Story by Lee Su Min
No Secrets Kept
To kill a wolf sometimes you need some sheep.
Every morning like a sheep I came into the office quietly. I wore flat heals so that I made as little noise as possible. I knew that he was in the room because the lights were on. I put my handbag down on the table in a prominent position to show that I had arrived in case he walked past my room. Then I went to the kitchen to make myself a cup a coffee.
Daisy Chen was in the kitchen. I said hi to her as I walked in. She looked harassed. I saw that she was making coffee for three. So there were guests! I waited for Daisy to finish first, as I did not want to get in her way. Daisy was his secretary, and I didn't want her to complain to him about the new staff.
I had just joined Kramer & Walker on Monday, not so long ago since I broke up with him. This morning in the lift as I was coming up to the office, we said nothing to each other. When the lift door opened, he walked out first. Neither one of us said hello. After such a long silence in the lift, it was understood that we would not be greeting each other in the office.
After Daisy Chen left the kitchen I went in and refilled the water jug for the percolator without washing it first. The coffee powder was finishing, and I wondered if I should go out and buy my own brand or request a packet under the requisition form with the admin department. The coffee powder they used did not have enough caffeine to perk me up in the morning. I had been taking a second cup at lunch just around the corner outside the office.
Once I got back to my room I kept my bag under the table and turned on the computer. It took a few seconds, and I was happy to see the picture of a green field on the screen, the standard Microsoft default wallpaper. I thought about changing it to another one. The next day I would bring my camera and load some of my photographs onto the PC so that I could use my own pictures as the wallpaper and screen saver. I liked to tamper with IT stuff.
The office walls were painted in ivory white. Pictures in black and white of small houses in a town lined one side of the wall. The other side of the wall had a frame with thirty boxes, each one having a golf ball inside. I was very mesmerized by the golf ball theme, for the balls rest precariously on the frame so that if undisturbed, they would sit there forever. I wanted to take a picture of it but knowing that it would cost me my job I refrained.
“Hello.” Mr. Jenkins peeped his head in. Mr. Jenkins was middle aged and I couldn’t tell you if he were married as I have no idea at all. So far he has never made any reference to his wife. My source told me that Mrs. Jenkins was a cook working in some posh hotel. I gave Mr. Jenkins a toothless smile. It was the best I could produce. The movie on the television last night was long and dull, and it took a long while for me to fall asleep.
“How's work?” he asked.
I didn’t know the company hierarchy yet, so I was just friendly to everybody. Mr. Jenkins could have been the boss's favorite staff, or he could just have been the office boy. But from the way he wore his attire, I didn't think that he was anyone very important. For one, he wore short sleeves, and no tie. Just to be on the safe side, though, I entertained him. Any friendly soul was useful for the time being.
I saw that the senior partner Richard Walker’s room had guests in. He did not usually meet guests in his office. This time was a little unusual. The door was closed with a Do Not Disturb sign hanging on the doorknob.
I stood up to go to Ms. Joan Davis’ room to talk to her. I remembered seeing The News Bulletin at her table this morning. Joan had been the first person I was introduced to when I started work here. She was much taller than I and a little bit aloof. I felt very uncomfortable standing next to her, as it made me feel very short, even though I was not. Joan also wore a pair of rimless spectacles which made her look like a schoolteacher.
“Can I help you?” she asked.
I could see that she was reading the newspapers, so I ventured an “I came to say good morning,” and then added,
“I shan’t disturb you.”
As I was walking out of the room, she said, “Wait a minute, can you photocopy this?”
I was taken aback. This was the job of a junior clerk. But I didn’t want to offend her, so I took the slip of paper from her and asked, “How many copies?”
“One,” Joan said.
Photocopying would have been easy if everything had been set up. When I arrived at the machine, it was off, so I had to look for the power switch. I must have been the first one to use the photocopier that morning. I cursed at Joan Davis and then found the on/off button. The machine gave a squeezing sound to tell me that it was waking up in a lazy mood. I placed the piece of paper on the glass panel and pressed Start. Then, as a second thought: Why don’t I read what is on it? After all, if Joan could give it to me, it could not have contained any secrets.
“I am happy to announce that the Award of the Best Entrepreneur 2015 goes to Mr. Richard Walker,”. It wasn’t marked Private and Confidential, but coming from this office I could guess that the news hadn’t been released yet. I quickly made a copy and sent the original back to Joan. I pretended that I hadn’t read it.
“Everything okay?” Joan asked.
Before I left I remembered that I came in for the newspapers, so I gave her my order this time:
“Let me have your paper after you had finished.” She didn’t look up, although I was sure that I spoke loud enough for her to hear.
At lunch I walked out of the office and went straight to Starbucks, where I grabbed a chicken curry puff and an iced caramel macchiato. Within half an hour I was up at the office inside my room again. I ravaged the home page news, as it was usually very interesting. Some woman threw her baby down and some man murdered his wife’s lover. I had a dark secret, but it was unlikely that anyone would want to kill me. We both knew that it was supposed to be kept secret, between just the both of us.
Richard Walker and I hadn’t seen each other for three months now. Right from the start we both knew it to be hopeless. Richard was married to a prominent lawyer, and there was no question of divorce on his part. I was merely a poor office worker. Richard liked my naivety, which obviously Yvonne didn’t have. I knew that he was married at the time I began the relationship with him, so right from the start I was keeping a countdown.
By the time it reached zero, Richard was still in love with me, so I gave him six weeks. I merely wanted to test my feminine prowess. Richard Walker was a fast dealer. You could tell by the way he ordered his food. He never spent time looking into the menu. Sometimes he would even order his meals by just telling the waitress what he wanted.
I was not very educated. I didn’t go to university. All I got was the GCE certificates, which eighty percent of the workers already had. But I have a sweet smile. When I smiled, my eyes drew up like a line so you could see a very happy face. Many people had told me that, and I knew I was attractive.
I took a look at the room opposite mine again. The lights were off, so I guessed the occupant must have gone out for lunch and not come back yet. In fact, the entire floor was dim. Almost everyone had taken a break. I was an executive secretary, the first time I had been given such a prestigious title. I had no family of my own and needed to climb up the corporate ladder. That was why I decided to use Richard for the time being. Until I found another man.
Halfway through typing I heard Richard. He had come back from lunch. I decided that I had to avoid him, so I did not go out until I was sure that he was back in his room. If I knew that Richard Walker worked in this office I wouldn’t have joined. Having to stay away from someone deliberately made life difficult. No one in the office knew about the situation. I was sure that Richard had not told anyone about our affair.
Now that I knew that he was going to be the next big time celebrity, it made this situation more delicate. If I disclosed our relationship, his infidelity to his wife Yvonne Walker would make him unsuitable for the eminent position. I asked myself if I should use our past to blackmail him. I didn’t have a black dress like Monica Lewinsky; neither did I keep a record of appointments. We usually met during the day, when he was supposed to have gone for a client’s appointment.
The only evidence of our relationship was a piece of paper from his notepad saying, “see ya at 11:00 p.m.”
It was in his handwriting, and he used his office notepaper with his name on it. No solicitor met his client at 8:30 p.m., and the manner in which he wrote it showed that it wasn’t a professional arrangement. I knew that the piece of paper was incriminating, and I had kept it for a long time in case it would be useful. Yes, it was useful now.
I stayed late in the office. At 10:00 p.m., after dark, I made sure no one else was at the photocopier before I went up to the machine to make my copy. I made two in case I needed another one. Then I slipped one under Richard Walker’s door. I assumed that it was locked. Something told me that this was wrong, but I couldn’t care less. This was my life, and this was fact. I was just putting the record straight.
Should I tell the other partners in the office? Or shall I wait for his response? Is his reaction going to make a difference? Since I saw the nomination announcement, I had made up my mind. I was not going to allow Yvonne Walker’s husband to be the top entrepreneur whilst I played the role of an old flame. It was most unfair. The romance between them had died, and the public needed to know.
I went home and had a good sleep and woke up later than usual. I was late for the office. Immediately I rang the admin department and reported sick. Now I wondered what I should do. I remembered that the paper was under his door, and I was supposed to be in the office to see his reaction. I needed to know what he would do before I planned my next move.
Disturbed, I walked slowly to the front door of my apartment to pick up my newspapers. I opened the door and saw a note resting on the day’s The News Bulletin. It was the same note! It was the photocopied note that I had slipped under Richard’s door. Only then did it occur to me that I had forgotten to retrieve the copy from the copier.
Who put it there? It couldn’t have been the newspaper vendor. They wouldn’t have had the note. So it must have been Richard, or Richard’s secretary. Worse, it could have been Yvonne. If it were his secretary it would mean that I could still blackmail Richard Walker.
If it were Yvonne, the game was up. I would be chucked out of the office, and I was sure that Richard would make it difficult for me to find employment elsewhere. I was getting worried. I looked for my phone and searched for Richard’s telephone number. I had not deleted it. There hadn’t been a need to do so. We didn’t have a row; we merely separated by mutual agreement.
I had broken things off with him after he told me he would have to wait three years to divorce his wife. That was too long a time for me as I was nearing thirty. I wondered if he knew of his impending award before he spoke with me about the breakup.
Now I wondered if I had miscalculated. If I had stayed on, would Richard have been nominated for the award? The chances were the same. No one knew about our affair, as I lived alone. I had given Richard Walker one of my access keycards so he could walk in and out like any other resident on the estate.
The fact that we were together in the same law firm now was pure coincidence. When I applied for the job, I had not realized that “Walker” was Richard. And if I hadn’t seen him in the lift that morning I wouldn’t have known that I would bump into him in the office. No, I did not plan this, I had not set out to expose Richard. Part of me still loved him.
Never mind about love, what was important now was who put the note in my apartment this morning. I had slipped it under Richard’s office door last night; so it must have been Richard who picked it up first. He could have passed it to someone else to bring it here to return it to me. But whom could he trust? It could have been Daisy Chen his secretary, or Chapman his driver.
In all probability the courier could have been Richard himself. It made more sense, and only he knew my address. He had my keycard. Only the person with the keycard could enter my apartment compound without going through security.
Now the mystery was solved, and I was happier. I went to the fridge and took out some bread and butter. At the same time, I boiled some water to make instant coffee. Yuks! I forgot to buy condensed milk, and I hated black coffee. I had been getting my morning coffee at Starbucks on the way to the office, so sweetener had not been on my groceries list. I was pretty annoyed with myself and wondered if I should go to the supermarket.
But I wasn’t supposed to go out. I was supposed to be sick, lying in bed at home. Which reminded me, I needed to go to the Back Lane Clinic to get a medical certificate before the end of the day.
Although I had solved the mystery of the note being at my door, I still hadn’t decided on my next course of action. Yesterday I just slipped the note under Richard Walker’s room door to show that he had some little secret with me. But it was just an impromptu gesture, a reflex action. Now that he knew that I had this note and that I knew he knew I had this note, what would he do?
Would he want to rekindle the liaison, or would he want to terminate our relationship permanently? Should I resign then? And even if I resigned, now that we both knew that he was subject to blackmail, he might send someone to kill me. But Richard Walker was a professional. I quite doubted that he was acquainted with any underworld criminals.
As I had been pondering the permutations and combinations, I had not been paying attention to the headlines in The News Bulletin:
“Mr. Richard Walker, the Winner of the Entrepreneur of the Year 2015 Award, was found dead in his office at 11:07 p.m. last night. We suspect that the murderer is a woman in her late twenties and the work is that of an insider. Investigations are still ongoing and the area surrounding the law office is cordoned off. He leaves behind his wife Yvonne Walker.”
Everyone has his sensory melting point. I guessed I had reached mine on that day. I went straight to my PC and booked a ticket to Hong Kong. I chose the former colony as it was a mere three-and-a-half-hour flight from home. I spoke and understood Cantonese and it was sufficiently English speaking with an infrastructure similar to that here in the country. I would not feel like an alien in the city. The other reason was that we had a branch in Hong Kong and I knew one lawyer there by the name of Allison Wong. We communicated through emails on and off.
I packed my clothes in an overnight bag. I was a woman in my late twenties and I was on the run now. I was the chief suspect. In any case, the killer knew where I lived. Did Yvonne Walker frame me? Only Yvonne Walker knew the answer. I still had Richard’s number, but I knew that I should not call him. The moment I rang that number I would be charged with murder. Slowly I picked up my iPhone and scrolled my contact list. As I found the name “Rich” I deleted it and then switched off my iPhone.
But then curiosity got the better of me. On the one hand I wanted to stay behind in the country to see if the killer of Walker was arrested, on the other I knew that I would be suspected to be the killer, if I were still seen around.
I decided to miss my flight. I did not arrive at the airport. I went to the office as usual on the next day, and I tried not to make eye contact with anyone on the train.
I managed to gain entry into the office via the back lane. The rubbish bags piling high along the lane gave a tinge of sour smell almost got me to faint. Nevertheless, I walked passed as I wanted to get into the office. I took the cargo lift to arrive at the twelve floor. The lift belonged to the delivery workers. It was wide enough to accommodate for large furniture and the wall had scratches carelessly done by previous users. I was not interested in the décor now. I used that exit whenever I was late for work. I knew that something was waiting for me there.
When I arrived at the office, Daisy Chen wasn’t there. In fact, no one was at the office. Oh yes, the office was supposed to be cordoned off. The entire place was in darkness and only the sound of the photocopier accompanied me throughout the morning. Someone was in the office with me. I thought that it might have been Joan Davis.
Remembering that I was there to retrieve the love note. I walked towards Richard Walker’s room, past the photocopier. There I saw a woman standing by the machine. She had long hair and was thin so she looked a little like Joan Davis. But of course I knew that she wasn’t Joan. I have been dealing with Joan often enough to know that it wasn’t she even in the dark.
The woman’s eyes were large with a quizzical look. I backed off, my body hit against the wall and all the golf balls rolled down. Quickly I retreated my steps and bent down to pick up the balls, then as an afterthought I realized that I need not have done this, I threw one of the balls away and rushed into my room, closing the door behind me.
Something told me that the woman was unreal, wearing a loose white dress, her hair long and wiry, like it had not been combed for a long time.
I only remembered to switch on the lights in my room after I came to. I had a side lamp which I paid for myself. To buy anything in the office I needed to make a requisition, which I found too troublesome. The lamp was porcelain and inexpensive. I used it only as an ornamental piece so actually I did not require for it to brighten up my room. I knew that I was a little out of breath now so I grabbed the water jar and poured myself a glass of water. I usually drank coffee but I dared not go out of my room to go to the pantry now.
The office was definitely haunted. Richard Walker had died, and he had sent a ghost back to haunt me. I let the thought sink in and decided that there was no other way to fight a ghost but to seek spiritual help. And for this the best way was to pray. I didn’t wear a cross. But I kept a Rosary with me. It was a gift from a friend who wanted to persuade me to join her faith. I never accepted her invitation. Now it seemed like I have no other choice.
I sat on my swivel chair, the air-conditioning was off as the office was closed. I started chanting. God! I forgot the Mysteries. There are altogether four. For each day of the week you use a different Mystery. I searched for the literature on the litany. No, I couldn’t find it in my right drawer, and not the left drawer as well. Frustrated, my prayer choked on the Rosary.
Nothing happened to me, yet. So far only the outside is possessed. My room was still clean. I knew that if I hadn’t wished Richard Walker dead, I won’t have been feeling so wretched now. But of course, his actual death had nothing to do with me. I was not even near him at the time of death, or even for the past three to six months. Actually, I couldn’t remember when I last dated Richard Walker. It could have been a year ago actually. He had handed me the love note without dating it.
Yes, the note. I came back here specifically for the note. I have to find the note and destroy it. It should not be found. So far, the original is slipped under Richard’s door, and another photocopy appeared at my house under the door. What I should do now was to retrieve the piece under Richard’s door. But to do this I would have to pass through the main office, where the photocopier and the woman was.
I held the Rosary for another ten minutes, not saying anything. My mind thinking of what to say to the police if I were found within the premises. I could say that I was unaware of the murder, as I had been on sick leave. The woman in white I knew not to be an office staff for I had not met her before.
Finally, when I looked at my watch and found it to be almost 6:00 p.m., I plucked up the courage to leave. I picked up my bag and I walked out of my room, and I think I forgot to turn off the lights. When I opened my door the woman in white wasn’t in the office. She could be somewhere else in the office, so I took a few quick steps went opposite to Walker’s room on my second attempt, before she reappeared. I opened the room door.
The newspapers were not wrong in saying that investigations were on going, for the furniture was marked with tape. No longer were the drapes drawn, and everything in the room appeared stale. Dust covered the files and books and almost every aspect of the room, as though an invisible being had taken over the place. I stood in the room for a few minutes and said a silent prayer.
At that point in time, someone tapped on my shoulder. I opened my eyes, looked, and saw Mr. Stevens.
“Why are you back here? Didn’t you read the news?” he opened conversation.
“I forgot something,” I had to lie. I couldn’t tell him about the note.
“They were here yesterday,” “the place was swarming with officers,” Mr. Stevens said.
“Did they take the suspect away?” Obviously I needed a scapegoat.
“No, I didn’t see anyone going away in the police car,” Mr. Stevens reported.
“Please let me know if they appear again,” I ordered Mr. Stevens.
“Okie dokie,” the man replied. He had been the guard for this building for as far as I could remember.
Realizing that I should not have registered my presence with Mr. Stevens since I was not supposed to be here, I quickly bid him goodbye and left the office and went down again by the cargo lift. Down at the ground floor I hailed an oncoming taxi and hopped in. Thank Goodness the taxi man was ready to take me. I rested inside the car and heaved a sigh of relief. By the time I got home it was almost 8:00 p.m.
Every address was known to be haunted once somebody has died in it. So this was what I was experiencing yesterday on the twelfth floor of Carmen House. The woman in white was definitely some supernatural being but I couldn’t decide if she were from my side or from Richard Walker’s side.
The next morning, I woke up suddenly remembering that the golf balls had my fingerprints on it. I must go back to the office to retrieve it!
I managed the same procedure and I arrived at Kramer & Walker again.
Inside the office when I found the golf ball, I brought it to the sink to wash it, so as to eliminate any fingerprints. Afterwards I washed my hands. And then God! Now the wet towel would be evidence of my presence. There was only one way to dispose of the wet towel without a trace. I could throw it down the chute. I knew where the rubbish chute was. Immediately I went to the backyard and opened the cover. The towel went down without a sound. Thinking that I had sufficiently destroyed all records of my presence I tried to leave the office.
Then a soft whisper cornered me, “What are you doing here?” – the recognizable white dress.
“What do you want from me?’ I asked the woman.
She said nothing then she took a step forward giving me very little space to stand. I leaned on the sink, my hands on my iPhone holding it tight, ready to snatch a picture of her if she came closer. I heard that an image of the third kind could not be captured on the screen.
“Do you want water?” that was all I could ask her. That was all I could think of. I forgot entirely that she was only a figurine and will not need liquid.
She didn’t open her mouth, not a sound came out from her.
Time stood still for me. I stared at the woman and stretched out my hand gingerly to touch her, her skin was porcelain cold. Had she put on too much powder? She was as white as the dress she was wearing. Now I was acutely aware that she was supernatural.
I was not here on a ghost hunting escapade. My purpose was to discharge myself as the potential suspect in the murder of Richard Walker. I knew that the police would go down the list of his contacts and that I would be called in for an interview sooner or later. Whether as a staff who was working in the same office at the material time or that of an ex-lover. For the second reason the police must be in possession of the love note.
Shall I report the encounter with the woman to the police? There was a neighbourhood police post nearby. In fact, there were several such set ups. I pondered on which one, and finally decided on the one with an address near the office. I was certain that the officers from this neighbourhood were deployed to investigate on Richard’s murder. But what could I tell the police? To surrender myself at the police station and tell them I was not guilty of Richard’s murder? That would be very odd indeed.
I took out a piece of paper and started scribbling my statement. After three sentences I felt that they were unsatisfactory. I threw the paper in the waste paper basket and switched off the lights in the room to leave.
The next morning I woke up thinking of the paper I threw away. It would be evidence that I loitered in the office compound during an ongoing police investigation, and that would make me a suspect if nothing else. I had to retrieve the note!
I became obsessed with the idea of going back to Kramer and Walker.
Every day, I thought of a new reason to go back. And every time I went back I would encounter the woman in white. I would go into my room and sit for a while, and then I would pick up my Rosary and pray. Afterwards I would go out to the main office and go into Richard Walker’s room to say a little short prayer. I had begun to memorize the Mysteries very well.
But the woman in white still eluded me. Each time she appeared at different locations, like the Pokémon you see in video games. She looked so real yet when I went near her I saw her only in two-dimensions. She must have been Yvonne Walker. No one else would want to look for me.
My predictions were true. Three days later I received a note again under my front door. This time it was not with the newspapers. It was just a plain invitation to an interview from the police. I thought nothing of it since I was not responsible for Richard’s death. But nonetheless I decided to give it a try. I might get a chance to disclose my relationship with Richard. Frankly speaking I wanted everyone to know that I have had a relationship with Richard.
At the police interview the officer asked me, “Why did you kill Richard Walker?”
“No, I didn’t kill Richard Walker,”
“So your killed Yvonne Walker instead,”
“No, I mean, I didn’t kill anyone,”
“Then why were you back at the office?” So the CCTV wasn’t off.
The officer produced the dreaded note. I saw it and I said, almost immediately,
“this is not my handwriting,” and then to prove what I said, I took the pen in front of me, the officer’s pen, and wrote,
– see ya at 11:00 p.m. – “this is my handwriting,” I produced a new note in my handwriting.
Officer Liam said nothing and merely took the piece of paper away and kept it in his file.
I knew instantly that I had been played out. Now they have evidence of my invitation to meet with Richard Walker. This was exactly what they wanted from me. But why would the police want to frame me? I was too small for anyone to want to do that. I was just one of the secretaries to a legal assistant in a law firm, a sheep in a large farm.
Logic told me that I must find an alibi. One who would swear that I was with him on the night of the murder.
Daisy or Joan could play that role. But none of them answered my calls when I rang. Of course there were more than just the mere two in the office, there was also Chapman the driver. But these two were the ones I was usually acquainted with. In desperation I rang Chapman.
“Hi, this is Sharon speaking, may I speak to Chapman please?”
“Yes, I am he. Is that you Sharon?” the voice was unmistakably Chapman.
“I would like to meet with you urgently, tonight if possible,” I said, still sounding quite calm.
“No problem,” thank God the man was willing.
We met at the nearby McDonald’s. Chapman was in his usual suit, which was a polo shirt and beige pants. I let him buy two coffees and then I began almost as soon as he sat down in front of me.
“Could you remember what you did on the night of Richard’s murder?” I opened the topic.
“Am afraid not,” Chapman replied.
“Then could you tell the police that you were having dinner with me that night?” I put the request squarely to him.
“Why, of course,” there was no doubt that this man could help me.
“The police seemed to think that I was involved with Richard’s death,” there was no harm in giving some explanation.
“No worries,” the man sipped his coffee without another word to me, then as I was about to say anything else, he quickly said,
“I could produce a receipt for dinner, together with the credit card bill that manifest the time of checking out of the restaurant.”
It all seemed so easy. I told myself I had to trust this man. I had no one else to turn to. Mr. Jenkins was definitely not available as he was married so using him could be more complicated than it should be.
Chapman said nothing more to me. I watched him sip his coffee and hoped that he won’t ask me for some consideration that I couldn’t afford. I couldn’t ask him how much this alibi would cost as I didn’t know how much work it would involve until after the investigations.
I was mistaken on Chapman’s offer. For a week later the police called me up and showed me the same receipt that Chapman had. It now seemed that they have decided that I was having dinner with Richard Walker rather than with Chapman on the very night that Richard died. I didn’t know how to defend myself now.
So Chapman was having dinner with Richard on the night of 24 August 2015, and the police conveniently deduced that it was me. I was as guilty as sin. My motive was clear: Richard was my ex-lover and when he terminated the affair with me, I killed him.
Before my next interview with officer Liam at the Davidson Police Station, I dropped by the toilet and searched for the Rosary in my handbag to pray again. There was no other way to exonerate myself now except to seek divine intervention.
A woman appeared right in front of me.
I looked up. It was she! The woman in white!
Flabbergasted, I said, “Who are you?”
“You know who I am,” she said.
“Are you Yvonne?” I asked her.
“Yes, you guessed correctly,” woman replied.
“I did not kill your husband,” that was all that I could say.
“You could tell the police that he killed himself,” the woman suggested.
I was shocked beyond belief. “I need some identification papers, some proof that you are Yvonne,” I exclaimed, I was still quite alert.
She handed me a note, on it was Richard’s handwriting. I could recognize it.
I snatched the note from her, read it and immediately surrendered it to officer Liam at his office.
Now there is no other way to disprove my guilt save as to tell the police that I left the dead man immediately after dinner on that fateful night, and that he went home and took some poison himself. But for suicide I needed to find a good enough reason. I quickly twisted the plot.
“This is the suicide note from him,” I produced the note to officer Liam, emphasizing the word “suicide”.
“Where did you get it from?” Obviously, officer knew his facts.
“I did not kill the man,” I protested.
“But there is the credit card receipt, as well as the bill from Candy Club Café that you had dinner with Richard Walker, and that shortly after that, he died.”
“I didn’t kill him,” I swore my innocence.
“However, your note clearly stated that you asked to meet him on the night of 24 August 2015,” officer Liam refused to budge,
“and that shortly after the appointed time, Walker died in his office, at 11:07 p.m. precisely,” officer Liam continued.
I had nothing more to say.
“But we are still not charging you with murder yet,”
“Why?” I sounded annoyed, although I shouldn’t be.
“We don’t know the murder weapon yet,” officer Liam was honest.
I stood up to leave, “wait,” officer Liam shouted after me.
“There is another person,” he redirected the subject,
“that could possibly be the killer,” “and if we find the murder weapon on her, you could be free of manslaughter,”
I knew whom the man was referring to, he used the word “she”, so the other suspect could not have been anyone else but Yvonne Walker.
“She is dead,” I declared, like telling a weatherman that it was going to rain.
“You killed her as well?!” Officer sounded shock.
I should have known that he would come to this conclusion.
“Listen, there were the two of them, one against two. I could not have the opportunity to kill two persons at the same time. For one, Richard Walker is a man and he definitely had more brute strength than me.” I raised my voice, trying to talk sense into the man who had the discretion to arrest me for murder. I knew that I was innocent. But the trouble was, that only I and God knew that I was innocent. But God wasn’t talking. And God wasn’t the Attorney General. Officer Liam was.
Finally, officer Liam stared at me, and he told me to go.
I was happy to leave. I picked up my handbag and walked out of the Davidson Police Station, the second time I was there. The sun was shining bright in front of me, but I was feeling wretched.
I thought of the murder weapon.
“Give it a try,” I heard a voice say.
I turned around and saw the woman again. This time she was wearing navy shirt top and trousers. She had a medal on the left side of her breast pocket on the shirt. But that after so many encounters I now recognized her by her porcelain skin, no longer the white dress. So, the woman in white was a policewoman all the while!
I reached out my hand and I tried to touch her. She backed off and then I saw a car come towards me, I put up my right hand to protect my face. After that I didn’t know what happened. I believed I went to heaven, but that I was actually in the operating theatre waiting for the surgeon to rescue me. The anaesthetist was a lady. She was talking to the surgeon loudly, loud enough for me to hear. The background was playing some classical music. I think it was Chopin. I liked Chopin.
“You think she knew who killed him?” lady was saying.
“I doubt, I left the minute your phone call came in,”
“But you could still have picked it up, then I would know that you are done,” lady’s voice was a little louder.
“Never mind, no one saw me, the office was closed.”
“Did you get his wife at the same time?” lady continued.
“Obviously, you think I am mad? Why would I want to leave his beneficiary behind?!”
“Then you are smart, glad I am engaged to you,” lady was satisfied.
“One more word, did you delete your name on Walker’s contact list?” lady asked.
“It took me quite a while. He filed me using Dr. Thomas.” “I didn’t know why he didn’t use my actual name. Thomas Lane was where I first met him.” The surgeon explained.
“Now that Walker is dead, could you forgive me for the one-night stand?” lady asked.
“Have you forgotten him?” the surgeon said.
The surgeon asked for a pair of scissors. I thought he was going to cut me up. But I knew that I had to pretend that I was asleep under the anaesthetic.
The dose wasn’t strong enough as I could hear him asking for the implements one after another. Finally, when he told the lady assistant to close up, I knew that the operation was over. I became alive again. I came back to earth. From the operation theatre.
I remembered the conversation I heard. There was a phone call and it came in when the killer was leaving the office. Would it have made a difference if it had come in earlier? And if Richard Walker had picked it up the killer might not have a chance to run away. The surgeon’s voice would have been recorded in Richard’s voice mail.
I wanted to go and see officer Liam straight away and give a voluntary statement. But I just had an operation and my body was weak. I told myself I had to give the statement before I forgot everything. It was hearsay so I had to swear under oath.
As I was recalling what I heard over the operating theatre, officer Liam released this tiny piece of information to me, that they already had the record of the anaesthetist Kim’s telephone call to Richard Walker’s line. But they had no way to determine the relationship between the caller and the receiver. Kim could be just an acquaintance and the man was entitled to receive calls from anyone.
At the end of the day, all they needed was for me to go to the witness stand.
It was a job I was just too happy to undertake. They said that to be a witness, you were not supposed to accept any form of returns. But for me, the death of Richard Walker was itself sufficient consideration.
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