Tick tock, tick tock, tick tock, the clock is ticking. That's the only noise in the living room. He stares numbly at the briefcase that is lying in the middle of the coffee table in front of him. A black colored leather styled briefcase--the smell of that original leather that seem to filter around the living room.

A few hours ago, a group of five men had barged into his house forcefully and had given him the briefcase. They talked and gave him an ultimatum and then left.

He has approximately a few hours before he can make his final decision.

Heart thumping against his chest, he slowly moved towards the table, where the briefcase is lying. Slowly, he opens the briefcase.

Bundles of crispy notes inside the briefcase. Bundles of five thousand rupees notes, each bundle tied with an elastic band. The smell of those crispy notes now mingled with the leather. He had never seen this much of money in his whole life. He could never earn this much of money in his whole life, with his meagre earnings working as a waiter part time at a restaurant and a DJ at night.

"Hundred million," one of the men had told him. "If you are willing to do it, the money is yours."

But deep inside his heart, he knew that he should not accept this money. He had yearned to earn his own money, fairly. He is a hard worker. This bundles of cash is filled with blood. They are blood money.

If he accept this briefcase, he would be agreeing to take the blood of an innocent victim. Part of him is tempted to take the offer, the devil side of his brain.

You have dreamed of building your own house right? You can send your brother to a good school, you can take your mother to the best doctor in the country to treat her illness. Your father didn't need to work in the fields anymore and you can have a grand wedding for your sister. You don't have to apply for menial jobs in Dubai with this money. You don't have to live in a mudwalled house with dried coconut leaves as a roof. You will have electricity instead of diesel lamps that you use to light around the house.

You will be one rich man. Think of what you can do with this money.

He slams the briefcase shut. He puts his hand on his head, as he replayed the conversation that happened in his room.

"If you tell the police the truth, you will be a dead man," the burly man wearing crispy white shirt with white sarong with a moustache warned. Instantly, he knew that this man will not even hesitant to kill him without any second thoughts. Sweat rolled down at the back of his body, his heart thumping hard. For a moment, he wished he was back in his village, without a worry. Despite living in poverty, he at least lived a carefree life back in the village. But right now here, he was being threatened to not utter a single word.

He had simply looked at this burly man, who looked like one of those villains from the movies. Gold bracelet is dangling on his wrist and a gold wristwatch, which he thought must be a branded and expensive watch. One of those burly man's bodyguards was looking at him, with a murderous glint in his eye, waiting for the order from his boss to kill him.

"You are dreaming of big things aren't you?" The burly man continued. "You want to make your family back in the village happy right? Then do as I said. Pretend that you did not see anything. And I can assure you, you will be safe. If not...don't think I will let you go off that easily," the burly man had leaned towards him, smirking at him, perfect white teeth. "You sister is getting married right..."

He would have at that moment, lunged at him, beating the crap out of that man to talk about his sister in like that way. But he remained frozen on his spot on the sofa, fear radiating around his body.

"Sir, please leave my family out of this," he pleaded.

"Then do as I say,"

The burly man had got up, gave him a deadline for him to make a decision, but left the briefcase lying on the table. He knows that one of the goons must be standing outside.

He wished he had never worked at that party that night. He wished he had never witnessed that murder...

He could never forget her face--a beautiful girl with dark brown hair cascading down her shoulders, looking frightened at her so called boyfriend, arguing like normal couples do. In a fit of rage, the boyfriend slapped her, the girl's face turning red and had pulled her hair and crashed her head on the wall. He had wanted to stop this boy but his feet remained rooted, cowardly, staring at the scene in front of him unbelievably. The girl was crying, pleading him to stop. She was trying to wriggle herself free from his grip but he was way to strong for her. He pulled her towards the balcony, the girl crying for help. But the poor girl didn't get any help. The boy is more powerful than the girl. And the only witness was just watching this whole thing, hidden behind the closet, shocked at the scene. The boy then tried to push the girl and there was a small struggle, with the girl fighting with him, trying to claw at him. Then he pushed. A blood curling scream echoed in the air, then complete silence.

Ever since that night, he was having nightmares and woke up ever time with that blood curling scream, replaying in his head.

He shakes that image. He saw the news. An American Sri Lankan girl named Rhea Martin was found dead at the Havelock Town Condominiums, witness claiming that boyfriend pushed her--boyfriend was Rahul Jayamaha who is the son of that burly man...who happened to be the Minister of the cabinet and the younger brother of the President of the country.

He knew he had to tell the truth. Rahul killed Rhea in cold blood. He was not the only witness--the police told him there were three more witnesses who saw the couple arguing and Rahul slapping Rhea. The murder of Rhea Martin had become a news sensation in this country, some demanding justice at the way Rhea was murdered brutally.

But he had to think about his family. These politicians will do anything in their power to ruin one's life. Already, Rhea's life and her family's life was ruined. He didn't want them to ruin his family life.

He made his decision.

July 24, 2020 16:02

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