As continued from Part 2
Tuesday, December 27, 2016
I stood at the living room window, watching the two detectives having a conversation with Karen, Jane and her husband in front of Karen’s house. The two women moved up and down narrating and demonstrating what they saw. But it was Jane who was more vocal. Probably Karen did feel guilty for treating me like a criminal when she knew how much I went out of my way to help her. At times I would even clash with my own wife because of her. I could not even recall how many times Grace blamed me for treating Karen more lovingly than her. I wouldn’t even blame her. I also felt unsure if Karen was always genuine or hitting on me until one fateful night.
She invited me to a dinner when she knew very well Grace was in Boston. I enjoyed the meal but the whole thing wasn’t cool at all – there was obvious tension. And we both knew we were not supposed to eat together if Grace wasn’t with us. Also, the deco in the dim dining room was romantic – almost everything was reddish, candles were the only source of light. Barry White, Celine Dion, Whitney Houston,… sang softly from the background. Even her dress made me very uncomfortable. It made me sweat a lot in fact. After the great Italian dish I had a few spoons of the wonderful trifle she had made. Then I rose and thanked her for the dinner. I knew I had to terminate the flow of planned events and go or I would mess up my marriage and my faith. But she also rose to her feet and asked me not to leave, “Please El. I will do anything for you.” When she started undressing herself, coming towards me I ran out. I laughed as I walked to my house, shocked.
Karen and I lived a life of a cat and a rat there after. I being the rat, of course. I reached a point where I stopped going to her house alone since she escalated her seduction stunts to almost irresistible intensities.
Jane pointed at the crumbled snowman and kicked, showing them how I brought it down. I knew she was watching me when I lost control and kicked it. She also pointed at Karen’s house.
Bitterness swept through my stomach again. Clearly I wasn’t doing enough to find my love. Instead I was destructed by stupid, overacting neighbors.
The police walked towards my house. I almost ran through the backdoor but I stood still. I knew I was not guilty. I even reported Grace’s disappearance at night. I didn’t wait for the following day.
The cops knocked. I welcomed them in and explained what happened, starting from the call, the knock, then the blood on my jacket which was probably mine I explained. Making them buy my story wasn’t difficult, because they were the ones who came early in the morning when I reported Grace’s disappearance. Detective Eleanor Reid, the beautiful female detective, took notes most of the time whilst Detective Edward Howell asked the questions.
Detective Howell said, “So this is the jacket you are talking about.”
I said, “Yes, it’s this one.”
Detective Howell said, “May we go with it. We need to conduct some tests on it. Just to be sure. As you say, it might be your blood, but we have got to be sure.”
I gave them the jacket. They loaded it in a transparent bag. Then they promised they were doing everything they could to find Grace – no leads yet, since every account she owns had been dormant in the past forty eight hours. But they assured me they were doing their best. And since I had signed the publicity consent form they said her images were already showing on television, websites – print media would start on the following day. Even the radio was spreading the news. Glimpses of hope brewed in me. As a blogger I knew the power of the media.
I watched the officers walk to the road through the window. The three were still waiting for them. Jane and her husband complained to the detectives. I couldn’t hear what they said, but their body language was that of disapproval and disappointment. They threw their hands all over the place and looked like they were shouting. They obviously expected them to arrest me. Karen didn’t say anything; she only stared at my living room window. She couldn’t see me, but she knew I was staring at them too. Then she walked back to her house. I longed to know what was going on in her head. Probably she had recalled I did come to her house and Jane’s the previous night to ask if Grace wasn’t with them.
A disturbing thought crossed my head and I quickly raised my eyes to look at Karen again. I couldn’t see her; she had disappeared into her house. Even the officers had left. But then I thought no, it’s a stupid, far-fetched theory – Karen wouldn’t take her obsession to the next level by killing Grace. No, she wouldn’t. But what if she did – what if some savages she hired had Grace in a black van, driving to the woods to kill her, probably after raping her.
I slapped the couch behind me. The thought of her being raped made me feel sick. I rushed to the bedroom and put on another jacket, a black one. I walked fast to the bus station. I had to catch the 11:00 bus – the noon one seemed decades away. I rushed cautiously though. The Snow Removal Companies were not done yet. The road and pavements were still slippery.
I stopped on the road, thinking probably I was taking things too far. Probably I was being unfair to Karen, like I was revenging for the way they treated me in the morning. But deep down I knew I wasn’t revenging; a part of me suspected her. And it felt okay in me even if our relationship could be messed up forever as so long as I was doing something towards getting my Grace back. My love for Grace could make me do anything. I could even kill for her. Our love had reached a point where it wasn’t just a warm feeling within but genuine love, genuine caring and genuine respect.
I continued pacing to the bus station. I wasn’t being unfair to Karen.
Download the Silomasays App to get instant notifications