A couple of weeks before the wedding, Samson felt the weight of the entire world was on him. He was under a lot of pressure. The idea of wedding his lover and best friend was thrilling, but at a point, he started having second thoughts about everything.
Josephine, Jannice’s twin sister arrived from Canada for the wedding. It had been a little more than six years since Josephine left for Canada, and she was heartily welcomed back, even by her dad who banished her back then. No one was as thrilled as Jannice to have her sister back, not even Samson who couldn’t help but have recurring flashes of memories he had with Josephine.
Samson and Josephine kept their affair a secret back then, and even after all those years, he still kept it a secret from his wife-to-be.
Arrangements for the wedding went swiftly, but to Jannice’s frustration, Samson wasn’t involved in it just enough. Jannice could see that Samson was distracted and it didn’t help matters that he played little part in the wedding planning, so she arrived at the conclusion that he didn’t care.
On the day of their big fight, Jannice tried to give Samson the report of how she had made arrangement for the band that would perform at the wedding reception, but Samson focused more on the report he was drafting on his laptop, as his response was limited to occasional nods and grunts. Jannice, raving in rage, kept her cool, as she chose to see for certain if Samson was paying any attention to her.
After giving her report, Jannice added that she had invited Kenny to the wedding, and in response, Samson lazily said “cool”.
Kenny was Jannice’s rebound boyfriend back in school, when she and Samson had a brief breakup. Samson never hid his dislike for Kenny, even after he eventually patched things up with Jannice. Back then, he forbade Jannice from being in contact with Kenny, who he saw as a potential threat to his relationship with her.
In full mode rage, Jannice slammed Samson’s laptop shut, ranting about how lackadaisical he had been about the wedding, while also accusing him of not caring about her or her feelings.
Samson always knew how fiery Jannice was, and had always managed to calm her down during moments when she had a feat, but on that day, he was in no mood for diplomacy, so he fired back. He accused her for being petty, focusing more on the wedding, when other ‘more intelligent’ women focus more on the marriage. He accused her of not inquiring diligently about the reason for his distracted state. In anger, he told her blatantly that he didn’t care about who sang during the wedding, or who’s in attendance, but only about her, and their future together.
Jannice, picking up selected words where Samson admitted that he didn’t care, left his apartment in anger.
* * *
‘Something doesn’t seem right’, Inspector David thought to himself as he drove over to pay Jannice a visit, following his chat with James. James showed him Susan’s chat with Samson, where she mentioned that she “enjoyed last night”, and was looking forward to receiving the “arranged”. The recorded call was more mystifying, as David played it over and over again in his mind. The call, which barely lasted a minute, had Susan rant about how Samson had defaulted in making the arranged payment, while making threats. David remembered the words she said; “pay me the arranged money or else I’ll leak out the secret…You’re a pig. No wonder Mrs. Johnson was always so mean to you.” That was when the call ended.
Even though James was convinced that Susan slept with Samson, and tried to blackmail him for it, Inspector David had his doubts. ‘Why would Susan threaten to expose her affair with Samson when she had something to lose as well in her relationship with both Jannice and James, her boyfriend’ David wondered. It didn’t quite add up.
As David waited for Jannice to join him in the living room, he eavesdropped on Jannice and her mum, Stella, as they conversed mellowly in the dining hall, while the latter encouraged Jannice to go out on a date with a ‘Williams’.
After exchanging greetings with David, Stella stepped out of the house and drove off.
“Mrs Johnson seems gay today”, David noted.
“Oh yes. She’s going to see an old friend who just got back in town”, Jannice explained.
“Tell me Inspector, any news regarding the autopsy?” Jannice inquired.
“Not yet ma’am. Although I’m expecting some update from the forensic team for any lead on the case. Don’t worry, I’ll keep you posted when we’ve got something.”, David assured.
“Thank you.”, Jannice said, as she sipped some coffee from the mug a house help had just brought for her.
“What can I offer you, Inspector?”, Jannice asked.
“Oh, don’t trouble yourself on my account. I’m just here to ask a few questions. I’ll be gone in a bit.”, David responded.
Inspector David noticed how radiant Jannice was looking, which was in contrast to how she looked when he first saw her. She appeared to have gotten over the gloom of her husband’s demise, at least in appearance. David also noticed that there was no ring on her finger anymore.
‘Curious. Very curious.’, David thought to himself.
Without making a fuss, Inspector David asked Jannice about her fight with Samson before the wedding.
“Yes, we had a little fight before the wedding, about the planning. It was a simple misunderstanding, really.”, Jannice said.
“Yh, so I heard. But what happened afterwards, and how did you come to settle?”, David asked.
“Well, Samson seemed uninterested in planning the wedding, so we had an argument. Things got a bit heated along the way. I stormed out of his apartment and went to stay with my girl, Susan. I told her what happened, and she pointed out some of my faults. I was reluctant to go back to sort things out with Samson, so I asked her to go talk to him first.
“When she got to his apartment, she told me he was very drunk. I couldn’t leave Susan’s place as she had a couple of her nieces staying with her, coupled with the fact that it was very late that night. I asked Susan to stay with Samson, and help me look after him until morning. Susan returned to her apartment very early the next day, and told me she had spoken with him. So I left for his place. When I got there, he apologised, and we were fine”, Jannice explained.
“When exactly did Susan pass away?”, David asked, scribbling somethings down on his notepad.
“Ehm…she had an accident two days after the fight, and passed away a day later”, Jannice replied.
“Is there anything th…”, Jannice was saying when Inspector David’s phone rang.
As he hung up after the call, David wrote down more things in his notepad. He paused for a moment as his eyes danced around for a while as though he was trying to wrap his head around an idea.
“The lingerie you wore on your wedding night, was it new or an old one?”, David asked.
Jannice raised her brow on hearing the bizarre question, and decided to ask one of hers instead.
“Please help me understand how such a question is any helpful”, Jannice fired.
“The forensic team just informed me that the lingerie you wore on your wedding night was coated with specks of pollen grain.”, David explained.
Jannice was shocked. ‘How can that be?’, she wondered. The lingerie was new, or at least she thought.
“It was new. It was a gift I received at my bridal shower”, Jannice declared.
“From who? Who gifted it to you?”, David asked.
“Susan! It was delivered from Susan posthumously. It came with a bag.”, Jannice announced.
“Do you have the bag here?”, David inquired.
“Yes”, Jannice replied.
“May I have a look?”, David asked.
“Of course. I’ll be right back”
Inspector David was hoping to check if he would find more specks in or around the bag, as that would help him determine if the dress was coated with pollen grain before or after the gift was delivered.
Jannice returned after a while. She was holding a red handbag, which she handed over to Inspector David for inspection. Just as he had predicted, David found specks inside the bag, but there was more. Stuck between a contracted portion of the bag, David found a folded note which read;
“A sexy lingerie for my sexy baby – Love, Mum”
“I thought you said it was a gift from Susan.”, David queried.
“Y..ess”, Jannice responded, looking baffled.
“I don’t understand.”, Jannice confessed, looking more confused.
“What is that?”, David asked.
“This note. It’s my mum’s handwriting, but it couldn’t have been there. Mum never visited. She wasn’t even at the shower!”
To be continued…
Click to read Chapter 4
Click to read Chapter 2