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“Angela you alright?”a sudden shriek brought Mia back to reality.
Angela looked around at her surroundings and found them familiar to her room in her 2BHK apartment which she shared with her college friend now colleague, Mia. After a few minutes of efforts, she remembered what had happened. Tears flowed freely as the voice of the reporter kept echoing the news of Christopher’s death in her ears. She looked at her hands from all angles possible to spot any trace of blood like it had been in her nightmare. The nightmare of killing Chris which had jolted her out of her unconsciousness.
Mia came to her bed and hugged her friend tightly. Words and emotions were exchanged silently between them.
The doorbell rang and Mia detached herself from Angela to check the door downstairs.
When she opened the door, there stood Neil. In his calm and composed demeanour, he stood there in his impeccable appearance; as always even in the direst of the situations. It brought an instant smile on her face, though a faint one. She ushered him inside and he followed her to Angela’s room.
Angela looked blankly at her visitor. He went near her and placed the white lilies in the vase next to her bed. He settled himself at the corner of the bed.
“Forensics reports are out”, he began to speak after exchanging the general pleasantries.
“And?” Angela spoke for the first time since waking up, expecting the whole news from him.
“They say that it was Cherry’s blood on the bed and with the estimated amount of blood spilt it’s very unlikely that she would be alive if escaped or abducted later. They are still searching for the body with no success”, a frown followed his words on everyone’s face but his face remained devoid of all expressions.
“And there’s one more thing”, he spoke when everyone had absorbed the news.
He continued to speak, taking their silence as a cue, “Angela”, he looked at her with a concern he couldn’t hide behind his stoic face, “you have been asked to give the statement to the police. We must leave at the earliest.”
Angela let out a deep sigh at the ordeal that awaited her and got up to get into fresh clothes. Mia followed her to help her through the task leaving Neil alone with his thoughts. He stared blankly at the old photograph beside the fresh lilies. It was a picture of Angela and Mia from the graduation day. She looked happy, her eyes reflecting her smile. The smile that had captivated his heart two years ago when he first saw it.
“Let’s go”, said Angela standing at the door. Her dull voice brought him back from his land of memories.
“Should I come along too?” Mia asked. She was visibly worried about Angela. Something about the situation didn’t let her be at rest.
“No”, he spoke before Angela could affirm, “I’ll be there with her.”
“Umm… Yeah okay. Anyway, three’s a crowd“, she said matter-of-factly but with a wink which only Neil caught as Angela had vanished to grab her purse.
Mia smiled to herself at the latest scenario and wondered if the Sun would shine for her friend Angela in the grimmest of the situation surrounding them. She looked at her photograph with Angela and thought to herself that only she knew what lay hidden behind the picture. A secret that nobody knew, but her.
“But hadn’t she already given the statement earlier?” She asked Neil, distracting herself from the shackles of the past.
“There are more questions they want to ask her.”
“They suspect her on a camera recording spotting a girl entering Christopher’s room a few hours before he checked out.”
Read Chapter 4
PROMPT- Three’s a crowd