As continued from Part 8
Tuesday, December 27, 2016
I switched on the TV and sat on the couch. I wanted to see if they had something to say about Grace. But there was nothing yet – just a music program. It crossed my mind that being called to the morgue for the wrong body was really tough – it almost killed me, but it did have a good thing about it. It forced me to think in the right direction. It made me forget that the cops were doing enough to find Grace. Those people were looking for either Grace or her body. Clearly, I had to rise as one who would only look for her, not her body. To them Grace was just data, a statistic. If found dead, they would stop all MISSING GRACE alerts and record that one Caucasian woman was found dead, then it would be over. But for me a dark winding road could be starting. There is nothing as painful as losing a lovely wife.
In my heart I thanked God for sending Chloe to help me. I wouldn’t be able to cope with what I had in front of me and taking care of Kimberly. At least Chloe was back to be in full control of her. And she was in good hands, because Chloe loved children. And Kimberly loved ‘Aunt Chloe.’ When she saw her next to the cab she forgot her friends and almost flew in the air.
Kimberly screamed sharply outside. I hastened to the window. There was nothing bad. Chloe and Kimberly were chasing each other on the snow. I learned with awe that they had rebuilt the snowman I crushed in the morning. I wondered what Karen and Jane would think. Probably they would assume I was the one who told Chloe and Kimberly to rebuild it as a way of saying sorry.
“Oh yes.” I recalled that the other thing I wanted to tell Detective Howell was that a part of me suspected Karen. But with the new conviction and direction, I thought it wise to forget about telling them anything and investigate on my own. I only had to get a notebook for writing important stuff I shouldn’t forget. Even telling Chloe all my plans could also help. I believed she could try her best to do the job well like Grace. Grace excelled such that I nicknamed her ‘my second brain.’ And she couldn’t get tired of me, even when I called her asking stupid things like ‘Who is the person I wanted to see in town?’ or ‘What’s the name of our favorite dish,’ like when ordering food for us. A classic case was when I boarded a bus and left our car at Wal-Mart simply because I had forgotten I had driven to Wal-Mart. In fact, I had forgotten that we even had a car.
But it was hard for me to stomach that suspect number one was indeed Karen. The same Karen who acted as our friend. “People!”
The reality that Karen was smart enough to play the card of labeling me as the suspect in front of Jane and also calling the police surprised me. She acted smarter than I would expect. As a result, I wouldn’t even come anywhere near her house; she could call the police or black mail me.
The telephone rang. I ran hoping once again. I held my breath. “Hello.”
“Still nothing promising, Elijah?”
I released my breath, “Nothing yet, Mom. The cops only called me for a body, but it wasn’t her.”
“That was great. We don’t want any body; we want Grace safe and sound.” She cleared her throat. “You know I was thinking about Kimberly. Why don’t you bring her to stay with me for a while?”
“Kimberly. God did a miracle, Mom. Chloe saw the story on TV and came back to help me.”
“How can you say that? God or the devil. No God brought that girl. How can you bring back somebody who almost destroyed your marriage? If Grace could show up now, she could go and leave you with that good for nothing girl.”
“I will think about it. But for now she will stay.”
“What is there to think about, Elijah? I can’t believe you want my granddaughter to…” Then I heard a crashing sound. She smashed the receiver on the telephone.
I began being confused about Chloe and all the women who didn’t like her. First, it was Mila. She also didn’t want to hear anything about her. She even threatened not to come here for supporting me. Elizabeth, Grace’s mom, it was the same thing. Now it was mom. They all called her a whore who wasn’t fit to take care of six year old. But I knew Chloe more than they – she wasn’t a whore at all. Probably Karen, not Chloe. Yes, she didn’t like dressing modestly, but she wasn’t a whore.
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