The cop was retrieving the messages and calls registered from Riya’s mobile. The last message received was from Avinash at 12.30 saying “Good Night Honey!!” The post mortem report says she died around 12.30. Did he kill her and send the message to circumvent the investigation? The cigarette butts at the corner of his desk was disturbing, he found them near Riya’s gate. A half burnt cigarette of the same brand was found in her home. These were the only clues to the investigation. A mobile phone, cigarette butts and one half burnt.
“I thought she had slept. Didn’t imagine an untoward incident to occur uncle”.
“Calm down my son”.
“It is when she didn’t pick my call in the morning I got really anxious and that’s when you called and I hid my trepidation”.
“What do you think could have happened? Who could it be?”
“The police suspect me. They questioned me with a suspicion eye. Why would I do it uncle, why? why?”
“It is their duty to suspect”.
“Uncle, you know it’s not me”.
“Of course, I know”.
“The culprits will be punished by God; my dear daughter doesn’t deserve such a farewell”.
Clasped hands, the two men broke down seeking for divine intervention.
Avinash doesn’t smoke. Riya and Avinash were a happy couple; small tiffs but never anything out of bounds. The investigation was reaching a dead end but there was no explanation to the cigarette butts.
The police began investigating the angle of Riya’s other male friends having vested interest in her.
“Do you know Riya’s friends? How was their relation?”
“Yes. We are all good friends.”
“Anybody was interested in Riya? Did she reject any proposals?”
”One of our seniors proposed to her. She ignored him but he never troubled her”.
“Give me his details. Does he smoke?”
“I am not sure”.
“Did you go with any other friends on the night of her death?”
“No. We were alone”.
“Nobody knew where you were?”
“You told me the car broke down. Did anyone help?”
“Think my boy. It’s your Riya. Who helped you with break down?”
“The driver did it all himself.”
“Yes. I told we hired a cab. And…”
“The driver was a heavy smoker.”
“Details of the cab?”
“I know the cab operator’s.”
“Come. Let us go”
Riya came running down the stairs, hurriedly opened the door.
“Sir did not give me the full payment madam. He gave only 900. The bill is 1300”
“He paid you 1300. I counted the money as well. Check properly”.
His breath was filled with alcoholic odor.
“You come tomorrow and sort it out”.
He pushed the door open throwing her to the floor.
“I need money right now.”
“I don’t have any. Go out”
He was rummaging her house, threatening her with a knife.
She didn’t want to give money to a silly drunkard. She fought him and ran upstairs to grab her mobile from the table when he got jeopardized and stabbed her in fear.
Her phone beeped. “Good Night Honey!!”