The White Opera

In a world that’s falling apart, Lillia Jane seeks to find the light. Dancing is her soul and passion, but it isn’t always the answer to her problems. She witnessed the murder of her best friend Sophie and won’t be forgetting the feeling of isolation any time soon. Lillia’s parents have moved to Queensland for the summer so now it’s just her and her older brother Brian, as they embark on an amazing adventure through Sydney Australia.


18. Revealed

Hannah invites us inside, taking us to the sitting room, decorated with a tapestry hanging above a fireplace and Victorian lounges and chairs seated around a dark oak coffee table, “You’re friends with Hannah Greenwood?” Lucas whispers to me, his breath tickling my ear.

“You know her?” I ask, surprised.

“Everyone knows her, she’s like, the queen of our school.” It dawns on me that there was always a possibility that Hannah and Lucas go to the same school. I look at Hannah who is pouring lemonade into three glasses and try to ignore my jealousy.

“We’ve been friends for a while.” I glance at Lucas but he isn’t looking at Hannah, instead his gaze is fixed on me. The knot in my stomach eases and I take his hand, leading him to a lounge where we seat ourselves side by side.

“Hannah I need to tell you something.” This is the complicated part, in order to tell Hannah, Lucas would have to discover the terrifying truth that lead me here in the first place. Despite everything, I almost want him to know, I want to open myself up to him and indulge him in all of my misfortunes. I owe him that much after snooping around his bedroom without permission.

The incident has already been in the newspapers but who reads them anyway? Even if in the unlikely event that Lucas did open the newspaper, he probably flipped past the article anyway as people usually do. Hannah hands us each a glass of lemonade and takes a seat opposite Lucas and I, “I had a dream the other night. It was of the day before Sophie’s death.” The room is full of empty silence, I look in Lucas’ direction, he seems confused, but he doesn’t dare interfere. Hannah’s eyes narrow and she braces herself for whatever is coming next, “It was in the canteen when Jacob came up to us.” Hannah stiffens in her chair, all colour from her face is drained and a shadow of horror appears at the mention of Jacob’s name. “Hannah, if you know something about Sophie’s death, please say something!”

“Jacob did something terrible the night before, on Halloween.” She admits, taking her time to let the words roll off her tongue, “He and Sophie were drunk. They both went back to his house after the party and he tried to do some messed up stuff to her. Sophie refused to do anything he was asking of her and kicked him to distance herself from him. Jacob got really angry with her; I broke up with him after I found out what he tried to do. He threatened me almost everyday so I convinced my family to move away so he couldn’t hurt me or my parents. It wasn’t the first time he had been abusive. Anyway, he was really mad at Sophie, and I think he blamed her for making me move away. So he wanted revenge…” Hannah’s tears prevent her from continuing and I feel like I could throw up.

“Hannah…are you saying that you think Jacob is the killer?” Jacob was Hannah’s fun and loving boyfriend; they seemed like the perfect couple at school, girls both envied and despised Hannah for dating him. Hannah’s move to Sydney was sudden, she told everyone that it was because her dad had gotten a promotion, and maybe that much was true. But it goes deeper than that; she never suggested that the move was for any other reason.  

Lucas had done a good job of keeping out of our way but confusion was getting the better of him, “Okay, what are you talking about?”

I turn to face Lucas, wondering how he will react to the truth, to my confession, to the reality of sin and evil in our world, “Our friend Sophie was murdered a few weeks ago, she’s the reason why I am here today, and Hannah. I needed some breathing space, everywhere I went people stopped me and told me how sorry they were about my loss. It was terrible, constantly being reminded of what had happened. My parents moved away without telling us, my grandma is sick so they flew to her to help her get through everything. We have no idea who the murderer is. Well…we had no idea. But I think things are looking pretty clear right about now.”

Lucas doesn’t interrupt me but he squeezes my hand, trying to comfort me. When I am finished he says, “And despite it all, you are here, you’ve survived and that shows how incredibly strong you are Lillia.” It’s the most perfect thing anyone could say to me. None of the bullshit about how he is so sorry about my loss or how he wishes he could help in any way. He understands what I have had to go through alone, the sacrifices I made and the lengths I had to go to in order to put on a brave face. Hannah slips away into the kitchen without either of us noticing and Lucas pulls me closer to him. For a while we sit there, my body wrapped in his embrace. There is still so much more to the story that he needs to know but I have exhausted myself from reliving the experience that words cannot escape me. 

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