One day after Christmas. Weather was chilly yet balmy. This time I should be hanging out with my friends and shopping for New Year. But, I stood behind the bars and was waiting for someone who could bail me out of this situation. I was arrested for my best friend Navya’s murder. I couldn’t imagine that I lost my dearest one but why am I accused and deemed as culprit. All of a sudden, the thoughts of 25th December‘s evening flashed at me.
People were busy in the streets for Christmas shopping. Children enjoying their holidays were busy in the decoration of the Christmas tree and waiting for the Santa Claus to appear and offer them basket full of presents. Whole city had a festive air.
Navya and I were very close friends right from school days. We used to hang out together and spend our spare time doing painting, singing and dancing. Navya was shrewd, good mannered, down to earth young lady. Although she was from a wealthy family, small things made her happy. She liked to ride horses, climb mountains, sing songs, play keyboard. Her hobbies were never ending. She was like a sister I never had.
She was born on the Christmas day. As she was attaining 18, she decided to throw a ball at her plush 3 storied bungalow. She invited all our college friends, teachers and some of her close relatives. We all were busy shopping for her special occasion since one month. She was very particular about her clothes, accessories and shoes. Shopping with her was indeed an uphill task. I spent most of the nights at her place as we were organizing the party and I was preparing the checklist for the same. We had to invite each one in the list, had to arrange flowers, garden cakes, fruits, gifts, wines, music band and arrange for dinner.
It was 7.00 a.m. in the morning. We both were sipping our hot green tea and going through our checklist to see if everything was in order. She hugged me and thanked for everything I did for her.
With three quarter hours still to go before the party began, I inspected the grounds and house. Navya was dressed in long white gown, the color which showed vision of purity with colorful beads and flowers decorated in it. She was wearing a diamond necklace and earrings gifted by her parents. Her hair was let loose and rose in her hair made her look like a princess. I decided to dress in our traditional Indian style. I was wearing a colorful Patiala and green kurti with matching accessories.
With shining hazel eyes, birthday girl looked very happy and pretty. None of us were aware that she was dressing up for her death and last day of her life.
Crowds started ushering in. It grew by the minute. The guests raved about the delicious food, the decorations, the flowers, the gardens, the house, and the delicious food. Girls giggled with equal measure of happiness and enthusiasm. Everyone in the group were more delighted, more elated and thought that they would have a night to remember. And they definitely had it.
26th December - 12.00 a.m.
Police came in as soon as they heard that Navya has been murdered. They asked people to wait outside the room and closely examined the body. They wanted the advice from Coroner. Immediately coroner was present and investigated the body. A lanky Inspector entered to question the people present on the party. Colonel Roger also joined in to provide help on this case. He was a man of few words. He had a long black moustache and jet black hair. He along with the inspector started the investigation. After the investigation, they started a tour on the bungalow. As they were checking the party room, they were startled seeing something. Their eyes were transfixed. There was a plate lying on a table which has half cut apple with knife in it. The plate was placed at the table adjacent to the kitchen room where her body was lying. Her throat was slit. On Navya’s bedroom, there was a doll which was lookalike of Navya. It was gifted by her brother. The doll had a dagger inserted on her stomach. In front of the doll was my chain lying and my green ribbon was tied on her hand. I was astonished seeing that scene. What was my chain and ribbon doing over there? Why was I targeted?
After several rounds of questions thrown on the spectators, my turn had come. I was deeply alarmed that time. I couldn’t stop crying for what I saw. I couldn’t imagine my best friend was killed on her birthday. Who had thought that her birthday would be her death day? The colonel comforted me and started asking many questions. I told them that she was like my sister and why would I kill her? They asked me to throw the light on the entire sequence of the evening party. I exclaimed:
- · People came in dressed to the nines and coasting towards delight.
- · First there was cutting of the cake and the music show by one of the leading band.
- · Then began fireworks outside the bungalow marking the celebration of Navya’s birthday.
- · Guests were served with delicious cuisines. People were chatting and laughing while having meal. Navya went to the kitchen room to keep a close watch on everything. Meanwhile , somewhere between the dancing and fireworks, there was a loud scream, Lights went off, and people were running here and there as they were scared. Within fraction of a second, lights were turned on and before we could react, there she was lying in the kitchen room with her hands tied and throat slit.
Because of the Chain and ribbon which was associated to me, I was accused and people gave the false statement against me. Some told that I was her best friend and as I was an orphan, I envied her position and tried to kill her. Some told that I was behind her money. Some were reckless and gave the statement that I was mentally retarded. For one week, I was in a soup and complete mess. I tried to convince the officers on duty but none of them believed me.
Police and Colonel suspected three motives for this murder:
After one month, Police identified the exact culprit and truth was revealed.
Navya was killed by Maya. She was our classmate. She was very strange and acted like psycho at times. She couldn’t tolerate our friendship and always tried to make discomfort between us. She hated us and wanted to separate us and tried her best to ruin our relationship. Our closeness bothered her.
On 25th evening, when the lights went off, she killed Navya and placed the knife on that table. When police were busy investigating and asked to wait everyone, she went to Navya’s bedroom with her dagger and finished the job by inserting the knife on that doll. Thus, the doll with the dagger, chain and ribbon proved alibi in this case. After detailed conclusion and the evidence which showed Maya as a murderer, she was sentenced for 5 years imprisonment. Maya had three devils in her mind – Animosity, Jealousy and greed. I was relieved. Somewhere I thought it was she who helped me and bailed me from this crisis. I saw up in the sky and thanked her.