She finishes up her jog as she returns home with a plastic of raw liver. She refreshes in a quick shower and gets herself into fresh clothes. She’s preparing the pots for cooking when there is a knock on the door. “I’m coming,” she takes out the liver from the plastic and leaves it in the pot, gets to the door and pulls it open.
“Wow,” she says. “That was quick.”
“It’s not like this guy was hiding,” Sanchez says.
“What did you find?” Jasmine snatches the papers from his hands.
“Phone numbers, home address, some background info. What do you want with him?”
“I’m just scratching an itch,” she replies with her eyes still on the papers. This Bradley Mitchell guy is a thirty six year old construction worker with two kids (one of them being Daisy Aconite) and a long history of alcohol addiction, spent some time in and out of rehab. Three criminal records of burglary and theft and a serious case he faced some years ago for domestic violence. He spent a year and a quarter behind bars for physically abusing one of his previous partners. Further information show that he’s Schizophrenic and dyslexic. In these papers there are clippings of his pictures and mugshots. A snake tattoo wrapped around his neck, and a flash of gold teeth in one picture where he was captured smiling. He looks scary; his eyes deep and dead shot, a nose ring too big for his nose and lips hanging with dead skin. Other papers there is more string of information about his past, school career (of which ended in the ninth grade),credit score and work history and day to day activities that Jasmine isn’t all too interested in. What is interesting is that this is the man Rose once loved and had a child with. What did she ever see in him? Jasmine asks herself.
She looks up at Sanchez.
“How did you find all of this?”
He shrugs. “I have my ways.”
“Thank you, young man. You did really good.”
“I know. That’s why I work for Sosa. Can I get the money now? He’d be pissed if I return empty handed.”
“There’s one little thing I need to do first,” Jasmine says.
“Hi. Am I speaking to Bradley? Bradley Mitchell. From Middlebrooks?”
“Who’s looking for him?”
“Jasmine Floral from Lavenderville. That’s me, sir.”
“Why would Jasmine Floral look for– wait. Jasmine Floral? The author?”
A laugh on the other line, or it sounds like a giggle, Jasmine can’t hear it well. “I’m a huge fan of your novels, Ms. How did you get my numbers?”
“I sent someone to do a little digging for me, hope you don’t mind. There’s something I’d like to discuss with you.”
A deep clear of the throat. “You sent someone to spy on me? A stalker!?” He says.
“That’s because I want to discuss something important with you. Calm down,” Jasmine says.
“What the hell is going on?”
“I’m about to tell you something terrible. I don’t know if you know but Rose…you know Rose do you?”
Nothing. Silence. “Bradley are you there?”
“I’m here. You mean my ex, Rose?”
“That one. Yes, your baby mama. She killed herself, Bradley. “
“How do you..? What are you telling me?”
“I’m saying Rose committed suicide,” Jasmine says.
“Yeah, yeah I heard you, but like…,” the rest of the words die in his mouth.
“When last did you see her?” Jasmine asks.
He pauses to think, then tells her he last saw Rose on Tuesday. That’s five days ago.
“You actually came here in Lavenderville and saw her?”
“Yes,” he agrees. There is a different pitch to his tone that doesn’t fit well to Jasmine’s ear. If darkness had a voice. It’s like the guy wasn’t laughing or giggling a minute ago.
“What happened? What did you talk about?” Her interest has reached it’s highest. She’s on her feet now, holding the phone with a pulse of a vein at the back of her hand. “Bradley?”
“When you met Rose this past Tuesday what happened?” She asks, her own voice sounding strange to her.
“You mean you beat her.”
“No. We only argued,” says Bradley.
“Argued about what?”
“Why you asking all these questions? Are you really Jasmine Floral?”
“Yes, it’s me,” she sighs out the loudest breath. “Rose is a close friend of mine. I’m just trying to figure out what happened.”
“But you said she committed suicide. I met her in this flat she rented. We argued about Daisy. Rose was keeping her from me.”
“What do you mean?”
“Ever since my daughter was born I haven’t seen her,” Bradley says. “I don’t know what she looks like. My own child.”
“Was it that bad?”
“You have no idea.”
“She’s here,” Jasmine says.
“Your daughter. She’s here, with Rose’s mother. You can come and see her if you want.”
“Thank you. I…honestly don’t know what to say,”
The truth is what she wants him to say. But even she doesn’t know what the truth is. What she does conclude to however, due to what she’s gathered thus far after the death, is that the real truth is far from what they’ve been lead to believe. She Just needs something that’ll lead her to something new and juicy, to unravel it all.
“They are at Rose’s place. You know where it is?” She asks Bradley.
“No, I don’t.”
“I’ll send you the address,” Jasmine says, not really sure whether she’s doing the right thing or not. She ends the call. A father deserves to see his own child, doesn’t he? Regardless of who the father is and how he is. That is still his daughter. Why had Rose kept Daisy away from him for so long? All these months. Then Jasmine remembers last night’s drive when Violet told her and Susan that Bradley used to abuse Rose: “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.” But until Tuesday he found Rose at his own flat and they argued. Now Rose is dead. An ex who used to molest her physically finds her and fights with her the same week she dies. A coincidence? Jasmine once again looks at the documents provided by Sanchez, she puts on her glasses and reads the part about Bradley Mitchell’s three criminal records of burglary and theft and a serious case he faced some years ago for domestic violence. He spent a year and a quarter for beating up one of his previous partners.
This information hits different now. Jasmine sits back and ponders it over.