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The Deadly Truth (10)
I made my way through the crowded cafeteria, carrying my brow paper bag, which contained my lunch with me. I was sick and tired of listening to Connor and Bobby bicker. Why couldn’t they both just suck it up and get along? It really wasn’t all that difficult. They didn’t have to be best friends, but it would’ve been nice if they could at least go five minutes without arguing.
“Rachel,” a girl called out from behind me. I turned around, only to find myself standing face to face with Lindsey.
“What do you want?” I demanded, not in any mood to talk with her. Especially after that extremely revealing phone call I’d had with her.
“Jeez, would you relax? You’re so tense these days.” she complained, her tone annoyed.
“Lindsey, I really don’t feel like talking to you right now. So either say what you have to say, or leave me alone.” I snapped bitterly. She raised her perfectly arched eyebrows at me, clearly taken aback. I couldn’t help but wonder if this was the first time anyone had ever spoken to her this way.
“Listen, you pathetic man-snatcher,’’ she hissed, “I already hate you enough. Don’t make me hate you even more.”
“How am I a man-snatcher?” I cried.
She crossed her arms over her chest smugly, “Well you stole Bobby away from me.” she remarked matter-of-factly.
“Ok, first of all, Bobby and I are not a couple. And second of all, Bobby dumped you. So how could I steal him away from you if he isn’t yours?” Her pale green eyes narrowed in fury and the tips of her French-manicured nails dug into her hands as they formed tight, angry fists at her sides.
“You don’t know what you’re talking about.” she retorted, enraged at my comment. “Bobby loves me. And if it wasn’t for you, we’d have already gotten back together.”
“Whatever you say, Crazy.” I murmured as I tried to cut around her, but she stayed put, blocking my path.
“I. Am. Not. Crazy.” Each of her words was pronounced slowly, fixedly, and indignantly. “Bobby is in love with me and I know it.”
“Actually,” I began, “Bobby’s in love with me. I just have standards, so I decided not to go out with him.” The second those words left my mouth, I knew it wasn’t a very smart decision. Bobby would loathe me if he found out that I’d leaked his secret to Lindsey. But it was Lindsey’s fault anyways. She pushed me too far. I wasn’t the one to blame for this. It was Lindsey’s indiscretion, not mine. At least, this was what I told myself so that I didn’t feel so guilty.
“He told you?” she shouted. That was not the response that I was expecting.
“Wait, how do you already know that he’s in love with me?” I inquired. And then it hit me. She was still there when Bobby had told Becca that it was I that he was in love with. How could I not have realized it? She was still there in my dream last night when I found out. I was just too shocked by my discovery to even notice that minor detail.
Her face drained of color as she realized her mistake and her eyes darted around, as if searching for an answer. “It’s just so obvious by the way he acts around you.” she lied.
“Oh, so you’re saying that you weren’t there the night of Becca’s death to hear Bobby say that?” I asked her complacently.
“No, of course not. I already told the police that I wasn’t there, and I wouldn’t lie to them.” she told me, her voice wavering slightly.
“Well, you had no problem lying to Becca throughout your entire friendship with her.” I remarked.
“What are you talking about? I never lied to her.” she replied, confused.
“Oh, but you did. You just didn’t realize it. You see, pretending to be someone’s best friend when you actually hate their guts is still lying.” I pointed out.
“Rachel, there you are!” Bobby said, rushing up to me before Lindsey had a chance to respond. When he noticed that it was Lindsey that I’d been talking to, his expression darkened. “Oh, Lindsey, hi.” he added.
“Hey,” she replied, her expression and tone immediately shifting back to it’s usual peppiness. For a moment, there was an uncomfortable silence between the three of us. But then the bell rang, ending the awkwardness.
“Well, I’d better get going.” Bobby said.
“Yeah, same here.” I agreed. Lindsey nodded in correspondence, and then we all headed our separate ways.
That afternoon, my dad and I headed down to the Seattle Police Station to meet with Detective Howard. “Hello, we have a scheduled appointment with Detective Howard.” Dad informed Karen Schneider, who was once again, standing at the front desk.
“Alright, you two can head on into his office.” she replied with a grin. So we did as she told us and approached the open door of his office. When he saw us, he motioned for us to come and take a seat, which is exactly what we did.
“So, Mrs. Everhart decided not to come along?” the detective inquired.
Dad nodded and let out a brief sigh, “She just wasn’t feeling up to it.” he explained.
Detective Howard smiled in empathy and nodded his head. “That’s ok. I completely understand.”
Dad grinned back at him, “Thanks.” It was quite clear how grateful Dad was for Detective Howard’s consideration.
“No problem. Now, let’s get down to business.” Detective Howard declared. “As I told Rachel before, I called Bobby in for more questioning yesterday night.”
“Um, why did you do that? If you don’t mind me asking,” Dad wondered aloud.
“Well, Rachel reported to me that her and Bobby were talking the day of your daughter’s funeral. She said that Bobby told her that the reason he and Becca were arguing that day was because of some difficulties in their relationship. She asked what those difficulties were and he told her that she was the difficulty. Therefore, I decided to question him about it.” he explained.
“Oh,” Dad replied, glancing over at me. I couldn’t really tell what he was thinking at that moment, since his face was showing no signs of any emotion whatsoever. “So what did Bobby say when you asked him about it?”
“Well, he decided to come clean and tell me the truth.” Detective Howard told us. “But you’d better brace yourselves for this, because it’s quite surprising.” he warned us in advance. But I already knew what was coming. I didn’t need a warning. “It turns out that Bobby’s in love with you, Rachel.”
Dad gasped and looked at me, his eyes wide. “What?” he exploded, rising up out of his eat. “That kid is crazy if he thinks he’s getting anywhere near my daughter! I was ignorant enough to let him go out with Becca, and now look what happened to her! She’s gone!” He sat back down and buried his head in his hands.
I eyed Detective Howard awkwardly, unsure of what to do. So I tried my best to comfort my father. “Don’t worry, Dad.” I said in a soothing voice. “I promise to stay away from Bobby.”
He lifted his head, and wiped his eyes with the back of his hand. This was torture, seeing my dad this upset. I had to find a way to make things better. “Oh Rachel, please tell me you actually mean that.”
I gave him a weak smile, “Of course I will, Dad.” I assured him. He wrapped me up into a warm hug and let my body go limp against his. I knew that I had to follow through on this promise. But how could I do that when every time I saw Bobby, my heart did a million somersaults in my chest?
Dad let me go and we both sat back down. “I’m sorry about that.” Dad apologized to Detective Howard. “It’s just that I really didn’t see this coming. It’s pretty difficult for me to take in.”
“No, no, that’s fine. I figured you would probably take it pretty hard. It is some pretty shocking news.” the detective admitted. “I just want you to know, that if you really feel as though Bobby is a threat to Rachel in any way, you can tell me. We can always work out a restraining order against him if necessary.”
Dad nodded, absorbing this information. “Alright, well as of now, I don’t think a restraining order is needed. However, if he tries to ask you out or become friends with you, Rachel, I want you to let me know. If that were to happen, then I might file a restraining order against him. But right now, I don’t think we need one. And I don’t really want to go through all the hassle if it’s something we don’t need.”
“Alright, sounds good to me.” Detective Howard commented. “Well, now that we’ve gotten past the whole Bobby subject, why don’t we discuss something else?” he suggested.
Dad nodded in response, “Sounds good to me,”
“Ok, I guess I’ll start off by filling you in on everything you don’t already know.”
“Such as?” Dad asked.
“Well, it turns out that Lindsey Kiernan went back to get her cell phone after leaving your garage. She tells me that she didn’t hear what the fight was about, but that could very well be a lie.”
“Actually,” I began, “Lindsey called me yesterday night. And she wasn’t too happy. She started yelling about how she thinks that I’m going to steal Bobby away from her. And how Becca was in the way of their relationship. She said now that Becca’s out of the way, she won’t let anything stop her from being with Bobby.”
Detective Howard’s eyes immediately widened and his expression was suddenly much more alert. “Those were her exact words?” he inquired.
“Yep,” I replied, nodding. “And today at lunch, she walked up to me. She said she knew Bobby was in love with me. I asked her how she knew that and she got all weird about it. That just led me to think that maybe Becca and Bobby were fighting because she found out that he’s in love with me.”
Technically, this was all true. Technically, I wasn’t lying at all. I just wasn’t telling them the entire truth. But I couldn’t exactly tell them that I’d found most of this information out in my creepy dream-visions.
Detective Howard sat back in his chair and sighed deeply, interlocking his fingers and resting them on his stomach. “Well now I’m really confused. Bobby and Lindsey both have perfect motives. It could’ve been either one of them.”
“Well isn’t there some way for you to find out who?” Dad demanded.
“I’m sorry, but right now, there really isn’t much I can do. I want to figure out who it is just as much as you do. Believe me, I really do. But there just isn’t anything I can do right now.”
“What do you mean there isn’t anything you can do?” Dad cried, his voice rising in frustration. “You’re a detective! It’s your job to figure this out!”
“Mr. Everhart, I really am sorry, but what do you want me to do?” he asked.
“I want you to figure out who killed my daughter.” Dad replied sternly.
Detective Howard’s eyes filled with sympathy, “I can continue to question them. Maybe whoever did it will let their guilt take over and admit to it.” I knew that Detective Howard was trying to be optimistic in order to comfort my father, but I also knew that it wouldn’t work. My dad was a very stubborn person. And he wanted to know who killed Becca, so he wouldn’t rest until he did.
“Yeah, because questioning is helping so much.” Dad remarked, his voice dripping with sarcasm. “I can’t believe how freakin’ useless you are! You already have it narrowed down to two people, how difficult can it possibly be to figure which one of them did it?”
“Dad,” I scolded him. I understood that he was frustrated; I was too. But that gave him no right to speak to Detective Howard like that. He was just trying to help, but there really wasn’t anything he could do besides continue to question them.
“I’m sorry.” Dad apologized, realizing how out-of-control he’d gotten.
“That’s ok, I know how irritated you must be right now. And I promise you that I will try as hard as I possibly can to figure out who did it.” Detective Howard pledged.
Dad nodded, “Thank you.”
“Don’t mention it,” he replied cordially.
“Ok, well we’d better get going now. My wife’s probably wondering what’s taking us so long.” Dad said.
“Of course,” Detective Howard said, standing up and shaking my dad’s hand. “I’ll call you if I find out anything you need to know.”
“Alright, thank you. Bye,” Then I walked out with my father.