“It will do you good if you cooperate with us, Ms. Martinez. I want to know everything in the same order and without any changes, this time.”
“You can repeat that for as long as you want to. My answer won’t change. I don’t have anything to do with Aram’s murder. I LOVED HIM! I am innocent!!”
It was a cold winter morning. She could hear the cars honking and the people walking. Then she felt the hard sidewalk beneath her. She shot her eyes open and sat upright in one swift movement. What she saw, she could not comprehend. How did she end up on the sidewalk? She remembered going to bed, in her room, in her house! What is going on?!
She got up, straightened her coat and looked around. She knew where she was. She was eight blocks away from her beau’s house and fifteen blocks away from her own. Confused and petrified, she decided to walk to his house.
She could hear a babble of voices as she neared the house. The police went in and out of the house in haste. Her heart skipped a beat. She ran towards the house and was about to enter it when an official stopped her,
“Sorry miss, nobody is allowed inside.”
“But he is my boyfriend! I need to see him. Is he alright?!”
“Everything alright John?” asked a senior officer.
“Sir, this miss claims to be our vic’s girlfriend,” replied John.
The officer, Charlie Finne, directed his attention towards the lady who claimed to be the girlfriend.
“You are Mr. Zahn’s girlfriend?”
“YES! Where his he? Is he alright? What the hell is happening??”
“Clara! OK? CLARA MARTINEZ! Now will you please take me to Aram?”
“Come with me, Ms. Martinez.”
They walked inside the house and into Aram’s bedroom. What she saw there, she could not believe. She screamed and fell on the floor with a dull thud.
“Ms. Martinez? Can you hear me?”
Clara could hear a faint voice addressing her.
“Clara?” said Aram’s smiling face to her.
She opened her eyes slowly. The blinding lights made her shut them again. She smiled back at Aram and replied in a coarse voice, “Aram? Darling you…scared me…” and then she started crying.
“Ms. Martinez? Can you speak? Aram is not here. He is dead.” a voice was saying.
She was sobbing when she opened her eyes. Charlie stood bending over her. She flinched. She looked around and realized that she was in a hospital. And that Aram was just a production of her troubled mind.
“Whats goin’ on?” she managed.
“You fainted.” A pause. “We understand that it is very hard for you to accept that Mr. Zahn is no longer alive but in order to find the murderer, I need your full cooperation. I need to know everything that you can tell me.”
“Good. I need you to answer my questions.”
“Describe your ‘yesterday’ for me.”
“… I had taken a leave from my office…my head was swimming… woke up around 8.45, drank coffee, washed… watched some TV. Aram called me around 11.00…to ask how I was doing. We chatted… for a while over phone…he had promised to visit me…in the evening…didn’t. No call. No message… I was pissed off… didn’t accept his calls –”
“He called? What time?”
”– I received a text from him, shortly afterwards… apology and another promise to make it up to me. I decided to call him but…phone was switched off. He was testing my patience…”
”So you didn’t hear from him last night?”
“I called him before…sleeping in but…switched off…phone was switched off again… I decided to…to let it go and hoped he’ll call ASAP…didn’t.” She thought if she should tell him about the part where she found herself on the sidewalk in the morning but decided against it.
“O-kay. John?” he said to the other officer in the room, “I need you to check the call records of Zahn’s phone. And hers.”
John nodded and walked out of the ward.
Finne turned to face Clara, before leaving, “I’d say you rest for a while.”
“Thanks.” Clara muttered.
And she was left alone in that ward which smelled strongly of medicine and cheap phenyl.
[Continued in SINLESS SLUMBER (Part II)]