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He inhaled in the citrus scent of car freshner in order to stop himself from asking a ridiculious question but he ended up asking it anyway, ” Have we met before? ”

Brenton, who was driving, was caught off guard looked at Derby with a raised brow, trying to understand his intentions wheras, Derby cringed internally for asking such a dumb question. He couldn’t help but voice it out because cop’s behaviour towards him was rude with bits and pieces of mockery as an added bonus.

" Seems like you’ve had lots of encounter with cops and have trouble remembering their faces. ” Brenton didn’t waste a second to pull off another satire.

′ Here we go again! ′

It was a wrong decision to even have this conversation with this man who had ego bigger than Mount Everest. Now that he had already spat it out, he attempted to rectify it by framing once again, ” no, as I said, I had no encounters with cops. It’s just, I mean, I find your behaviour rude, particularly towards me and I don’t know why is that. ”

Brenton stiffled a yawn while trying to concentrate on road rather than the idiot of a man sitting next to him. He too hadn’t slept since this case was allotted to him and this man’s gibberish wasn’t helping him a bit. He scoffed at his question before answering, ” well, I wasn’t taught in my training to give flowers and bouquet to a possible murderer. ”

" Wow! You’ve already drawn a conclusion, haven’t you? ” Derby was amazed with the cop’s boldness and God forbid, what if he doesn’t succeed in getting an alibi? The thought was enough to make him panic and he had a cold sensation shooting down through his spine. He definitely needed to get a lawyer as soon as possible.

Brenton didn’t bother to respond and took a turn on the road leading them to the woods. It was a heavy and pregnant pause between the. as he was too busy in thinking about his work and latter was possibly in trauma.

Meanwhile, Derby fidgeted with his fingers, thinking about all the scenarios. He was contemplating whether to tell him about the creepy incident of morning.

′ will he believe me? ′

His conscience had a full blown laughter at this particular question. Cop’s recent words have put him in his place and he had made it clear that he’s the prime suspect. There was no way in a hell in which he would believe him. For him, it would be a cooked up story and deep down, he wished it to be so.

Trying to brush all the tensions away for a while, he looked outside through car’s window panes. It was such a nostalgia with all those thick woods around him. Vista loved rustic surroundings, though she was brought up in the city of Angels, Los Angeles with glitters all around. For her, peace and nature was a must and it was she, who had persuaded him to buy a land over there. She really took care of their home diligently, turning it into a real heaven. Homely, calm, empathetic and loving summed up her persona. That innocent smile was all it took for his heart to flip but time changed. They wanted a child and that’s where everything went downhill. Their relationship suffered when she wasn’t able to conceive, despite several attempts.

She was a fighter who wanted to try but he couldn’t believe that she was dead now. She was a lovely lady with no enemies but then who had killed her ? Last night was a still mystery to him. He met her around seven or eight in the evening and then suddenly in the middle of night, he got a call from cops. What happened within that span of time?
Had anyone kidnapped her and kept a corpse in order to trick cops of her death? If that’s the case, then his wife. might be alive. He wondered and this made his heart burst with hope but what if it was really of Vista?

Ugh! It was getting confusing with each passing minute. He had no idea about dead bodies but the one which he had seen was definitely a horrendous one.

Vista didn’t deserve this. She didn’t deserve any of this hell but wasn’t he the one who had contributed major shares in building up her hell ? He did and he was ashamed, more like loathe himself for this. She had even begged him last night but he was ruthless enough to push her off. That last push which he had given her at the threshold was still vivid in his mind and not to forget that look of hers in the end.

His chain of thoughts were broken when Brenton pulled out his car in front of his isolated house. Soon, they were out of the car, moving inside the house. Brenton lifted up the yellow tape and went inside, taking in the view inside. Philips, a junior officer, younger than Brenton by a year or two, was quick enough to update him with all the happenings.

" Sir, there’s the lady who called 911. ”
Philips pointed out at a lady whose back was facing them while two policemen were recording her statement.

Derby’s curiosity was on it’s peak to look at the person who had called the police in the first place and he was hot on his tail behind Brenton. He could see a thin lady’s back who was dressed in knee length black flowy skirt and a white top.

Brenton addressed her, ” Ma’am!”

On listening his voice, she turned around and her tear struck face was the first thing which Derby noticed.
Realisation dawned upon his face and he exclaimed, ” Anna? ”

" I’m so sorry for your loss, Mr. Morris. These cops are saying that Mrs. Morris could be the dead one. ” saying so, she broke down into more tears.

Even before Derby could reapond, Brenton interrupted, ” Do you know each other ?”

" Oh yes, she is Anna, our helper who comes once in a week over here to clean the lawn and run few other household errands. ” Derby told the cops while Anna, a lady in her early forties, nodded.

" I see, so tell me Anna, what exactly happened last night? ” Brenton asked in a calm tone in order to not scare the lady.

" Well, since past two weeks, when I came here, I couldn’t find Mrs Morris even after calling out her names several times. I came here in the night, around nine, in order to take my payment for this month but again, there was no one. I needed the money urgently and therefore, I went upstairs and knocked on the bedroom door. When Mrs. Morris didn’t open the door, I opened it by myself and ..”
Anna shuddered hard as if recalling that moment.

Brenton kept his hands on her shoulders in a comforting manner and encouraged her to speak further. This made Derby scowl. This cop never comforted him, instead intimidated him more but right now, he was behaving like a sugar plum. Anyways, he concentrated on Anna’s talk.

" and, then I found a dead body in the middle of the bed. I ran downwards and called 911 but I was so panicked that I couldn’t stay in the house and went back to my home even before cops could come. ” it was difficult with all the crying, but Anna told cops everything.

Brenton nodded at her and asked Philips if he had recorded her statement. When the answer was positive, he looked at her and said, ” Thank you for your co operation Ms. Anna. Please get your address noted down and we’ll contact you if we will need your further help. ”

Anna nodded her head while sobbing and got her address noted down and went away. Brenton massaged his temples with his hands and try to relieve his nerves. A stressful start way to start the day. He thought but this was his job.

He turned towards Derby and asked her to show him Vista’s documents but not before asking him, ” well, Mr. Morris, your girlfriend lives in a very lavish apartment. May I know that where does she work? ”

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