I get down from the car grabbing the doll from the passenger seat and ran into the house without stopping our looking around who was there and who was talking I run across the hallways colliding with the maid who had juice glasses in her hand and it all falls on the ground with a crashing sound mom and Mishal were in Hall and gave me a worried look. But I did not tell anything I just ran up the stairs and opened the room door which was now closed for years, it was Ana’s room after she left the house no one opened or entered this place, I heard mom and Mishal’s voice saying something and trying to catch up to me.
I rummaged every corner of the room to find some childhood photos of Ana with her doll, a book drops down from the shelf and along with that a photo also drops out,
I bend down and pic up those photos and look at Ana holding a pink bunny in her hand, and the bunny’s had AAJ written on it which means Alex, Ana and Jade which was stitched on the bunny’s ears and gifted to her for her 13th birthday she always slept with that close to her, it was always something that she thought kept all three of us together, I fell to the ground looking at the bunny in my hand and the picture and a tear left my eye, I sat there on the ground on my knees still without moving my position. when mom and Mishal entered into the room they kept staring and me wondering what was going on, basically I was trying to process the information I got. “Claire the little girl whom I was attracted to is Ana’s daughter none other than my niece”, I keep repeating the words in my mind mom comes running inside the room and looks at me worried, “what happened Alex? Why did you come in here?” I still kept silent and didn’t answer her, what if I was assuming. She kept shaking my shoulders but my words were all choked up that I couldn’t get anything out.
I just stood up and walked away from the room, when I hear mom speaking again, “why do you keep doing this to yourself Alex, why is it that you’re blaming yourself for whatever happened?” and she breaks down. I just didn’t want to say anything and I walked straight into my room.
My phone rang and I picked it up when I saw the caller id, it was Josh “Alex, the officer who investigated Hailey Winston is waiting to meet you we are at the High collar café”
“I’m sorry Josh I completely forgot I won’t be able to make it can you ask him to meet us early tomorrow morning”
“sorry Alex, but he is moving out of the place tomorrow we were on time to get to him today”
I sigh massaging my temples, “fine I’ll be there in 15mins” and I cut the line.
I keep the bunny aside and go down it’s 8.00 p.m. in the evening, I see mom and dad along with Mishal sitting on the sofa in the hallway. I walk up to mom kneel down in front, “mom I am fine I didn’t mean to scare anyone, stop worrying yourself just give me the time and I might talk about it, I had a reason to go into that room, but I know what I am doing, so please take care of yourself” she gives me a nod.
And then I look over to Mishal, “I am sorry Mishal I know I promised you for dinner tonight, but I won’t be able to take you now, I got some work right now, I hope you will understand, things are just out of place let me get everything sorted out before the engagement I promise.”
“don’t make any promise which you will miss out on, I do understand we can do the dinner thing some other time, but… she stopped halfway, just don’t keep pushing me away, instead you can just share what you feel with me, forget that we are getting married, talk to me like I am your friend” and she gives me a smile.
I had nothing to say except just nod my head and give her a smile, I felt really bad letting her down, she is trying her best to get this relationship work, but don’t seem to make any effort I think I need to clear of all the work as soon as possible and spend time with her, I think to myself.
I reach the café Josh told me, and I see the officer and Josh seated at a corner table in the café. I talk long strides and walk fast to the end of the cafe to finish this meeting fast and go to the NGO to find out about Claire.
“here he is” said Josh and the officer stood up and turned towards me.
I bring out my hand to shake his hand and greet him, “I am so sorry officer was held up in some work, I had to keep you waiting, please sit”
“I am Alexander Knight, CBI officer handling a present murder case and I got to know the person I was investigating has already had a connection with Hailey and she was been murdered, so just thought that it might help us a little bit”
“nice to meet you Mr. Knight, yes your Assistant Josh was giving me the briefing about it, I would surely like to help, Hailey Winston’s case was handled by me 3 years ago, we tried our level best to find out about it but couldn’t, and the case also had the chance to be transferred to the CBI but it was withdrawed henceforth we closed the case.”
“may I know withdrawed it? And why was it done?”
“her friend actually wanted the case to be investigated further, but the girl’s father wanted it closed because he thought it would be of no use, and we suspected the parents as well it was all cleared, so her friend also came to the decision and we closed it”
I squinted my eyes and looked at the officer, “the friend who you’re referring to is Jordon Scott right?”
“yes Mr. Knight, he was very close to Hailey he knew from since they were small”
“can you give me a quick report overview on the entire case if you don’t mind, I will surely go through the reports but would like to hear it from you” drinking some water I look at him.
He opens the report takes out Hailey’s photo and pushes it across the table for me to see, “she is the only daughter for her parents, the closest friend to her was Jordon Scott, her parents knew all her friends, but we had a feeling thinking that there was someone else in her life that her parents didn’t know, but that assumption was of no use because we found nothing, she was found murdered in the Secret Caverns cave she was murdered”
He shows me the images of the cave “And out of the hospital reports, she was smacked with a heavy metal across her head, the only evidence found was a hammer and few cigarettes found in the parking lot”
“wasn’t there any evidence from the hammer?” I ask
“unfortunately, no, and there was no footage also in the corner of the parking lot, but he was clever enough to keep us going on the evidence he left for us, a murdered would never leave any evidence but he did, just to drive us crazy, so, that’s it the case went on for 1 month and it remained unsolved”
“are you sure the hammer did not have any finger prints?”
“no Mr. Knight, we worked on that for a very long time but did not find anything”
I leave out a big sigh and lean back on my chair, “thanks for spending your time and helping us out, it would be great if I could get the hammer and the cigarette evidence maybe I can try my part”
“That would be possible only if you put a petition that you are interlinking the cases and you will get the evidence”
He stands up from the table ready to leave, Josh and I walk out along with the officer thanking him for his time with us”
“Josh put in the petition tomorrow, I don’t want any delay, and I will be going to the murder spot of Jasmine tomorrow, talk with the managers of the boating area and get all their staff to meet me, for now you go home and rest it’s been a long day, if you don’t mind can you drive me home?”
“sure Alex, you seem too stressed and tired, I’ll take you home”.
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