‘You want information on that deceased girl? I can give it to you… but for a price.’
Tukaram had told us.
It took us by surprise that he, a Police Constable, was willing to trade information. But for a price, who wouldn’t? Everybody wants to make a quick buck, and everything comes with a price tag in this world. Peace of mind too, if you could call it that in my case. And mine came at the cost of 25 grand. But at least I now knew something about her suicide.
That’s what Tukaram had told us. Forensics hadn’t yet formally concluded the autopsy and the toxicity screen tests, but the department was sure that it was in fact suicide by a lethal overdose of morphine and fentanyl consumed along with liquor. She had slashed her wrists sometime before or after she had taken those, they couldn’t be sure when, and let herself be drugged and bleed to death on the couch of her friend’s house, who wasn’t staying there anymore, and had lent the house to Suhana for a few days. Her stuff had more of fentanyl patches, morphine and liquor too. What was she thinking? Why did she have so much of it? And where from?
Tukaram had also said this, “The Medical Examiner was of the opinion that at such high levels of overdosing usually people can’t even lift their heads up when it kicks in. Pata nahi haath kaise kaita? (Beats me how she cut her wrists). But he also said Forensics can’t be sure of time of death always; shayad…. marne ki bahut jaldi thi! (maybe she wanted death that badly)”.
He had then shared pictures of Suhana’s suicide note. I knew now why the police thought that this could be murder.
The suicide note was printed…
No one committing a suicide has the time to sit down and type out a note and then print it out. It didn’t make sense. And what it said was,
I’m not angry at anyone, but only at myself. I’m not mad or anything. I am just depressed. Very depressed.
I have no one I can trust. People I loved have wronged me. The man I loved is gone now and he was right to do so because I was cruel to him. So was my family. I don’t blame him at all. I blame myself for letting it go on and never trying to correct it. I blame my family for being conceited and mean to him, and to our relationship.
He had no part to play in my decision. It’s entirely my own because I made him leave. I wronged him. I tortured him. I hope he forgives me. I hope he’ll be happy.
I’m sorry for causing pain but I’m not sorry for doing this.
No wonder the Police suspected me. The note conveniently mentioned that I had no part to play in it. The instrument that was meant to absolve me of guilt became the instrument of my damnation. Even an idiot would take one look at the note and accuse me.
But Tukaram and the Officer had both mentioned that no other DNA was found at the house where she was found, except the owner’s, who was not even in the same country at the time, and the cleaning woman’s who used to come in only twice a week to tidy up the place. Neighbors had been quizzed and no one had seen anything suspicious. In the absence of any proof to the contrary, the Police was under pressure to close the case, declare it a suicide.
But I wasn’t convinced.
I had expected that the note would affect me. But surprisingly, it didn’t. It felt unlike her. It didn’t sound like her. Somewhere, I still couldn’t believe that the woman I knew for 6 years would just end things like this. She had never been nothing but a fighter. She didn’t know how to lose.
I knew Suhana long enough to know that if she were ever going to do something like this, she would have given hell before she called it quits. The note was definitely suspicious, but what was more suspicious was the way so many drugs had been ‘found’ in her belongings. Drugs are expensive. And fentanyl patches and morphine only came though prescription, or of course, if you got them illegally. No one in her family was a doctor to give her a fake prescription for something like fentanyl and morphine. I didn’t remember any of her friends being doctors either. To me it felt like it had been planted just so the Police would think she was an addict. And I ‘knew’ she wasn’t an addict. I knew it in my bones she wasn’t.
Then there was what the Officer and Tukaram had told me – At such high levels of overdosing usually people can’t even lift their heads up…
The Police may close the case down for want of evidence, but I wasn’t about to let it go. That was the least I could do for her. No… it wasn’t even for her, if I’m to be honest, it was for me. Because I needed to find the one who had murdered her. Or else I would never forgive myself. I didn’t know how I was going to do it, but I knew I had to.
The doorbell rang with a harsh ting-tong and forced me out of my reverie. I thought it must be Sushant back with the locksmith to fix our faulty door. I wrenched the door open, only to find you standing at the threshold…
To be continued.
Copyright ©2017 by Pradita Kapahi.
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