“She has a daughter?”
“Trust me, detective, I was as shocked as you are right now when I was told of this.” Jasmine says
“Told by who?”
“Rose’s mother. She’s in town, she came with the baby.”
Detective Protea makes a face and drinks his coffee. He was around the neighbourhood dealing with a house call so he decided to come in to say hi to his favourite author. Jasmine welcomed him with a mug of coffee.
“I still can’t wrap my head around the fact that Rose took her own life. I just can’t,” she says.
“I hear you, Jasmine. But you saw the suicide note. You were there.”
“I know, I know,” she clunks down her mug some drops of coffee spill out. She gets up. “Something doesn’t add up.”
“Well,” detective Protea digs his hand in one of his jacket pockets and takes out two photos taken on Rose’s dead body on the floor of the flat. “They say seeing is believing,” he says, and places the pictures on the table so Jasmine can look at them for as long as she wants. It’s suicide, nothing less or more than that.
Jasmine brings her glasses on. She peers at the pictures with deep silence, detective Protea feels urged to say something but he doesn’t. He continues with his coffee instead.
She’s still transfixed at the photos. The body looks different in pictures than in actual presence. The slice on Rose’s wrist does look normal. At the second picture, Jasmine sees a new clue. “Wait a minute,” she says.
“This is the knife she used?” She turns the photo to him. It’s a knife that has a lime-green and silver handle. Most of the blade is covered in blood.
“That’s what she used. Didn’t you see the knife? At the flat?” Protea asks.
“I didn’t see it. Forensics must’ve removed it before I came in,” Jasmine says.
“What about the knife? What’s going on?”
“I’ve seen this knife before, detective,” she says. “Or at least one that looks like it.”
“Where?” Asks the detective. He has forgotten about his coffee now.
“At Jay’s party. At his house.” All the smiley faces surrounding the birthday cake that might come to Jasmine, when the birthday cake was cut with the same looking knife: lime-green and silver handle. Even the size of the blade matches the one Jasmine is looking at on the photo right now.
“Are you sure it’s the same knife?” Asks the detective.
“I’m sure. Now why would..” She trails off, a finger on the chin.
“Is there anyone living in Jay’s house who would’ve wanted your friend dead? The wife? Jay himself?”
“Well, it’s not a secret that Jay and Rose hated each other, certain instances fueled that,” Jasmine says. They freeze in deep thoughts, both of them unaware that the are thinking the same thing.
“You perhaps think…that Jay…”
“Cut Rose’s wrist?” She finishes his sentence, he gravely nods. It’s the only logical conclusion they could fall to. The knife being a part of Jay’s utensils and his feud with Rose. Jasmine is sure about the knife, she has never seen it anywhere else except in Jay’s home.
“Yesterday morning when Rose was discovered, around the same time she presumably died, I called Susan, Jay’s wife, and told her that Rose committed suicide. That time Jay wasn’t at home,” Jasmine says.
“Where was he?”
“Susan said he was at one of his butchery stores,” Jasmine says, beginning to suspect that meat was not the only thing Jay was cutting that morning. What he said rings inside her head: “Not everyone is as kind hearted as you are, Jasmine. Remember that.” This statement and the knife provide new suspicions which might refute the ones she had earlier on. The gears in her brain move quick. She is sucked deep inside her thoughts, looking for something. She could feel it. Yes, there is something. Something she cannot quite grasp, just fragments here and there, the pieces to the puzzle she needs to put together in order to dig herself out of this confusion.
“Jasmine? Jasmine?” Detective Protea says.
She turns to him at once, like she’s just gotten out of a trance.
“What are you thinking? You are far from here,” he says.
“Nothing. Would you…would you like more coffee?”
“What I would like is to head over to Jay’s house with a search warrant and see if he has the same knife as this.”
“That won’t prove anything, detective. Sit down, I’ll bring you more coffee,” she moves to the kettle.
“You have any cakes? Or sandwiches, biscuits maybe? I could really use some.” He chuckles but Jasmine doesn’t chuckle with him. Not that what he said is funny but her look is one of being miles away, he only wonders what’s going on in her head right now. She’s standing still, eyes not looking at anything in particular.
“The biscuits. Yes. That’s right, the biscuits,” she says.
“The biscuits? What are you on about now?”
“Detective I need you to get the ME to run some blood tests on Rose’s body”
“What does that have to do with the biscuits?”
“A lot, detective, a lot. Just trust me. I’ll give you call.”
Sosa as usual, is on the couch with an obese, bald headed woman on his laps on this occasion. He’s shirtless, and the windows are open yet he feels not a single blow of air because he’s pulled her close, her breast brush against his chin as they kiss. She tastes all the cigarettes as he slides his tongue inside her mouth. At this moment a tongue isn’t the only thing he wants to insert.
There’s a knock on the door. They ignore it. Another knock but they are too deep in the kiss to acknowledge it. The third knock sounds more like a bang, the door is being punched or rammed.
The obese bald woman flinches when Sosa disconnects from her mouth and jumps out from the couch. “The fuck it is?”
Jasmine also flinches when he swings open the door it rattles at the hinges. “And now?” He growls at her.
Seconds pass where Jasmine tries to find her voice. She rapid blinks at his toplessness; a tattoo of eagle with it’s wings wide above his chest.
“Seems like I disturbed you,” she says.
“Damn right you did. The fuck do you want?”
“You must be Sosa. It’s so nice to meet you,” she reaches her hand to him for a handshake but he only crosses his big arms and frowns at her.
“I was wondering if I could get Sanchez. Is he around?”
“Whatchu want with him? You want a loan?”
“No. I just want him to accompany me to fetch the money for Rose’s debt. I’m willing to settle it for her,” Jasmine says.
That’s music to Sosa’s ear, he begins to grab her hand and shakes it, looks back and yells for Sanchez, who comes in at once. “Boss,” he sees who she’s with. “Ms. Jasmine?”
“Get the money,” Sosa whispers to him and gets inside, closes the door on them both.
“Ms. Jasmine how–how’d you find where we stay?” Sanchez asks.
She shrugs. “I have my ways.”