Amelia sat awkwardly, with her legs parted feet splayed. Her head was bowed as she hated what she had just done. In one sentence she had just destroyed someone’s relationship, and the guilt was overwhelming for her. She heard the sound of William’s fist slamming into the wall as he lashed out in anger. Amelia got a shock, and lifted her head, afraid he might strike out at her. After all she was the bringer of bad tidings.
“I..” The words just weren’t coming, only the tears, and she didn’t know what else to do. Suddenly, her cellphone beeped and she reached for it, in case it was work. In a way it was, for it was Rodger. But the text said something that made her gasp.
“Rodger is interviewing…Jennifer.” She uttered, and looked over at William. “He is the investigating officer.” Slowly, Amelia rose up from her love couch, and then made her way to William. “If you love her, then go to her. Be supportive. Don’t give up on her. Remember it was Galtem who hadn’t changed.”
In the back of her mind, she was relieved that Rodger was coming over soon. She needed him. Amelia just wanted to have him hold her and tell her everything would be alright.
After apologizing himself, he turned around and faced her again, he really didn’t wanted to be here, and rage on her, but she was basically the only friend he got. The other friends he had were not supernatural creatures, they didn’t knew a thing about his life, or about the all relationship issues, however, Amelia was aware of everything, and that just made things easy to make him have a break down in front of her, and see her understanding him.
William listen to Amelia saying that some Rodger was interviewing Jennifer, probably was over his place right now, asking Jennifer about what happen in the disco, and using her as an alibi, that even made his stomach turn. He stared down at Amelia, and bit down on his lower lip, his eyes still red from crying, but the tears stopped rolling down. Her words about this, made him think once more about his love towards Jennifer, it was too strong to be left in a corner and never get touched again, but he won’t be able to trust her again, not like he did before. But still, he couldn’t find himself be all lovely with her, he couldn’t picture himself kissing her and touching her like nothing was wrong. Galtem kissed and touched her body again, and that made William’s stomach turn again, he clearly didn’t knew what to do. Even tho he shouldn’t give up on her, but he is so tired of fighting for so many years, and nothing changes.
“I don’t know..It doesn’t matter how much I try to be the perfect guy, how much I show her love, I’m still not enough compared to Galtem. Who is just a careless womanizer guy, that still can get whatever he wants. Its not fair, Amelia.”
William shared his opinion, stopping himself from start crying again. He was still thinking on what to do, and right now, giving a break seemed the best option.
“Life isn’t fair, but we deal with what we have get.”
Slowly Amelia approached William seeing his eyes red rimmed from the tears. The tears had stopped flowing at least for now, but he was probably still numbed by it all. Amelia didn’t have many friends, in fact she could probably count them all on the one hand and have fingers to spare. Carefully she reached out, her lips pursed but the corners were down. She smoothed her thumb across his tear stained cheek, before withdrawing her hand away. One thing she was scared of, was if he fell down into the pit of despair like she had.
“I gave up on love over one hundred years ago. It’s a lonely existence, William.”She spoke softly, trying her best to be reassuring, all things considered. “Don’t do what I did.” Amelia said, a hiccup to her voice, as she was terribly distraught over having to be the one to tell him. Her head bowed, as she reflected on Galtem. He promised her he changed, he really did sound convincing. She believed. Both she and William had those promises broken. He could lose his girl, where as she lost what she thought was a good friend.
She knew to hug him again, was probably not what he needed, but she knew he would have to face Jennifer at some point. The very thought of that had her sigh. Words were not going to heal the scars of this day. The way she sees it…everyone has lost in this. Looking back up with tear rimmed eyes, truly sorry for all this, she said.
“My door is always open to you, and my heart, William. If you need anything, I’m right here.”
With that she opened the door, and gave a weak smile. She knew he had to go and deal.
“I’m sorry love, but Felix is dead.”
He lost it at her words. He didn’t hear anything else that was said, didn’t see anything but his friend’s image. He seemed almost in a daze, as if he were concussed and dizzy. He would have collapsed into the pillows again had David not been there. He almost did, but just managed to catch himself, instead directing his weight backwards. He closed his eyes, trying to banish thoughts of Felix. He would mourn his friend later, he needed to.
This was not a good first impression to have in the mind of the son of the woman he loved.
Even if David wasn’t her true child, through the comfort the boy had offered him, something clicked in Benedict’s mind and heart – he needed this boy’s approval. Approval of himself, approval of his life choices, approval of his closeness to Delilah. It was much like the need to have the approval of a woman’s father, though not quite as hard to obtain. Or possibly harder, Benedict didn’t know.
Roger was fiddling with his fingers anxiously, his foot keeping time with the rapid pace of his heart as he sat down on the couch waiting for her to grab the drinks. He wasn’t exactly nervous, but he was sure as hell ready to high tail it out of there so he could rush over to Amelia and flop on her couch. This particular case was dancing on his last nerve, and he wanted to leave the blonde woman alone as soon as he could. Neither of them wanted him there, and he could feel it. Looking up, he made another awkward face at her with his lips before shrugging “Whiskey will do just fine.” Picking up his glass, he took a long hard sip before holding it between his two hands. The lieutenant was now leaning forward with his elbows on his knees as he avoided looking at her.
Awkward silence hung between them until she finally spoke. Turning his head only to be polite, Roger looked her in the eyes and smiled weakly “Yes, I would say he does. We have a pretty good idea where he was and what he was doing most of the night based off of information given to us by other patrons and witnesses. However, there is a gap of time unaccounted for, and we were hoping you could fill in the holes. If you could just try to remember what time you were with Mr. Manzenli and how long you were with him, it could put him in the clear. Also, if you could come down to the station within the next 24 hours to write an official statement, that would be greatly appreciated. If I don’t hear anything from the station that you’ve done so, I’m afraid I’ll be back on this couch again.” Sighing, he set the glass down on the table and ran a hand through his hair. Leaning back against the couch, he murmured “I really don’t want to come back, Ms. Wiles. No offense.” Sneaking a sideways peek at her, Roger smiled weakly as he attempted to alleviate the awkwardness that hung in the air amongst their conversation.
Delilah could sense how upset and uncomfortable Benedict felt at the moment, but he seemed to be fighting for control of his emotions with David present. Turning to look at her son, she smiled affectionately and murmured “Why don’t you go start your homework in your bedroom, sweetie. Take your sandwich with you and I’ll be there in a minute to help.”
David looked between his mother and her friend silently for a moment, as if assessing what the right move would be. Finally, he met his mother’s eyes and nodded her head with a small child-like smile. “Ok mommy. I don’t need your help, though. I always manage on my own.” With that, the boy took his sandwich in his hands and walked over to his back pack. Slinging it over his shoulder with his free hand, David then walked to his room and shut the door behind him.
Alone at last, Delilah turned to look at the man she had loved for so many years. Emotions flashed behind her eyes, a mixture of sadness and guilt. She should have told him sooner, or perhaps in a better setting than her living room with her bomb shell of a son nearby. Sighing softly, she crouched before him and held his head between her hands. Unsure of how he would react, she leaned forward to touch her forehead to his. Closing her eyes, she allowed her own tears of pent up frustration and pain roll down her cheeks as she basked in Benedict’s presence. He was home, and she would take his pain away if it was the last thing she did.
Jennifer tried to hold back her frustration and did it fairly well. She took a moment before she responded, since she didn’t want to say anything she would regret. Of course there was a gap he was unaccounted for. Because he had come into the bathroom after her. So many things could have gone differently. She could have sucked it up and simply used one of the crowded bathrooms downstairs to cool off in. Galtem could have been anywhere but the VIP room. He could have not come in after her when he saw her rush to the bathroom. She could have taken one look at him and bolted instead of shouting at him. She could have not kissed him. Would it have been that hard to just walk away? The bad thing was, she was pretty sure the answer that question was yes. It would have been near impossible for her to walk away from him at that moment and that downright terrified her.
She looked up at him when he said she’d have to go down to the station. Jennifer had absolutely no idea what time it was when that happened. She didn’t want to tell this guy about it let alone have it in writing. But of course she would have to do it, so she nodded slowly, taking another huge sip of whiskey. “I have no idea what time it was. I showed up at the party with William and we sat at the bar for a while. I saw Circe and Seph Mills and talked to them for a while I guess before they said… I saw something that upset me. I went up to the VIP room to use the bathroom cause it was quieter in there. I wasn’t in there long before Galtem walked in. We exchanged some… less than pleasant words… and then…” she looked down, hating herself for what had happened next. This officer must have known. Right now she was just tempted to let him throw Galtem in jail. She was sure he deserved it for some reason or another. “I have no idea how long we were in there. But Amelia walked into the bathroom when we were together. She’s probably better alibi than I am. But, yeah. I was with him when Amelia wasn’t. There was no way he could have killed anyone in that time.” Her tone was weary and she didn’t want to have to recount those memories any longer. “Just tell me when. I’ll go down to the station as soon as I can talk to William. Alone.” She looked at him pointedly. There was no way this guy was going to be there when she told William what happened. She continued to glance at the door, hoping the officer would be gone by the time William got back from wherever he had gone.
Roger watched her absorb the information he spouted at her carefully, gauging her reaction before deciding to respond. Tapping his fingertips together, he continued to smile weakly as he spoke quietly “Well, perhaps there is video footage that can help us with the timeline. However, there have been enough people to verify that you were seen going into the bathroom, and that Mr. Manzenli followed you in.” Looking away from her purposefully, he rushed his next words “I am also aware from another source that what you two were doing was quite private and will not pertain to this case in the least.” Exhaling long and hard to catch his breath, the lieutenant looked at her more seriously. “I have high doubts that this man committed a murder, despite his devious reputation. As for the statement, the sooner the better. I understand you would like to take care of matters in your, uh…home life, first. So there is no rush.” Standing up, Roger smoothed his pants down and looked around anxiously again. Rubbing the back of his neck, he pointed at his empty glass “Thanks for the refreshment.” Walking towards the door, he spoke to her while attempting to leave “I’d like to go speak to Reed myself now just to put all my ducks in a row. Thank you very much for cooperating, you’ve been a great help.” His hand was on the door nob when he stopped and turned towards her slowly. He looked serious again, almost pained, before he spoke “I understand how hard it is to make a choice, Ms. Wiles. I understand oh too well the paradox of pleasing one person and hurting the other. Just know that your happiness is what should matter most. Cryptic, I know. Easy? As if. Just think on it.” With that bit of advice, the lieutenant opened the door and finally escaped out of the apartment with a new destination in mind, but not before leaving his card behind in his midst. It fluttered to the ground behind him as the door closed.
Jennifer merely nodded her head when he spoke of video footage. She just wanted to forget everything that had happened and never have to think about it again. But she knew that was impossible. She’d have to tell William and then she’d have to go write about it at the station. It was her punishment for doing what she’d done. And she knew she deserved it. Jennifer swallowed hard and closed her eyes when he said he knew what they had been doing in the bathroom. It hurt to hear it even though his words were vague and she nodded, trying to be grateful that he would keep it a private matter. “Thank you,” she muttered when he said to take care of her home life first. That was exactly what she was going to do, but she didn’t want to do either task at the moment. She barely heard his words as he walked towards the door. Her thoughts were elsewhere. Jennifer raised a hand as a good-bye, but lowered it when he stopped and turned to her, startled by his sudden serious expression. Her lips parted a bit at his odd words of wisdom and he was gone before she was able to respond to them. To her surprise, a small smile appeared on her lips. It was kind of him to say. Apparently he didn’t think absolutely horribly of her, even knowing what she’d done to the nicest man in Derry. The smile was short-lived and it quickly turned back into a frown as she simply stood there at the door for a moment, wondering how in the world she would get through this day. Noticing the card the lieutenant had left on her floor, she bent down to pick it up, gazing at it for a moment before setting it down on the coffee table where the man had left his glass of whiskey. After draining hers and making a sour expression at the taste she leaned back onto the couch where Penny crawled onto her lap. “What am I going to do?” she asked the dog who laid her head in her lap as a response. Jennifer sighed.
Benedict allowed Delilah to hold him as he truly began to cry, but it was silent, and controlled. In fact, it was so controlled that he somehow managed to doze off again, this time in her arms. As I should be. That was the last thought he had before he drifted into a hopefully dreamless sleep.
The Next Morning
Benedict awoke, but he did not open his eyes. He felt numb, yet at the same time he felt very dirty. He could not, for the life of him, remember where he was, and could not hear or feel anything around him. However, he felt at an odd peace, so he remained still with his eyes shut, breathing deeply and slowly. For a moment, death crossed his mind. And with it, Felix. He had cared for his friend dearly. And now his friend was gone. This thought did not snap him out of his reverie, but it did give him the motivation to do so. He slowly opened his eyes and looked around, confused. His surroundings were not registering with him, and he looked at everything around him hard, trying to remember where he was and what was going on.