“Not for once he cared to know the details of Josh. Is it trust or indifference? This man never fails to puzzle me” Sally kept thinking for a while as her eyes followed Henry before he vanished from her sight.
As he went away she picked up her phone and instantaneously called Josh.
“Hi Josh, Sally here. Henry told me about your call. Tell me” Sally stretched herself a bit as she started speaking to Josh.
“Are you ok or it is your normal regime to get up around this time” Josh had a pinch of sarcasm mixed with concern in his tone. “Actually saw you a bit worried yesterday so called to check upon you” Josh mentioned his reason to call her.
“Yeah I am fine, it’s just that couldn’t sleep last night, nothing to really worry about” Sally replied. After a brief chit chat she invited Josh to home on weekend since he is in the same city, to which he cordially agreed too but instead of a weekend a weekday was agreed upon.
As she ended the call Henry entered the room to check upon Sally. He found her to be in a clam state of mind. He sat beside her, held her hand compassionately and asked ” is there anything that is tormenting you?” looking deeply into her eyes. Sally sighed deeply “can you read my mind?” and silence ensued as they kept looking into each other’s eyes and Sally broke down in tears. Yet not a word said as Henry embraced her in his arms and let her drench him in her vulnerabilities and fears flowing through her eyes. This type of emotional breakdown was not new to him.
After a while she was tranquil and announced to Henry about Josh. Resting on his chest, fiddling her fingers with his “Honey, I have invited my friend Josh to our place for lunch. He was my senior in college and now in police department. He moved to this city recently. Though I wanted him to be here on weekend but due to the nature of his work he decided to come over on Thursday. He will join us for lunch, so I would love you to be around that day.
Henry heard her and drew back his arm that was resting around her on her shoulder. Sally noticed this gesture, yet was waiting for his response looking at him. “Honey I would love to welcome him but Thursday would be a tough call for me. Anyways, you guys carry on, I shall meet him some other day. Since he is in the same city we shall meet more often” Henry replied but his usual warmth was a bit amiss. But Sally didn’t mind that. She didn’t want to overthink especially after that insane night she had.
Thursday (around 12:30 PM) :
Josh arrived with white carnations, Sally’s favourite flowers. “You still remember!!!” Exclaimed Sally as she warmly welcomed Josh into her house. She apologized for the absence of Henry on this lunch. “Sorry Josh, how I wish you could meet Henry, my husband today. But his work kept him engaged..” and before she could conclude Josh picked up “and the other day it was you, give the poor chap space lady” and winked. This is the Josh she knew over the years – witty and sarcastic.
They had lunch and walked down the memory lane for a while. And then the conversations returned to the present. “How long it has been in this part of the city?” Josh casually asked. “Been here for a couple of months now. Father’s demise made it difficult for me to stay in our old house. I was losing myself. So Henry proposed to move out, so here we are. But this house seems to have some character. Do you know that I discovered a patch on the kitchen wall that resembled to face of a woman, it scared me to no ends before it was painted” Sally shared her experience and offered tour of the house to Josh.
“It’s beautiful” quipped Josh, looking at every nook and corner he was shown. He was soon taken to the basement and to the very room where Sally found the diary. “Woah!! This house as surely seem to have a character or two looking at this basement or this is your preparation for the Halloween?” Josh cracked a joke looking at the basement that had a bizarre vibe to it.
Both had a good laugh about it. It was 5:30 in the evening when Josh received an emergency notice to report at the station. He left hurriedly. But came back in about an hour as he forgot his wallet at Sally’s place.
This time both Henry and Tracy were present and were formally introduced by Sally. The instant reaction of Josh while shaking hands with Tracy was that of déja vu “I strongly feel that this is not our first meeting”. To this Tracy rolled her eyes and smiled sheepishly. She was a beautiful woman after all and such remarks not new to her. Sally was a bit surprised at this behavior of her friend though but she dismissed further pondering.
Around 11:00PM Sally’s phone vibrated. It was Josh. “I have a news for you. This is about Tracy. I was not wrong. I have met her before. She isn’t Tracy Tucker but Lizzy – a small time drug peddler” Josh broke the news.
“WHAT” Sally in shock…..