LURK | Season-1 | Episode 2: I Have a Hunch

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(Deepak’s Suicide Tape Playing)

“…Hi Kavitha…” Sobbing continuously. Gulps down a peg and continues… “I’m so sorry for doing this to you and Avi. I have been cheating on you with… With more than one woman.” Tears continue roll down as he tightens his eyes and sobs more. “I have been cheating on you since the very next day of our marriage. I have…” Cries and gulps down more drinks. “I have done a lot of bad with a lot of people. I have conspired and manipulated women to have sex with me.”

He confessed as he cried out.

“And today I got someone terminated. Only because he was trying to steal a girl from me. I manipulated the management to get him out. That’s killing me now.” He added with his trembling voice. “But it has all gone in vain.” He cried. “The one for whom I did everything said she hates me.” He said as he cried more. “I’m so sorry. I let you and Avi down.” He said and gulped down another drink. “I cannot live with this anymore. I’m ending it all. I’m sorry. I hope you forgive me some day. Goodbye.”

Were his last words.

After that he is seen picking up a knife and brings it towards his wrist. He hesitates for a while and then again looks in the camera. Cries more. He tried to say something but then doesn’t. Then closes his eyes tightly. Tears roll down his face. With one swift move he slits open his wrist and then keeps his hand in front of the camera. Blood starts to gush out of his hand continuously. It looks like someone has left a tap open. Within seconds Deepak falls off the sofa on the ground on his own blood. And then the camera falls because of that and footage abruptly ends.

(Ankur’s Conversation with Inspector Girish, Officer in charge of the case.)

“This is the fifth time we have seen this. No sign of struggle. No second person seen. No shadows. No reflections. We have thoroughly checked the home for foul play but there’s nothing there. No signs of break-ins. No robbery. Nothing missing. No signs of or struggle marks on Deepak’s Body. It’s because of you I have investigated a fucking suicide case for 2days yet found nothing. I don’t want to be the butt of jokes anymore in my department. I will be closing down the case today.” Explained Girish after the video ended.

“I don’t know how he has done it but I’m sure that Jeff has somehow killed Deepak. I could literally see him smiling that night. He was standing right in front of me, and I could see that evil in his eyes. As if saying that this is what happens if you mess with me.” I tried to explain Girish but that still did not work.

“Come on Ankur! I have investigated your Jeff too. He is clean. He was sitting in the same building as you all day. The CCTV Footage, his girlfriend and people at that Burger Joint provides a strong alibi for it. I have checked his phone’s location and that proves that he was still in the building when Deepak was committing suicide. And his kid was home too. If at all Jeff would have been here, had he not seen him?” Girish spoke.

“His kid was sleeping!” I objected. “Stop! There’s no case you have against him.” Girish replied. “But Giri…” I was interrupted. “I’m sorry Ankur. I will be officially closing the case and it will be ruled out a suicide. We have seven women coming forward to confirm that Deepak had sex with them on the pretext of promotion. One of them has also given a statement saying that Deepak had drugged her at a party and then had sex with her. Keeping the investigation open is only making things difficult for Deepak and his family. The sooner I close the case, the less humiliation.” Girish said as he began to leave my place.

“Instead of concentrating on Jeff, I would suggest you concentrate on making some stronger rules within your workplace so that no one harasses employees in the name of a good pay scale or promotion or whatever. You’d understand that better.” Girish said and left while I was still in my thoughts.

I was still not convinced about how things have been. It all looked so made up. Especially Jeff’s part. I still could not forget those eyes and his face that night. One of the things his eyes said that night to me was “You’re next.” And that has been the reason I have been so keen on getting Jeff behind bars. I have been living in fear. The feeling of being followed or someone standing at my window never leaves me. Every time I hear footsteps approaching from behind, I feel its Jeff. Every time my car’s siren goes off, I think he is trying to lure me.

What if he is planning to kill me as well just like he did with Deepak? What if he has already started to stalk me? I cannot let him do that to me. I have an ailing mother to look after. For me, it’s important to get Jeff arrested. I just needed one small piece of evidence that would link Jeff to Deepak’s Murder. Tangled in my thoughts, I went to work.

I was up for another shock as soon as I entered the office. I saw Jeff sitting right in front of me in the reception. He stood up looking at me. Still the same cold blooded killer’s face. He looked at me with those dead eyes. Those eyes have been the reason for all the sleepless nights I’ve been getting. I see them everywhere.

“What the hell are you doing here?” I asked him. He still did not speak and just kept staring at me. His expression changed in a second as if he was about to do something. I tried to intimidate him, but he remained calm.

“Stop it Ankur!!!” I heard Dev, my Boss shouting at me. I turned to my right and there he was standing. “He’s been te…” I tried to talk but said but was interrupted. “Just fucking leave Ankur!! Leave him alone!! I’ll take it from here.” He said in his loud tone. I could see Jeff still staring at me with his head high without blinking an eye. “Come in Jeff.” Dev said.

Still looking at me with that dark smile, Jeff slowly turned around and walked in with Dev. I moved forward and saw that he followed Dev to his office and they both sat down to talk.

(Back at the Crime Scene Two Days Ago where Deepak Died)

(Jeff’s Narration)

I could see fear in Ankur’s eyes as we both stood on either side of my handy work lying on the floor. I could feel panic in the air around us. I could hear his heartbeat in my ears, and it said, “Run for your Life”. Ankur then looked down and turned around and moved out. He was aware of what was to come next. He knew that I would be coming for him. However, he never knew how and when I would be doing that.

I let him go and moved my attention to the situation on hand. I had been enough in the public eye today, but I made sure that I don’t get noticed much. I just stood with Mohammed Bhai as the Police officers spoke with him. They were still unsure if the whole thing being a suicide or a murder. So, they wanted to question people at the scene right now. Including me. “Please come here everyone. In a straight line.” Loudly said a constable and we were all in a line for questioning with the Officer In charge. After several others, it was me.

“Who are you?” asked a police officer. “Jefferson Raghav. Ex employee.” I replied. “Been here before?” He asked me. “Nope. I came along with her.” I pointed out at Ankita who stood behind me. “Did you know the man who died?” He asked me. “He is the reason I’m the ex-employee.” I answered. “You must be really happy that he died. You might want to celebrate.” He said looking straight into my eye.

“You did have a motive.” He was interrogating. “I did. I wanted to punch him in the face. Break the glass of his car. Or fuck his wife if I ever got a chance. Or just cause a materialistic damage to his property. This looks a bit extreme and dramatic.” I replied. “I would have loved to get back at him, but brutal killing was never a part of my motive.” I added. Although he never showed, I could see the police officer’s expression change to a calm once. He was beginning to be sure that I was not the one to kill Deepak.

“Where were you when this happened?” finally a lighter question. “I was in the Cyber Spazio Building itself. Where I worked. I was upset about being terminated. So, I sat there the whole time. I went out with my friend after she logged out at 9PM.” I replied looking at him. “When were you terminated?” He asked. “Today!” I replied. “So, after getting terminated, you decided to become the Terminator?” Inspector said. “I wish I had the guts to.” I played innocent but a little unsafe.

“This guy dies on the same day you are terminated. You are not even in the office at the time he is dying. What do I call that?” he cross questioned. “Coincidence I guess.” I replied coolly. “Yeah! Too much coincidence.” The officer replied looking at me. I thought that this was no more a time to reply or else he might try to dig deeper.

“Give your number and address to the constable there. We’ll call you if we need further questioning.” I heard the instruction. “Happy to help.” I replied. “And do not leave the city till the case is closed or else you would still be helping but not happily. And take the call if we call you or else, I’ll get you picked up from wherever the hell you’re fucking around with that friend of yours.” He made a threat.

The last thing I would want is a Police Officer beating the hell out of me. I did not reply to that and moved to the constable to share my details as asked and then moved out slowly. While going I signaled Ankita that I’m waiting outside.

As I came out of the house and stood near my bike, I lit a cigarette and looked around. It felt so fucking relief that I didn’t had to deal with Deepak or his nonsense anymore. The street light shined on my face while I smoked to glory. As I randomly looked around, I saw Ankur sitting in his car in a darker part of the street looking at me.

I still had no idea what he was up to, but I needed to find out. I did not react to him looking at me. I wanted him to continue. Ankita then came out and we both sat on my bike and moved out of the place. She was silent the whole time as we both rode. I made sure not to break a conversation unreasonably. I stopped the bike outside her flat. I saw from the outside that the lights were already lit inside her house.

“Are you okay?” I asked her. “I don’t know. I’m still in shock. You think I’m responsible for his death?” She replied. “Why would you think that?” I asked. “He proposed me once and I refused. They all said he was depressed over a rejection.” She told me. “I don’t mean to be insensitive or offensive here, but he proposed to almost everyone in our office. So, I don’t think you’re the reason for him dying.” I replied. “All will be good. Don’t worry.” I added and began to leave.

“Is it okay if I ask you to stay over tonight? I’ll cook. I don’t want to be left alone tonight.” She requested. “Sure. I’ll just inform at my home.” I agreed to stay by. She smiled a bit. I asked her to go in and I’ll be coming in after parking my bike. I moved my bike to a side where there were other bikes kept. It was around 11PM in the night but there were still people on the street and it was all brightly lit up.

As I called home, I could see Ankur’s car in the corner of the road. He was following me. “Hey mom!” I said once mom answered the call. “Hey! Where are you? Its late.” She inquired. “Yes, something has come up. There’s an emergency and I’ll need to be here all night.” I lied to her. I did not want to explain the whole thing over the call and give her a panic attack. I spoke to my Mom for a while, and she agreed. I wished her good night and hung up the call. I glanced again to my right as I was going in and could see Ankur lurking in the corner. “Let him be there.” I thought to myself as I went in.

“You leave the lights open when you’re not home?” I asked her as I entered. “Yeah! I like to keep it that way.” She replied. “It gets lighten up even more once you reach back home.” I said and that made her blush for a second.

This was the first time I was staying back at Ankita’s place. So, I was a bit nervous. She saw that very much evident on my face and tried her best to make me comfortable. We both had dinner together. Too much of ginger garlic paste and spices but it can be tolerated. She was still in shock for a long time. “You’re okay?” I asked her. “I guess. I’ll be okay.” She replied while eating. Once we were done eating dinner, we switched off the lights and laid side by side. I tried to strike little conversation with her, and we started talking.

Things started to get more intense considering everything we have been through the whole day. “I’m scared.” She said and I kept a hand on her back and pulled her close to me and we both went in an embrace. “Don’t be scared. We’ll be fine.” I replied to her in a low voice.

We could hear each other breathe and it was completely silent. I could feel her moving and then slowly I could feel her keeping her lips on top of mine. That was like a signal and in no time we both were in a deep kiss. Things started to happen further and we both ended up ripping each other’s clothes off and have sex all night long.

After all, Inspector Girish was right in his guess… I did celebrate Deepak’s death. I woke up in the morning and saw her sleeping beside me. I leaned on to her and kissed her on the cheek making sure she doesn’t wake up. I grabbed my jeans and wore it and came out of the house to smoke a cigarette. I looked around and there was no more Ankur. I locked the room and came to a nearby tea stall and asked for a small one with no sugar. I saw the newspaper hanging there and Deepak was on the front page. I took the newspaper and kept looking at his picture as the tea vendor handed me the tea.

“Thank you!” I heard myself saying looking at Deepak’s picture. He was gone but he was the reason I finally had my first kiss and lost my virginity to Ankita. Or I must say I had my first kiss and lost my virginity to the very girl he wanted to bed. “You’re welcome.” I heard the tea vendor saying. I then went in and woke up Ankita. We both bathed and had breakfast together and then she was about to leave for work.

“I don’t feel like going.” She said as I was holding her from behind. “Don’t go then.” I said as we kissed. “I need to.” She replied and then I dropped her to work. The same place used to be my workplace too. Let’s just hope I get back to work here.

I was about to leave when I saw Dev Sir (Owner of the organization) coming towards me. “Good morning Sir.” I greeted him. “You need to hide that hickey of yours.” He said and I quickly buttoned my shirt. “Sorry sir.” I excused. “I need to talk to you. But I don’t have much time. I’ve got clients waiting for me in my cabin.” He said looking at me in his loud voice. “It’s okay sir. I’ll see you some other time if that’s okay?” I asked him. “No. Walk with me.” He instructed. I parked my bike on the side and walked with him.

“Honestly I never knew your name or why you were fired yesterday till Deepak died. I watched his confession.” He said as we both walked. “I understand sir.” I replied. “Tell me something. How did you feel about his death?” He asked me. “I was angry and upset at that time sir. But as I told to the police officer. I was not sad that he died but I was not happy either. That was extreme. No one deserves that.” I replied. “That’s insensitive.” Dev exclaimed. “You asked for an honest response sir. I gave you one.” I replied to that.

“One last thing.” He said as we were about to reach the office gate. “What was the whole thing with your call.” He asked me. “I received a lead. I called up. It was an old friend. He worked here. We both spoke. I said bad things about Deepak because he mocked my brother on his way out. And was trying to bed my girlfriend. I never liked him. I made that evident. Then I helped our former colleague buy some things and he made an online transfer. And then the call ended.” I explained. “But Deepak and Ankur said all they heard was me abusing Deepak and no sale. That was a lie.” I added.

“You’re not supposed to abuse on the call. Even that friend of yours is a customer.” He looked at me pissed off. “I know. I’m not giving you an excuse for it. I was stupid and I paid the price. If you want me to stay away from your workplace then I will. I do understand that.” I replied. We both now stood outside the office.

“Deepak said that he manipulated the whole thing to get you kicked out. In his confession tape. I’ll see what I can do.” Dev Sir said and went in before I could thank him. There was an extreme rush of happiness in me. I had a hope that I will be back to work. The best part is that I won’t need to search for work anywhere. I hated the task of attending shitty interviews.

I came out and was about to reach my bike when I saw Ankur’s car moving in. He did not see me there. I looked at the time on my phone and it was 10AM. So, he would leave by 7PM. I then left the place.

I reached home and told my family about everything that went down. Except the fact that I was fired. I wanted to wait till I heard back from Dev Sir. Everyone at home were in a shock. Later my brother woke up and I showed him the newspaper. “Good!” was all he said reading the whole thing. “He deserved it.” He added. I have had less sleep the previous day after a lot of activity. So, I had my lunch and slept.

I woke up in the evening and went to the balcony for a smoke and saw Inspector Girish outside my home. I went down to see him. “Good evening Inspector.” I greeted him. “So, this is where you live?” He asked. “Yes! I didn’t expect you to come over.” I wanted to check why was he here. At the same time, I did not want him to come home. I offered him a cigarette as we spoke and he took one.

“Well, it’s just that… I have a hunch. That you might be hiding things and misleading us.” He said to my shock. “And why would you have that hunch?” I asked him. “Your whole termination ordeal got a bit famous. People think you might have taken Deepak out and manipulated it as a suicide.” He informed me and that made me laugh a bit. He might have thought that I was mocking people’s sense of judgement while I was thinking how they came to know about it.

I needed to make sure that I kill his hunch here itself. “Speaking from a criminal’s mind, if I had to kill him, I would have done it some other day. Not on the day he kicked me out in front of everyone. That would be too obvious.” I replied.

“You’ve got all your reasons to believe your hunch anyways. I would love to see the reaction of people who gave birth to your hunch when they find out the truth.” I added. “And you won’t be there to see shit if they’re right.” He told me. I decided not to reply to that.

“You want to come in for a tea as of now?” I asked him. He just patted my shoulder as if indicating that he had his eyes on me and turned around to leave. Exactly what I wanted him to do. You want a cop to leave you alone, act as if you’re allowing him to get closer and peep.

“Can I ask you something sir?” I questioned. “What?” He turned around and asked. “I met Dev Sir this morning. He told me that Deepak had conspired against me to get me fired. He said it was in the confession tape. Is that true by any chance?” I asked him. “You’ll get to know once the investigation is done.” He replied looking at me from head to toe and left. I needed to be more alert for a while. I knew that Inspector Girish would be behind my back.

I turned around and as I walked back home, I saw two policemen standing at a distance looking at me. I guess that was Inspector Girish’s hunch keeping an eye on me. I went in and stayed at home for a while. Meanwhile, Ankita called, and we spoke. I told her how badly I was missing her.

I needed to find out where exactly Ankur lived. I searched for his profile on Facebook and then scanned through his pictures. The guy only had selfies. He was more of a loner. I then found a sign board behind some of his pictures. That could be some part near his home.

Maybe if I can get there, I can make out where he lived. I scanned more and found out that he stayed at Punjagutta. That was one of the most populated area of Hyderabad. Now I just had to wait for it to get darker.

It was around 2:30AM and it was dark. I carefully peeped out and could still see the two police officers sitting outside. But I had to move out. I left home, came down and took my bicycle and I went towards the other side of the apartment. I peeped out and saw no one there. I carefully first placed my bicycle outside and then climbed the 6feet wall and moved out. I rode all the way to Punjagutta to search for Ankur’s home.

I reached the place that I saw in the picture. It was more of a secluded area with shady bungalows. Typically, a place where an idiot like Ankur would stay. There was this bungalow at the end of the lane. I saw the name plate and it read Ankur Srivastava.

I looked around and no one watched me. I climbed the wall which was around 5ft and easily went inside his little home. There was a strong fragrance of jasmine in that place. That’s what Ankur wore every day to work. It was a small bungalow with his car standing right in front. I saw a “Beware of dogs” board inside but there was no dog around. That’s typical Ankur. Constant threats but no actions.

I slowly kept moving around the house. I was sure that there’s no CCTV camera around. I then saw one of his windows opened. I slowly went and peeped from his window and could see Ankur. He was playfully sitting on a chair. Laughing and being cheerful.

I saw that he was feeding someone sitting right in front of him. I could see that person from behind. Looked like a woman. An older one because of grey hairs. Must be his mother. But who feeds someone at 3AM? Something was wrong about this place. Plus, the fragrance. Something was not right about the whole place.

Once I was sure that he won’t be looking at his window for a while, I moved forward to look at his window. I again noticed that the smell was getting even stronger. It was annoying me but at the same time it gave me a hunch about something was off. I had to cover my nose to avoid the fragrance. I didn’t have a good feeling. I needed to get in. I moved around slowly and then saw his backdoor open. I needed to get in to see what exactly was wrong.

I slowly moved back to the front door, then found a stone and threw it on his car and his siren went off loudly. I could hear Ankur’s footsteps approaching in a hurry. He opened the door and I saw him running out with his baseball bat in hand. His back was facing me. “Who’s it?” he kept shouting but never turned around to see me. Taking advantage of the situation, in a swift move, I moved in. I just had around 30 seconds to find out what was wrong about this whole setup.

“Who’s it? Who the fuck is it?” I could hear Ankur shout as I came towards the person sitting on the chair. I moved forward and saw that it was some old pale woman. Because of her resemblance to Ankur, I could say it looked like his mother. Her eyes were looking in a specific direction. She had so much porridge stuffed in her mouth that a lot of it was coming out. The smell here was now so strong that now it burnt my nose. I was still confused as to what exactly was happening. I had no time left. Ankur could be coming in any moment.

I then sat for a second and looked in her eyes. “Holyshit! Is she dead?” I realized and I checked her pulses, and they were not there. I smelled her nail and could feel that it was rotting. That was the reason for so much of fragrance.

In the final moment, just to be sure, I slightly patted her head and the whole body fell on the ground to the left side of the chair. This made a loud sound. I saw towards Ankur and he was turning around. I slowly moved towards the backdoor as fast as possible and hid myself before being spotted.

I made my way out before he locked the back door. I then moved back towards the kitchen window and could see him picking that corpse and getting it to sit back on the chair. And then he went back to pamper it as he was doing the whole time. He then looked near the window and I hid back. He came and closed he window.

I slowly moved out of his property and rode back home. I entered my apartment the same way I had left it. It was about 5AM by the time I came back. It was still dark. I peeped out and could see the policemen sitting and smoking. They were never aware of what I had been doing. They never got a hunch from the calm of the night. Sometimes people are stupid enough to think that they are the only ones who get a hunch.

Ankur had a hunch about me that I had killed Deepak. He tried to track me. But he forgot that Deepak’s body was found at his home. He never expected me to show up at his place where I would get a hunch and find out what a twisted guy he was.

Similarly, Inspector Girish had a hunch and he got people to keep a check at my place creating an alibi that I was home the whole time. I never had a hunch that they would be as alert as Inspector wanted them to be. I just wanted to take my chances.
He can stay here by himself or continue keeping his men on my trail. I will not be making a move on Ankur for a while. Because there’s something rather more important I need to kill before Ankur and that was Inspector Girish’s Hunch.

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