Conundrum (Chapter 1 – Kelly’s murder)

“I will destroy you and everything you have ever cared about.” Angelyn cried as she stood near her best friend’s lifeless body.

“You do realize that includes you, right?” said Arthur, Angelyn’s fiance who happened to be there in the crime scene bathed in blood. That made him the prime suspect in the murder of Kelly Wincostin.

“Oh hell yeah, I am counting on it,” Angelyn said as she swallowed her anger. 

Arthur seemed calm for the deed he had done. He neither accepted nor denied the accusations pour down on him. Angelyn was not ready to hand over Kelly’s body. She just kept hugging it, not letting it go. The health service officers had to move her away from the crime scene forcefully. She resisted by punching and screaming out like a mad woman. Her reaction became more violent when she saw Arthur calm on handcuffs near the police cab, “You killed her; I will make you pay for what you have done.” She roared.

Arthur smiled as he entered into the police car. He whispered, “Remember that I love you.” Angelyn didn’t understand what was going on. She felt betrayed. “Why, Kelly? Why did Arthur kill Kelly, her only best friend?” Questions piled up, but she didn’t have answers. She was the only witness to the crime but couldn’t remember how she got there, or what happened. All she remembers is Kelly bathed in blood and Arthur near her body, dripping blood from his clothes.

Angelyn Lionel is a smart copywriter who works at a well-named media organization, After You. Kelly Wincostin, who used to be her best friend, worked at a nearby hospital as a Medical staff. They were best friends since childhood. Angelyn met Arthur Vinson during one of her business meetings. Initially, they became friends, even though she liked him since their first meeting, she didn’t want to make any decision without asking Kelly’s approval because she mattered a lot to her. Once Kelly nodded her head in acceptance, they started dating, and the datings lead to a proposal. Kelly was one proud Maid of honor. Unfortunately, just a few days into the marriage, this tragic incident took place. Angelyn felt broken and lonely; she lost trust in everyone. 

Two days went in; she was taken to the hospital by her mother, Dalia Lionel, who knew what trauma this might have created in Angelyn. The police asked Angelyn to come to the police station once she gains back her strength to give the testimony.  She attended the funeral with a heavy heart and gave testimony at the police station when she knew she was ready to speak. It wasn’t much of helpful for she couldn’t remember most of the things.

“Her aggressive reaction was due to the sudden shock she had to experience on seeing the two most important people in her life in an undesirable situation,” said the Doctor.

“I cannot imagine the pain she feels. What’s troubling me is the question of why. Why did Arthur do such a heinous act?”

“I did talk with Mr. Vinson. He seemed calm and relaxed for a murderer,” said the Doctor.

“Unless he’s protecting someone,” said a voice from behind. Mrs. Lionel and the Doctor looked behind to find detective Yacob inside the room. He handled the Murder case of Kelly Wincostin.

“That means…” Mrs. Lionel was shocked for a moment, “No, it can’t be.”

“There is a possibility, but I am not sure yet. Even if Angelyn did this, I do not think she would have done such a monstrous thing in her conscious mind. That is why I am here.” he stopped and looked at both of them, “to learn the history about Angelyn. I know she is a smart woman, but some of her classmates said that she went through a mental breakdown after witnessing her father’s death.”

Mrs. Lionel didn’t know what to say, but the Doctor moved forward and responded, “Hi, detective Yacob I am Dr. Firoz Ahmed, Angelyn’s psychiatrist. I have known Angelyn for a long time. I can assure you that Angelyn wouldn’t do this even in her unconscious mind.”

“Well, then we need to juggle her memories. We need to understand how she got there in the first place; for that, I need your help, Doctor.” the Detective said as he scanned Dr. Firoz’s room. 

“I will do everything I can.”

“If you do not mind, can I read Angelyn’s medical file?”

“I cannot… It’s… It’s against the medical policy and….” Before the Doctor could complete his sentence, Mrs. Lionel interrupted, “Let him have it, Doctor… As her mother, I can’t see her falsely accused of the murder of her best friend.” 

Even though it is against medical policy to give any patient’s medical history files to someone, the file could be used for investigation purposes if the person’s consent is verbal. Since Dalia Lionel was Angelyn’s guardian, her consent was enough to handover the medical file to the Detective. The Doctor went to his shelf and came back with a medical file named ‘Angelyn Lionel.’ The Detective’s eyes shined as he saw the file. He smiled as the Doctor handed over the file to him. Dalia watched it helplessly. 

“Thank you, Doctor Firoz. I believe this can give a new perspective on the case.” He shook hands with Doctor, “I am afraid it’s my time to leave. Good day fellows.” He smiled at Dalia and left the room with confidence. 

“I hope he doesn’t use it against her.” Sighed Mrs. Lionel as she heard the Detective’s car moving towards the gate. 

Angelyn was slowly recovering from the trauma. She finally considered going back to work, as her mother suggested. After the incident, the Doctor told Angelyn to stay with her mother for a while. Mrs. Lionel did everything to cheer her up. That day was special, for she made Angelyn’s favorite breakfast, Mac and cheese. Maybe the delicious smell might have wakened up Angelyn from her sleep. As she came downstairs to greet her mother, the doorbell rang. She ran to the doorbell and opened it to see Detective Yacob. He had a hideous smile on his face.

“Hello, Good morning Angelyn. I hope I am not disturbing you in the morning.”

“Not at all, Detective. Come in.” Angelyn welcomed him inside. Mrs. Lionel was surprised to see him. The Detective could see the fear on her face. 

“Good morning; what brings you to our home detective.”

“I wanted to talk to you, Mrs. Lionel. I went to your office, but your assistant said you were on leave for a month.”

“Oh yes, Doctor suggested spending some time with Angelyn after everything that had happened.”

“Ah, yes, I assumed; that’s why I came directly to your home.”

“Did you find why Arthur killed Kelly?” Angelyn asked horrifiedly.

“I am afraid not. He hasn’t spoken a word. He neither denies nor accepts. God knows what he is up to.” The detective said as he sat down on the couch.

“I wanted to discuss something with your mother. Can I talk to her in private?” Angelyn looked at her mother for a second, then back at the Detective, “Sure, I will go get ready for office.”

She went upstairs to get ready. Mrs. Lionel didn’t understand what was on his mind, yet she stayed and listened to him, “I wanted to ask you about your husband. How did he die?”

Mrs. Lionel’s heart weighed; how could she tell him about her husband’s death, the day she lost her love?

“May I ask why?”

“As I went through Angelyn’s medical file, I found one of her testimony. She said she didn’t remember how she got there. It was a car accident yet; she couldn’t remember the time her father came to pick her up or how she ended up in the car. She said she blacked out or something, and when she opened her eyes, she saw her father bathed in blood in the middle of the road and she beside him with minor injuries. Isn’t it similar to Kelly’s case? The difference is that there was a third person, Arthur.”

Mrs. Lionel didn’t understand where he was going with this case, “So are you implying that my daughter killed her father and her best friend.”

“I have been thinking about it, but I don’t think your daughter would do such a thing. I am here to ask you some questions.”

Mrs. Lionel felt a lot better when he said he believes that she couldn’t have done that. The Detective continued, “How was her relationship with her father?”

“She loved her father very much. She was attached to him than me.” She smiled, remembering some moments they had. 

“Can you describe that day? Where were the duo going?”

She stayed silent for a moment and sighed. She didn’t know if she was able to narrate the whole story to him, but she tried, “It was a Saturday.” She sighed and continued, “Angelyn was a nine-year-old then. She was a quiet child, and Kelly was her only friend. She was invited to Kelly’s birthday party. I was on night shift that day, so I dropped her at the party on my way to the office and told her to call daddy when she needs to come home.”

 “After 3 hours, I received a call from David. He sounded scared because Angelyn didn’t call him. I asked him to calm down, but he decided to go and pick her. I called Angelyn; she was pretty busy, it seemed, she didn’t attend the call three times. The fourth time Kelly picked up the phone. She said, ‘Hi Mrs. Lionel, we were playing Hide and seek. She cannot come to the phone right now. She’s hiding, and I am seeking her.’

‘Well, Kelly, please tell her that daddy is on his way to pick her.’

‘Oh, isn’t it a bit early, Mrs. Lionel. Can’t we play for some time more? It is my birthday, and you promised she could stay a little longer.’

I didn’t want to hurt her, ‘I don’t know, Kelly, you convince Angelyn’s Daddy when he gets there. Please let her know what I told you.”

“I will. Thank you, Mrs. Lionel.” Then I heard someone behind her, ‘Who is it, Angelyn?”

‘It is Mommy.’  I was confused. I was sure that it was Kelly. She didn’t sound like Angelyn. But I took it as a prank and left it ’cause she wanted to stay there. She asked for a sleepover at Kelly’s for a long time, but David couldn’t stay parted with Angelyn. So he would always find a reason to make her stay.” Dalia sighed again. “Then, after a few hours, I received a call from a stranger saying David and Angelyn got into an accident. That’s all I know. I tried asking Angelyn what happened but, the Doctor warned me not to do that because it would take her back to trauma.”

“What do you mean?”

“After the accident, Angelyn was silent for almost a year; she didn’t speak with anyone. I thought she would never talk again, but when Kelly started to visit us, she started to pick up words again… I was happy that Kelly was there for her. The Doctor said Kelly was a good influence on Angelyn and she would help her cope up with the trauma.”

Detective Yacob looked confused now. By this time, Angelyn was dressed up. The Detective stood up, “I guess I am going. I Will let you know if I find something.”

“Thank you, detective.” 

As he headed to the door, Angelyn stopped him, “Detective, sorry for troubling you, but can you drop me at my office. It’s on your way to the station.” She smiled genuinely.

“Hop in.” He said.

Angelyn made herself comfortable on the front seat beside the Detective. Detective Yacob had so much going on inside his mind. He was thinking about the phone call; it was nothing maybe but, it troubled him.

“You are thinking about the phone call, aren’t you, detective?” Angelyn said without taking her eyes off the road.

The Detective was surprised, “Well, don’t be surprised. I know you suspect me for “Kelly’s murder,” but there is something that you missed; something you cannot prove…” Angelyn smiled heinously. 

“What do you mean Angelyn?” said a frightened detective.

“hush detective… Angelyn isn’t here now. She is sleeping.” 

(To be continued…)

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