It’s 18H30 when the doorbell sounds. Violet gets up to open it. “Jasmine?”
“How are you?”
“What are you doing here, at this time?”
“In the morning at the library I told you that I want you to be present when I pay your twin sister’s debt,” says Jasmine.
“I remember that. What, you want us to go now?” Violet checks her wrist watch. She’s wearing a dark purple silk gown, gold shiny earrings hanging from her lobes, an inch away from touching her bare shoulders.
“We can go any time you prefer. It’s your money after all,” Jasmine says. She welcomes herself inside the house and throws herself on the couch.
Violet wears a questioning face but says nothing. “I think now’s not a good time to go, Jas. Would you like something to drink?”
“No, thank you. I’m fine. Where’s your mother? And the little girl?”
“Upstairs in the bathroom. Mom’s bathing Daisy.”
“Oh, I see. Have you guys set the date of the funeral yet?”
“No, we haven’t, Jas. What brings you here?”
“Jas,” Jasmine repeats the name with a smirk. “I find it a bit strange. Rose was the only one who called me Jas.”
Violet stares at her.
“And between you sisters Rose was the only one who had an interest in literature. She’d occasionally ask me about my books, and she’d occasionally visit the Daffodil library,” Jasmine says. “And you were sitting exactly where Rose always sits, wearing the exact glasses she always wore.”
“Okay? So…what?” Violet sounds shaky.
“You were really sloppy, Violet,” Jasmine says. “Or should I say Rose. You were really sloppy. It was a nice plan but your visit to the library ruined it all.”
“What the hell are you talking about?”
“So is this how you want to play it?” Jasmine says.
“Alright. Besides finding you at the library I already had my suspicions. Remember I told you about the debt money but you forgot about it and pretended you remembered it. Not once but twice. A person can forget about anything but not their money, especially one that they have just recently gave to another person.”
“Is that it?” Violet snickers. “Get to the point please.”
“You already know my point. I can also say that your feud with Jay was intentional on your side, well, at least part of it. You stole the kitchen knife at the party then you chucked wine to his face to create more tension and reason as to why he would want you dead. Next morning I remember Violet was with me when she received a call from you. That’s when you asked her to come over isn’t it?
When she came over you gave her something which knocked her out consciously, and then you slit her left wrist when she passed out. You used the same knife you stole from Jay’s kitchen. Then you switched clothes, wrote the suicide note, and left the flat looking like Violet.
But you made a mistake when you cut her wrist. That night when we were on our way home inside a cab, when you jotted down the referrals for the research of my novel, I noticed that you are left handed. Yet when I saw Violet’s dead body, the body which you wanted us to believe is yours, I saw that the slit wrist is the left one. That was the first red flag. When someone cuts their wrist for suicide, they always cut the wrist of the hand they don’t use. In your case, you would have to cut the wrist of the right hand.
You wanted it to look like suicide. But then you used Jay’s kitchen knife because you knew that at some point the police would trace it back to him and they’d no doubt think he’s the murderer because he and Rose – who is you – didn’t get along well.”
Rose claps her hands. “Wow. I must admit, you smarter than you look, Jas.”
“Thank you. But I’m the one who should be clapping hands. It was a brilliant plan; faking your death and using your own twin sister as a bait, and if your plan of making it look like suicide didn’t work, you would have successfully pinned the murder to Jay, your enemy. A brilliant plan.”
“A very brilliant plan. Then I’d continue living as Violet in this huge house and that fancy car. All these clothes,” Rose says, looking up at the chandelier and down at the silk garment she’s wearing. “I’d have escaped my debt. And instead of getting my stuff repossessed I’d have annexed it. A brilliant plan indeed.” She smiles and drinks her ice tea.
“My last conversations with Violet when I asked her about you two, she told me that ever since you were both young you’ve always been the jealous twin. When she offered to give you money for the debt you declined it. It’s pretty clear you never wanted her money,” Jasmine says. “You wanted her life.”
Rose laughs and picks up the champagne from the mantelpiece. She holds it close, stares at it like she’s a connoisseur. “This bottle costs more than the rent I pay for that dismal flat. My sister lived a very successful life. The only thing we shared in common was the looks. She drove a Beamer, lived in this huge house,” Violet looks up at the Chandelier again, all its shine and gold descends on her smile. “Had a lot of money. She had the lifestyle, the charm, my mother’s praise. I had nothing. You are right, Jas. And she was right too. I was jealous. I had to find a way out of that debt, and a way out of that shit life I was living,” Rose says.
Camellia, her mother, suddenly emerges with baby Daisy in her hands, the door behind her raps close. “Hey. It’s Jasmine, right?” She reaches out her hand, Jasmine shakes it.
“And she’s on her way out. We are done,” Rose has found the exit door. She opens it, expecting Jasmine to say her final goodbyes and walk out. That never happens.
“The door has been opened for you, detective. You and Sanchez can get in,” Jasmine says on the phone.
“What?” Rose exclaims.
“We had listeners,” Jasmine dangles her phone between two fingers, to show that she called the detective minutes ago before she got in here. “The oldest trick in the book. And you fell for it. You did say I’m smarter than I look,” she says in a little smile.
Detective Protea and Sanchez walk in following each other. “When you told me your theory Jasmine, I almost said your nuts,” says the detective.
“Well, I did say I’ll give you a call didn’t I?”
“What does this have to do with the biscuits?” He asks.
“Violet loved the brown biscuits I baked.”
“I don’t blame her,” he says, reminisces the taste.
“Violet always ate them with tea. But when me and Susan were here, when the tea was served, I was shocked as to why she’d eat scones now. I almost asked her what happened to all those brown biscuits I packed for her, until I realised that something was wrong. This wasn’t Violet. When you asked me for the biscuits earlier today it brought it all back and I remembered.”
“Shut up!” Rose explodes and they all look at her.
The baby in Camellia’s hands squalls. “Violet, what’s going on?’ Camellia asks.
“I’m sorry, ma’am but this is not Violet. You are looking at Rose. Violet is the one who’s dead, killed by her,” says Jasmine.
But all Camellia sees is Violet. That’s the idea. She’s Rose’s twin after all. As if detective Protea reads her mind, he tells her:”blood tests were run on the deceased twin. The results prove that it’s not Rose who’s dead. It’s Violet.”
“And we also have audio proof that it’s not suicide,” adds Jasmine as she shows Camellia her phone. “The Medical Examiner has issued his findings. Traces of cyanide in Violet’s blood stream.”
“Cyanide?” Camellia repeats the word.
“It’s very poisonous. That’s how Violet died. Not that cut on her wrisr,” Jasmine says.
“But…but…I don’t…get it. Who would do such a thing to Violet. Why? Who would do that?” Camellia asks.
Detective Protea, Sanchez and Jasmine all look at Rose.
“Let’s not waste each others time,” says the detective as he takes out the handcuffs. Jasmine produces a huge brown envelope full of money, looks deep into Rose. “Now you see why I have to pay the debt,” she says. “It’s because you still alive.” She hands the envelope to Sanchez as the detective wraps the cuffs around Rose’s wrists.
Rose is in tears now but not actually crying. She can’t raise up her face to even look at her mom Camellia and her own baby she was willing to play aunt to her whole life. Her head is bent. Detective Protea walks her out of the house along with Sanchez by his side. “I thought moms with twins are able to tell who is who,” says Sanchez as he shoves the brown envelope inside his jacket.
“Me too,” agrees the detective.
Jasmine is left in the house with Camellia, holding her in a hug, Camellia’s own tears falling on Jasmine’s shoulder. Daisy, the baby is on the couch, wondering and not having the slightest clue of what is going on. Jasmine looks at the baby over Camellia’s shoulder, and wishes the baby only inherited its mothers looks, not the heart.
*inspired by Murder She Wrote.
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