Vihaan Jakhetiya, Class 9, JBCN International School, Mumbai

“It had all begun the day before yesterday; I don’t recall what happened that day very well,”  said Annie Susan. “But I didn’t kill him,” I promise you. He was my husband, and I loved him. I love him.”

Her sobs echoed throughout the room, where the surrounding noise quickly fizzled into white noise. An eeriness hung in the air and pierced the back of the neck like a sharp white cube. She just sat there, frozen in time, while the tears glistened on her pale white cheeks, coruscating under the dim yellow light. She sat surrounded all around by the investigator, and tension compounded every second.

It was broken shortly after by Investigator Williams, snapping her out of her reverie. He said in a heavy, calm voice, “What exactly happened there?” “Tell me the whole incident step by step.”

I have told it so many times to the other investigators. “Do I need to repeat it?” asked Annie in a grave, hollow voice.

“Yes, you do,” said Williams firmly. He added, “If only there was anyone there except you or anyone around for at least two miles from where you live.” “Anyone like that?”

“No,”  she reaffirmed.

And the story began again. The entire one” I argued with him, as I said before. “This argument was quite a heated one, and it led to the breaking of a few pieces of furniture too.”

“Details, please,” asked the investigator.

“Why! “Why are you making me do this?” she asked with great heaves of breath.

She continued without any other encouragement or hesitation. But it all came spilling out. She flew through the conversation, but in her mind, the conversation ran again and again. “I don’t know how it all began; we were bickering over a petty thing but he said something, and it escalated after that.”

I said, “We didn’t need to do that if you didn’t want to, Carlos.”

“Oh really! If only you hadn’t forced me to do that. He always treats me like that. Always. I’m not a kid anymore. When will your father understand that? “Huh,” he exclaimed angrily.

“Please, you know nothing about it.” You’re just fussing unnecessarily about it. “It isn’t such a big thing,” she replied. “It is; you just never listen to me!” Annie yelled.

“I do listen to you!” Carlos shot back. “You just always have to be right!”

Annie stopped in her tracks and glared at her husband. “I have to be right?” “How about you stop acting like a child and start acting like a grown man?”

Carlos stood up from the couch, his face turning red with anger. “I can’t believe you just said that. “I work hard every day to provide for this family, and all I get is disrespect from you.”

Annie said with her hands on her hips, “What do you want?”

Carlos had enough. He was fuming like a volcano and about to make a painful, scathing remark, but decided to take a different approach to the situation. But before storming into his writing room, he spat out, “You want to know?” Fine. I’ll tell you. I’m sick and tired of you always being right. You always think you’re right about everything, which is annoying. “I’ve had enough.” And this is how I went to my bedroom and he went to his writing room.

“Want a break?” asked the other inspector after she blathered on and on for more than an hour.

“Yeah, could I get a glass of water?” she stuttered.


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