In the matter of one night, I went from being a kissing virgin to kissing one of my childhood friends and the new mysteriously dangerous guy, not to mention a murder investigation began. They canceled school for a few days and warned students to stay safe for the fear of who would be roaming town. After an entire day of Tracy's mother babysitting me, I told her I needed to run home for a few things. When I walked through the door, I happened to startle Dad.
"Honey!" He gasped, "You scared me! You're supposed to be at Tracy's."
"Yeah," I nodded quickly. "I came home to grab a few books so I can study while I'm there. Why are you home?"
"I needed a break, so I came home for a nap and some leftovers." He held up the now empty plate of lasagna we had a few nights ago. "You lose track of time when you work 38 hours straight."
"Can you tell me what happened yet?" I ask him carefully, knowing he isn't supposed to share certain details.
"They are releasing the official statement in about twelve minutes," he checked his watch, thinking of what time the news is on. "The murderer tried to make it look like a suicide. There was proof of force from entrance through the window. They must have tried to close it afterward though to get rid of proof. There were multiple bruises on her, including one in the eye, along with a few scratches."
"How did they make it a suicide?" I ask, ready for the blow.
"Hung from the closet." He clears his throat, obviously uncomfortable.
"Do you have any people in mind..." I test my waters. He messed up my hair.
"You know I can't tell you that, Klara," he moves past me and to the table to grab his coat. A thought crossed my head that made a wave of chills run through me.
"Do they suspect Ricky?"
"Klara, I can't confirm or deny anything." Dad adjusts his collar and straps on his belt full of shiny things that included his badge, pepper spray, and gun. I've never been afraid of his gun, because I had always been used to it being around, however it felt weird to have it staring right back at me in this moment. "I'm going to work and you need to get back to Tracy's." Walking over, he kissed my forehead.
"Yes, Sir," I salute him.
"I love you," he yells over his shoulder as I return the favor. I watched as his patrol car pulled out of our driveway and sped down the street, on its way to the station. Once he was out of sight for enough time, I make my journey over to my neighbors. I pounded on the door as my heart pounded against my chest. When it opens, Ricky stood there shirtless.
"You have a tendency to be banging at my door," he remarks, holding his hand up to shade his eyes from the blinding light.
"You have a tendency to be shirtless when I bang at your door." I tilt my head with a little attitude. "Where's Granny?"
"At the grocery store, why?" He let his eyes adjust as I push past him. He closes the door and I go ahead and make my way up to his room, much like the night before.
"I might have not known you for very long, but I can tell you that gears are turning in that little strawberry blond head of yours," he closed the door behind him. I had to warn him that they might expect him.
"I know about your old school and your history of violence," I told him as he collapsed on his bed.
"So?" He looked slightly uncomfortable, much like my father did a few minutes ago when explaining her death.
"They might suspect you..." I blurt out so suddenly, it was still processing. "Knowing that you just came into town and your history of violence, they probably already know about the scene in Uncle Joe's. It's only a matter of time and I just came here to warn you." When I first began to explain, his face looked hurt but he quickly painted on his poker face as I continued to talk. I examined at his expression now which was so disconnected as he fiercely glared past me. "Say something, please."
"Why are you telling me this?" He growled through his teeth, so pearly white against his dark tanned skin.
"Well, I came to warn you. My dad is a policeman," I innocently stare at him.
"Aren't you scared to be in the same room as a murderer?" His cold eyes met mine and I've never seen something so uneasy before.
"No, Ricky. I'm not scared and I'm not saying you're a murderer. I'm saying that they might think that and I just came here to warn you." I walk over and bend down to press my palm against his cheek, reassuringly. "I'm sorry. I didn't mean it like that way." Looking down, he lost his angry voice.
"I was hoping you were coming over to talk about what WE did last night..." his sentence trailed off as he ran his fingers through his honey comb hair. When I didn't answer and he didn't dare read my emotions, he continued standing. "How are you? Are you okay? You aren't staying in that house alone, are you?"
"No, I'm fine. I'm staying with Tracy. I'm safe," I let him know. "Are you okay?"
"Yeah, I'm more worried about Granny, but she's a tough woman," he lightly breathes a laugh.
"I didn't know Irene well, so I don't feel like I have the right to cry. However, I do feel bad for her family. I think about if Dad were to lose me and how awful it would be on him." I look out his window at my bedroom window.
"Klara?" He requests my attention.
"Yes?" I look up.
"If they ask where I was last night during the time we were together, in case she was murdered in that window of time, I won't tell them that I was with you," his eyes were so soft when telling me this.
"Why? I would be your alibi. It would save you if anything-" he cut me of.
"You and I both know your father would be aiming his gun right at me if he found that out," Ricky explained.
"But, he would forgive me-"
"No, Klara. I'm not going to do that to you. It'll be okay. I promise." His face was blank, yet his eyes were warm which showed me his real emotion. When I couldn't read his face, I could always read his eyes.
My phone began buzzing in my pocket. Checking it, I realized I had been away from Tracy's for too long.
"I have to go," I regretfully tell him.
"Then go. I won't keep you any longer." He stepped away from me to go. I walked to the door but something made me stop and turn around.
"I don't think you did anything wrong."
"Thank you," he nodded at me gratefully before I left.
The Illusion - Chapter 5The day after.
By joslyn miller