Chapter nine – The end of the road
*The memories in this post are still in normal picture-form. I’ll change it later, but photobucket and I are currently waging war. And Photobucket is winning. *groans* So please be patient with me =D
Anyway, enjoy the read!
‘You have the right to remain silent. Doing so may later harm your defence. Anything you do say may be used against you in court.’
The drive to the police station seemed to take hours. The two officers that arrested me informed me of my rights, said something about an attorney and then put me in the back of their car, not saying another word during the drive. I kept seeing Ashley’s face in front of me, the look of confusion in her eyes. Would she believe me if I told her I was innocent?
… did I even believe I was innocent myself?
Eventually, we entered the station. The female officer informed me that I would be officially interrogated later, after which she walked away and left me with her partner.
‘This way, miss.’
He led me out of the room and into the hallway, through more doors, until finally I saw the prison bars. My heart sank as we approached the cell meant for me. There was a single bed and a toilet, and that was it.
With a metallic clang, the door slammed shut behind me. I was pretty sure I’d never been in a prison cell before in my life. As the officer walked away, I wanted to turn around and ask him how long I was going to be held here, but my body didn’t listen. Instead, it walked over to the bed and curled up into a ball next to it.
I was… guilty, wasn’t I?
I can be tough, I can be strong
I must have known it a long time now. From the moment Julian turned away and left, I knew I had to be guilty. Why else would he have left like that? I was a despicable person. I was sure of it.
But with you, it’s not like that at all
‘I’m done with this.’
And I remember
I hugged my knees tighter and tried to ban the image from my mind, but I couldn’t. Julian had been my safe port. He was where I felt at ease. He helped me, protected me, and without ever asking something in return. And yet I let him down…
‘Why, lady Catherine! Have you called to grace me with your presence on a date?’
All those crazy things you said
You left them running through my head
You’re always there, you’re everywhere
But right now I wish you were here
‘Ahaha-admit it, you were scared out of your mind there!’
And all those crazy things we did
Didn’t think about it, just went with it
You’re always there, you’re everywhere
But right now I wish you were here
This feeling… what was it? My heart burnt in my chest at the thought that was the last time I saw him.
I wanted to see him… to apologise and talk things over…
No, I don’t wanna let go
I just wanna let you know…
But if I was really guilty, I had no right to.
Wish you were here – Avril Lavigne
‘Why, I haven’t seen you before. Welcome to Plumbob’s resting place, my son.’
Lara smiled at the man, but when he didn’t respond, her laugh faded.
‘Is there something I can do for you?’
‘No. I just heard… this church was a good place to sit down and think.’
‘Why, it is,’ Lara smiled again. ‘But you look like you’ve done a lot of thinking already. Why don’t you tell me what’s troubling you?’
Julian sighed, and took a deep breath.
‘Someone important betrayed me yesterday.’
‘I see… that is a shock indeed.’
‘Yes. She did something unforgivable, so I walked out on helping her. But the problem is… I can’t get her out of my mind.’
‘What do you mean?’ Lara asked.
‘I just keep thinking about her. It just doesn’t fit her personality to do something like that. I can’t help but wonder why… but all the evidence points to her. So why do I still feel like there’s still something that doesn’t add up?’
‘Are you sure you haven’t overlooked something, my son?’ Lara said softly. ‘Are you absolutely certain that it was her doing?’
Julian hesitated. He gazed downwards and shoved his feet back and forth.
‘Yes. No. I think… there might still be…’
‘Go over your suspicions once more,’ Lara said. ‘Confirm everything. And talk it over with her.’
‘But what if the same answer just comes out again?’ Julian asked, with a trace of uncertainty in his voice.
‘You won’t know that until you try.’
Lara smiled at him again. The look in Julian’s eyes was doubting and uncertain, but there was something else in there too. A trace of hope, maybe?
‘… I will. Thank you, sister.’
‘You’re welcome. Good luck, child. Remember, the almighty mother Plumbob watches over you.’
There was a car stopping in front of the police station. I heard it pull over from inside my cell. Probably another police officer to back the woman up and question me again, or maybe a lawyer from the state. I didn’t care. Mentally I’d reached rock bottom… probably.
There was mumbling going on at the other side of the door to the prison quarters. I couldn’t make out what they were saying, but all of a sudden the door opened and the same officer that put me in here came in sight. Behind him there was-
Oh my plumbob.
‘Time to get up, miss,’ the officer said, while taking a key out of his pocket. The guy behind him shot me a cold glare that gave me the creeps… but this time I couldn’t run anywhere.
Seeing how resisting was futile anyway, I decided to obey and got up from the bed. The lock opened with a soft click, allowing mister officer to open the door for me.
‘You’ll be going with mister… what was your name again?’
‘I meant your last… oh well. You’ll accompany mister Malcom for now.’
‘Why?’ I asked. It was obvious that the officer wasn’t happy with this sudden turn of events, and it seemed highly unlikely that they would just let a suspect out in the middle of an investigation.
‘We have orders,’ the officer said. ‘Can’t do anything about it if the commander in-chief gives you orders.’
That last bit was mere mumbling, more meant to himself than to me.
I walked out of the cell, ignoring the glares the suit guy was throwing at me, and let him take me out of the building.
‘Where are we going?’
We ended up in front of the Town Hall. Malcom proceeded to walk up the stairs, and I followed closely behind him. I could make a run for it… but that would be useless. They’d just chase me and lock me up again. So I put my body on automatic and walked behind him, up the stairs, through the doorway and into the building.
We headed straight for the file storage. The red-haired man-boy wasn’t sitting behind the counter this time, which concerned me a bit. The door was wide open, as well. Just what was going on…?
We entered the file room. It looked exactly the same as last time I was there. The only difference was the woman standing on the far end of the room, near the crime board. Was she a staff member? No, her clothes didn’t fit into that category. Though I was sure I’d seen her be-
Wait a minute…
‘Yes, it’s me,’ the woman said with a smile. ‘I was wondering when we would see each other again. It’s good to know you still recognise me even with your so-called memory loss.’
‘I recognise you! You’re the woman from before!’ I nodded vigorously.
‘Er… or maybe you don’t.’
‘What are you talking about?’ I asked. ‘And why did you bring me here, anyway?’
I had a nagging feeling about this woman. Something important. Something that made my skin tingle… but I couldn’t recall what it was.
‘Come on, I’m sure you can do better than that.’ The woman gave me a sugary sweet smile, with round eyes and an innocent expression. Those eyes were the same colour as mine…
‘Don’t you recognise me, Melinda?’
‘What… did you call me?’ I asked. Her face confused me. She had the exact same eyes as me… the same black spot above her cheek and her nose and mouth were almost identical to mine. This… person… could she be…?
‘Your name is Melinda Foxworth, Cathy. I’m your sister.’
‘I have a sister?’
‘Of course. My name is Melody, do you remember? You have a brother, as well, although he is out of town at the moment. And the one standing behind you is our distant cousin, Malcom Foxworth. We’re all family here, Cathy.’
‘But why didn’t you talk to me before?’ I asked, suspicious of her motives. ‘Why did he chase me around a few days ago? And why did you decide to meet me now? This doesn’t make any sense!’
‘You ran away from the family after messing up. I sent Malcom to find you and bring you back that time because I thought you were still running. After you burned that house down-‘
This wasn’t real. This could not be happening. I didn’t kill anyone! I didn’t even know I had a sister. There was just no way I could have… burned… the…
The memory hit me like a brick and left me light-headed. It wasn’t fady and fuzzy, like all the memories up until now. This one was crystal clear. I remembered… their house burning… but why did I remember…?
‘It was you, Cathy. You know that just as well as me, deep down somewhere.’
‘But… why…?’ I muttered.
‘Don’t worry. I’m going to help you remember… remember it all.’
My sister walked closer to me. I wanted to take a step back, but her eyes forced themselves into mine and kept me grounded. As soon as she started to speak, the memories poured out. It was as if they had been waiting, just out of my reach, for her to pick them up.
‘They were a family of five, sister. Bryce and Helen were happily married with three children. Their names… do you remember them?’
As if I could ever forget again. I remember. I remember them all… Thomas with his cheery attitude, always running around and waging battles with invisible monsters to show how grown-up he was. And Natalia, the responsible one that always kept an eye on her little sister…
‘Grandfather gave you the order to take out Bryce, without telling any of us. It didn’t take me long to figure out what you were up to, though. When you realised it would be impossible to deal with him during the day, your mind gave birth to another option. You’d always been fascinated by fire, Cathy. Wondering how long it would take for an entire house to be filled with flames…’
No, stop it! I don’t want to hear any more! This isn’t me!
I couldn’t have… done this…
‘You probably didn’t mean for the whole family to die, you know,’ I heard Melody’s voice in the distant background. ‘They were supposed to be away for the weekend…’
The rest of her sentence faded away as it was overpowered by the raging of flames. I could feel the heat on my skin, the faint screaming from upstairs…
Eventually, my mind returned to the file storage room. I could barely move my limbs. The shock was just too big to comprehend.
I was a murderer…
‘Cathy… no, Melissa. We’re sisters. We need to back each other in what is right. So I’m going to let Malcom drive you back to the station. You know what to do, don’t you?’
‘Yes,’ I whispered.
It was over.
I killed him and his family.
I was guilty.
‘I’m going to confess…’