A missing wifeRamesh’s wife went missing just a few hours after she witnessed a murder.
The police station looked like an abandoned house, with cheap and outdated furniture occupying most of the space. It was Ramesh’s first time in the police station. He had only seen police stations in the movies.
The reason behind his visit to the police station was to file a case about his missing wife. The room where Ramesh was standing had a few chairs, a table, and two shelves stacked with files. A door perhaps that led to another room could also be seen. Ramesh eased himself on the creaky chair and looked around. He didn’t see anybody. He thought sitting and waiting for someone to come would be best. Half an hour passed, but nobody came. He grew impatient, so he cleared his throat and said, “Is anyone here?” A constable emerged from one of the rooms. Though he was dressed in a police uniform, he didn’t look like one. A protruding belly and short stature didn’t help him much. Ramesh might have mistaken the police constable for someone else if the constable hadn’t worn his uniform.
“How can I help you?” the constable asked as he sat on the chair leisurely.
“How should I put it in words?” Ramesh thought to himself. He found his heart pounding, but he fought his anxiety and said, “Sir, I have a lot to tell you.”
“Then begin. I’m here to listen,” the constable said and yawned.
“My wife is missing.”
“She was home last night. But when I looked for her in the morning, she wasn’t home.”
The constable frowned his eyebrows in disappointment. He rose from his chair and chuckled as he walked past Ramesh. He spat something on the bin and returned to sit on the chair that lay across Ramesh.
Ramesh waited for the constable to say something.
“What time is it now?” the constable asked Ramesh.
Ramesh looked at the clock hung on the wall and replied, “It’s 6:30.”
“And at what time did you wake up?”
“At five, sir.”
“Fool! Why do you assume that your wife is missing? She must have gone to the temple, market or somewhere else. It has just been one and a half hours since you woke up, and you’re worrying like she has gone missing for a month. Do you think she eloped? Or what?” the constable hollered, his voice rising with every word he spoke.
“Sir, there’s something more I need to tell you,” a fearful Ramesh said as he made a mental note of what he ought to say.
“What is it? Please don’t waste my time. Tell me everything in detail.”
“Last night, my wife had seen a man get murdered on the porch of our house. I reached home late, and once I reached home, my wife explained that she’d witnessed a crime scene. She said a woman killed a man, and his dead body was whisked away in a van.”
Taken aback by Ramesh’s statement, the constable cupped his chin and leaned forward near Ramesh.
“Why didn’t you call the police?”
“My wife was shocked, and she couldn’t think of anything good. By the time I got home, it was late, and I thought it would be better to come to the police station today.”
“Wrong. You should have called us right away. Tell me one thing. Were you not with your wife all night?”
“I was. She fell asleep, but I couldn’t. So I helped with some drinks and fell asleep after the drink.”
“So you were drunk?”
“Yes, sir,” Ramesh admitted. His face flushed in embarrassment.
“Complicated case. There’s only one witness to the murder, and she has gone missing. But how about we wait for a while?”
Ramesh looked up at the ceiling, and tears rolled down his eyes.
“Let’s suppose your wife woke up early and went somewhere because she didn’t want to disturb your sleep. It’s possible, right?” the constable said.
“Yes, sir, it’s possible. There’s one more thing I need to tell you,” Ramesh said as he fished into his pocket to bring out the necklace.
The constable frowned his eyebrows once again.
“I told you to explain everything you know in detail, mister. You’re saying it bit by bit. And why are you holding that necklace?”
“It’s my wife’s necklace. I found it on the road this morning. There was blood everywhere around this necklace,” Ramesh said, tracing the necklace he’d bought for his wife on her birthday.
“The murderer your wife had seen was a woman, and if the same woman had something to do with your missing wife, why did she leave the jewellery on the road? There’s always a motive behind the murder. I don’t mean to say that your wife has been murdered, but this is just my theory.”
Ramesh felt as if he’d lost all the energy. The constable called his senior.
“Inspector sir is on the way. We’ll go and investigate your house once he is here. I’m sorry for you. Let’s hope your wife is alright.”
The constable had already assumed that Ramesh’s wife had been killed, and this saddened Ramesh. Sweat beads collected around his receding hairline, and his face looked pale. The constable poured a glass of water and pushed it towards Ramesh. He felt a bit relieved after downing a glass of water.
“We’ve talked about everything, but I forgot to ask where your house is. How foolish of me!” the constable laughed at his own lack of presence of mind.
“Fusrekhola. A bit far from the city area, and there are only a few houses around.”
“Okay, I’ll explain everything to my senior. Don’t worry. It’s going to be alright.”
Ramesh nodded his head even though he doubted everything would be alright. The inspector came in a while, and the constable detailed everything to him. The inspector asked some more questions to Ramesh, and he explained everything he knew. After noting down Ramesh’s statement, the police van headed towards his house. Deep inside, Ramesh knew that the worst had happened, and he might not see her wife again. But he had to know what had happened on that mysterious night.