Hollie was more nervous for the party than she needed to be, “How am I going to get them to answer my questions and make a good impression without being too nosey?” I think she was forgetting that after the first hour most of them were going to be drunk anyway. “And how will I find you?”
“I’ll make you find me, don’t worry.”
“What if they see you?”
“I wouldn’t risk it, if they see me then I’ll be stuck in the in-between forever.” Anxiety smothered her face even more now, I had the perfect solution. I hoped it was still there, surely it was, I reached under my bed for it and yes, the shoe box, still as it was left.
“What are you doing?” she questioned, I opened the box and there he was staring at me- Jack Daniels.
“Have some of this, it’ll calm your nerves.” She complied, and took a shot from the lid, her face shrivelled up from the burn.
“Aren’t you going to have some?”
“Now, that would just be a waste of whiskey.” She partially looked guilty, I patted her back before putting the shoe box back to reassure her that she needn’t feel guilty. It was time for her taxi to arrive, so I left out of the window and made my way to Em’s.
Her house was the same, obviously, it’s not like I expected it to be tainted with my death. The party atmosphere was still alive, everyone socialising, drinking, having fun. If I could’ve felt it, I would’ve been devastated about having to on-look through the window. There she was stumbling about, I finally found her- Em… necking a bottle of vodka. Wow. Did she miss me enough to drink, or did she drink enough to miss me? Ah, her introduction to Michael Phillipson’s tongue told me it was none of the above. She always told me his monobrow gave her the creeps- oh how the tables have turned. I couldn’t watch this anymore, I climbed up the tree in the backyard to see what was happening upstairs. Hollie was alone in Em’s bedroom, a focused look upon her face. She emerged from her trance when I barged through the window. “You could have warned me of your company!” I laughed at her response as I locked the door. “Why are you locking it?”
“Well, the last thing we want is someone seeing a ghost. What were you looking at?”
“This picture of you and Emma, the one in the heart frame, you’re wearing a denim jacket, white t-shirt; what you’re wearing now.”
“So! You look exactly the same, this was taken on the day that you died!”
“Oh my God, you need to get Em up here, find out where we were. I can’t make out enough of the background.”
I waited at the park down the road from the party, it was too strange being there in spirit rather than Jack Harper. I should still be there, and there the day after talking about it with everyone. Laughing about the state everyone was in, and mocking Lewis for crying, telling me I’m the best friend he’s ever had. Those were the days.
“Jack! It’s me!” Hollie was running up the path- the best that she could in her heels- gasping for breath by the time she sat next to me on the bench. “You- that night- not alone- you- you were-“
“Slow down Hollie! Take a second to breath,” She began to calm down with a smile on her face, I presumed we were onto something.
“You were at one of Emma’s house parties.”
“What? So was I killed there?” Imagine, being killed in a place where the party still lives on.
“No, you were killed after you left.”
“So something happened at that party. You need to talk to Lewis, dig deeper.”
“Well, he’s asked me on a date, so I’ve got the opportunity.”
“But I don’t want to go Jack,” she confessed. I was in disbelief, a girl who didn’t want to go out with Lewis. I asked her why. “He loves himself, I struggle to get a word in edge-ways with him. He is just all about himself, someone I would struggle to be in the company of alone for over half an hour.” I had no other reaction but laughter, I found it hilariously rare that someone, especially a girl thought this of him. She joined me in laughing, and this carried on for a few minutes. Within them minutes, the warmth rang true inside these icy bones.
“Come with me, there’s somewhere I want to show you.”
Solving My Murder © Copyright Kelsey Cromwell.