They all meet at Violet’s house. Camellia, the mother of the twins comes through with an infant girl. Introductions are made. The infant has the same facial features as Violet and Camellia. “Her name’s Daisy,” Camellia says. “She’s Rose’s baby.”
“Really?” Susan says. She and Jasmine aren’t shocked that it’s Rose –really the looks tell it all, one could even think it’s Violet’s baby– but they’re shocked because neither Rose or Violet said anything about Daisy.
“Now Rose won’t see her on her first day at school,” says the infant’s grandmother, Camellia.
“How many months is she?” Jasmine asks.
“One year, three months. I decided to take her with me the day she was born. Rose couldn’t manage. She’s been battling financial problems ever since,” says Camellia.
Violet returns from the kitchen with a tray of mugs and a teapot and a plate of scones. Jasmine wonders what happened to all those biscuits she gave her.
The four ladies talk about Rose’s death; how sudden and shocking it is. Later when they finish tea, Camellia tells them that the rest of the family will come over so the funeral arrangements will be discussed. When it’s evening Violet drives Susan and Jasmine back to their homes while Camellia remains behind with Daisy.
“This thing about Daisy, it’s a part Rose would rather forget about, hence she never talked about her,” Violet says, handling the steering wheel with one hand.
“A past she would rather forget about?” Reiterates Susan from the backseats near Jasmine.
“Her ex boyfriend, Daisy’s father, used to…beat her up. My sister was in an abusive relationship so after giving birth she left everything at Middlebrooks and came to settle here for a new beginning,” says Violet with eyes very bleary. She wipes them with a quick hand. Her make up is now smudged but she’s too sombre to care right now. There are better things to care about. She feels a sense of discomfort as Jasmine’s eyes stay glued to her, looking at her like everything else doesn’t exist. Further silence will heighten the awkwardness, Violet blurts out her question to Susan as she stops the Beamer before the red robot. “How’s the meat business?”
It takes seconds for Susan to answer, she may have had her mind somewhere else, probably thinking about Rose and why she never said anything about having baby after all those months of friendship. Or was she ashamed of the baby because of the abuse from the baby daddy? “The meat business is going well. Jay is about to open a new butchery out of town.”
“That’s nice,” says Violet in a smile that Jasmine quickly sees as forced; a smile that has to be there because without it the words accompanied by it would sound vague.
“What is the name of Daisy’s father?” Jasmine asks.
Violet gives her a stare for a second. Why the hell would she want to know that? “Why you want to know?” Violet thinks out loud.
“Just curious,” Jasmine grins, although hers is also forced but Violet is too focused on the road to notice it.
Seconds pass before Violet says the man’s name as, at the same time, she passes past her reluctance, and due to those passed silence Jasmine doesn’t know whether to believe the name to be true or not. But she finds no reason why Violet would lie. “His name is Bradley Mitchell,” says Violet.
Jasmine prepares herself for a jog in the morning. She’s already forty minutes late, she mostly begins her jogs at about seven, sometimes a few minutes less. But now? The truth is that she woke up a bit late and the true reason for that is that she didn’t sleep quite well. This whole thing with Rose and the secret baby was bugging her all night. Daisy Aconite. Why didn’t Rose say anything about her?
Jasmine feels the pile up in her mind. A jog would really help now. Dressed in her Adidas tracksuits, she ties her shoe laces, opens the door to leave but someone is blocking her way. Her heart almost stopped. “Jesus Christ,” she touches her chest and exhales.
“Sorry to frighten you, ma’am. I was about to knock. Good morning,” Sanchez says. He too is dressed in similar tracksuits, beads of sweat on his forehead he appeared to have completed his own run or jog. It was blatant he was here for the money, Jasmine could tell.
“Well, seeing as how you were able to find where I live I’m pretty much sure you can find a certain someone for me.”
“Ma’am, you a well known resident in this town, finding your house wasn’t that hard,” Sanchez says.
“Bradley Mitchell from MiddleBrooks.”
“That’s who I want you to find for me. Get me his contacts, and any sort of information you might find. Then I’ll pay you the money,” Jasmine says, closes the door, locks it and starts to jog.
“It’s not ma’am, it’s Jasmine.”
“Jasmine. Ms. Jasmine wait.”
She turns to him. “Listen young man. My friend Rose has passed. Normally that would mean the debt needs to be written off, right?”
He doesn’t move.
“Right?” She says again, he hesitantly nods this time around.
“But me and her twin sister are wiling to pay the debt because it’s the right thing to do. We don’t have to pay it, but we just have to. You understand that, don’t you?” She makes him nod again. “The sooner you do this one favour for me, the sooner you and your boss can finally have the money.”
“Wait, does this mean that you believe me when I say me and my guys had nothing to do with Rose’s death?” He asks.
“I’m not sure why you want me to believe you so much, it’s not like I’m a cop or anything.”
“Do you believe me now?”
“That doesn’t matter,” Jasmine smiles. “Now don’t forget, it’s Bradley Mitchell from Middlebrooks,” she says, and jogs away from him, leaving him standing on the pavement near her gate.
He scratches his head. He knows where Middlebrooks is, it’s not far from here. Who is this Bradley Mitchell guy anyways? More importantly why should he look for him?