Althaf wiped the sweat from his brow. His chocolate brown eyes looked glazed and hypnotized. He took out a sheet of paper from his briefcase and began to write something on it. In spite of his hurried demeanor, his writing seemed patient. He finished writing one side of the sheet and folded it with care before placing it inside a CD case from his suitcase. He then took out another sheet of paper and began writing. This time he seemed to be in a hurry, but that hadn’t impacted the quality of writing one bit. He finished writing and folded the paper with an audible sigh before placing it inside his pant pocket. He took out a small vial from his shirt pocked and popped in pills from it, polishing it off with a swing of water from the bottle on the table. His hurried and huffed demeanor was gone. He looked at peace with himself. With a sad smile he rested his head over the table.
Gita paused the video which showed Althaf finally resting his head over the table. This was the CCTV footage from inside the conference room. It took all her might not to howl out loud and cry. Ramesh, their mentor smelled something morbidly wrong and had hid the briefcase from the police the night he discovered Althaf’s body. He very well knew tampering with evidence in a criminal proceeding would have it’s consequence, but he knew too well that the cops would simply close the case if the right palms were greased. After all, he had done the same to ensure that this CCTV footage wasn’t pulled by the cops for investigation. He wanted to have an iron clad case ready before he went to the cops. He had shared the knowledge about the suitcase with Gita, who was vehemently against opening it and looking at the CD. She wanted to turn it over to the police. However, the CD case was what perplexed both of them the most. It was the era of pen drives and cloud storage. A person as tech savvy as Althaf wasn’t surely going to use a CD drive.
After much deliberation, Gita decided to comb down Althaf’s laptop, the one at work and his personal one as well. Suspiciously, both his laptops were clean and devoid of any personal files in the form of photos or documents. Evidently, he had planned his suicide well. With the help of her tech friend from school, Gita retrieved all data that he had wiped out. What she found was beyond shocking. He had GBs and GBs of CCTV footage all pulled from office cameras. Watching them made her boil with rage.
A woman stood near the table unbuttoning her shirt. She had cropped hair and a buxom figure. A man who was almost the same height of her stood rigidly before her, hiding her face from the view of the CCTV camera. She pulled the man’s tie and brought him closer to her. He resisted and stepped back. She again pulled him closer while slapping his butt. He resisted again and stumbled back. She pulled him closer and slapped him hard on his face. She then grabbed a paper from the desk and began waving it to his face. It seemed that she was shouting. The man look dejected and slumped on to the chair. He covered his face with his hand and sat that way for a while. The woman buttoned up her shirt and sat on the chair opposite to him.
Gita paused the video. It was hard watching a man being so balantly abused. She played another video which showed another man being slapped and abused by the same woman. There were 58 such videos all showing the same woman trying to sexually coerce men.
By now the men in the room had begun to shift in their seats. What they saw was opposite of what they had expected Gita to bring to the table. Raghu cleared his throat. With a lush mop of silver grey hair, he was the picture perfect aged senior part of the firm. When Althaf died his conscience had pricked. He thought his overbearing nature and sky high expectation had driven Althaf to commit suicide. He had half anticipated Gita to raise the issue of Althaf’s work load pointing him to be the reason for his untimely death. He was beyond shocked when Gita brought altogether a different issue to the table.
“Gita, if I may ask, did you know of this earlier? You and Althaf, you guys were a couple right? Didn’t he talk to you about this earlier” he asked.
Note : Part 3 will be up soon Till then, Happy New Year Folks!