It was 1 pm last December when I was traveling am in a train. Within another half an hour I was expecting to reach my destination station.
The purpose of my travel was to attend a conference about the usage of certain medicinal plants grown in the southern part of the country. Since I am a doctor, I needed to know about the recent usage of the herbs that are available over the counter, and therefore to broaden my knowledge sphere this conference was of worth to attend.
I enjoyed my entire journey since time of boarding on the train because of my co-passenger Rasley, a tall dark man with a small mustache. We both boarded from Rohester and were be traveling to Mount Keny hill station. At 10 minutes away from our destination, Rasley discovered a left over briefcase beneath his seat. I assured him that it was not mine and told him that it might be of the passenger who was sitting on that sit before we boarded. Asking about its whereabouts to other passengers around us also were futile.
The lonely briefcase made us to think of various possibilities from someone forgetting the briefcase there to intentional placement of a bomb beneath the seat. Our good spirit of being a good citizen made us contact the railway authority on reaching Mount Keny hill station. The concerned railway officer asked us few questions and then took couple of our details and allowed us to go.
I see offed Rasley and went for the hotel at Dukkan street where my room is booked for 3 days and 3 nights. The good of this traveling was that I didn’t have to pay for my travel expenses, the pharma company which hosted the conference, paid it for me. I always criticize this culture of providing such financial support to doctors but probably can’t sacrifice it when myself is the beneficiary; dirty human nature I suppose.
On arrival at the hotel I was welcomed with a cup of black coffee at the lounge. Coffee makes me crazy and sets my mood. I sat nearby the reception area of the hotel on a couch to watch news. Unfortunately, I couldn’t watch the news longer than a minute as they were broadcasting sports news, which is the last news recipe I would love to see in a news. So, I thought of going to my room to get a shower but a line running below the display screen of the news stopped me from getting up from the sofa. It mentioned that a black tall unidentified man about 6 feet tall was found dead at Holter garden area and incidentally I remembered that Rasley, was of similar physical outfit, and he said to me in train that he was going to meet her younger daughter at a place called ‘Holter garden’. But, I am not sure if that was Rasley or someone else of similar health architecture.
I immediately dialed the nearest police station from my 5 inch tall smartphone to know about the deceased. What I heard from the police officer on phone made myself sit still for a minute. A person called ‘Rasley’ was found dead, at Holter garden area today afternoon, said the officer. He further added that the bag found by Rasley and me in train came out to be full of latest type of explosives, however, police remained non-conclusive if Rasley’s murder had any link with reporting about the explosive full briefcase to the railway authorities. He was shot from point blank range. My gut feeling was, there must be some connection with Rasley’s murder and informing authorities about the explosives. May be the frustrated terrorist group who wanted to blow of the train full of passengers took revenge by killing my co-passenger for failing their terror plans. If my guess was true, next they would be coming after me too.
”Hello sir, are you alright?” – the receptionist came towards me and asked. She then inquired ”I can see you sweating severely. What can I do for you?”. My voice which was almost buried in fear and it came out at very low decibels “No thanks. I am fine. Just a thought”. I pulled myself out of the couch and went for my room at the 2nd floor of the hotel.
Upon entering my room first I contacted my spouse and shared my story to shred some of my anxiety. Then I took another cup of coffee and started to figure out what should I do next.
Next day morning, I went to the conference as scheduled and presented my paper. It was not a good presentation, as my brain was preoccupied with thoughts of the previous day. I was continuously getting bad day dreams of similar fate of mine like Rasley’s. But nothing like that happened and I returned safely to the hotel room in the evening.
The receptionist called me at 9 pm and said that there was a parcel for me. I collected it from the reception and then opened it in my room and found a briefcase inside it. The senders name and address terrified me, it was Rasley who just died on the previous day. Rasley was a co-passenger only and I didn’t know him before, hence receiving a parcel from him would obviously astonish me. But the question was how and why should a dead man send me a briefcase? Most important thing was what’s inside that briefcase.
PART 2 OF THIS SERIES CAN BE FOUND HERE- THE BRIEF CASE STORY: PART 2