The four of us sat in silence ignoring the body of our friend in the next room. The smell of iron occasionally wafting out to where we sat. You could time it with the blizzard outside, wind whipping against the house would soon be followed by the smell of blood. Becky kept looking over at me…at my hands. The once hot sticky blood was starting to dry flaking off in some places. I could feel her eyes digging into my soul, burning my hands. It made me feel guilty. Guilty like I did something wrong. Like she was so perfect. She started to cry. It made it worse.
Kelly’s tapping foot became noticeably louder, as Becky began her sobbing, “Would you get a hold of yourself you gigantic baby.”
“Kelly!” Jennifer snapped “That doesn’t help.”
Jennifer put her arm around Becky trying to console her. Kelly gets up and walks to the room with the body still inside. She stands there for a moment before slamming the door shut causing some of us to jump.
“KELLY, seriously please stop.” Jennifer said. She was still trying to calm Becky down.
“How can I stop Jennifer, hmm? Shall I just play some music, maybe we can bake brownies, and braid each other’s hair. Or maybe we can actually acknowledge one of you is a killer.”
Becky’s let out a large wail. Kelly throws her hands up, “Stop crying or the next person dead is you.”
Jennifer confronts Kelly standing up, “That’s enough.”
“Or what? You going to sleep with Jake again? I bet you did it. Your always stalking people. Did Angel’s happiness bother you that much that you killed her?”
The room returned to silence, except for Becky who was still crying. She was a baby, always has been. My hands grew cramped. I didn’t want to close them. The blood was sticky like maple syrup. It wasn’t the only blood on me, but it was all could focus on. The cold was setting in as my adrenaline began to dissipate. I wanted to vomit, I wanted to scream.
Michelle noticed too that Becky kept eyeing my hands. “Hey Steph, why don’t we go get you washed up.”
Kelly said, “No she’s not going anywhere, no one is leaving this room until the police come.”
Michelle said, “We don’t know how long it will take for them to get here, and her covered in blood is uncomfortable for us all.”
Before Kelly could argue more the front door swung open with a great force. Snow forced itself inside as two figures fought their way in. Jake was the first to take off the ski mask covering his face while Andrew pushed the door shut against the wind. The room grew noticeable colder when they entered.
Jake looked at the girls. He kept his eyes on Becky looking sympathetic. He eventually turned his gaze to me. “Why is she still covered in blood?”
“We don’t know who the killer is. We need the evidence.” Kelly said.
“We don’t know there is a killer. She could have just done it herself.” Jake said.
“I don’t know many people able to slit their own throat” Kelly replied.
I knew what Kelly was trying to say even if she was being a bitch about it. I wasn’t sure that I even wanted to wash it off anyways. It was all that seemed to be left of Angel. Kelly and Jake went on arguing. They normally did that. It’s what happens when you date a close friend. You can’t have disagreements without it getting personal. I liked Jake he was nice.
Michelle touched my shoulder and whispered to me, “You need to change.”
I didn’t want to, but I did want to get away from Kelly and Jake even more.
Michelle didn’t say anything as I stripped and got into the shower. She had brought me a fresh set of clothes, and sat on the counter as I showered. I knew of Michelle before we went to college. We had a class together in high school. We ended up becoming friends after we recognized each other in English 1010. It wasn’t like Michelle and I were the best of friends, but it’s how I met Angel who was now dead.
I could see the water tainted red as the blood washed off me. My head leaned against the wall as the stress was overcoming me. There was so much more blood on me then I had realized. The red tint to the water just kept going. I could feel myself start to cry, but I held it back. I could hear my grandmothers voice Wyoming girls don’t cry.
Michelle broke the silence, “Do you think Kelly was right. Someone killed her? You didn’t really say what you saw.”
“Her neck was slit when I got there. Like I said. I tried to put my hands on it to stop it, but I couldn’t.”
“Yeah, but was anyone else there?”
“I couldn’t tell the room was dark. I only saw Angel. She was still standing. She looked scared Michelle.”
“Did she have the knife?”
“I don’t remember.” She looked so scared.
There came a knock on the bathroom door. Jennifer spoke on the other side, “Hey guys? Are you about done?”
Michelle answered, “Can we have a moment to process please.”
It didn’t feel like we were processing. It felt like Michele was digging for something.
Kelly spoke next, “Is that so you can get your stories straight so you can kill one of us next.”
“Fuck off Kelly” Michelle said.
“I think it’s best if we are all together right now.” Jennifer said.
Jennifer was right we did need to be together. I didn’t want to but I understood why they wanted to. Hard to kill us if we are all still in the same room. The red tint in the drain cleared showing clean water. I scrubbed with soap as they continued to fight each other. Angel…she wouldn’t have done it.
Michelle left the bathroom so I could get changed. I didn’t bother trying to look normal. It’s been like this for a while now. We all have been depressed it’s why we came here in the first place. Seven people killed themselves this semester all under suspicious circumstances. We all knew someone who was killed. Kelly had the idea to come up here, and try to have a trauma bond. It was to work out some of the depression, and make sure we all took care of each other.
Michelle waited for me, and we walked down together. Everyone was gathered around so close together that no one really changed spots. Becky looked to have stopped crying, and seemed relatively calm. The place where I had sat was covered in dry blood. Kelly saw me looking at it, “I’ll send you a bill when we get back home.”
Blake shook his head, “Seriously Kelly.”
“We were hoping that you could tell us again what happened now that you had some time to calm down.” Jennifer said.
I looked for an open seat, but I didn’t see any. Michelle took the last one. All of a sudden the emotion of the room shifted. They weren’t asking if I saw the killer. They were saying I killed her.
“Nothing’s changed.” I replied, “She was standing there. Her neck was bleeding. As she fell I went to catch her. Once she was on the floor I tried to stop the bleeding, but she was dead before anyone else arrived.” I left out that her eyes screamed out in pain, her face surprised. Her hot blood burning my hands. She tried to tell me something, but each time she would try to talk blood would pour out of her mouth. I wouldn’t have heard her anyways. I was screaming.
“No one else was there?” Jennifer asked.
“No, I mean I don’t know. It was dark. I wasn’t really looking”
“Where was the knife?” Kelly asked.
“I don’t know.”
“Well was she holding it?”
“I don’t know.”
“How do you not know?”
“Because she was fucking dying in front of me. Fuck me trying to save her life right?”
The room became silent, frustrated I said, “When are the police coming?”
Andrew answered, “There not.”
“What did no one try to call?”
“My families safe where we locked the phones away, the code has been changed.” Kelly said.
They were all looking at me. All of their accusatory eyes. Looking at me. I wanted to hit everyone single one of them. “Why are you looking at me. I don’t know your family safe code.”
“No but your good with computers” Becky said.
“So is literally every millennial, Becky” Michelle said.
“Not like her. That’s what her major is.” Kelly said.
Michelle stood up next to me, “So what is this, are assuming Steph did this then. She just what, took a knife and decide to slash Angels throat today? What would be the point in that?”
“We went back into the room. There was no knife. Jake, and Andrew walked around the house there weren’t any tracks, and all the windows were locked. So was the door. The only one to see her was Stephine.” Kelly said.
“Stephanie I know this seems bad, but you have got to admit if you were in any of our shoes you would feel the same. There is a lot of evidence against you.” Jenifer said.
“Evidence that you are looking for against her. You just said there was no knife, where would Steph have hid it. She slashed Angels throat, ran out hid the knife, came back, and screamed?” Michelle said.
The arguing continued to get louder. Michelle seemed to be on my side, but it was obvious that no one else was. I knew that I wasn’t the killer, but that meant someone else was. I needed to process, and to think some way to get me out of here. “So, what now? What are you going to do with me?”
“Is that a confession?” Kelly asked.
“No, but everyone believes I did it, so now what?”
“We all stay here, so we can all keep an eye on each other.” Kelly said.
“What happens when you get sleepy, what if I’m not the only killer. It would be safer to lock me in my room. Keep me away from all of you.” Keep me away from the real killer.
It was a good plan. The look on some of their faces told me so. Some looked as if they wished they would have thought of that. I was taken to my room. It was on the second floor, and Blake was placed at my door they would rotate making sure that I under watch at all times. It didn’t matter though. I needed to think. I needed to process. A friend was dead, and I was the only suspect. Closing my eyes, I pictured hard on who would want to harm Angel, and who else was in the room.