Disclaimer: The following story is a 3 chapter murder mystery. The 5 names used here (Shipra, Rupali, Srashti, and Alamkriti are the real name of my school friends. Another resemblance with anyone or any incident is pure coincidence.)
If you want me to say that it is a usual night in Goa, I'll say it, but it is not. We are all gathered in the center dining hall of The Leela, thanks to Shipra, the Richie rich, beautiful and comptroller of our group of 5. Only she can make reservations on such short notice before Christmas. After many unsuccessful plans, 4 weddings and 1 baby we finally managed to have our dream trip, not Thailand, not Dubai but Goa, cause this was something we had been planning since 12th standard. We checked in 3 days ago for Rupali's bachelorette. Our small town girl is a big name in the industry and we now have a celebrity among us. We had never thought she will get married, cause she was basically married to her passion but then she met the lucky bastard she cannot say no to. Tonight is the last night of our stay when we all heard a cry for help and came out of our rooms.
Everyone in the hall knew something is wrong, but no one was sure. It was 2.30 in the midnight and as I said it was a usual night in Goa, so no one was sleepy. "Hey, I talked to the guard outside and he said someone is murdered." Mota (Srashti) the informer, informed us. Yeah, she knows everything. We don't care from where she gets all the details of everyone's life, but she has been our constant source of entertainment and gossip since school days. "What? Are you nuts? Let the police confirm." reproved Aashi (Alankriti). She is the brain in our group, with an insane laugh. Mostly she is joyous and giggles all the time, but tonight is different.
Anyone can feel the tension in the hall, along with 5 of us, there are tourists from all over the country with a few foreign guests. Hall is vastly lit with tables neatly arranged. Everyone sitting there is not waiting for food but for information when the inspector finally arrives with the hotel manager. "Mr. Vikas Rastogi, the famous writer-director is badly injured, someone tried to murder him." A huge wave of surprise and murmur spread through the hall. "But he or SHE is not successful. He is now in hospital undergoing the required procedure. We expect full co-operation from all of you. No one is leaving the hotel until we get all the details we want. Everyone present here will be questioned. Please try to answer best to your memory." He left immediately.
M: "The guard was right."
A: "Let's go in our room, will discuss there."
R: It's horrible.
M: It's life, it is horrible.
R: How long do you guys think we have to stay here?
S: I hope not much.
A: Did anyone notice when the inspector mentioned the suspect, he emphasized on 'SHE'.
"Yeah, you are right. They may have found something in his room."
We all looked at each other. "Anyways, let the police do their job, we don't have anything to worry. Let's call it a day, it was too damn long."
We all changed and get into our beds. We are all sharing the same room, the way we decided in school. We barely get opportunities like this. Last time it was my wedding when all of us stayed together in the same room. 4 years have flown now. The other gate of our room opens in the garden, I wanted to go out and sit there alone for a while but dropped the plan.
S: What time is it?
S: Who the hell is knocking at 7?
M: Let me check.
M: Two police officers are there they are asking us to come to the same dining hall for investigation.
"Let's go and get it done with it."
"Where were you all last night around 1 AM? I need the individual answers. No one will meddle in between and make sure you are absolutely right, or else you will suffer the consequences." the officer asked furiously and suspiciously looking into our eyes.
A: "Officer, you can say the same thing politely, we will co-operate. Why shouldn't we? We don't have anything to worry about."
PO: Are you sure, Miss?
A: Alankriti. Yes, I am.
PO: Then I can gladly inform you that the person who last called Mr. Rastogi is none other than your friend Miss Rupali.
A chill runs through our veins, we are shocked but trying to hide it as much as possible.
PO: Now can we proceed Miss Alankriti?
For the next chapter: The Following