Malice – Chapter 4

4

“I’m officer Kenneth Miller, by the way. You were with her last night?”

“Yes, in fact you just woke me. I expected here to still be here.”

“She spent the night here then?”

Officer Miller proceeded to ask a series of probing personal questions ranging from whether I had sex with Veronica last night to what my involvement with Sam and Elanor was. This of course led to questions about five years ago and what happened to Mara. With Officer Miller’s granite-like visage, it was impossible to tell what the man was thinking at the time, other than giving me the vague sense that I was guilty no matter what I did.

After about an hour of spilling my life and whereabouts for him, Officer Miller left me with his card and a swarm of my own thoughts. My first moment of happiness in five years and it ends in death. My already established social anxiety begins its cancerous crawl through my mind as I stare where Veronica was sitting last night. No, she wasn’t the love of my life, no her death, if considered alone wouldn’t be that troublesome, but the timing of it combined with what she told me last night at the party had me digging up my phone with frantically clumsy hands to call Sam.

“You alone?”

“Elle’s in her garden. Heard what happened to Veronica, you alright?”

“Yeah about that, need you to come over. Don’t tell her where you’re going.”

“Sure. I’ll tell her I’m going down to the police station. That cop is a real ball-breaker.”

“I…it’s not the cop I’m worried about. Just get over here.”

* * *

The thirty-five minute wait for Sam to get to my place was exactly long enough for me to go insane with my own thoughts. While logically I suspected Elanor of murdering Veronica, because I would be the easy scapegoat, I also couldn’t help to wonder if I had been cursed by Mara’s death and I would always have terrible things happen if I tried moving on. Perhaps my purgatory wasn’t over yet and this was God’s way of reminding me of my punishment. It was easy to believe something supernatural was involved; it made it somehow easier to manage in my head that Elanor, despite being the most conniving, self-serving queen bitch I know, isn’t actually capable of murder.

I kept on staring at the spot Veronica had been sitting on my couch. I was trying to rationalize if she had been some sort of phantasm or she really had come and gone from my life that quickly. As my fingers brushed the textured surface of the couch cushion, I notice something jutting out from between them. It’s her cell phone. I stare at the little pink and silver piece of technology as if was leaking radioactive waste. It might as well have been for all the trepidation I had in touching it. If I put my fingerprints on it, would that make me a suspect…or rather more of a suspect? I carefully hoist the phone free by its corner and immediately take it back into my bedroom and place it the uppermost drawer of my dresser.

My moral debate to turn it over to the police without looking into it versus the satisfaction of my own curiosity weighed heavily on my mind, but it wasn’t a question to answer now. I needed to think about this carefully; it wouldn’t take much to paint me the murderer if I go tampering with that phone. I decided to chew the idea over with Sam when he got here. His refreshingly blunt way of dealing with problems will be of great help. Of course, it would be just like him to tell me to check it for nude pictures of her too. Maybe that wasn’t such a great idea.

I was stirred from my reverie by a knock at the door. I walked quickly from my dresser as if it was the scene of the crime in question, simply for having the phone within it and made my way to the door. I find it odd that Sam hasn’t pounded on the door a second time, given his usual impatience but I mentally shrug it off to the possibility of his usually positive demeanor is justifiably muted by the murder of his secretary. The truth of my curiosity was far different than what I had supposed said the blond-haired, slim-framed Elanor staring flame into the back of my head with strikingly vivid blue eyes when I opened the door.

I was beginning to feel that opening this door was a curse; first Officer Miller, now this.

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