Once again, this story takes place in the same continuity as my other two stories - "Tales from the Black Swan" and "The Murder Incident". This is my second try at a mystery story. I will try to add a new chapter every day (the story won't be long). Hope you enjoy.
The Restaurant Incident
"Are you enjoying yourself?"
Alessa looked up at me, her mouth half filled with some exquisite dish that I did not know the name of. All I knew was that it tasted delicious, at least to me.
Alessa smiled. "Enjoying? I'm loving every moment of it! First that movie and now this romantic dinner. A girl couldn't ask for more."
I'd met her at a science exhibition last month. She was an interior designer and was giving a presentation on that day. I, being an architect, had been naturally interested.
'More like interested in her,' Peter had remarked that day.
To be honest, I was interested in her. I had managed to strike up a conversation with her and month later – here we were.
"When are you going to introduce me to your other friends?" she asked.
"You wanna meet them?"
"Well, yes of course. That's why I asked. I've already met Peter, of course. Quite a gentleman. Are your other friends like him?"
"More or less, yeah. Though you'll find it difficult to talk with Michael. He has Asperger's and doesn't talk much with people other than us. But he's quite brilliant, always keen on details. He is the brainiest of us all, honestly."
"Well I'm sure he'll talk once we've gotten to know each other," she said with a smile. That perfect little smile on her face.
"I'll be back. Restroom," I said and got up.
The restaurant we were in wasn't crowded. There were sixteen tables in the room; four rows and four columns. We had taken the last seat of the third column. The place was perfect. It was right beside a window and a cool breeze blew in every now and then. A man, probably in his forties considering his receding hairlines and wrinkles on the forehead, was seated alone on the table beside us, in the second column. In the same column, on the first table, sat another man. This guy had a well toned body. I could tell that he was an athlete of some sort.
There was a family seated on the very first table of the first column right beside the door. All of their faces bore smiles. They must be having a good time. On the third seat sat a woman. She seemed to be in her twenties. The way she was fidgeting around, she seemed to be waiting for someone and growing impatient. The fourth column had the most people – couples in the first, third and the last table. My guess, the tables furthest from the door would provide them a little extra privacy. Me and Alessa were not exactly a couple. We were dating but were not in a relationship.
That was the last calm scene I took in for that day. Exiting the room, I'd headed straight for the toilet and was about to open the door when the lights suddenly went out, leaving me in dark. I was confounded for a moment, not sure what to do. I just stood where I was until the lights came back. It must have taken about a minute. I could hear faint whirring in a distance. They must have started a generator.
That's when I heard the scream. Alessa's scream. Followed by another woman's scream.
I instantly forgot about relieving myself and ran to the dining room. Alessa, was leaning back as if repelled by something. Her face was completely ashen. The other woman too sat in the same position with the same look. The smiles had disappeared from the family members right next to the door and the three couples had their head turned not at each other but the man who had been sitting next to our table. In fact, everyone's attention was directed to him. The other man who had been sitting alone. The one who I said looked like an athlete stood above that man. The former man's upper body was sprawled on the table. The athlete grabbed the man's limp hand and held it for a second. Then he dropped it and shook his head. I noticed that foam had accumulated in the limp man's face.
I now realized what had happened.
"This man is dead!" the athlete declared. Then to my surprise and horror, he pointed a finger at Alessa. "You killed him!"