The door clicked open... "Finally a familiar face" She thought�
"Vikram? I am so thankful to see you..." She heaved in relief walking towards him feeling the slightest tinge of reassurance.
The same officer who brought her to the police station entered the room again and before Vikram could acknowledge her, he rudely interrupted. "Mrs. Kapoor, Mr. Shergil...Please...sit..." He ordered, walking across the room to the other side of the table, sitting on the lone chair positioned there for him.
"No! Why the hell should we listen to you? I understand you're an officer but that does not give you the right to walk all over us. My family must be so worried and instead of hurrying up this process you are taking your sweet time." She lectured, her confidence making a comeback.
"Priya...We should sit...It's about Ram." He suggested, suspecting her lack of awareness with the shine of fear in her eyes upon hearing Ram's name and that too in relation to this shady incident.
Obliging instantly, she sat next to Vikram, like Ram's name was equivalent to a please and therefore she was asked too politely to refuse.
" W-what happened to Mr. Kapoor?" She inquired cautiously, fearing the answer that she might receive but wanting to know that much more.
"I need to ask you two some questions. Honest and precise answers are needed in order to preserve Ram Kapoor's survival." He responded an incomplete answer to her request, forcefully starting a process that she refused to partake in.
"No! Please, I need to know first. What happened to Mr. Kapoor?" Her insistence was understandably stubborn. Fearing the worst for her love, she looked at Vikram and than back at the officer.
They both knew something about Ram and she sought disclosure. Vikram's head dipped slightly covering his neck and matching the subtle movement of his eyelids, which triggered the officer to reveal a bitter truth, giving Priya exactly what she had asked for.
"Mrs. Kapoor your husband was found beaten and shot 2 miles south of Club Montago next to his abandoned BMW. We have reason to believe that both your paths crossed tonight and this discovery is our motive for probing further so that we can capture the culprit who did this to him." The officer divulged, professionalism not once leaving his tone. His words sedated her ears with her body losing sensation shortly after. But her heart pumped efficiently feeding her legs so that she could get up to leave to be by his side. But before she could even take a step forward to the exit she stilled hearing the next piece of information, unbelievably more startling than the first.
"Mrs. Kapoor, I suggest you sit down. Ram Kapoor's life is still in danger, his survival is the greatest threat to him right now and we need to find out who did this to him before they find him and finish him off."
Slumping back down on the hard chair with no other option, she wept, catching her tears in her palms that encased her face.
"Mrs. Kapoor, get a hold of yourself." He asked raucously, sliding a box of tissues across the table to her.
"Priya. We have to do this fast. Ram's life is in danger. Please be strong for Ram and answer the questions. He is stable right now Priya, I know Ram...He is a fighter." Vikram consoled her with the positive news of Ram's condition, rubbing her back gently and handing her a tissue from the rectagular cardboard box.
"Vikram you saw him?? Please take me to him. He must be in so much pain. Please Vikram." She sobbed into a soaked and fragile tissue paper, begging for her life.
"Priya trust me, I will take you to him but first we need to piece together what happened tonight so the police officers can make some imperative arrests."
"Okay�But please make this fast�" she sniffled halfheartedly composing herself for the sole purpose of meeting Ram as soon as she possibly could.
"Mr. Shergil I will start with you�was there anything suspicious about Ram's behaviour today?" he asked clearing his throat.
"Not today�but last night he seemed strangely upset�" Vikram answered equally intrigued, still not sure about the reason behind Ram's odd behaviour.
"Why do you think his demeanor was strange?"
"He went to meet his wife�uh�Priya�yesterday evening. From the moment he found out that she wanted to meet him, he was so happy. In fact, he called my wife to ask her advice on which colour tie to wear, Jade or emerald. I mean is that even a rational question to ask when there is such a miniscule difference between the two colours? But love exposes the child in all of us and Ram was so desperate in his attempt to woo Priya. In all his encounters with Priya he would come home looking refreshed, but last night he was different." he reported his findings glancing at Priya whose eyes began moistening at the thought of her behaviour towards Ram that specific night.
"Mrs. Kapoor�Can you enlighten us on what occurred last night that had Mr. Kapoor so upset?"
Priya narrated the entire story reliving the dreadful incident that put her ego to shame once again.
"Hmmm�Mr. Shergil coming back to you, where was Mr. Kapoor today?" The officer stated, jotting something down on the white, small lined notepad that he had held in his hand.
"Sir, he came to the office very early in the morning. But he left shortly after without informing anyone. I assumed that he was going to Priya's house with his family to discuss his brother's marriage to Priya's sister." Vikram hypothesized, looking at Priya once he had completed his sentence for confirmation.
"No Vikram, he was not with them when they came or when they left. In fact, Mummyji said that he had a meeting and you are saying that he wasn't at the office? I don't understand surely you must have your facts mixed up�" Priya piped up with confused hostility towards the mismatch of information.
"Priya what are you saying? He would never miss a chance to meet you but of course you were to painfully harsh in your interactions with him to see beyond your hatred. Why couldn't you have called him to see where he was?" Vikram uttered a mouthful replicating the same tone of dismay in his voice and angrily gazing at Priya whose pride was beginning to stretch it's arms, awakening from her egotistic hibernation.
"I was waiting for him to call me." Her ego justified one last time before it was tranquilized.
"And did he call you?" The officer implemented himself into the conversation hoping to regain control of it.
"Mr. Kapoor, I love you!" She stated in a hurry, given the rarity of this moment. The speaker of the phone firmly sealed the entrance of her ear as every nerve in her body froze in anticipation for his response�
"Priya�It's Ashwin�" his voice crumbled every bit of hope that she had reserved in her heart for this moment. "I just called to ask you if you were ready. We are still going out right?" she missed the desperation in his seemingly humble request, her mind elsewhere.
"uhhh�.Ashwin I don't think I can make it� Actually my head is hurting really badly." Off the top of her head this excuse rushed promptly to the tip of her dry tongue feeling the side effects of a dangerous mix of feelings, embarrassment and disappointment.
"Please Priya for old times sake. You can't just cancel last minute I made all the arrangements and besides if you don't show up it'll be just Shruti and I. Given our history that would be tremendously awkward for both of us." whispering a prayer in his tainted heart, he played a card that Priya could never stack up to, one that succeeded in the manipulation of her feelings.
"Okay fine! Just give me some time...like 20 minutes." unknowingly in that split second she had signed a deal with the devil wagering her love to please her friends, the consequence of her decision vastly unruly and grossly life altering as she would soon find out."No he didn't call." Priya muttered as the flashback washed her mind with bitter realization and further guilt.
"Okay so we have a multi-billionaire whose whereabouts the morning of his attack is unaccounted for, this is not good." the officer sighed and continued, adjusting himself upright in his chair. "Alright, Mrs. Kapoor I know how you ended up at Club Montago with Ashwin and Mr. Shergil you mentioned earlier that Mr. Kapoor went to the club on your insistence, right?"
"Yes that is correct. Ram was very upset, I am guessing now that it was because of Priya and Ashwin. So to cheer him up I thought it would be good for him to get out. I didn't anticipate him ever getting hurt so badly. In fact, we went in the club together and we were getting some drinks but the moment my back was turned Ram was gone. That was the last I saw him until of course I found him laying at the side of the road in a pool of blood on my way home. He was semi conscious, his face lit up in the dark night when he saw me, smiling through his pain. I helped him get into my car while it was pouring rain. On our way to the hospital he kept repeating one thing time and time again before he passed out. But there were two consistent words in every sentence that he formed, love and Priya. He told me to tell Priya that he loved her and that he was sorry for everything that happened between them. And than he kept repeating, tell her I love her so much, before he passed out." Vikram reported, while Priya helplessly cried hating and holding herself accountable for what occurred.
"Sir...Please...I need to be with my husband please sir, we can do this later...I will protect my husband, I will make sure that no one comes near him. Please..." Her fingertips touched as she cupped her palms together, pleading for an escape, which was excruciatingly far.
"Oh just stop it Priya. When Ram was hurling himself towards you, you neglected him. I have never seen him as broken as he was when he was yearning for you. It's ironic isn't it? You taught Ram how to live just so you could take his life away. What a shame...You claimed that Ram betrayed your immense love for him but if you ask me it doesn't seem like you have ever loved him like he loves you." Vikram unveiled the depth of Ram's feelings for her, melting the cloth of hatred that covered her moist and strained eyes.
"Listen, please calm down! I have already said that until we get to the bottom of this incident you are not going anywhere. We found this in Mr. Kapoor's car." the officer struggled once more for control. Pulling out Priya's cellphone from his pocket, he managed to get her attention. He slid it across the table to her and asked, "This is your cellphone, right?"
"Yes!! But where did you find this?" Her inquiry transformed into a rhetorical request only after the words slipped through her mouth, she realized exactly where they might have found her phone, at the scene of the crime. Suddenly the officer's suspicious interrogation made more sense to her. "Oh my god, he thinks that I did this? That I tried to kill Mr. Kapoor?" the thought troubled her mind with an indescribable level of disgust, "Wait a minute..." her soft voice shook, opening up against the threat brewing in her heart. "You think I did this? Are you postulating that I tried to kill my husband?" Her question was destined for silence and blank expressions from the moment of conception. "Vikram aap bhi yahi sochtey hain key main?" The thought alone was so awful but judging by the expressionless stares she received it seemed obvious that she was the only one who was appald by this repugnant conclusion.
"Well how else would you explain your phone in Mr.Kapoor abandoned car at the scene where his body lay? All evidence is suggesting that you were the last person who was with Mr.Kapoor before the attack. And the motive is simple; you are now the sole 100% owner of Kapoor Industries so Mr. Kapoor is technically dead weight to you. Besides we all know how fond you are of your husband". The officer replied sarcastically making her soul whither as it attempted to escape the flame of fiery burning steadily inside of her.