In Search of Truth
Ravi opened his eyes as the ray of sun hit his eyes. A soft groan escaped his lips when he tried to move. A dull ache on his left arm reminded him of last night.
He sat up on the bed, suppressing another groan. The jumper up from the bed and ran out of the room.
Ravi threw open the door of Sara’s bedroom but didn’t find her there. The bed was made. There was no noise coming from the bathroom as well. Ravi frowned.
He went downstairs and found the house empty as if she never came back. Ravi sighed rubbing his head.
He felt the sticky ball mixed with sweat.
Sara had massaged it in his head after she pulled out the gun from his shoulder. She even went as far as cooking a late-night meal, chicken soup, and fed him before tucking him in bed again.
“Where are you, darling?” He softly whispered before breathing out.
Ravi went inside the kitchen and found a steaming pot of veg curry, rice, and scrambled eggs. He shook his head as his eyes found a yellow note beside the glass of milk.
Finish them. No complaint granted for the scrambled egg and the hell you’ve been on street foods!
“It’s called fast food, my darling.” Ravi twitched his lips into a smirk.
Anyways, be ready at 10. A car will come to pick you up. Don’t forget to drag Arup with you. Lastly, remember to change your bandage.
A soft smile graced his lips as something in his heart twisted. But, the thought of not being alone anymore was his only solace. Ravi turned back to gather his phone. He had a call to make.
“Are you sure we’re at the right place, Mr. Hussain?” Arup gaped at the magnificent house.
“There’s only one way to find out.” Ravi shrugged before pressing the calling bell.
After a few moments, the door opened revealing a petite woman in a dark green shirt and black pants. Her graying hair was pulled up in a tight bun and lips stretched in a polite smile.
“I assume you gentlemen must be Mr. Hussain and Mr. Roy?”
Ravi and Arup shared a glance before both smiled at her. The woman gave them a bow.
“Please come in. Ma’am will meet you shortly.”
Both men followed the woman.
“How many skeletons do your daughter hide in her closet, Mr. Hussain?” Arup whispered in his ears.
Ravi smiled. “You tell me. She’s your friend and she works with you.”
Arup smirked. “Ah... She’s sneaky.”
Ravi raised his brows. “You do realize she’s my daughter you’re bad-mouthing, huh?”
Arup scoffed. “Only speaking the truth.”
Ravi shook his head before looking ahead. They reached the living room when the old woman stopped and turned to them with a smile.
“Take a seat, please. I’ll come back with your refreshments.” She turned and walked away.
Ravi and Arup sat on a comfy red sofa and looked around. The lavish interior was breathtaking but their mind occupied with thoughts, more precisely, questions.
“I see you’ve made it early.”
Both men snapped their eyes toward the staircase where a smiling Sara stood at the bottom. She was wearing a loose t-shirt and gray trousers. Her bare feet thumped on the tiled floor as she made her way to them. Ravi and Arup stood up.
She wrapped her arms around her father’s neck and pulled him in a warm embrace. Ravi smiled as they both relished in each others warmth. The events of last night flashed before her eyes and Sara pulled away.
Ravi nodded with an assuring blink. Sara smiled before turning back to the other man who was watching them with a smile.
“Now, I should’ve known you’d be spoiling my dad all along, Mr. Roy,” Sara smirked.
Arup raised his brows. “How so?”
She crossed her arms. “I remember, I told you to stay away from the case but your buttery ass couldn’t take the hint. Now, you dragged my family in this too.”
Arup gasped and looked at Ravi who was smirking. He only shrugged.
“You do know your father came to me, right? I admit I did a little...” Sara raised her brows. “Okay, a lot of research on the matter. But, we’ve stumbled upon some interesting facts you’d love to take a look at.”
Sara hummed before thinking something for a moment. She turned back to them with pressed lips.
“I’d like to hear from you, yes. But first, I need you guys to meet someone. come with me.”
Sara took them upstairs, crossing many hallways and a lounge before stopping at a wooden door. She turned to the men behind her.
“Before we go in, I want to tell that this person is a bit edgy at the moment. So, he might not act... better. And, another thing is, he’s got a damaged vocal cord. I’ve consulted with a doctor this morning before you guys came. His condition is worse.”
“Where did you get him?” Ravi asked.
Sara looked at them for a moment before sighing. “Last night at Roger’s.”
Both men had their eyes bulged out with Arup having a jaw gap. Sara turned back to the door and pushed it open revealing a bedroom. It had warm yellow walls and a tiled floor with a wooden texture. A big, white window was facing the king-size bed. A beige couch paired with a glass table adorned the left corner of the bed, opposite of the window. There were doors to the walk-in closet and the bathroom on different corners of the room. It was a simple, comfortable and a bright place as the ray of morning sun filled the room in blissful warmth.
But, the most fascinating being was that boy who was sitting on the bed and looking through the window. He was drinking in the sight of dark green trees, bluish-red sky, and the sun. The opening of the door grabbed his attention. His blue eyes snapped back to the intruders as if to accuse them of ruining his peace. But, he’s cold eyes met with Sara’s brown ones and they softened a bit.
He didn’t know why but the presence of that woman brought him a sense of comfort. Since the first time he laid his eyes on her, he had this urge to believe in her. But then, trusting people had always backfired him. He knew first-hand what it felt to be betrayed, to be tortured and he was not letting himself fool with looks once more.
His eyes turned cold watching the other two men in the room. What did they want with him? Were they here to question him again? That doctor lady was pestering enough with her annoying presence. Were they going to laugh at him and take him to some dark room again? Were they going to beat him?
A soft whimper left his lips. His eyes welled up with unshed tears but he quickly blinked them before closing his eyes and clearing his burning throat. He looked at the woman who shared a glance with that older looking man. They both turned to him with a smile.
“Dom,” Sara smiled. “I think I didn’t introduce myself to you yet. I’m Saravi. And, this is my father, Ravi Hussain, and my friend, Arup Roy.” Ravi and Arup smiled at Dom. “We’re here to talk with you for a while. I hope you won’t mind.”
She took a slow step forward assessing his movement and expression. Dom sat still, his face was blank, posture alert. Sara sat on the bed beside him and put a hand on his shoulder. Dom flinched at the contact but kept his eyes on her. They were so warm, so comforting it was hard to believe she would do him any harm. But, he knew what they said about looks and he would protect himself as long as possible.
Sara looked at his fingers which were crooked and twisted. Her eyes blazed for a moment. Whoever did that to him he made sure that Dom was unable to communicate in every way possible. He couldn’t speak, he didn’t know any sign language, and he couldn’t write until his fingers healed according to Dr. Deblanca’s report. How much cruel could one be? They didn’t even spare a kid. Sara looked up at him with a forced smile on her face.
“Dom, did you have breakfast?” She knew he had but wanted to hear it from him.
Dom fidgeted for a moment before nodding.
“Ms. Margaret cooks nice, doesn’t she? I know she talks a little but I hope she didn’t bore you? I swear that woman is too formal for her good!” Sara grinned seeing a faint twitch on his lips.
It was good progress. She looked at Arup and he nodded.
“Hey, man. Dom is it?” Arup sat on the other side of him.
Dom looked at him.
“I heard a lot about you,” Sara raised her brows and Arup just scoffed. “Don’t mind this stuck-up lady here. Anyways, as I said I heard that you got here last night. How do you like the place?”
As if you’ve been living here for a thousand years!
Sara scoffed before shaking her head. But she smiled when Dom looked at Arup as he kept blabbering nonsense. Her smile turned into a grin when Ravi came to sit on the bed and joined them. She still felt Dom keeping a stiff shoulder but the soft look in his eyes told her that it might take time but she’d get to him.
“Sir, we need you to see this.”
Rajiv looked at his constable before walking toward him. The constable handed him a file. He looked at it for a moment. A frown marred his features.
“Did you get the details of this man?”
“Yes, Sir. He was in charge of the reports. He sent us the final result last week. But, he’s been missing ever since the day of submission. We’ve tried to locate his cell but it’s unreachable.”
“Where was he seen last time?”
“In his office. Informers say he was about to go to the O.R. His daughter is a cancer patient.”
His frown deepened. “Did you informed Officer Ronal?”
The constable cleared his throat.
“Ah... No, Sir. But, if you want-”
“Thanks but I’ll talk to him.”
Rajiv rushed out of his office and ran toward Officer Ronal’s who was busy looked at some paper. He noticed the sub-inspector and frowned.
Rajiv swallowed the rude welcome and dropped the file on the table. Ronal looked at him for once before taking a look at the papers.
“There’s an issue with the fingerprints, Sir.”
Ronal raised a brow at him. Rajiv continued.
“The man who submitted the fingerprint report of Saravi Hussain is missing.”
“So?” He tilted his head, his eyes were cold, uncaring.
“I suspect the accuracy of the report, Sir.”
Ronal threw the papers on the table.
“Don’t waste my time, Rajiv! Our source is always correct and Saravi Hussain’s the culprit you know it.”
“I do and I’m not denying. But, isn’t it suspicious that the man who knows about Saravi’s fingerprint vanishes in the air the very next day he submits us the proof?”
“Must have been the woman behind it. That’s why we need to catch her.”
Rajiv frowned as he pondered over the thought.
“But, we don’t have any proof she’s the one behind it.”
“It is her! I tell you. She must have somehow gotten a whiff that we were doing the fingerprint scan so she removed the guy from her path”
Is it her?
The question bothered him for some reason.
“Then, she should have done that before the report came. What’s the use of kidnapping the guy when she knew we knew the result. Isn’t that questionable?”
Ronal narrowed his eyes at the sub-inspector.
“Are you siding with her, Rajiv?”
Rajiv was quick to shook his head. “No. No, Sir. I was just thinking. Anyways, I’m sending a team to investigate the matter.”
“And, keep searching for the wretched criminal.”
For the first time in his career, he hesitated to answer his boss.
“Will do, Sir.”
Rajiv turned around to leave the office. A frown marred his features. This thing just got more and more twisted.
“Now, spill, Sara.” Arup crossed his arms.
He, Ravi and Sara were sitting in the living room. Dom was resting in his room. The thought of that quiet boy brought a smile to his face. Sara leaned back on the sofa before letting out a sigh.
“There is a lot to tell. Care to filter, dude?
Arup shook his head. She was always with this annoying attitude. However, he decided to comply.
“I’ve heard about Bhatiyari tour from Mr. Hussain.” Sara nodded.
She indeed told her father about the incidents in that place while feeding him a meal.
“I hope he told you about our research as well.” Sara glanced at her father who wore an impassive expression.
“He did, yes. You two made quite an investigation, I must say. I’m especially pleased to see my head costs billions!” Sara chuckled.
Sara cleared her throat at Ravi’s cold voice.
“So, we wanna know about this - madman you’ve met,” Arup said. “What do you think about him?”
Sara crossed her arms. “Just two words. He’s a sneaky bastard!”
Both men shared a glance before looking back at her. She continued.
“I think he knows everything. He knows who’s behind all these murders, schemes and conspiracies. I even doubt that it was he who showed me those... visions in my dreams and left that note declaring the beginning of the war. But, he won’t be direct with me just like he wasn’t with Melina. All I get is riddles and questions. It’s just a game for him, a big death game.”
Ravi frowned. “He said, purity is poisonous and only the evil of darkness can balance it. How could this be related to the murders.”
“I think Dom has something to do with it.”
“Dom!” Both men said together.
Sara nodded. “That boy must know have known or seen something. That’s why his tormentor had him unable to communicate.”
“But, he’s mostly mute.”
“I don’t know, Arup, maybe he was a normal kid with dangerous information. That must have led him to this situation.”
“Who do you suspect?” Ravi asked.
“Daniel Roger. It’s either him or...”
Sara sighed.“I don’t know. I’m- I’m lost, Dad! There’s so much to suspect, so many puzzles I need to solve and they’re all spread out everywhere. Who should I trust?”
Sara leaned back and closed her eyes. The silence stretches oil the room. Everyone lost in their thought. The matter was getting all tangled and twisted with and every information they found. It was as if, they had every resource to solve the case but they couldn’t piece the puzzles in the right order. And, the more time they took, the more dangerous the whole situation turned.
“Have you tried to contact him?” Arup asked, his gaze fixed on the glass table.
Sara looked up, raising her brows.
“That guy, Intruder you say.”
“I don’t think that’s a good idea.”
“Why?” Ravi asked. “He could help you. He’s been on your side so far, right?”
Sara let out an exasperated sigh. “I don’t know! I don’t know whose side he’s on, Dad. He-He always acts shady. I know he knows about the case... More than me. But, what if he tricks me?”
“If he would’ve to trick you, couldn’t he have done that earlier? Look at that Prince!” Arup narrowed his eyes.
“No!” Ravi held her gaze. “You’ll talk to him. You need his assistance, Sara. I don’t know what he’s after as long as his presence benefit you, keep him.”
“What if he traps me?”
Ravi squared his shoulder. “You are a spy, Sara. The S Girl of the organization. Besides, I didn’t raise you to be a fool, did I?”
Sara clenched her jaw. This was madness. How could she jump at the opportunity like Intruder without looking out for trouble? But then, what option she had left? She could investigate herself but it would take a lot of time, a luxury which she didn’t have at the moment. Besides, her mother’s life was at stake. How could she take a risk in a situation like this? Sara felt like pulling her hair out.
“I’ll see what I can do. But first, I need to make a call.”
Sara walked out of the living room to stand in a hallway. She pulled out a second-hand phone along with a piece of paper from her trouser pocket. Sara took one last look at the message before calling on the number. It rang for a couple of times before she heard someone on the other side.
“Who’s this?” A female voice spoke.
Wow! No hi or hello. Advanced!
There was a short pause for a moment. “Follow the address I text you. 10 PM.”
The line went dead before Sara could speak. Soon, her phone pinged. She opened the message to see the address of some downtown lane in the southern part of the city. Sara pressed her lips in thin line before deleting the message. She let out a deep breath.
“Here goes something!