- 09 Feb - 15 Feb, 2019
CRIMES AT CORNERS
- 20 Jan - 26 Jan, 2018
Rehan was walking towards the bungalow he was asked to visit. With the house still a few steps from him he closed his eyes and wondered, what if today is the last day of my life? Well, at least I’ll die knowing who was behind Yasir’s murder. But what if the guy decides to kill me?
Rehan now stood in front of the gate. The metallic plate on it read “Kevin Rollins”. Before ringing the doorbell, Rehan thought, as far as I can remember, Yasir had met Kevin Rollins because he wanted to learn mesmerism. He rang the bell but couldn’t stop shaking from fear. The door was answered by Kevin Rollins himself.
“Hello,” said Kevin, politely offering a handshake.
“Hi,” replied Rehan, shaking his hand.
“You’re on time.”
“Are you Mr Rollins?” confirmed Rehan.
“Yes, that’s me,” smiled Kevin, nodding his head. “Come in, please.”
This guy seems pretty nice, thought Rehan as he entered the bungalow.
Kevin led the way as Rehan followed him into the lounge where he was asked to sit down. Rehan was confused; he didn’t expect Kevin to be so hospitable. Was he the killer or did he simply know who was behind Yasir’s murder? Either way, Rehan had to find out.
“Can I get you something?” asked Kevin, “Coffee or water?”
“Nothing at all please.”
“Are you sure? Wait, I’ll get you water.” Kevin left the room to get a glass of water. As he offered it, Rehan wondered whether he should drink it or not.
A day earlier, Maria was cooking lunch in her kitchen. As she turned around, she saw Rehan all dressed up, preparing to leave. He was holding a CD. She asked, “Hey, where are you going?”
“I’ll be back soon.”
“Tell me, Rehan! Are you going to meet Rollins today?”
“No, he’s asked me to meet him tomorrow.”
“Then where are you going now?” she asked, looking at the CD he was holding.
“Inspector Affan deserves justice.”
“What do you mean?” she asked, trying to make sense of what was happening.
“I’m going to the police station.”
“What?! Are you going to tell them that Mr Raza had killed Inspector Affan? Do you think they’d actually believe you?!” she questioned, hysterically.
“I can try.”
“Rehan, you were willing to give up this investigation just yesterday and now you’re sympathising with the dead Inspector. You’re not making sense at all, this doesn’t concern you!”
“It does concern me,” replied Rehan firmly, “Inspector Affan was investigating my cousin’s case. And he got shot doing his job. He’s left his family behind, they deserve justice! So I’m going to play my part for their sake.”
“But what’s in that CD you’re holding?” asked Maria.
“I don’t know what to say to you anymore, Rehan. But if you want to go ahead with this then I can’t intervene.”
“Don’t worry Maria, I’ll be fine. Plus, tomorrow we’ll have all the answers.”
“One can only hope,” she replied grimly.
An hour later, Rehan reached the police station, he looked around and made his way towards the new inspector, “Sir!” said Rehan, addressing him.
“Yes?” he answered.
“I have some important news for you.”
The inspector stopped what he was doing to pay close attention to what Rehan was about to say.
“The head constable that works here,” said Rehan, “He was involved in Inspector Affan’s murder.”
“Oh dear!” said the inspector in utter shock. “How do you know that? Who are you anyway?”
“I am Yasir’s cousin and Inspector Affan was investigating his murder.”
“Oh… I see,” replied the inspector.
“I was in touch with Mr Affan,” explained Rehan, “In fact, I was on the phone with him when he was shot. I heard the whole thing.”
“Well, that’s one thing. But how can you accuse the head constable of murder?” inquired the inspector.
“I never said he murdered anyone. Look, let me explain. The head constable’s cell phone was stolen, right?”
“Yes, I heard about that.”
“Well, I was the one who stole it,” confessed Rehan, placing the cell phone on his desk. “I know, it’s an offence and I’m willing to pay for it. But the interesting thing is, Mr Affan’s murderer called on
“Oh God! Really?”
“Yes, and I’ve recorded his voice. Can I play it on your laptop?” asked Rehan.
The curious police inspector opened his laptop and ejected the CD player. Rehan handed the CD to him, the audio track played, “Yes?” Raza’s voice echoed in the room.
“So, you were telling me why you killed Inspector Affan,” followed Rehan’s voice.
“Yes, I killed Affan,” said Mr. Raza’s voice again. “Yes, I killed him. I did it because he was suspecting me. He thought I killed Yasir but I didn’t. So, the head constable suggested I kill the inspector. But I don’t understand why he backed out.”
The track ended.
“Wait,” the inspector said, “Who was the guy you were talking to?”
“He was the producer of the show. The police suspected him for Yasir’s murder.”
“I see. Anyway, I’m glad you brought this to me. Thank you for the information,” said the inspector.
“If I may ask, what are you going to do now?”asked Rehan, curiously.
“I’m going to call the producer and play the recording in front of him. I’ll do the same with the head constable, but separately.”
“What happens then?”
“Well, the one to lose sweat shall be my suspect then,” replied the inspector.
“Perfect,” said Rehan, offering a handshake.
“Thank you. But you’ll need to give me your number.”
“I might call you here to take your statement.”
Rehan exchanged numbers and left the police station.
Rehan walked towards Maria’s home. He felt content, unlike before. He wondered, I feel so good but I don’t know why. A few minutes later, he was lying on his bed. She entered the room and said, “I’m glad things went well.”
“Yeah, me too,” replied Rehan.
“What about tomorrow?”
“I have no idea what’s going to happen.”
“Have you ever heard of Kevin Rollins before?” she asked. “I mean, did his name come up during the investigation?”
“Well, yes,” answered Rehan. “Jahanzeb Wasey, the video editor of Crimes at Corners had mentioned him once.”
“What did he say?”
“He said that Kevin was into mesmerism.”
“Mesmerism? What does that have to do with the case?” she asked.
“He said that Professor Yasir was interested in this stuff.”
“Only interested?” she asked?
“Yes, well, he also wanted to learn these hypnotism methods.”
“Is lunch ready?” asked Rehan. He was hungry.
“Yes, it is. Let’s go to the kitchen.”
Later, after they had eaten, Maria came and sat next to Rehan on the couch and asked, “Is it possible that Mr Rollins is a killer or something?”
“It may be possible,” Rehan replied anxiously.
“Shouldn’t you inform the cops then?”
“Come on Maria, they would never care about something so trivial. Stop worrying, it’ll be fine.”
“But, you must take some precautions,” suggested Maria.
Rehan began to think. He said, “How about this; if something goes wrong, I’ll send you a text message saying “alert” or “danger”. Then you can immediately call the police and ask them to come there.”
“The place I’m meeting Kevin. I’ll forward you the address.”
“Well, that’s doable, I guess,” said Maria.
Rehan reluctantly took the glass of water offered to him by Kevin.
“So Rehan, what do you do?”
“I thought you already knew about me.”
Kevin looked confused.
“That’s what you said in the text message, remember?” said Rehan.
“I didn’t say I knew everything. Anyway, I was told you were looking for your cousin’s murderer. You’ve been watching episodes to crack the case.”
“How do you know all this? Have you been stalking me?” asked Rehan anxiously.
“No, of course not,” chuckled Kevin.
“Mr Jahanzeb told me.”
“Who are you, really?” questioned Rehan, paying close attention to the man in front of him.
“I’m from England. I learned hypnotism and other such tricks there. It was all part of a certified course so I know the exact science behind mesmerism.”
“No, but what’s your role in this case? Why did Jahanzeb tell you about me?”
“Look, ever since I found out about Yasir’s murder, I’ve been conducting secret investigations just like you. The only difference is that I haven’t been completely relying on the police.”
“Yeah, well I think I shouldn’t have either,” agreed Rehan.
“But I did follow some cops,” continued Kevin. “I went to the studio of Crimes at Corners and investigated the people there. After that, I visited all the places I was told about.”
“Told about? For what?”
“About when and where he’d gone. You know, after meeting me, he had interviewed a serial killer whom he had visited.”
“But why are you so concerned about his death? Were you a fan or something?”
“Good question. But no, I’m not a fan or anything like that,” replied Kevin.
Meanwhile at the police station, the new inspector observed the head constable who was standing right in front of him. The head constable appeared very calm and composed. He asked, “Why are you looking at me this way? Is everything ok?”
“Yes,” the clever cop replied, “I was told by Mr Raza that you and…” while speaking, the inspector paid close attention to the head constable’s body language and facial expressions. He noticed a hint of fear in the head constable’s eyes when Mr Raza was mentioned. The police inspector stopped talking and turned to his cell phone.
“What?” asked the head constable with utmost curiosity. “What did he say?”
to be continued...