of through investigation they have confessed that were paid heavily for such an assault.”, replied the man after they had settled in over a cup of a tea.

“Yeah, I am Abha. But, who would pay a hefty amount to carry an assault like this on me? Did you get to know anything about him?”, asked Abha with a frown.

“Yeah, we have got hold of the mastermind but the problem is he coincidentally is one of our police department and a very influential man. His name is Neelesh. Do you know him personally or do you have any connection with him?”, concluded Karan sipping some tea.

Abha froze at what he said. She sat dumbfounded, perplexed with her hands folded on her as she stared blankly at the man right opposite to her. She never realized that Neelesh would play such dirty games to cover up his crime. “Hello ma’am. What happened? Is everything okay?” he asked with a puzzled look.  

“No nothing. I know Neelesh quite well. He is my brother-in-law”, replied Abha after a pause. She then narrated what he did do to his sister and since then she had been struggling to find justice.

He listened patiently and then replied, “Neelesh is a very gruesome and devious man who can do anything to anyone who comes in his way. He was even involved in murdering my father who threatened him to expose him. He even got to an extent of bribing another man to accept the murder charges and got himself acquitted. But nothing could be proved due to lack of evidences.” Karan then continued, “None can speak against his crimes because he skilfully wipes every trace or witnesses.”

“Then, you say there is nothing can be done to avenge against all these wrong doings of his?” asked Abha frustratingly.

“If you want to seek justice then you have to amend your way a bit.” replied the young man with a crooked smile.

“I don’t understand. Please make yourself a little clear.” replied Abha impatiently.

“The only way to requite for your sister’s death is to murder him.” Karan concluded in a low voice.

Abha remained silent for a while analyzing something in her mind and then asked,” How can we do that? His house is highly guarded besides it won’t be easy way. What if we get caught?”

“Don’t worry about that. Those things can be managed. The guards around his house are discontent with their master’s behavior towards them as well as low pay.  So, we can pay them heavily and make things happen in exactly in our favor. He resides alone and there are two servants who work for him. I can convince them to take leave for a day.”, he replied confidently.

“Then, why you yourself didn’t carry out the plan?” asked Abha inquisitively.

“ If I had undergone with this plan then I would have been caught quite easily and charged of treason because he has many spies around the department who would inform him even before it could be executed.”, Karan replied.

“And why do you think nobody would suspect me?” asked Abha.

“This is quite simple. You have been in a quite shock after the assault and have been indoors for a long time. So, if you are associated with the murder nobody would doubt you. Besides, only a few people know your connection with him. You too want to teach him a justified lesson of what he has done with you and your sister.”, concluded Karan.

Abha thought for a while before she said,” I am in. So, how are we going to do it?”

“I would take care that your entry into his house would be a smooth process. The rest would be yours.”, he replied.

“That’s not a concrete plan. We need to plan something and act accordingly.”, said Abha further adding, ”Okay, I have a foul proof plan. I would take an early leave from office tomorrow and would head towards his house around seven in the evening. Meanwhile, you would be in charge of managing his guards and ensure he is at home by seven. After that we would take the body and take far away from his house and bury it.”,

“That seems a wonderful idea. Okay then, I need to take my leave now.”, he said folding his hands.

“Okay then. But how can I trust you that you won’t betray me Mr Karan?”, asked Abha as they headed for the door.

Karan paused a bit and turned towards her to face her and said,” If I had any such intentions then I wouldn’t have come all the way to discuss all this.”

“Okay, it’s better to make some things clear.”, replied Abha.

“So, as per the plan we meet tomorrow. Bye then.”, said Karan and left.

The next day Abha went to her office and she felt amazingly very calm and composed. As per the plan, she left her workplace early and returned home. As, it was bit cold outside she changed into a blue jeans and a top along with a blue silk scarf around her neck. She wore gloves and slid a handbag around her.

She reached Neelesh’s house by around seven and found Karan waiting for her, dressed in black. “All the arrangements have been made. Now, it’s only you and him. I will keep a watch outside while you go inside and finish the work.”, said Karan almost in a whisper. Abhaa made her way into the courtyard and marched towards the entrance of the house. She slowly undid her handbag. Then softly knocked the door and waited.

“Arre Abha, what a surprise? Come in.”, said Neelesh, opening the door with a smile.

“I wanted to end this misunderstanding between us.”, replied Abha stepping in.

“Oh, that’s a very good proposal. Please have a seat. So, do you want something tea or coffee. The servant who was in charge of all this has taken a sudden leave. I will go make something then.”, asked Neelesh.

“Yeah, sure.”, replied Ava.

“Okay, then you can sit here for a while. I will make the coffee.”, said Neelesh.

“Let me assist you then. Would that be okay?”, proposed Ava.

“Yeah, that would splendid.”, replied Neelesh.

She then followed him to the kitchen. As, Neelesh started preparing for making coffee Abha slowly managed to bring out the knife she was carrying and before he could even realize anything she stabbed him in the back. Neelesh groaned in pain and fell on the floor. She then stabbed him in his stomach thrice. She then untied her scarf and wrapped the knife around the knife. She then called up Karan and told him that the job was done and it was time to wrap up.
They wrapped the body in bed cloth and put it in the back of one Neelesh’s car and sped off far from that place. Neelesh’s body was buried near a cemetery some miles away from his home. They returned back and put the car and its keys in place before leaving the house. Then they parted their ways. Abha walked along the sidewalks still clutching her blue scarf with her handbag in the other.  It wasn’t very long that Abha spotted the famous Starbucks café, the largest coffee house in the world, walked slowly towards it and ordered her favorite café latte. There she sat in the Starbucks café, sipping her coffee, and staring out of the window. The blood stained knife lay next to her handbag, covered with blue silk scarf. She couldn’t still find solace rather she somewhere sensed a twitch of guilt beneath shame. A woman named Abha, who had been a frequent customer of the café, had died five years ago mysteriously.

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