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23rd October 11:30 AM
Mr. Bedi collapsed on a couch in the living room, beside his wife. No, this shouldn't have happened to my daughter. He wiped the tears rolling down his cheeks. Who did this to my innocent child? "I won't rest until the police find the culprit." He coughed for a few moments.
His wife offered him a glass of water. "You remember what Mayur told us at the funeral?" she paused while Mr. Bedi took a sip of water. "They need our cooperation in finding the murderer. Priya's flat-mate Julia said Mayur has taken a good interest in the case and is working with the Hyderabad police. I'm sure he'll catch the murderer soon. Try to be patient."
"I am trying." Priya's father wiped his eyes with a handkerchief. "God shouldn't have been so harsh towards Priya."
Footsteps echoed in the hall. Poonam entered along with her fiancé. Chirag had been staying with Poonam at their house ever since Priya had died. Though it irritated Mr. Bedi, he remained silent not wanting to upset Poonam. He had already lost his first daughter. He didn't want to annoy Poonam by complaining about Chirag's overnight stay.
Her face lit with a smile. "Hello, Dad."
"Hi, Uncle," said Chirag. "Good morning, Aunty."
"Dad, are you unwell?" She looked at her mother, before shifting her gaze back to her father. "Are you thinking about Priya?" She touched his arm. "Come on, Dad. We need to move on. Priya's soul will rest in peace if we try to forget what happened to her."
"But I'm shocked about your sister's death," said Mr. Bedi
Poonam swallowed and touched her throat. She paused and then said, "Don't worry, Dad. I'm sure Mayur and his colleagues will tell us some good news very soon."
"Yes, Uncle," said Chirag. "I too am hopeful that detective Mayur will find the culprit."
Mr. Bedi sighed. "Let's hope so." He looked at his wife. "We made a mistake by sending Priya to Hyderabad. Had she remained with us, she would still be alive."
"I told you not to send her," she said. "It's you who suggested she go there." She darted her gaze between Poonam and Chirag. "If not this job, she could've found some other work here in Bangalore and stayed with us happily." Teardrops rolled down her cheeks.
Poonam went and hugged her mother. "It's all right, Mum. Priya isn't coming back. We need to move on. And I'm with you, all right?"
Her mother wiped the tears and snot using a handkerchief. She held Poonam by her shoulders. "That's right, beta (daughter). You're with us." She paused and then said, "I would like to see you get married to Chirag as soon as possible."
"Yes, Aunty," Chirag said. "I don't want to delay anymore."
Mr. Bedi felt hot all over. How could Poonam think of her marriage when Priya's death was still fresh in their minds? Didn't she and Chirag have any feelings towards the loss of Priya? He controlled his urge to say anything which would upset them.
"Dad," said Poonam. "What do you say?"
"About what?" Mr. Bedi touched his temple. He pretended he had not heard them talking about their marriage.
"We would like to get married soon."
"I don't have any objections, beta. We'll speak with Chirag's parents about it." Mr. Bedi was against talking about the matter when they were still bereaved about Priya's death. He didn’t want to disappoint Poonam.
She looked at Chirag. Their faces lit up with smiles. She turned to her father. "Dad," she said, "Priya is no longer with us and I'll become the sole inheritor of the whole property. Don't you think you need to think about the matter, now?"
Mr. Bedi had never expected Poonam to talk about inheritance when the death of Priya was still fresh in their minds. Previously when Priya was alive, she had argued over the asset allocation. Mr. Bedi had calmed her by giving her a large sum of money in cash. It seemed Poonam's greed for money hadn't diminished.
"Is it the right time for us to talk about it?" Mr. Bedi grimaced.
Poonam's face reddened while Chirag's brows narrowed.
"Why don't you think so, Dad?" she said. "I already told you not to live in the past. I want-"
"I know-" Mr. Bedi snarled. "I know what's your intention. I wonder how you can think of the wedding and inheritance when Priya's death is still afresh in our minds. Don't you have any feelings towards your sister?" He bit his lip. Even though he had tried not to feel harsh, Poonam had crossed her limits, which forced him to vent his anger.
Poonam ran her eyes overall with her brows raised. "Dad, I wanted-"
Mr. Bedi's phone rang. Priya's fiancé, Nayan's name flashed on the screen. Why has he called at this time? "Hello, Mr. Bedi speaking."
"Tell me, Nayan. What do you want?"
"I wanted to meet you along with my parents this evening."
Why do they want to meet? "You can. I'll make myself available after five o'clock. Is that okay?"
"That's all right, Uncle. Thank you."
Mr. Bedi looked at his wife. "Nayan and his parents are coming here at five o'clock."
"Did Nayan say anything else?" his wife asked.