It was a fine day in Gilmore High School… It was the last month of the year before they would be leaving Gilmore. Deeksha was having a tough time solving the integral calculus problem. “Oh my god! This problem is a freaking hell”, she mumbled to herself. Just as she spoke the words, there appeared Kevin, his hair glistening wet with sweat. He had just completed his basketball practice. He was an excellent player, but this year he just spent time in guiding the junior team.
“Oii !!Dee what are you upto?”, he asked sitting on the chair beside her.
“Well think of the devil, here he comes”, she gave him an enthusiastic welcome and swore badly about the Calculus assignment.
Kevin gave her a quick fleeting look, her hair was a mess, her long curls escaped from the barrette and screened her face. She appeared to him like a ghost poring over the notebook and chuckled to himself. As usual he got the notebook from her and helped her out. This was becoming the routine since 11 th grade. Deeksha was losing interest in maths and it was only because of him she managed to pass the exams. Kevin was a sophomore, and Deeksha was a day scholar. She came early to learn math from him every day. After finishing the sums they would have food in the school canteen. During breakfast Dee would feed Kevin with all the latest gossips.
As everyday, when they were eating breakfast Prajit, their classmate joined them. He filled them about the murder news on television.” Hey dude, I live in the same locality, the dead guy actually is from our school, 12B “, he told them noisily while eating the toast. Kevin’s eyes went wide open. He didn’t know of this. TV was only allowed in the evenings. Even Ms. Gossip had not told him about the murder. Kevin looked at Dee, she jerked her head sidewards indicating no knowledge about the incident.
Randhir Shukla was the poster boy of 12B. Girls went weak in their knees whenever he passed by. His magnanimous and sultry voice was enough to melt them . His long strides, lean and muscular build earned him a place in the dreams of young girls and of course a place in the school basketball team. He was the team captain. His one sided grin which usually made hearts flutter would not be seen today because he lay under the white sheets on the coroner’s table for autopsy.
Natasha hurried into the classroom , she was late as usual and pulled up a chair and sat beside Deeksha. ” Hey Dee, did you hear it ? Our Romeo is gone!!!”, whispered Natasha to Dee.
“Yaa re, I know it, well you see the latest news is that people are considering this murder as a rivalry between Shuklas’ and the Parameshwars’ “, said Dee plainly.
Natasha drove her hands through her long locks of hair and straightened it. She was a total beauty freak and was always conscious of her looks.
Everyone in the class had something to say about Randhir’s death. Even though people were worried, they spent more time on speculation rather than mourning. Sahitya could’nt sit in the class. Not a day passed by without having a look at Randhir. She didn’t have a crush on him but just enjoyed looking at him from a distance. She didn’t know what drew her towards him , but she loved the feeling. Not seeing him made things worse for her,she couldn’t even listen to class. She didn’t believe the theory that Parameshwars were behind the murder. When her bestie Drishya sat next to her all Sahitya could do was babble about missing him. Drishya was this no nonsense straight forward girl. She had the most untamed hair and she wore them in a single tightly bound long plait. She was a book junkie and regarded every moment she was not reading a waste of life. She was a hopeless romantic. But the strangest fact was that she never got turned on by any guys of her school. She would always tell Sahitya, ” The guys of our school are just machos… And total dumb idiots… they never read”. Sahitya always retorted that Drishya had to order a “hunk who was also a book junkie from Mars”.
But today Drishya was exceptionally sad. Sahitya knew that Drishya never gave a damn about Randhir Shukla, but she was sad. All Drishya told was, ” Well, he was a particularly ambitious guy, he didn’t deserve this brutal end”.
It was late in the evening the school received an information about a long strand of hair found in Randhir’s blood soaked hair. The additional news which shocked people was that the strand of hair belonged to a girl. The forensics were to extract the DNA from the hair and run a match on the criminal database. The shocking part of the news was that Randhir’s parents felt that their boy was in a relationship with a girl from Gilmore High and that the police were to obtain a DNA sample from people who were close to Randhir.
She went shell shocked when she heard this news. She had almost turned pale in class hearing it. She cursed herself for being careless for leaving behind a single strand of her hair.