It got to a week later and as much as I didn’t want to register Hollie’s assumption, I still needed her to help solve my case. So of course I went crawling back, back up that drainpipe. I waited until it was night, when she would’ve been most likely to be sat in her room. What if she didn’t want to help me anymore? It wasn’t like she would’ve been gaining anything. She was there lay on her bed, I knocked, she turned to me with a sympathetic smile as if she expected my arrival. Nevertheless, she let me in.
“I want to see the alley.” I felt that part of this closure would be seeing where it happened, trying to visualise it.
“Sure let me get my shoes on, I’ll tell my parents I’m going over to a friend’s house come on!” She sprung off the bed, strangely eager to go, I was starting to question whether she was enjoying this murder mystery.
The roads were mostly empty, the only noise was the older men in the pubs staying for their “last round” having louder than necessary discussions in a drunken haze.
“You know,” Hollie began, “All week I’ve still been contemplating your murder. I’m so glad you came back because I just need to know now, we need to solve it.” I smiled at her, I suppose maybe it was meant to be that she moved in, I couldn’t imagine anyone else being as enthused. “Why didn’t you tell me Emma was your girlfriend?” I didn’t actually know why. I just thought it was irrelevant.
“There wasn’t really any point, I was going to end things with her anyway.” She curtly nodded.
Our footsteps stopped simultaneously, here we were. It appeared to be just a typical alley, no blood stains, no weapons, nothing. We remained on the street looking down the alley, there was nothing particularly interesting. Footprints echoed from the other end, someone else was there. Hollie pushed me to the side as we now infiltrated the alley. This person was sobbing, hysterically. Hollie peered around the corner, “It’s Lewis!” she fiercely whispered.
“What? Is he alone?”
“Yes, stay here.” Before I could protest she was gone. I faintly heard her talking to him, “Lewis! I was just passing through to go shop, what are you doing he- oh! What’s wrong?” All I could hear was mumbling as he continued to sob, nothing I could properly make out. Then, they both fell silent which was rather strange. I decided to take a discreet glance- the alley was empty. Well, tonight’s investigation was rather unsuccessful.
I returned to her room through the window again, anticipating her return. I hoped Lewis was alright, never in my life had I seen him cry like that. Not even when his grandfather died.
Footsteps were rushing up the stairs, finally she was back. Unless, what if it was her parents? In a panic I scanned somewhere to hide, behind the curtains? Too obvious. The footsteps became louder, as a last resort I climbed under the bed. The door creaked open, footsteps circled the bed then returned back to the bottom.
“Wow Jack, invisible now aren’t you,” she laughed. I rolled onto my back, unaware that my feet didn’t fit under. I crawled out and sat beside her on the bed.
“Well, where did you go?!” I eager questioned.
“I walked him home.”
“Oh, so did he say anything during the walk?”
“No…” the conversation couldn’t have been more uninteresting, I thought we could’ve been onto something having discovered the murder location, I thought- “…until I went inside.” She went inside! I didn’t predict that at all. “He was telling me that he missed you more than he had in a while, so he went back. He said the night if your death you told him your intentions to break up with Emma and he was excited, excited to have you back. Apparently you lost yourself while you were with her.” I lost myself? Sure, I spent most of my time with her, but she was my girlfriend; and rather obsessive. “He cried again so I hugged him, and that’s when…”
“He kissed me.” All of my facial features expanded, just when I thought she couldn’t surprise me anymore. “But that’s not important! What’s important is that while he kissed me I saw something, up on top of his bookshelf.”
“He put something up there? I always used to tell him to do that! Instead of cramming his football trophies and other crap on the other shelves.”
“Why didn’t he put things on the top shelf?”
“He said there’s no point, no one would pay attention to it, he can’t show anything off.” Hollie’s eyebrows furrowed together as she looked away. “Why?”
“Jack, on that top shelf there was a knife, an immense machete. You were stabbed-”
“Don’t, it wasn’t him!” What was he doing with a machete? Wait, “What did it look like? Did it have a-”
“Red handle,” we both answered simultaneously. Of course, Lewis wouldn’t trust himself with a pen knife never mind a machete. In a cold tone, I announced to her, “I know who that machete belongs to.”
Solving My Murder © Copyright Kelsey Cromwell.