23 || The Secret of Khushali Mehra

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All the occupants of the room had their eyes stuck on the pale face of Khushali Mehra. Even her husband Sidharth was staring at her with an unrecognisable emotion in his eyes. That only made Khushali gulp in fear, her husband's eyes continued to observe even the tiniest of the changes on her face and body language. She knew his thoughts were looming over suspicion. 

"What are you saying, Sid? How can Khushali have that parcel with herself? She wasn't even aware of 90% of the things we've revealed to her, today," criticised Mayera, seeming unconvinced. But Sidharth didn't reply to her.

"I agree with Mia, no way can Khushali keep that package with herself," added Jay, giving Sidharth a disapproving glance.

"Exactly, if she had that package, she would've informed us about it, right Khushali?" asked Arjun gently, looking at Khushali. His wife Mayera nodded her head and turned to Khushali as well, waiting intently for her reply. Jay mirrored her action.

Khushali gulped the lump in her throat, she didn't know whether it was the right time or not for her truth to come out. The trepidation she felt for the mayhem that piece of truth would cause, was worrisome. She didn't wish to lose anyone's trust, yet she couldn't trust them either. That truth wasn't hers to reveal, it was related to someone else, that someone: her Sagar. She couldn't let the secret—he had trusted her with—out so easily in front of these people. Not yet!

"Y-Yes, I-I a-agree with you, A-Arjun," replied Khushali quietly, her eyes on the floor. But she could still feel Sidharth's distrustful stare on her. He was doubting her, she was sure. Yet, she couldn't confess anything to him.

"See, Sid, I told you na, Khushali doesn't know anything about the package. When she doesn't even know how Sagar was killed before that accident, how can she know about something so confidential like the ... p-package," said Mayera, immediately becoming quiet as she had spoken a thing she had promised to keep to herself.

"What ... what do you ... mean, Mayera? Sagar ... what ... he died ... killed before that ... accident ... h-how?" asked a visibly shaken Khushali. She couldn't believe what her ears had just heard. For a moment, her secret didn't matter, only the mystery of Sagar's death did.

The other four occupants of the room remained silent, unable to contemplate a way to disclose a pivotal point of the entire gamble that they all had unwilling decided to become a part of. This little piece of truth wasn't digestible for even them, something so atrocious—horrendous—that it made them wonder whether money can actually make someone so blind.

"Why aren't you all speaking anything? Why aren't you all answering me? Please don't hide anything from me now!" pleaded Khushali, her eyes scanning the faces of the other four people in hope that at least one of them would be courteous enough to not keep her in dark once more. Certainly, one of them was.

"Actually, Khushali, it's that ...." Jay began speaking, but Sidharth's glare made him gulp his words. Khushali noticed this.

"You don't need to follow Sidharth's orders this time. So you may go ahead with whatever ... you were saying," said Khushali, passing Sidharth a frown. Jay nodded, the other three seemed unassertive.

"Unfortunately, Sagar didn't die in that car accident, Khushali, he couldn't have died in it," said Jay grimly, looking at Khushali in a sympathetic manner. The look on Khushali's face was enough to make any kind human, empathetic toward her. Her face was blood drained, the palest shade ever possible.

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