Thursday, 12 July 2018

part 3: Unforgivable(Arsh mini ff)

"Hi, can you direct me to where the DNA testing center is?" Muskaan leaned on the counter and asked the woman behind the front desk. I stood behind her with my hand in hers with my face down. I heard her ask a few more questions and then felt a tug on my arm. I followed Muskaan down the many halls and doors until we reached a small room where there was another girl waiting with her mother. I sat down into one of the chairs while Muskaan went to the window. She came back and sat down next to me after a few minutes. "You'll be in soon." She grabbed a magazine on the table and flipped through it.

I looked up to the girl sitting across from me. She didn't look that old. Probably around 16 or 17. Definitely not more than that. Her head rested on her mother's shoulder while her mother ran her hand through her hair. The girl had an emotionless expression on her face. Completely blank. She was so young; still in school. I felt horrible for her. "Shilpa, let's go" I turned to see Muskaan standing and a nurse at the door that led into the back. I got up and gave one last glance to the girl with her mother before walking through the door. "Follow me Ms. Shilpa." The nurse began to lead the way. "Umm... Can she come with me?" I quietly asked her still clinging to Muskaan's arm. "If it makes you more comfortable, sure." She continued and I pulled Muskaan with me behind her.

"Please change into this. The changing room is through that door." She handed me a gown similar to those that a hospital gives and pointed to the door. I went in and changed into it. I walked out to see her preparing her kits until she saw me. "Have a seat here." She gestured toward the cushioned chair. Once I sat down, she leaned it back slightly and lifted my legs up. I turned my face toward Muskaan. "Muskaan." I whispered. She immediately came to my side, held my hand and ran her free hand on my head. The nurse finished preparing and then returned. I closed my eyes as she did what she needed to do. Muskaan continued to soothe me through the process. "Okay, Ms. Shilpa. You can put your legs down." She returned to the table and placed the swabs into bags for testing. "We need to swab your neck and mouth as well for any trace of DNA." I pulled my hair away revealing my neck. "But I've showered. Wouldn't that get rid of the DNA?" I had scrubbed my neck with hot water. The DNA probably washed away. I cursed myself as I realized what I had done. "No, even with showering and scrubbing, some DNA always remains. Even if it's the slightest bit of it." She assured me as she swabbed and placed them in multiple bags. "Mouth." I parted my lips and opened wide. "Alright, that'll be all. I'll send these in for testing and Ms. Anjali will contact you. If possible, can you send in the clothing you were waiting the night of the incident? It'll provide more evidence. You can change and then leave." I nodded and left to change out of the gown.

We left the headquarters and headed back to the dorm. "Shilpa, I'm going to run to the restaurant down the street to grab something to eat. Stay here and keep everything locked. I'll be back in half an hour or so." She instructed me and left. I sat down on the couch and thought about what I could do to pass the time. I decided to watch some TV. There had to be something decent on. I began to flip through the channels. Disappointed, I shut it off and fiddled with my fingers. "There has to be something to do." I uttered under my breath and then looked around. I saw the door to my room. Did I dare to go in? I sat there thinking for quite a while before getting up and walking to the door. I stood in front of it, my hand shaking as I reached for the handle. I finally grasped it and pushed it open.

I tried not to think about the incident. I didn't even dare to look at the bed. I kept my gaze to the floor and walked to my hamper in the bathroom. I grabbed the clothes I had worn the night before and hastily made my way out slamming the bedroom door behind me. I grabbed a plastic bag, tossed my clothes in and set the bag near the door. Just as I walked away I heard a knock on the door. "Probably Muskaan." I murmured before turning back around to open it. I was mistaken. It wasn't Muskaan. It was Armaan. He stood there with his arms across his chest with a stern expression. Not wanting to face him I started to shut the door before he could do anything but it didn't close. I looked down to see his foot resting between the door and the door frame. I leaned onto the door trying to prevent him from opening it. "Shilpa, open the door." I heard his disdainful voice. I pushed on the door harder but he pushed back on it. "Go away!" I screamed back.

He wasn't going to listen. His strength overpowered mine and I stumbled back as the door pushed open. He walked in angrily and shut the door behind him. I looked up at him, terrified of what he could do. He gripped my shoulders and pulled me to his chest. His nostrils were flaring and his eyes filled with rage. I stood there frightened. His grip became tighter on my shoulders. The bruises from the night before already hurt, his grip just added to it. "Armaan, let me go." I shut my eyes from the pain. "It hurts." I hissed which only made his grip firmer. "Hurt?" He sneered. "Shilpa, how could you accuse me of doing something so monstrous?!" He yelled into my face. I closed my eyes tight and turned my head the other way. "Armaan, please let me go." I pleaded to him as tears fell through my closed lids. "I'm not leaving until you tell me! Yes, I was angry with you but how the hell could you blame me for this?" He shook my body vigorously, which sent a pain through my whole body. "I... I...didn't." I managed to stutter back to him. "Right! All these cops asking me about where I was and what I was doing happened by itself then!" He pushed me away from him and hit the wall behind me. I fell to the floor gently rubbing my shoulders to take away the pain.

He stood there not believing what I had said. "I really... didn't Armaan." I uttered back. He kneeled down next to me and pulled my arm toward himself. I gazed back into his fury filled blue eyes. "If you didn't then who did?" He questioned with a clenched jaw. "Sh- She accused you." He began to shake me again. "She who Shilpa?!" He probed. "Anjali.. the head of the case." I managed to somehow complete a full sentence through my sobbing "She asked if I had any arguments with anyone. I said you but then I said you were out with Muskaan." "Why am I their prime suspect then?" His voice was calmer but still stern. "Muskaan told her that you disappeared from the party right before it..." I looked up to his face and saw him staring me down. "before it happened."

He let my arm go and stood back up turning away. "Just because of that they think I did it?" I know he didn't see me but I shook my head no. "There's another reason." I said hoping he heard me. It was almost inaudible unless the person was right next to me. "What other reason could there possibly be?" He asked sarcastically. "Blue eyes." I wiped the tears on my cheeks and looked up at him. I saw him turn around. "What about blue eyes?" I tried standing up but kept stumbling because of the pain throbbing in my every limb. When I finally managed to stand up I supported myself against the wall. "The man... he had blue eyes." He looked at me incredulously. "I'm not the only one with blue eyes Shilpa!" He walked up to me again and held me by the shoulders. I shut my eyes due to the pain again. "But... but all the evidence... it's all against you. You had to do it." I finally found the courage to accuse him. I didn't know where it came from but it did. I struggled to get out of his grasp. "You did it." I looked him right in the eyes. His blue eyes looked back into mine not believing what I was saying. "It was you." I let my mind take over. "You ruined me." I started to raise my voice. "Get out of here, Armaan." I felt his hands leave my shoulders and he backed away. I looked down at the ground, "Just go..." I whispered through my lips.

I heard the door shut and I fell back onto the floor feeling weak. The energy drained right out of me just as fast as it came a few moments back. I hugged my knees and rested my head on my arms on top of them. "What are you doing on the floor?" Muskaan's voice filled the room. With my head still down I made sure I had no tears on my face and then looked up. "Umm... I... I was..." Before I could finish Muskaan interrupted. "Forget it. Come eat, you must be hungry." I walked over to the small table and saw her taking out the containers from the large paper bag. "So do you want the burrito? Or the burrito bowl?" I pointed toward the bowl and she handed me a fork. "Here." She plopped down into the seat and unraveled her huge burrito. I sat down and took the lid off the container. I began to poke around with the fork recalling Armaan's visit a couple minutes ago. "Why aren't you eating?" Muskaan asked with her mouth full looking at my lost face. I just shook my head and pushed away the container. "I don't feel like eating." She placed her burrito down on the table and looked at me. "You can't starve yourself. At least eat a little bit. For me." She pleaded and I couldn't say no. I responded with a small smile and pulled the food back to me. I took a bite watching Muskaan smiling at me as she chewed on her food.

I took my time eating. By the time I was halfway finished, Muskaan had eaten her whole burrito and balled up the foil. As she chewed the last bits in her mouth, her phone rang. She answered it as she left to toss the trash. When she came back she placed the phone on the table. "Who was it?" My curiosity got the best of me. "Aditya. Talking some bull**** about wanting us to come over so he could tell us something." She said nonchalantly. "I told him we weren't coming." I brought my head back down. But then a thought came into my mind. "I think we should." Muskaan's eyes widened. "Are you crazy? You want to go to his dorm?" I moved my head up and down. "What if Aditya tells us something that could help us?" I looked back at her with my proposition. "True..." At least she was giving it a thought. "We'll go for a little bit then. Nothing more than an hour though."

We walked out of our dorm and made our way down the hallway to Aditya's. Muskaan was about to knock on the door but someone opened it. Armaan almost ran into her as he left the room. He glared at Muskaan and then at me. I lowered my gaze to avoid his. He walked past us and continued down the hall. Muskaan peeked into the door. "Aditya?" He ran to the door. "Hey! Come in." He held the door open for the two of us as we entered. "So what'd you want to tell us?" Muskaan asked him. "About Armaan." He closed the door and turned to us. "Continue." Muskaan became more interested in what he had to say as I listened intently to him. "He told me that he's the one who did it. He said not to tell anyone but I felt it necessary to tell you both." Muskaan hurriedly dialed someone's number on her phone. "Who are you calling Muskaan?" I quietly asked her when I saw her fumble with her phone. "Anjali. We need to tell her." She put the phone to her ear and waited for an answer. I looked back to Aditya. There was something about him that just made me feel uncomfortable. I moved behind Muskaan so I could keep myself out of his gaze. "Anjali! He told his friend he did it. Come here so you can get his statement." She listened to what Anjali was saying before continuing. "Okay, come fast though!" She disconnected the call. "She's on her way."

Aditya glanced at me and I saw it again. That smirk. Again it lasted only a second but he did it. It creeped me out. "Where's your bathroom?" I knew where it would be. The layout for all the dorms was the same. But I asked anyways. I wanted to be away from his gaze. Bathroom was the best escape since Anjali would probably want me over when she came over. "Over there." I walked away and shut the door behind me. I opened the faucet and splashed my face with cold water. As I placed my hand on the counter, I accidently knocked over a small circular container. I picked it. Contact lens holder. I placed it back on the counter next to the sink. I shut off the faucet and turned to leave. Right before I opened the door I turned back around swiftly. I looked at the white container. I held it up and looked through the clear bottom. Blue lens. Armaan's. I immediately placed them back on the counter and left the bathroom. I saw Anjali entering the room as I approached to stand with Muskaan. She gave me a smile which I returned.

"So Mr. Aditya, you have some information?" She stood in front of him with a recorder and notepad in one hand and a pen in the other. Muskaan and I listened to him give his statement. He described everything that Armaan told him and it sickened me as it all evoked the memories of the night. I hated Armaan for doing this. "Thank you Mr. Aditya." She switched off the recorder and called the station. "How much longer will it take to get that warrant so we can search his belongings and get a DNA sample?" She listened to the other end. "Great. Send over the team then." She disconnected and looked at Aditya. "Which one is Armaan's room?" He pointed to the room opposite to the one that had the bathroom I went in. That was weird. I thought that the other one was Armaan's because his lens were in the bathroom. "Is he here right now?"  Aditya shook his head no. "He left as we were coming in." Muskaan answered.

Anjali walked to the half opened door and pushed it all the way open. She glanced left and right before turning back and walking to us. "No one goes in there, understood?" We all nodded in response to her authoritative tone. We waited out in the living room for a good 20 minutes before we heard knocks at the door. Anjali who was pacing back and forth in front of us almost ran to answer it. A group of seven individuals trailed in behind her carrying boxes and bags. "This room." They marched in and began to open up their kits. We watched Anjali direct them here and there. Finally he would be caught. His DNA would be enough to bring him in. I felt a wave of relief rush through me at the thought.

Muskaan and I waited outside the room with Aditya. A little more than an hour passed before we saw them packing their things and leaving the room. "He'll be behind bars in no time." Anjali stated as she walked over to the three of us sitting at the table. "Thank you again, Mr. Aditya." We followed Anjali out the door. "Anjali" I called out to her. "Yes, Shilpa?" She walked back over to me. "The nurse said to give the clothing I was wearing during the incident." "Oh right. If you have it, give it to me. I'm heading back with the team so they can test it too." I nodded and walked back to my door. I opened it and grabbed the bag near the door. I handed it to Anjali. "Thanks Shilpa. The evidence will make the case stronger. I'll contact you later. Bye." "Bye." Muskaan and I replied at the same time as Anjali turned and walked into the elevator that the team had held for her.

As soon as the elevator door closed I saw Armaan enter from the door that led to the stairs. Muskaan noticed him as well. She opened the door to our dorm and pulled my arm. "Go inside." I obeyed her and stepped into the dorm. She partially closed the door and glared at him as he walked down the hall. He didn't pay attention to her though, his eyes were on me. He locked his gaze with mine as he walked by and then was out of sight. Muskaan pushed the door open and walked inside her eyes still as they were as she was glaring at him.

A few hours passed. It was almost six o'clock. "Muskaan, do you have any laundry that needs to be done?" I walked out of my room with my hamper. I wanted to distract my mind, so I decided that laundry would do that for me. "No Shilpa." She yelled back from her room. "I'm going down to the basement to do my laundry. I'll be back later." I heard and okay from her and left. I locked the door and began to walk towards the elevator. Suddenly I was pulled by a force into the staircase with a hand covering my mouth. My hamper had dropped from my hands as my back slammed against the wall. My scream was muffled because of the hand. I had my eyes shut tight because of the pain. I brought my hands up to my mouth trying to pry off the hand. I opened my eyes to see a pair of eyes glowering at me.


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