Chapter 4: .the/big/questions
Chris’ alarm went off early in the morning. I had put my phone on charging, but for some reason the alarm hadn’t gone off. Maybe it was because the phone still was turned off. In reality I didn’t know much about phones or technology. I knew sewing and I knew my music. That was all I needed to know.
Chris turned around in bed to turn off the alarm. I was too sleepy to even care about the ringing sound and the vibrations.
“Wake up, darling,” he said groggily. I turned around to face him. He had dark circles under his eyes. The lack of sleep left an impact on him. It was like a scar, only this would go away once he got a good night’s sleep.
“I’m awake,” I said, still inspecting his face. I loved the small things about Chris. The freckles on his nose, the hair that curled behind his ears. Yes, he was a big guy. He had muscles that were imposing as well as a little terrifying. But still, I loved the tiniest little details about Chris.
It was time to get up. I slowly stretched to shake the sleepiness out of me. Chris went to the kitchen to start cooking our breakfast. It all seemed like a pretty normal morning. Until I remembered what was going on in our lives. We were going to the police station. I was going to go to interrogation. It was scary and a little bit exciting to think about.
Chris stood in the kitchen. An apron around his form as he scrambled the eggs in the frying pan. Derrick was tidying the sofa bed. I looked at the black haired teen. He looked so innocent now that all the black eyeliner was gone. Derrick looked about three years younger. Now I wondered how old he really was. I tied my brown hair up in a bun and sat down in the kitchen, waiting for Chris to come with his delicious scrambled eggs. He was a great cook, a lot better than he wanted to admit.
Derrick sat down beside me. He shot me a half smile before looking down again.
“Food is ready,” Chris announced. We brought our plates to the counter and watched as he put the food on our plates.
“Dig in,” he said as we sat down. We started eating in silence. I wanted to say something, but I just couldn’t. No one wanted to look up. I glanced over at Chris and Derrick for a while. When they met my stare, I looked down again. This happened a few times before Chris finally declared that he was leaving the table to have a shower. He excused himself, asked me if I wanted to join him, and then disappeared into one of the bathrooms. I sat down on the sofa and looked down at my hands. They were red and sore from nervous scratching. My nails were chewed down. It was less than twenty-four hours since it happened, and that was hard to grasp. Time was such an abstract concept, and that really showed when I looked back at the times that had passed since it all went down.
“What are you thinking about, Onila?” Derrick asked. His face was empty. He was clearly upset, almost traumatised, from what had happened.
“I’m thinking about everything and nothing,” I answered, as honestly as I could. Yes, that was the only thing I could think about. Thinking about the fact that I was thinking. It was horrible that I couldn’t gather my thoughts to think about Emily or Derrick’s parents. I was sad that I couldn’t. Sad that I couldn’t concentrate on something for a longer span of time. It was absolutely disgusting.
“You know, what you think about now… Just right after it happened, doesn’t really matter. We’re all thinking about fucked up shit, but that doesn’t dictate who we are. Who we were before this happened really matters,” Derrick said.
“I thought I was brave and capable. A strong willed woman and all that. But I couldn’t do anything when it happened.” I smiled slightly. “I was in the journalism club at high school, you know. I always dreamed of something big to happen. But I didn’t think of the consequences of something exciting happening.” I sighed. It all seemed so bleak right now. Like there was no light at the end of the tunnel. I knew I would get over it, but it stil didn’t help. Maybe I didn’t want to get over it. It was like when granddad died. I was sad for weeks, but suddenly everything went back to normal. One day I woke up and was my normal perky self.
“You are brave, Onila. You didn’t bail on me when we were hiding. Sometimes hiding is the bravest thing you can do.”
I heard movement in the bathroom, and I knew Chris was getting ready to come out. I quickly took Derricks hand and stroked it slowly.
“For a sixteen year old, you’re pretty smart,” I said.
“Fifteen,” he corrected, smiling because I thought he was older than he really was.
“Really? You don’t look a day younger than sixteen,” I laughed. He beamed. So happy for the tiny amount of acknowledgment.
For a moment we forgot the overhanging sadness and seriousness. We laughed and were normal kids. I recognised him as the Derrick that had asked me for a cigarette at the petrol station, and he recognised me as the grumpy old woman that wouldn’t let him have one. I stopped laughing as Chris came out of the shower. He had his game face on. A very thoughtful expression. I knew this all too well. When he had his game face on, nothing could faze him.
We entered the Toyota in silence. It was awkward again, and no one dared say anything. The pure intensity of Chris’ glare was multiplied by a tenfold when I looked at him through the rear-view mirror.
We got to the station. It was still pretty early and I wondered if Scott even was there at this hour. Especially since he had worked so late last night. To my big surprise, Scott greeted us at the entrance.
“I was waiting for you to come,” he said. I grimaced at him. It wasn’t a smile. I couldn’t smile in this situation. Neither was it a frown. I wanted to be as polite as possible to Scott. He was a nice guy, and he too was suffering a loss.
Scott scratched his scalp. Some red hairs fell to the floor. His mane was of the most beautiful red colour I had ever seen on a human. It was natural, yet so mesmerising. His smile was white and sincere. Just like the toothpaste ads on telly. I loved to just look at him smile. It was so open and honest that I almost envied him.
Scott led us into an interrogation room. He asked if Derrick wanted to be interrogated separately to me. He refused to stay alone with Scott. I half-smiled, trying to make him more comfortable.
Chris waited outside. He kissed me on the cheek before and stroked my hand.
“Don’t worry about this. You can do this,” he whispered. Then he leaned down to kiss me again. I smiled into the kiss. It wasn’t a happy smile, but it was still a smile.
Scott coughed as Chris deepened the kiss. His hands started roaming over the small of my back. I tried to push him away but Chris wouldn’t let go. I tried to push him away again.
Now Scott understood the situation.
“Hey, let go, we have an interrogation to undertake!,” he said in a raised voice.
Chris let go of me and I sent him a lazy smirk. He winked at me and seemed a little flushed by the whole thing.
Then Scott led me into the room. Derrick was waiting. Before we stepped into the room he turned to me.451Please respect copyright.ＰＥＮＡＮＡdcABe56z2W
“Doesn’t that bother you?,” Scott asked.
“When he grabs you like that, and doesn’t want to let go?” he continued. I shrugged.
“It shows me that I’m loved.” Scott seemed to accept the answer, and let me into the room. Derrick had his head on the table. He was slightly snoring. I shook him and he jumped. I could almost hear his hear beat unnervingly quickly. He had been dreaming, probably. Dreaming of the last twenty-four hours.
“I’m going to record the interrogation and your statements,” he said and pointed at the glass in front of us. “Don’t worry. The footage will only be reviewed by officers of law.”
We nodded, giving our consent to them filming us.
“Can you introduce yourself?,” he asked Derrick.
“My name is Derrick Bashor,” he said questioningly.
“Can you tell us a little about yourself?”
“I enjoy being on the Internet, and on my computer. I’m not good at computing, but I still try. I like exploring the deepest realms of the Internet, stuff you probably shouldn’t see. And I also like listening to music.”
“Your turn, Onila.”
“My name is Onila Kathryn Jenkins,” I said. “I’m a music major in university and I spend most of my time making music and sewing.”
“Good. So what happened that night, Onila. Walk us through it, from you left university until the police arrived.”
I started explaining as best I could. I told him how I had a lot of boring classes that day, and I decided to leave early. I rode home and had a shower and grabbed some food. Then I napped for a while before riding into the night to go to work.
“I left my scooter in a ditch and went in to meet Em. Nothing seemed out of the ordinary. Then the druggie came in…”
“We got a great statement from him,” Scott interrupted.
“The druggie made me a bit uneasy, so I turned on the cameras. I didn’t want him to shoplift while I was working. France sometimes makes us pay for what’s been stolen. Then I went out to smoke. The Bashor’s came in their car. I talked to Mr. Bashor and he seemed nice enough. They left to pay for the petrol and buy some hotdogs. That’s when I heard the gunshots,” my breathing became intense. I started sweating. “I hid with Derrick behind the car. Then I called the cops and Chris, my boyfriend. After a while I car came from the distance, I stopped the car, ran into the road and jumped up and down in front of it. George Kvaerner, the strong man I called him, had a shotgun in the boot of his car. He went into the shop of the petrol station. A couple of minutes later he came out with the druggie…” I stopped. “That’s when the police and the ambulances came.” I said nothing more.
“Are you all right?” Scott asked and stroked my arm. I shook my head, but smiled.
“Then, Derrick. What is your story?” Derrick sighed and stared down on his hands.
“It was a day like any other,” he said, as if he didn’t know any other way to start his story. “My dad had been drinking for a couple of weeks and built up a crazy debt. Strange men came into our house and stole our furniture. Dad seemed to be fine with it though.” Scott was noting everything down with zeal. “The day it happened, dad had barely had anything to drink. He spent most of the day alone in the basement. I don’t think he was drinking down there. He usually spent a lot of time down there. He dragged me out of my room at half past ten, and we drove to the petrol station. I started talking to Onila, and then I heard the gunshot. The rest of the story you’ve already heard.”
Scott thanked us for telling our stories, and started reading some of his notes aloud.
“We reviewed the security footage and it’s clear what happened. Rose was killed first, then Em. The junky got shot third and the John ate a bullet.” The tone in his voice was stern and firm. Almost too much so.
I rose from my chair, expecting the interrogation to be over. I had given my statement and they had gotten the information they wanted. Derrick was pale again. He looked somewhat alarmed. It was all because of his parents, I thought. I couldn’t help but think about the strange men coming into his house, taking his furniture. Why hadn’t John Bashor reacted to this? Did he owe the men money? Was that why? Some of my questions were never going to be answered.
As we were leaving, Scott patted me on the shoulder. I turned around to se his strong-willed face.
“Can I talk to you for a moment?,” Scott asked. I nodded and followed him to a private booth. He sat down on his chair and motioned for me to do the same. I sat there uncomfortably for a few moments, tapping my nails against the desk and hoping for him to break the silence.
“I don’t know what the motive for the crimes are,” he started. “But I intend to find out.” He looked me in the eye. His emerald gaze melting into my brown eyes. He took my hand and looked down on it. “I need to know what John Bashor was involved with. You were a part of the investigative journalism club in high school. You did some serious police work back then,” he smiled. I still remembered how we exposed the captain of the swimming club. He spent all the swimming club’s money on himself. He’d buy all kinds of weird stuff. Alcohol, cigarettes, petrol and even Visa gift cards. What he spent the gift cards, on we never figured out. As soon as we exposed him, he dropped out of school. Never to be seen again in the city.
“I had fun doing it, but what does that have to do with this case?” I asked.
“That means you’re probably able to do some snooping.” I didn’t know how to react. I was far from a trained cop. Some classes about the ethics of journalism were all I had. But as always, curiosity got the better of me. I needed to know what it was he was proposing.
“John’s DNA matches that of the other crime scene. You probably heard about 17 year old Amanda Sprague. She was found raped and killed in a weird, run-down apartment in the outskirts of town. John did it according to the DNA evidence.” I didn’t know this man still could shock me, but every time something new came up, I got just as outraged as the first time. I felt nauseous. Scott quickly understood the situation. He found a rubbish bin and placed it in front of me. I didn’t want to throw up again. I wasn’t as faint of heart as everyone thought. Still, this new development really upset me.
"How long does it take to get the answers from the DNA tests?"
"Usually quite a long time, but we have a lab in the other office." Scott looked at me, a little worried about the situation. “You can pass the news over to Derrick, but be careful when you tell him. You seem to have a closer relationship, and he’ll need friends in the coming months.”
“I agree to your terms,” I said as formally as I could. But I heard my voice was cracking in all the wrong places.ns 18.104.22.168da2