What would you do if you wake up to find out that the person whom you met last night, who also happens to be your crush, is murdered? This is Adam's dilemma. He is trying to remember what happened last night but in vain. He suffers from a mental disorder called Dissociative Identity Disorder which forces him to switch personalities and has also caused him troubles in the past.

Image by Gerd Altmann from Pixabay

It is Saturday, 4th November 2017. Adam Sullivan wakes up early as usual for his appointment with Dr. Vanessa. He has been going to her since he was 20 years old. It’s been 5 years now since he has started going to her for his treatment for dissociative identity disorder. Adam has still not come to terms with his traumatic childhood and his disorder is an outcome of his brutal experiences as a child.

He came from a very poor background. After his real father died, who was a car washer, his mother and he were left alone with no money. With no choice left, Adam's mother had to take up the job of an escort to earn her living. It was during one of her meetings that she met Mr. Sullivan. He seemed to be a nice guy who was ordinary to look at. He had tanned skin, brown curly hair, clean shaven face, a bulging belly and an intoxicating smile. Along with these characteristics, Mr. Sullivan owned a local antique shop which was doing enough to sustain a woman and a child. He asked for her hand for marriage and since Adam’s mother had no emotional support and stability in her life, she was gullible enough to accept his offer. Poor thing she didn’t know what a devil he was! Since the day of their marriage, the nightmare for the mother and the son had begun. Mrs. Sullivan and her son were not allowed to leave the house. They were mistreated. The old man used to lock the house before going out and when at night he used to come back half drunk, he would beat Adam brutally and on some occasions, he would use a belt to fulfill his gruesome desires. Mrs. Sullivan would always try to stop the man. But the alcohol made him so powerful and strong; it was difficult even for two people to stop him. He would then pull Mrs. Sullivan by her hair and take her to the bedroom where he used to force himself on her till he wasn't satisfied. In the morning, the demon acted as if nothing had happened and no one would dare confront him about last night's happenings. This went on for years until Adam turned 15. It was 1 am when Mr. Sullivan entered the house with a knife in his hand. Unlike Adam, Mrs. Sullivan was asleep. On seeing the mother sleeping, the old man kicked her hard in the stomach. Adam’s mother howled in pain. Adam couldn’t see his mother in agony

and he jumped aggressively on the beast. But the man was quick to kick Adam in the groin. He then fell to the floor and hit his head against the wall. Adam could hear his mom’s frightened voice pleading him to wake up. He could see through his blurred vision, the man dragging his mom by her hair and slapping her hard. Adam tried to get up to stop him but soon he blacked out. It was 4 am when he woke up. And he got the biggest shock of his life. He saw his mother on the floor with the knife stabbed in her stomach. For the first time, Adam cried like a baby who is just born. He howled and shouted and shook his mother hard in an attempt to wake her up but in vain. He cried and cried with her head placed on his lap while he softly touched her forehead. Soon, he stopped weeping. He wiped his tears. Placed his mom gently on the floor and slowly removed the knife from her stomach. It was unbelievable to see Adam in such a temperament. It seemed as if somebody else was in his disguise. The transformation was incomprehensible. He then walked towards the room where the murderer was sleeping peacefully. And then he held up the knife high in the air and brought it down forcefully, stabbing the man in his stomach. Mr. Sullivan woke with a shock. His frightened eyes couldn’t believe what they were seeing. As soon as he could say something, Adam removed the knife and stabbed again and again and again till he was tired. Throwing the knife on the other side of the bed, he dropped himself on the floor unconsciously. Soon, he came back to his usual self. Realizing what he had done, he started crying again. Going back to where he had placed his mother's body, he sat there till the sun had set. But it was risky to stay there any longer. So he packed his bag and left the house. He asked for help from a truck driver who happened to be driving back to New York. The driver, on seeing the troubled look on his face, gave him lift till New York City. On the way, Adam slept like never before. For the first time in his life, he slept without any fear; the fear of being beaten, the fear of dying but above all, the fear of being helpless while the man abused his mother. As soon as he closed his eyes, the mutilated image of his mother’s body terrified him. He tried to ignore it but in vain. After hours of fighting with it, he soon fell asleep only to be woken up by the driver. It took them a day and a half to reach New York. It was 8 pm. Adam had money only enough to survive for a week. So he asked the driver if he had vacancy for an employee to which the driver gladly said yes.

Since Adam always wanted to make it big, he used to study at night and work during the day. He used to buy books from the money he received and seeing his dedication, the truck driver enrolled him in a local high school. There, Adam got a scholarship for his excellent academic record and went to University of California for further studies. Fast forward to 2017, he now works in a billion dollar company, PANACHE, as the head of the Network Security Department. Life is smooth but often interrupted by certain episodes from his childhood leaving him helpless. To

keep it in control, he has to see Dr. Vanessa every Saturday, giving her a weekly report of his present life.

He comes back from the clinic and gets back to work. Saturdays and Sundays are just like any other weekdays for Adam. He does not have close friends and avoids going to official parties. He prefers lazing around in the house. And after having gulped down a large chicken pizza with a glass of beer, he goes off to sleep. It's Monday, 6th November 2017. Adam gets up early, as usual, and dresses well, taking an hour so that Miss Linda Roberts at least notices him today. He gets into his Volkswagen Polo and reaches his workplace in an hour. It is located in Brooklyn along with other skyscrapers. The glass walls are glistening in the sunlight and people in formals are entering and leaving the place with steady strides. Adam parks his car and takes out his ID for the electronic verification at the main door. When he enters his cabin, he is told by one of his juniors that there is a meeting in 10 minutes and Miss Linda wants him to be there. On hearing this, Adam gets excited, but nervous too. He notices all the heads of the other departments namely, Marketing and Advertising, Accounting, Finance, IT training, HR already present in the conference hall and having their coffee while Miss Roberts is nowhere to be seen. In the meantime, Adam takes deep breaths to calm himself as this is the first time he has been asked by Linda to join in a meeting. Other times, it is just Linda having meetings with the heads of other companies and so, he has no idea what this meeting is all about. When Linda Roberts arrives, everyone stands in respect and there is not one person in the room who doesn’t give her a second look. Linda Roberts has a charismatic aura. She is a blonde with perfect dimpled jawline. Her soft freckles on the cheeks enhance the beauty of her green eyes, all the more. Above all, she is a woman of substance. She carries herself with such aplomb that it often intrigues the people around her. She has always proven to be the best leader of the company with no loss having the power to threaten her and no success being so alluring that it goes to her head. She perfectly fits in the category of alpha woman. Today, she is dressed in beige nude, short sleeve sheath dress teamed with a pair of suede, black, pointed toe pumps. With red lipstick and makeup on point, it would be surprising if she doesn’t get a second look from the opposite sex. She looks gorgeous as usual and Adam is too enamored of her to say anything. This is what he was nervous about, to be dumbstruck when asked for his opinion because he is too enchanted by her beauty. Adam comes to know that the meeting is about a new software, ACRO, that the company has decided to introduce in the markets. In order to make sure that the various departments of the company are aware of it, Linda had called for this conference. After about an hour, the meeting ends and everyone gets up to leave. As soon as Adam reaches for the door, he is stopped by Linda. "I hear you are the chief security officer?" Linda asks Adam just to reconfirm. Adam starts fidgeting with his

hands. He is again asked by Linda, "Are you alright?" and then she smiles with such sweetness that it is difficult for Adam to concentrate on what she just asked. With a little stammer and a goofy smile on his face, Adam says," Yes". Linda then amusingly says, "Yes to the first question or to the second one?" Adam smiles and shyly says, "Both". Linda further adds, "I would like to discuss with you about certain cyber security problems that might threaten the installation of ACRO." Adam says nothing. She says, "I am a little busy right now, why don’t we meet for dinner at La Plaza, 8 pm and discuss it there?" Adam can’t believe his ears. Is she really asking him out on a date? He then nods like a toddler and opens the door for Linda like a true gentleman. He then makes his way to his cabin and sits there idly, staring at the walls trying to fathom what just happened. He can't believe his fate that Linda Roberts, the most desirable woman in New York, asked him out on a date. For the record, Linda Roberts has had her name published in the world’s most influential people 2016 Forbes list and also writes a column for the Outlook. Not to forget, she was the cover girl of the Time magazine last year. It is not surprising to know that she is always mistaken for a model given the kind of drool worthy looks she possess. And that is why Adam is shocked to be asked out on a business date by a woman like her.

Paul Hawkins heads one of the most successful companies in the New York City, RAPPO, which turns out a million dollar every month. Often his company teams up with PANACHE for expensive business ventures and that’s the reason why Linda and Paul are great friends. They both had started their career as entrepreneurs almost at the same time and in a short span of time; they made their respective companies worth million dollars. Paul Hawkins looks just like a typical Hollywood star. With blue eyes, chiseled jawline, black curls and a sharp nose, there isn’t a single female employee in his office who hasn’t tried to hit on him at least once. And yes, he is happily married.

RAPPO has decided to collaborate with PANACHE for the installation of ACRO as it is considered to be one of the most expensive business ventures they have ever set their hands upon. It’s going to be a great night for Paul tonight, as he is going to sign one of the biggest deals in his career of 10 years. He dresses up like a perfect gentleman looking dapper in a black suit teamed with an off-white shirt and a black bow. With his hair gelled back neatly, he is surely going to make the ladies go weak in their knees. It comes naturally to him, you know, mesmerizing others with his looks. He has it in him and he knows how to use it to his advantage. He takes out his Mercedes Benz from the garage and sets off to La Plaza.

It's 7:15 pm and Adam has still not decided what to wear. He takes longer than usual as he wants to look good in front of Linda. He decides to wear his all-time favorite,

a Van Heusen black shirt with grey trousers. He stands in front of the mirror and checks whether he looks good with the sleeves folded or not. After minutes of deciding, he folds up the sleeves, applies the deodorant and leaves the apartment.

La Plaza is one of the most posh restaurants in New York City. It is located in the suburb and is often occupied by celebrities and business people. Linda is already sitting at one of the tables. She looks like the Greek goddess of beauty, Aphrodite, in a pink hue, satin dress matched with black pumps. Her smooth collarbone, visible from the plunging halter neck, further intensifies her sensuousness. Paul arrives just on time. It’s 8 pm. It won’t be wrong to say that Paul is awestruck by Linda. It is evident in the way he is smiling at her; the smile which a guy has on his face when he is sprung on a girl. Adam arrives fifteen minutes later and is shocked to see Paul with Linda. He thought it was going to be a date, however, he goes ahead and shakes his hand with Paul halfheartedly and then with Linda and then sits down at the table. He slyly looks sideways to have a look at Linda and from that moment on wards, he couldn't take his eyes off her. Paul signs the deal and asks Adam few questions regarding the network security. Though he knows Linda for years now yet he wants to be sure that he is putting his money in the right place. Adam tells them about the new methods the company has been using to keep all the delicate information secure. And in between the talking, eating lasagne and drinking wine, Adam couldn’t help but notice something queer in Linda's behavior. The lady who is known to be very composed and calm, looks a bit clumsy and excited around Paul. As soon as Adam begins to conclude in his mind that there is something fishy going on between them, he realizes that Paul is already married. He has a gorgeous wife, Melisa Hawkins, who perfectly complements him. She isn’t just a pretty face but a successful psychiatrist, practicing in New York. They have a three-year-old daughter, Joey Hawkins. Their world seems to be perfect. They own a mansion in Brooklyn as well as in New York. Girls in Paul's office secretly bitch about Melisa and Paul isn’t unaware of it. Instead, he secretly takes pride in having a beautiful wife. Melisa is tall with tanned skin, dark brown eyes, long black tresses and has an amazing athletic body that makes her look all the more desirable. Paul considers himself lucky to have found a soul mate in his childhood sweetheart.

Soon, it’s 10 pm, and after bidding them goodbye, Adam leaves for home. While reversing his car, he sees Paul and Linda standing hand in hand, from his rear view mirror. It seems they have other plans for the night. When Adam realizes that he is being a nosy neighbor, he orders his mind to keep out of others’ business. He does feel jealous and drives back to his place but he just can’t stop his mind from imagining what the other two might be doing right now. And the thought of Linda kissing Paul, freaks him out. He can’t take it anymore. This feeling is smothering

him. Soon out of the blue, he transforms into his most aggressive self. According to Vanessa, this dissociative aspect is a coping mechanism by which the person detaches himself from a situation or an experience that's too violent or traumatic, in order to comprehend his conscious self. Sadly, Adam will not remember what he is about to do tonight, the next morning. He then drives back to La Plaza to see if they are still there. Obviously, they aren’t there and this frustrates him. Adam then decides to push off to Linda's place.

He sees her car parked outside her home. This gave him some sort of relief knowing that Linda is safe. But no sooner does he see the other car than he begins to feel anguished again. He is sure it’s Paul's car as he has never seen Linda coming to the office in a Mercedes Benz. The amount of anger building up inside him is unfathomable. He tries to peer through the window, on the front side of the house, to get a glimpse of what is happening inside but in vain. He then goes round the house, to the backyard, where he finds a back door. Through the keyhole, he sees Linda smiling at Paul while he holds her close by her waist and they both seem to be slow dancing to some romantic ballad. His hand on her waist slowly comes up to her face and he presses his lips against hers.

Adam cannot believe his eyes. He feels as if he is backstabbed by a friend although this isn’t the case here. They soon disappear from the range of vision of the keyhole. This makes Adam too anxious to leave. He decides to get inside the house by hook or by crook. He uses his debit card to open the door. He slides the card into the crack which is present between the door and the frame which has the lock. By tilting the card, as much as possible, on either side, he quickly opens the door on hearing the sound “Click!” Adam looks around to see where they are. He then climbs up the stairs and sees that one of the doors is left ajar. He tiptoes towards the room and without making any noise, tries to take a look at the scene. He sees Paul, naked and on top of Linda while she kisses him on the lips. This infuriates Adam. He feels like choking Paul to death because he dared to sleep with the girl whom Adam loves.

Its Tuesday, 7th November 2017. Adam finds himself in his bed. He doesn’t remember what happened last night, not a single bit. On forcing his mind, he just manages to recall a glimpse of him watching Paul and Linda together in her room. After that, he goes blank and remembers nothing. Unwillingly, he goes to the office. He impatiently waits for Linda to turn up and see whether she possesses certain symbols of having a blast last night. He starts fidgeting with his hands. His palms are now sweaty due to anxiety and still there is no sign of Linda. He goes to check with her assistant but she tells him that Linda hasn’t turned up yet and she didn’t even call to inform.

Now, Adam senses something weird as it is very unlikely of Linda to give any working day a miss. As much as she was enjoying last night, Adam knows for sure that she is a workaholic and there is no way she will take a leave. Adam decides to calm himself as he can sense that if he does not control his mind now he will have to entertain yet another episode of bipolar.

After everybody leaves the office, Adam stays just in case Linda turns up late today. But after waiting for 2 hours, Adam decides to leave. He reaches home by 5pm and by 6 pm, he has already freshened up, made a cup of coffee for himself and finally, switches on the television to watch the news. After 10 minutes of watching the television, he freezes at his place. The newsflash says, "Dead body of Linda Roberts found inside her house, in Brooklyn, at 6pm today.” Adam is shocked to see Linda’s body on the television. It is brutally mutilated as if the killer was a psychopath who wanted to kill her by torturing. Adam starts sweating. He changes the channels to check if the news is fake but to his disbelief, all the news channels have the murder of Linda as their breaking news. Adam tries to remember what happened last night but he can only recall, Paul and Linda, in her bedroom.

Now Adam is scared. He doesn’t know whether he has killed Linda or someone else has. He is aware of his other self being very aggressive. Once, Adam had become so violent that he began to cut his own hands with a knife, scars of which are still present. He tries to assure himself that he can’t kill Linda. He was infatuated with her. In fact, he loves her. And it seems to be impossible to kill someone you love. But his aggressive self, doesn’t care about love, doesn’t care about the people around him. He is menacingly violent.

He calls Vanessa, who is the only person he trusts. On hearing his frantic voice, Vanessa asks him to come over to her place. Adam tells her everything, right from the beginning till the very end. He displays his concerns regarding he cannot remember a single thing after the particular episode from last night and wants to know what happened thereafter. Vanessa tells him that whenever a person with bipolar disorder has trouble remembering what happened in an episode, the first step is to ask the people in his life to tell their side of the experience. This really helps.

Adam goes to meet Paul. He is welcomed by Melisa who is a bit shocked to see Adam. She feels something strange about him, given the fact that she is a psychiatrist herself. The twitching of his eyebrows and fidgeting of his hands just increased her suspicion. However, Adam asks her if he can meet Mr. Paul but Melisa tells him that Paul isn’t home. She further says that he has not come home since the last night when he had gone out for dinner. A perplexed Adam then informs her about Linda’s death. She finds it hard to digest the news. She was a good friend of Linda too.

Switching on the television and changing the channel to BBC, she falls down on the floor with a loud thud on seeing Linda's body. She calls Paul but it goes to the voicemail. Adam can’t understand what is happening. He really needs to find out where Paul is; maybe he knows what happened last night or maybe he killed Linda and is absconding. On being asked by Adam where Paul is, Melisa says, “It is likely of him to leave without informing me. He usually does it. And when he comes back after two or three days, he explains as to what made him to leave immediately. Often, it’s for business purposes.” “I think I should leave now”, says Adam, in a confused state.

At 8 pm, there is a knock at his door. His jaw is left open in shock on seeing two policemen at his door. Nevertheless, he lets them in and is soon asked by one of them, Mr. David, to describe what happened last night. Adam starts fidgeting with his hands and stammers, “I was invited for dinner at La Plaza by Linda, who had also invited Paul, regarding the installation of the new software, ACRO.” Adam pauses. But the second policeman, Mr. Liam, seems to be short tempered and coaxes him to tell them what happened afterwards. This frightens Adam. He says, “After that, I left for my house while they were still standing near the parking lot.” Adam again becomes silent. This time David makes him aware of what a serious issue this is and if he doesn’t cooperate with them, they’ll use other methods to make him reveal the truth. Adam starts crying. Liam says, “We have seen you sneaking into the house, in the CCTV footage. If you don’t know, there was a CCTV installed at the front door. We saw you going round the house, but after that what happened, is a mystery to us. Interestingly, exactly after an hour, the CCTV shows a man, which we suspect is you, who violently smashes the camera with a stone.” But Adam doesn’t remember breaking the CCTV. In fact, he wasn’t aware of the presence of the CCTV in the first place. He finally musters up courage and says, “I just remember Paul and Linda making out in her bedroom. After that, I found myself at my home, in my room. And since I am suffering from bipolar disorder stage 2, it is difficult for me to remember anything that happened between these two incidents.” He then gives them his doctor's number and soon Vanessa arrives at his house. She says, “Yes, it is true. He can’t remember anything.” The police ask him to not leave the city and inform him that they’ll come back for him, tomorrow. Of course he isn’t going to leave. He has nowhere to go. As soon as the policemen leave, Vanessa asks him to try to remember whether he killed Linda. It is hard for her to believe that Adam murdered Linda because the therapy sessions had subdued him to some extent but she is aware of his past.

The next morning, 8th November 2017, Adam meets Melisa at the police station along with Vanessa. Coincidentally, Vanessa already knows Melisa as they have

been good friends for quite a long time given the fact that they are in the same profession. Vanessa goes to her, who is crying, to console her. In the meantime, the policemen enter the room and start interrogating Melisa to know when she last saw her husband. She tells them everything she knows about the night of 6th November. David informs them that according to their forensic pathologist, Dr. Will Edwards, Linda was first hit by a stone on her head, the same rock with which the camera was smashed, which made her a bit unconscious. And then she was stabbed in the stomach by one of the large broken pieces of glass of the CCTV. Even after she was dead, the killer continued to stab as if he or she wanted to take some sort of revenge. The body of Linda was kept at the same place where she was killed as if the killer wanted it to be seen by the whole world. And no fingerprints are to be found as the killer had used gloves. David then turns to Adam and asks him if he remembers anything today and if he does, he should inform them now. But Adam is still clueless. If there is anyone who feels sorry for his situation, it’s his confidante, Vanessa. Scared of the prying eyes of everyone present in the room, Adam starts to fidget with his hands. Vanessa softly tells Adam to keep calm, take deep breaths, close his eyes and try to relive what happened that night. He trusts Vanessa more than he trusts himself so he obeys her orders. He closes his eyes and tries to remember. He goes into flashback but as soon as he reaches to the moment when he sees Linda and Paul naked, he feels something different. He tries to focus and then he realizes that, he wasn’t alone that night.

While he is standing at the door, he hears a car pull up in the street. Adam goes down to see if the driver is making his way towards Linda’s house. He gets scared on seeing him coming towards the front door. And just then, when the mystery was about to be unveiled, Adam blacks out. He opens his eyes to see everyone staring at him. Vanessa asks, “What did you see?” He remains silent for a while. Then, while looking at David, he says, “There was someone else too at her house."

By now, the crime seems to be getting complicated. Linda is murdered, Paul is missing and the police aren’t able to make out who the killer is. David asks, “What did the person look like?” Adam takes some time to picturize the stranger and says, “He was dressed in a long black trench coat with a hat over his head.” He further adds, “I can’t remember anything after that.” Melisa starts weeping again. She has not heard from Paul since the last day and that’s bothering her. So now, the police have to find the mysterious guy too and this has only increased the number of the suspects they were first looking at. Maybe, it is the stranger who killed both, Linda and Paul, or he teamed up with Paul to kill Linda and then helped Paul to escape, or maybe Adam is the killer and is trying to distract the police officers in order to shift

their focus from him. But whatever be the conclusion, it is clear that the killer doesn’t want to be caught so easily.

David, being an expert in his field, knows that they are missing something. He knows it’s difficult for the killer to flee from the site without leaving any evidence. He knows that whoever the killer is, he is right under their noses and is probably enjoying, seeing them in distress. Meanwhile search is going on to find Paul’s car. Just then, David gets a call from one of the investigating officers to come to the crime scene as they have found evidence. It’s 12:40 pm. David is shown a small piece of latex glove that the killer had used. It was found next to the dining table. According to the officer, “Maybe the killer was trying to run away after committing the murder and in a hurry, the glove might have got stuck at the sharp edge of the table. He didn’t want to waste time so, instead of tucking it out; he tried to pull it and ran away. It is to be noted that the finger prints on the piece of glass matches with the glove prints.” Just then, David gets a call from Liam informing him that they have found Paul's body in Armonk, in one of its forests, close to the Smith Tavern. Liam says, “Paul was first stabbed with a broken piece of glass and then attacked by a big boulder that is placed right beside the body. It has blood marks on it. But it is suspected that he died due to excessive blood loss caused by the blow on the head. According to Will, he was alive for 10 minutes after the killer left. It seems that the killer was tired of holding the boulder for long and since he knew that he would soon die, the killer left him, half dead.”

The boulder shows attempts of removal of stains using bleach, but due to the darkness of night, the killer missed some portions. This helps them to collect the fingerprints. Interestingly, it is revealed that the criminal who killed Linda, had killed Paul too.

After coming back from the police station, Adam opens up the bottle of wine which he had received as a birthday present from Vanessa. He gulps down half of the bottle to forget what had been happening with him for the last 2 days. And the bigger reason for getting drunk is the fact that he can’t even remember a single detail of that night and can do nothing about it. He is mad at himself as to how such a gruesome episode can disappear from his memory. He is too drunk to sit straight and after an hour of shouting at himself, slapping and trying to stop his mind from reminding him of his brutal child experience and soon falls asleep. But he isn’t aware of what he is about to see in his dreams.

He again sees himself at the crime scene. He is looking out from the window at the intruder who is coming towards the camera. Adam realizes that it is the stranger who smashes the CCTV but his face probably can’t be captured on it as he is out of the

range of vision of the camera. Just then, the person looks at the window and he sees Adam staring right back at him. This catches him off guard.

This time, Adam focuses on the features of the person and soon he falls to the ground, unconscious. Adam wakes up with a jerk. He is sweating and panting hard. He had never been this scared in his entire life. He isn’t sure about what he had just seen. He looks at the clock; it’s 10 am, Thursday. He calls up Vanessa and tells her everything. She tells him that she is coming to pick him up and they both are then going to the police station. They wait for David to arrive. After furnishing him with every detail of what Adam had seen, Vanessa says, “Though it is likely to just be a dream yet you shouldn’t ignore it as it can lead us to the killer.” A criminal sketch artist is called to sketch the stranger. After it is completed, Liam and David have a look at the sketch to see that the guy in question seems to be in his late 20s. He has black beard and bushy eyebrows with a unibrow. He has a menacing look in his eyes. Liam goes through the records of criminals they have maintained and soon finds a match. The stranger is Harold Jones; age 28 years old. He has been arrested once for drug smuggling and the other time, for rash driving. He is 6’2’’ and has blue eyes with long brown hair. He lives in Larchmont, New York. The crime now has a new player. They reach his home at around 3 pm and are welcomed by a confused Harold. The police used to visit his home but it had decreased lately. They question him regarding where he was on the night of 6th November. Harold doesn’t know what to say. The look on his face suggests that he is trying to hide something. He says, “I was at home, sleeping.” An angry Liam asks him again but this time with a loud voice which scares him. David looks at Liam knowing that Harold won’t say a thing so they ask him to come to the police station with them. And suddenly, Harold started shouting, “I have not done anything.” On hearing this, Liam says, “We didn’t say that you did anything but now that you have brought this up, we would like to know in detail what is it that you didn’t do on Monday night.” Harold is a bit shocked to see Adam at the police station as he remembers him from that night. Harold soon reveals it all. Linda and Harold had been together since their teenage years. They had plans of starting a company together. PANACHE was actually Harold's idea. But in its initial stages, the company had to face many losses so much so that they were in debt. They had taken loans from many people and it was hard to repay it. During that time, Harold was naïve enough to fall into the world of drugs. He knew he had a weak will power but the pressure of the company being in loss forced him to do drugs. But it was Linda who kept on going. She worked day and night to make both ends meet. She took part time jobs as a waitress and a playgroup teacher to earn enough money to get them out of debt. Harold begins to cry while he narrates his side of story. It seems that he actually loved her but drugs messed up his mind. Soon, he started to take out his frustration on Linda. He used to beat her and abuse her,

reminding her that whatever she did, she couldn’t make the company successful and that it was stupid of her to work so hard. He used to taunt her by telling her that she was a woman and the only thing she could do was seduce men. Harold says it was wrong of him to say such a thing. In fact, in his hearts of heart, he had always admired Linda for her conviction and dedication of completing anything that she set her heart onto. And this would make him feel insecure. Soon when the business started doing well, Harold was so deep into drugs that it became difficult for him to come out of it. Linda admitted him in a rehabilitation centre but when he was discharged after a year, there was no change in him. He had his sources inside the centre who would supply him with cocaine and hash. So when he came back, it was the same old story; beating, abusing Linda and calling her bad names. Hence, she decided to leave him. She couldn’t take it anymore and this devastated him. He told her he would leave her alone only if she made him her business partner, sharing the profits 50-50 . But she refused and this made him furious. Linda told him upfront that it was she, who worked day and night to make the company a success while he was busy doing drugs and drinking. And so till a year, he used to stalk her, call her from different numbers and threaten her. He was once reported to the police by Linda but after spending a day in the prison, he was freed and for a week he didn’t trouble Linda. Soon after, he started stalking her again and following her from home to work and back from work to home. He even tried to break into her home at night once while she was sleeping but Linda was vigilant enough to wake up at the right time and call the police. He was then freed with a last warning and after that, Harold had stopped stalking her. And even though he still does drugs yet it is not as much as he used to do back then. He assures the officer that he has turned into a new leaf and that night, he had come to her house, only to congratulate her on the successful installation of the software. The reason for coming to congratulate her at night was that he knew she used to be busy during the day and it was only around 11 pm that she would be at home. Since he was not allowed to meet her outside, this was the only time he could meet her. Harold says, “This time I just wanted to congratulate her and ask for her forgiveness.” Liam senses genuineness in his alibi but criminals usually are good at fooling others by playing with the emotions. Fingerprints of all three are taken, Melisa, Adam and Harold but the glove prints have obscured the real fingerprints and hence it is difficult to make out who the killer is. The latex glove has the company’s name on it as a part of it has a small “c” printed on it. But it is of no use as there are many shops that sell gloves of the companies whose name starts with a “c”. With media pressurising the police, they have to solve this case as soon as possible in order to restore their prestige and power. So every suspect’s house is checked again in great detail.

Liam is at Adam’s house, David is at Melisa’s home and one of the private detectives is sent to Harold’s, along with other investigators. By today, the police force has to find the culprit because beyond it, the case will have its name written in the cold cases register. Later at night, around 8 pm, they arrested the killer. It is shocking but that is how crimes are, especially the complicated ones. The killer is Melisa Hawkins. David had been clever enough to see through her sweetness that afternoon otherwise she would have gotten away with such a heinous crime. And when Melisa is brought to the police station, she shouts and curses at the police officers telling them that they are doing wrong and it is Adam who killed them and not her. She is asked to shut up and tell them the reason for committing two murders because until the news of the death, she was not aware of her husband’s affair, if that was the motive behind her killing. She still doesn’t own the crime and it seems that she won’t. David then asks her, “Do you want to know how did I find out that it was you who killed them both?” He tells her that when she welcomed him inside the house this afternoon, he saw something strange on her arms. It was faint but by having a close look at it he could see that on her left and right arms there were scratches like when a cat runs her sharp claws over the skin. Since she didn’t own a cat, he grew a little suspicious. And when he looked at her face he could sense that she had seen him gazing at his arms and this made her little uneasy and there was tension evident on her face which was unlikely of her when he had first met her at the office. The officers then began searching the house and during the search, David decided to take a loo-break. Just when he was about to leave the washroom, his eyes got distracted by a strand of golden hair which was clinging on the mirror and was hard to not miss it in the first glance. On close inspection he could see that the strand had a tinge of red at the tip. It was neither Melisa’s nor Joey’s. And they didn’t have a domestic helper who could have been a blonde .And since no one was allowed to meet the suspects until the verdict was given; it was likely to be Linda’s strand. But just to be sure, he sends the strand to Dr. Will, who immediately messaged him that it was Linda’s and the red hue was actually her blood. So Melisa had killed not only Linda but also Paul as the killer of both the people was same. The only thing missing now was the motive.

On hearing this, Melisa realizes that she has been caught and there is no other option left but to say the truth. She cries and slowly says, “I had always been jealous of Linda as Paul would always praise her and seemed to be enamored of her. As it is, things weren’t going smooth in our marriage. We had even decided to file for divorce once but for Joey's sake, we decided to give our marriage another shot. About 2 days before the crime happened, Paul and I had a fight regarding what were his equations with Linda as he would be going for meetings with her every day. But Paul told me that it was regarding the software ACRO. I tried to believe him but I was also aware

of Linda’s gorgeous looks and Paul’s flirtatious nature. So the night he had gone for dinner with Linda, he had actually told me that he was going for a meeting with Mr. Klaus who is one of his friends and a colleague. But Klaus called that night to inform that Paul had left his phone at the cabin at that it was with him. Unfortunately, it was me on the other side of the line. I knew there was something wrong so I decided to follow Paul. On reaching the restaurant, I was shocked to see Paul with Linda, flirting with her the same way he used to flirt with me when we were dating. It felt as if someone had hit me hard in the stomach. Soon I see that they are joined by another person, Adam. I know him through Vanessa. We sometimes discuss our cases to get a better perspective and once while I was waiting outside her clinic, I saw Adam coming out of the room. He had looked at me in such a queer way that I was curious enough to ask Vanessa about him in a nonchalant manner. After the dinner was over, I followed Linda and Paul who were driving their respective cars. When they stopped at Linda’s house, I parked my car on the other street and walked down to the street on which Linda’s house is situated. I saw them, holding hands and kissing at the doorstep. And at that moment I knew what I wanted to do with both of them. They went inside and when I was about to cross the street, a car stopped by and I saw Adam coming out of it. He stopped for a while and then went to the back side of the house. I waited for him to come out. But just then, another car approached and out came a man who smashed the CCTV and I assume, as soon as he saw Adam staring at him, he ran away. At the same moment, I saw Adam falling down on the floor. I know the symptoms of DID wherein due to rigorous working of the mind, the person usually blacks out. So I decided to use it to my advantage and went towards the front door. I picked up a piece of glass and the stone just to be safe when attacked by the people inside. I climbed up the stairs and went towards the door which was left ajar and saw Linda and Paul, naked and enjoying each other’s body. The sight made me numb. I couldn’t think for a minute. Soon it dawned upon me why for the past one month, Paul would always return home tired and would not want to make love to me. I was under the impression that it was due to work-related stress but it wasn’t. Just when Paul decided to take a shower, Linda switched on the television and increased the volume. Making the most of the moment, I jumped in front of her and increased the volume to the maximum so that Paul didn’t know what was going on outside. I knew he would take time but to be on the safer side, I locked him from outside. I hit her in the head with the stone and then stabbed Linda in the stomach with the glass piece long after she was dead. Just then Paul started banging the door; I opened it and stabbed him twice in the stomach so that he didn’t have the power to fight back. I drove him to one of the forests of Armont where I hit him with a big boulder and then drove back to Linda’s place. I drove Adam back to his place and then came back to drive back his car to his apartment. By asking for a lift, I finally reached the street where my car was and drove back to my place.

David realizes how shrewd Melisa is. After all she is a psychiatrist and she knows very well how to play with other's minds and she had almost won if David had not arrived at the right time. Next day, when Adam switches on the television to know about the proceedings, he is shocked to see the breaking news. It says, “Dr. Melisa Hawkins arrested on the charges of murder of Miss Linda Roberts and Mr. Paul Hawkins.” Adam then, without thinking anything, gets ready for the office and everything is back to normal again.

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