Chapter 4

Written by: Rosemary Wakelin

For Cody, the next morning carried with it a strong air of ambivalence and a plague of unanswered questions. She cupped her sorry head, cursed the one too many vodkas from the previous night, then dragged her emotionally drained body into the bathroom. 

The shower was cool and refreshing, the sweet scent of sandalwood soap surprisingly uplifting.  Freshly dressed and armed with black coffee, Cody sat on the narrow window seat of her hotel room. Outside, New Delhi had already awoken, the sprawling circular Connaught Place filled with a medley of colourful transport. 

Cody settled against an ornate bolster cushion and recapped the events since her arrival, from her heated meeting with Lucky Singh and his questionable offer of money to last night’s visit from Dreadlocks Man. 

“The answer you seek lies with the household, but not the son,” Dreadlocks Man had said.

What had he meant? 

That someone else knew the truth about what happened to Jessica, someone willing to share? Like Daisy Singh?  But what mother would conspire against her own son?

That someone else, not Rajdeep, was responsible for Jessica’s murder? Lucky Singh’s monetary offer spoke differently, almost sealing Rajdeep’s guilt. 

Cody began twisting the black band of her wristwatch. She stared wide-eyed into Connaught Place, noticed the city’s menacing smog descending, cloaking New Delhi with its falsely protective arms.

She immediately stopped her watch twisting.

What if it wasn’t Rajdeep that Lucky was protecting? 

Cody was no detective, her only certification was reading a zillion ‘who dunnits’ since she was sixteen. Common to all them was the detective’s instincts. And Cody’s instincts said she was onto something. 

She drove to Chaudhri’s office and found a scribbled note taped to his locked door.  

‘Due to unforeseen circumstances, this practice is closed until further notice.’

Was Cody surprised? Barely.  Exasperated? Definitely. 

She pummelled her fists on the door just in case the weak-livered excuse for an investigator was inside. 

No answer. 

Now what?

She could storm into the Singh’s home, demand to speak with Daisy Singh. And she would probably see the inside of a New Delhi cell by nightfall.

She slumped against a nearby wall, ignored its biting, ragged edges and descended into a miserable heap. Defeat and the horrid sense of failure swarmed her.  She nursed her head, felt those same tears that had accompanied her painful days fall in ridiculous rivets down her cheeks.  

“Mum….”

Cody shot up. “Jessica?” She searched to her left and right, the ever- thickening smog making the task near impossible. The sounds of clacking footsteps and an old, bent woman appeared staring at Cody as if she was half-mad.

Perhaps she was.

Mad with grief and hopelessness. 

Don’t give up on me.”

 Pain, unlike any other seared Cody’s heart. She clutched her chest, promising her daughter she would never give up.

With her determination renewed, she marched towards her car. Something lay tucked neatly behind its wipers. 

She grabbed it, opened it and gasped. 

Hanuman Temple, it read, 5pm. 

 

Comments

I am reading this serial for the firzst time because I am writing chapter 9. This is such a good serial. The notes, the eerie feel of the vision and the grief Cody is feeling mixed with the determination to find out what happened to Jessica. Great chapter that carries the story forward. Notes well handled can be powerful But they need to be carefully handled. Super chapter Rosemary.