Finding important

Donald was supposed to be asking Rachel questions though, not answering them. He took a sip of his water before putting the glass back down. “So she’s been living in the garage?”

Rachel nodded, a wry pull at her lips. “It’s not like we have a lot of space in the house, as you can see. Plus, I think Dad was nervous having a stranger around at first. She’s not a stranger anymore though. She’s been here long enough, she…”

The girl trailed off. Donald tried to think about where to start. “Then it’s just the three of you here? You, your dad, and Marie?”

Rachel clasped her hands in front of her, forearms resting on her knees. “Dad’s actually my godfather. My parents were his best friends, so when they died, he took me in. It’s always been the two of us, until Marie showed up.”

Donald did his best not to fidget. “I’m… I’m sorry to-”

In a split second, Rachel went from looking mellow to stabbing him with her gaze. “So neither of you are police, are you?” It caught him so off guard, he didn’t know what to say. Rachel continued. “Of course not. I went to them too and no one cared. Just you and me and her.”

Donald’s eyes flicked over to where Lori was seated. Only the three of them? It felt hard to believe.

“Talk to her about Marie”

Kedar definitely had adopted young Rachel, but he didn’t look like Marie either. Donald wouldn’t know more, because Lori had taken over talking with Rachel’s father as he sat to the side with the little girl.

“I don’t want her words influenced by what her father says,” Lori whispered to him. “Talk to her about Marie.”

Donald wanted to swap places, but nodded nevertheless. Lori looked professional, so she would probably do better with Kedar Fontaine. Meaning that Donald had to speak with Rachel, sitting in their living room on a small sofa and looking through the doorway into the kitchen, where Lori and Kedar were seated at the table.

Rachel put a glass of water in front of him. Donald started. He hadn’t been aware that she had gone to get anything. “How did you know Marie?” she asked him.

Donald made a face. “I… I didn’t really know her. She played her guitar across the street from where I work. She’s been playing there for… it feels like forever now. So her just being gone, it made an impression on me.”

Rachel nodded, sitting down across from him on a wooden chair. “I told her to play there. She used to play near the park, but… I thought she’d do better there. More people.”

More money. Donald nodded. “I get that.”

The lies of Autumn

I never quite trusted autumn. It had this annoying habit of never quite fulfilling the promises it made.

Which would have been fine, actually, if they didn’t often come so close. I would nearly win the race. I would nearly get there on time. I would nearly be seen by my favorite drummer. But just… close enough was still so far away. Having the almost hurt more than anything.

Therefore, when my interview lined up for the end of autumn, rather than in the beginning of winter when I had thought they would get back to me, I felt like giving up.

“Don’t do that,” my wife scolded.

She should have known better. She had been slammed by autumn as much as I had. Though part of me wondered if it was just me, or if she simply hadn’t been observant of it before meeting up with me.

Nevertheless, she used the lint roller on my jacket to get rid of all the cat hair and sent me on my way. Here it was, the perfect interview that would appear to go well.

Part of me wanted to sabotage it so it couldn’t even be close. I smiled.

I could wait long enough, for winter to bring me its luck.

Suspicion is as others do

Answer some questions? Very well.

I’ve known him for years. We met as children. His parents never minded my coming over. I think I lived there, actually.

Problems? He’s too kindhearted most of the time for that. She on the other hand… well, she has problems. But she has problems with everyone, not just him. However, he stopped trying after a while, with her. Trying to deal with her. He would help her, but… she didn’t really deserve it. She wasn’t trying. I don’t know what her problem is.

Me? Of course I don’t like her. She wasted his time and then keeps trying when he’s obviously had enough. But… what can you do? Other than tell people like that to stop, to go away.

…yes, I had a record. In school. I wasn’t a well adjusted child. Why do you ask?

I know she’s missing. It’s her way of trying to get attention, isn’t it? She’ll show up. He’ll worry about it, he’s my friend. If you want to know what he thinks about that, ask him, not me. I can only guess. He’ll worry, but… he’s already told her enough is enough. That’s done.

Why do you keep asking that?

The Interviewer

“I’m glad you could join me.”

You aren’t impressed by my poise, my calm, my anything. I don’t know why I thought you might be. It doesn’t even amuse you, you probably want to go back to your cell and do nothing. Nothing has ever phased you. “I don’t do interviews.”

I hold out my empty hands. “I’m not taking any notes. No recordings. Just here to ask you questions.”

I should have known better, but you don’t ask me anything. Or comment. Nothing to record your answers accurately, expect to tell the world anyway, any of those things that others have told me. As if I make a living off of this.

“I won’t ask you how you did it. I am here to ask you why.”

You stare at me, as you have been, no physical reaction yet again. “You don’t want to know how?”

“Why would I? To repeat it? If how you did it got out, someone might want to do it too. With how it all went down, a preemptive defense wouldn’t really be possible. I hope you tell no one. I hope the how follows you to your grave.”

Still no change on your face. I can’t tell what you are going to say next. That you asked me the previous question at all should tell me something, but your voice is toneless. I can’t read you. Not that I’ve ever been good at reading any of the people I have interviewed. Only in persevering.

“The same could be said of the why,” you say.

I have probably failed this attempt. It might take a long time before I can get another chance. But I will. And you know it. You know I will try, believe I will not succeed.

This is up for debate. We will see.