“Your wife has come to meet you,” said the cop to Raman.
Raman could not control his tears as soon as he saw his wife from behind the bars. He said, “I did not kill her. This is a plot.”
Raman’s wife Pragati said, “I know. I feel there is something more than just this murder. I will find it out for you. I’m sorry I did not believe you earlier when Maggie filed a complaint against you.”
Raman told her the entire story.
Pragati said, “Your persistence and love saved you this time. I would have doubted you like everyone. Nobody knows the fact that you were with me that night, virtually. Only I know about your secret hide-out. And, as always, I saved it as a video. But, I’m not going to show the video to the cops yet. If you can wait for a couple of days, I will find the real people behind this entire drama and get them arrested.”
She got up and was about to leave. Suddenly, she got reminded of something. She smiled.
Raman wondered how Pragati could smile at this difficult situation, when he is going through so much. Then, he realized what was running in her mind.
Raman said, “Please don’t get Karthik involved in this. I know he likes to play detective. But, I don’t want to get embarrassed once again, please.”
Pragati laughed and said, “I can only seek his help. He is my brother from another mother. I cannot trust anyone else. I cannot deal all of this on my own. Can I? Or, suggest anyone who can help me out and who is trustworthy?”
Raman thought for a moment and did not have answers to her questions. He said, “But, please ask him to stay away from me.”
Pragati said, “When it is about Karthik, I cannot assure you anything. You know how unpredictable he is. I’ll try my best.”
Pragati walked out and called up Karthik. As she expected, Karthik was more than willing to take up this as a personal case.
After a few minutes, the cop came and told Raman, “Suraj from Income Tax wants to meet you.”
Raman frowned as he knew it was Karthik.
Karthik felt happy to see Raman after so many years. Though he has been in touch with Pragati almost daily, he did not get to meet Raman who was his best friend in college.
Raman came to meet Karthik. Raman knitted his eye brows as though he was ready to hit Karthik.
Karthik said, “I’ve apologized many times before. I’ll say sorry again. Will you let go off the past, please?”
Raman said, “Yeah, right! You embarrass me in front of the entire college and you expect me to forgive you. Imagine standing naked in front of all your classmates and juniors on the last day of your college. Trust me. It’s so embarrassing. Be glad I did not kill you.”
Karthik said, “I was not convinced about your love. You have been in love so many times during those four years and finally you said you loved my sister Pragati. You know how much I care for her. But, one thing is true. You won my trust that day. I liked the way you focused on your task of proposing your love to her, despite having so many unexpected people as audience. I knew that day you would never cheat on Pragati. The last time Maggie made a scene saying you tried to molest her, Pragati almost believed it. I asked her to give you a second chance to prove yourself. And, she did it. Thank me for saving your marriage.”
Raman did not want to forgive Karthik for anything.
Karthik continued, “Let’s focus on the case. Tell me what happened on the day she came to your cabin and came out shouting.”
Raman said, “It’s so cliched what she did that day. She was talking about her promotion and I said she should not expect it so soon. Suddenly, she started shouting and tearing her own clothes. She came forward and pulled my shirt so hard a couple of buttons came flying in the air. She, then, ran into the corridor crying that I molested her. I know you will not believe me. Nobody did. But, nothing more than that happened that day.”
Karthik said, “I trust you. Do you suspect anyone to behind all this? Business rivals? Competition?”
Raman said, “We’re doing well as a company. But, there is not much competition and we don’t have too many rivals. First, it was my father’s death and, then, these events. I feel so troubled. If not for Pragati, I would have not been alive.”
Karthik said, “Do you know anything more about Maggie? Why would people think you killed her?”
Raman said, “I don’t know. She came in as a reference. She seemed over qualified for the job. But, we did not have any opening for her qualifications. She seemed to be nice, initially. She started acting weird all of a sudden.”
Karthik asked, “Did you know that she is the younger sister of your ex-girlfriend Christie?”
Raman said, “Don’t tell me. I never knew that.” He had that frightening expression on his face.
Raman continued, “Do you think Christie is behind all this? What will she get by breaking our marriage apart?”
Karthik smiled and said, “Did you know that your elder brother, Aravind, is having a secret affair with Christie for the last few years? His wife does not know about this.”
Raman was spellbound. He asked, “Why would Aravind do anything against me? He has been taking care of the business and me so well ever since father passed away.”
Karthik said, “Pragathi called me an hour ago. She told me the entire thing. I asked her about your competition and your rivals. But, I did not find any strong reason. Then, I went and met your family lawyer. I came to know of something strange only then. I’m not sure if you’ll be happy to learn what I know.”
Raman was waiting in patience.
Karthik continued, “Your father has bequeathed his will in your name. All the companies are in your name. Aravind never told you about this. He has been acting as though you both shared the ownership. Your father never had trust on Aravind because he did some scam a few months ago and your father caught him red-handed. Aravind used the company’s funds for some personal use. In fact, he bought a lavish apartment for Christie. And, there is something more remarkable than this that might upset you.”
Raman said, “How did you know about all this? My lawyer usually does not divulge any information to anyone.”
Karthik said, “I sought the help of my uncle, police chief, and asked him to make one single call. I told your lawyer that I’m Chirag, a government investigator. So, your lawyer had to say everything to me.”
Karthik continued, “The best part came when Aravind came running to me while I was talking to your lawyer and offered me some bribe to keep calm about my investigation. I acted as if I agreed to his idea.”
Raman said, “You are a genius. And, you said that there is something remarkable that might upset me. What is it?”
Karthik said, “I’m sorry I’m having to share this with you. But, the truth is that your father adopted you.”
Raman could not believe what he heard.
Karthik continued, “Aravind hated the fact his father bequeathed his property to his adopted son. So, he had to do something to get you out of the picture. You will not be able to legally run the company if you are arrested for murder. So, he thought that it was the easy way out. But, Pragati got me into the picture.”
Karthik continued, “And, it was Aravind who killed Maggie. I emailed the proof to the cops before coming to meet you.”
Raman said, “You came into this case just now. How did you gather proof?”
Karthik said, “When he came to meet me thinking I am the government investigator, he told me that Maggie was killed by an icicle and not a knife. And, I used that information along with forensic report and the trays in Christie’s house to convince the cops. It all worked out easily well for me.”
While they were talking, a senior cop came into the room and said, “Mr.Raman, you are free to go, now. We have found the real criminal. It’s your brother, Aravind.”