A tear fell upon that photograph. It was someone she dearly loved. She looked at it again, hoping that her eyes were playing tricks on her. The picture had not changed.
“No, it can’t be him. Dad wouldn’t do such a thing.”
She had spoken aloud, but nobody heard her as she sat in her new office looking at the folder Shukla had given her. She wiped her tears and stood up, went to the window and looked at her reflection in the glass. Her dad meant everything to her. Her mother had died when she was seven and her dad had taken care of her ever since. “If only mom were here”, she wished sadly, “She’d know what to do.”
She turned back with resolve. “There is only one way out of this predicament”, she decided,”I need to confront him. I need to ask him.”
She called him. She knew she could trust him to keep this quiet till she found out the truth. Her most trusted photographer. Her boyfriend, Atul.
She couldn’t reach her dad. So she left him a voice message.
“Meet us at the pier ASAP. Atul & I are waiting for you on the boat. Emergency”
The pier was their favorite place. They had spent a lot of time on that boat.
“It brings back lot of happy memories”, she said to Atul,” and now I will be adding a sad one to it.”
It was noon when her father finally arrived at the pier. His face seemed calm but she could see that he was tense. She realized that her tone on the voice message must have made him aware that something was wrong.
“Maya, what is it? Are you alright? You don’t look very well”, he spoke quickly. Then he saw Atul and said hello to him as well.
Cat went to him. “Dad, why are you helping Rajan Dey with his smuggling operations?”
Her dad’s face white. “Wha…What did you say? I..I am not into anything such. Wh…Wh..Who told you?” he stammered.
She showed him the picture. Just that photograph. His eyes gave him away before he could say anything. He looked in her eyes and noticed she was crying as well. He wiped her tears and walked to the edge of the deck.
“I’ll tell you everything, Maya. Just listen to me. I helped him. It is true. But just that once…”
He did not finish. A bullet suddenly pierced his heart and he fell back into her arms.
“Don’t hate me. I am innocent. Trust me”, he stammered through his blood.He looked at her sadly.
“Love you darling…” and he never spoke again.
(to be continued…)