Sophie James Novels

‘But he could call to tell me…’ said Manju.

‘This woman is late too…’ said Pavna.

‘Ah…’ said Manju. ‘Maybe there has been a problem in town, maybe a crash or some bus accident and everyone is held up, the traffic is so bad these days…’

‘In that case the D-G would have been told,’ said Pavna quietly.

‘Of course…’

‘Don’t worry about it. Ani is a very busy man…’ But she immediately regretted saying such a thing to her daughter-in-law. They had been married for under a year, and she well remembered how much there was to take in, how new everything was, how unfamiliar. ‘I just hope she hasn’t got lost.’

‘Or changed her mind!’ said the Rani in a rich, loud, voice. ‘I cannot think why anyone would want to rent my flat.’

‘But I have rented it from you Mamma for the past nine years.’



The Rani shrugged. Pavna had started renting the flat from her mother-in-law when Ani had got his first job and she knew if she didn’t have anything to do she would become depressed with the empty house. Her mother-in-law had taken an enormous amount of persuading, especially when it came to deciding the amount of rent. It had been the first property she had ever bought, she kept reminding her daughter-in-law, she had practically cleared the jungle around the gate herself. It had been wild and beautiful – not like today with the bus station opposite, which no one, not even her son could do anything about.

‘Will this woman really pay you all those dollars?’ the rani asked now.

‘She has already paid a deposit now through the banks. She must be very wealthy.’

‘She says she isn’t,’ Manju said. ‘In an email, she tried to bargain us down.’

‘She doesn’t want us to think she is rich, typically American. I’ve never found them honest.’

‘Or maybe her family are paying for her,’ said Pavna.