Claire rings the doorbell to a dark brown door next to her apartment and steps back. She takes a deep breath, mentally preparing herself to encounter the thing that had to come.
The door opens to reveal a short heighted woman in late fifties. She has bronze skin and brown eyes with blonde hair.
“Ah, who do we have here?” The old lady speaks in her soft welcoming voice.
Claire clears her throat and murmurs sheepishly. “Hey Jo!”
Jo smiles to show off her perfectly shining teeth and then she notices Aron standing behind Claire. She whispers smugly to Claire with a wink, “Boyfriend?”
Claire’s eyes go wide on hearing that and she shakes her head wildly. “We are here to discuss a case.” She states sternly.
“Aron meet Jo, Josephine Root and Jo, this is Aron, Aron Brown.” She introduces them.
“Nice to meet you Aron.” Jo greets him and ushers both of them to come inside.Once seated, Jo asks them to wait till she brings something to eat.
“So, she is what you meant by ‘someone special’?” Aron asks plainly.
“Yeah!” Claire shrugs and Aron shakes his head. He sighs and his eyes wander around the room.
Jo has a very good taste in decoration. Her walls are occupied by the mosaic paintings that one can’t possibly understand. She has a huge shelf filled with books on crime. James Bond fan. Aron thinks.
“And how is she going to help us?” Aron asks looking at the books, putting a special emphasis on ‘help’.
Claire rolls her eyes and reclines on the sofa. Men will be men. She chuckles.
“If you don’t know, Josephine Root was the best detective in late 90s. There was no mystery born that she can’t solve. She is the lady Bond.”
“Oh, don’t mind! She’s just exaggerating.” Jo gently laughs while carrying a tray in the room. She puts it on the table and sits beside Claire.
Aron’s eyes bulge out. He looks at Jo, then Claire and then back at Jo. “You are the Josephine Root?”
“Hmm.” Claire hums while Jo simply nods blushing.
“Kids nowadays.” Jo comments and chuckles.
Aron stares Jo for a long time when a calm silence spreads in the atmosphere. He blinks, remembering all the praises of Josephine in newspapers. If she is as genius as the media honours her to be, then Aron had nothing to worry.
For the first time in three days, he isn’t afraid. Instead he is excited, to solve the case and get over all this mess in his life.
He has loved, was betrayed, had to revenge and had already paid a visit to the prison as a murder accused. This much adventure is enough for him for decades. Now all he wants is a peaceful life and with Jo, he can feel that in his grip.
“So Claire what is it?” Jo asks sipping her tea.
“I have gained Aron’s custody for seven days in which we have to prove his innocence. Because once he goes back to the department, no one will hesitate to give a verdict against him.” Claire explains seriously.
“Okay, I got it. You want my help to find the real murderer?” Jo asks slowly while thinking something.
“Yes.” Claire and Aron speak in unison. Then Aron continues, “I just want to get over this.”
“Hmm. Okay!” Jo nods and picks up the tray. She stands up holding the tray and turns to ask Claire to follow her. “Will you come with me girl, just for a moment?”
“I’ll be back.” Claire mouths to Aron and follows Jo into the kitchen. She puts the tray in basin and takes a knife from the holder.
“Claire baby, how come you trust this boy so much when you don’t trust people easily?” Jo asks looking at the shiny edge of the knife.
“I know him when he was at his low ebb. I have seen his broken phase. I know Aron Brown will never kill anyone, surely he has anger issues but he can’t murder.” Claire replies.
Jo nods. “Okay, I have got this covered. Let’s help Brown.” She speaks with a sigh and then turns to put that knife back in its place.
Claire notices one knife missing from the set and asks Jo to be careful. Jo shakes her head and chuckles. “Oh don’t worry girl, I know where that knife is. I’m not forgetting things.”
“Oh! Sorry.” Claire apologises and both of them walks into the living room. They see Aron shaking with the newspaper in his hands. Claire rushes to him and snatches the paper away.
“Aron?” Claire asks concerned but he doesn’t give any response. She bites her lip confused and then sees the morning newspaper.
The headline was ‘PSYCHO LOVER KILLED MAYRA WEST’ and the article said Aron was a psycho stalker of MAYRA who killed her when she rejected him. It contained several negative comments like ‘psycho’,‘mentally disable’ and ‘crazy lover’ for Aron.
“How dare they!” Aron yells and gets up, “If they don’t know the truth then they don’t have any rights to publish anything they want.”
Aron goes on cussing when Jo slides to a corner. Claire bites her lip and raises her both eyebrows. ”Taming the beast” Claire thinks and walks to pat his back. She holds his shoulders and makes him sit. “Breath in, breath out.”
“I won’t spare the person who did this neither I will spare this media.” Aron speaks through gritted teeth.
“My,my! This boy has anger issues.” Jo chuckles from behind. She then comes ahead and sits across them. “Will anyone tell me about the case?”
Claire mouths “You okay?” to Aron. He nods and then Claire starts narrating everything.
After she is done, Jo asks them about their prime suspect.
“Chase Williams. Last time we contacted to enquire him, he said he was busy. He will be coming today in the office.” Claire informs them.
“Great!” Jo exclaims. “I don’t like that boy either. He may give you some leads today.”
“Would you like to interrogate him?” Claire asks Jo.
“Will love to.” Jo smirks.
Aron intertwines his fingers and smirks evilly. He never knew his life could end up like this. People whom he trusted with his life have cheated him and the people he never cared for are here today, protecting his back.
Life is wild. He thinks and gets up to push all the negative thoughts aside. But suddenly his knee hits the table and a metallic chain falls off it.
Aron picks up the metal chain which had a heart locket. But before he could see the pictures in heart locket, Jo snatches it away. “Ah, boy. Focus here.”
Aron nods at her sudden dash and starts telling them about Chase. Claire sits silently all the time listening to the conversation when a sudden buzz breaks the calm.
She picks it up and an optimistic smile spreads on her face. After ending the call, she turns to Aron and Jo who are waiting for her to say something.
She takes a deep breath before announcing, “Chase is at the police station.”