Axes to Grind

Sam, Clarissa's best friend is found murdered... What does Clarissa do? She cries, cries some more, and gets back up.
After a little time she works out that this is not what she was supposed to do and she goes on an investigation. Can she find the right suspect on time?

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2. Chapter Two

I feel someone tap my shoulder and jump. I sigh and turn around to see Ali standing behind me. Great! Just what I needed to start out my morning.

“Have you seen Sam?” She asks sickly sweet, batting her fake eyelashes at me. I look around.

“Um, nope. Why?” I ask, only half paying any attention to her.

“He left his history notes in history yesterday, I just wanted to give them back.” She winks at me.

“Do you think that trying to be nice and flirting with him will make him like you?” I ask her. I think that if my math teacher wasn't fostering her I would have already puked all over her. She literally flirts with everyone, sometimes even girls.

“I don’t know what your talking about!” She says as an image goes through my mind. It may have to do with my fist and her perfect nose. “I'm just being a helpful friend.” She says and saunters off. I roll my eyes and turn back to my locker and and finish getting my books and put them in my backpack. My phone on my back pocket goes off.

 

SAM: Mom is bring me 2 the docs, wont b @ school td.

CLARISSA: K! Guess what?

 

I tell him about Ali stopping by as I slam my locker closed and head to my next class. The first half of the day went like that, relatively boring, like most days that Sam isn't here. For lunch I do the same that I usually do when he isn't here, grab some lunch food and sit down at our usual table and get out my math textbook and start on my math homework. Alec sits down next to me and starts doing the same thing as me.

“Hey.” He says.

“Hey. Why didn't you go home?” I ask him. Usually he goes home for lunch. I realise that this it the first time that I have been around im without Sam being there. I guess when you’ve only been around for a week and a half you don't really need to get to know your friends friends.

“My mom had to go to a job interview and locked the house up, and I forgot m key at Sam’s house.” He says, stuffing his mouth full of pig in a blanket.

“Cool.” I say, and just like that we go into a comfortable silence while we study. That it, until, I see that he is way past me in the assignment. I ask him for help with a question and we talk about math for the rest of the lunch period.

When the bell rings I head to my next class, or I guess, the office. I’m an office aid there. As soon as I set my bag down I am put to work, mostly stuffing envelopes, but it still work. That's how most of my day went, no drama, no incidents, no nothing. That's until I got home and had been at home for a couple hours and I had been in the kitchen when my mom had been in the door. She trips and looks about ready to cry. I help her over to the couch in the living room.

“What's wrong?” I ask her, concerned.

“You should go see Macie.” Is all she says. But judging by her voice, her state, and her face, I could tell it want any good. My heart drops down into my stomach.

As soon as I enter the house I can tell something is wrong. Ms. Everdy is crying when I walk into the living room, with Alice, Sam’s sister, next to her. I feel my whole self shift into defensive mode. After a few sniffs Ms. Everdy pats the seat next to her on the couch.

“Some sit. I, er, we, have something to tell you.” She wipes her nose on her sleeve and I sit down next to her and she continues. “It's about Sam.” And she starts crying again.

Alice clears her throat, “Someone, the police haven't found who yet, murd-” She starts sobbing again. I get the point and I feel myself freeze and the tears start to follow. I wrap my arms around Mr.Everdy’s small body and cry with them. It couldn't have been Sam, it was someone who looked like him. But then when the part of my brain that is logical looked around and sees his family I realize that this real and that it was, in fact Sam, who had been murdered. No matter how much we want it to be a lie, no matter how much we want it to be false, it is true.

Eventually I go home, at Ms. Everdy’s request.

I stayed up at night, thinking, how? Why? When? Where? Who?” The last one was the most important. But in all reality, did I really want to know? I didn't go to school the next day, or the next. The third day is when My mother got called from the Police station, requesting that I come in and be interviewed. I am the only one in the family that was really close to him but it still affected the whole family. He was like family to us, even before I showed up and became friends with him. I have been friends with him for almost 3 years now.

I was sitting in the room that has the mirror, the mirror is just a window so they can see if I screw up and tell them that I murdered him or if I say something useful. When someone finally comes in, it isn't what I was expecting. I’m not sure what I was expecting, but definitely not a young blond haired woman wearing a pair if designer jeans and a seattle seahawks t-shirt.

“Clarissa Matthews?” She asks.

“Um, yeah, that's me.” I stamer.

“I’m Detective Jayden Mackenzie. I was called in at a bad time so forgive my clothes please.” She sits down at the table across me and places her hands on the table.

“So, first things first, what wa your relationship with Sam?”

“When I was put into a new foster home, which is now my permanent home, he ended up being my neighbor and his mom was friends with my mom. He got on the bus at the same bus stop and helped me throughout the school day. That was about 3 years ago. We have been friends since.” I look into her crystal blue eyes. “I don’t know why I was called in to get interviewed.”

“Because we have been told that you are the victims best friend, so you may know something that we don’t.”

“Oh.” Is all I can manage.

“So, how's school?”

“Good I guess… I actually don't know, I haven't been to school since.” I tell her truthfully .

“ How was it before?”

“It was normal. We don't go to the local school. We go to McKay the next town. it's big, but I only know about four people. I stayed near Sam and his friends, mostly because I didn't ever fit in.”

“So your school is big but does that mean Sam was popular?”

“Yeah. He was.” I sniff.

“Girls to?”

“ Yeah. But he never dated them. Not one single one.”  

“Tell me Clarissa, do you know who could have done this? does he have any enemies? Anyone?” Her left eyebrow goes up.

“No, even the school bullies have like him for some reason. Everyone loved him”

“ What about teachers?”

“He was a great student, the teachers loved him too.” I answer.

“ Does he have any other close friends, other than you?”

“I'm not sure if you would count any of them close, but if you give me a piece of paper than I could write them down for you.” I pause. “There is a new neighbor, Alex, and I know that they had been getting close. He moved in about a week and a half ago. I’ll add him to the list.”

After that she handed me a piece of paper and a pen, so I made the list. When I was done Detective Mackenzie stands up and holds out her hand.

“That will be all for now.” She says, then adds, “Thank you… I'm truly sorry.” We shake our hands and I am escorted out of the police station. My mother is sitting on a bench in front of the building. I help her up and we walk home. I am hugging her the whole way there. It's about 3 o'clock when I get home and had just walked in the door when my phone starts ringing. Its an unknown number, so I don't pick up. I head to my room, put on some pjs and go into the game room to watch some netflix. I hear the front door open and close, so I make sure that I am watching something kid friendly and listen to the message that the unknown number left.

“Um, so hey. I just heard. I'm sorry, I know that you guys were close and I’m sorry.” He quickly adds, “Its Alec. Sam gave me the number.” And the recording ended. I feel a fresh batch of tears coming, surprising me that for once it wasn't for the death but because it was so nice of Alec to do that. I make his number into a contact and call him back.

“Hey. Thanks.” I say when he answers.

“No problem. I knew that you guys were close and frankly, if it had been bothering me, then it would be bothering you a whole lot more.” He paused, “I got your homework with me. I’ll bring it over later. I know that you haven't been at school since tuesday and it’s friday, so I know that you have a lot of free time, and I didnt think that sitting around thinking about Sam’s murder is a good idea. It might be what you need right now.”

“Ok, thanks. Just bring it over later. You know where to find me.” He chuckles. “How is school?” I ask.

“Good, people are making posters and there is supposed to be an assembly monday.” He sighs. “It sucks. It really does.” He says.

“Yeah it does.” My nose starts to run, again.

“So, I’ll see you later?” He asks.

“Yeah. Bye.”

“Bye.” And he hangs up just as the game room door opens.

“Rissa?” Matthew comes in. “Your mom is looking for you.” He says.

“OK.” I slowly get up, turn off the tv and walk with him down the stairs. “Why does she want me so badly?” I ask him.

“I think she’s worried about you.” He tells me.

“Yeah, I know.” I tell him as we enter the kitchen. My mom was looking for something in her purse.

“Hey, what do you say we all go out for dinner tonight?” She asks, glancing at me, I look down. I’m still in pj’s and have messy makeup. I look at mom when she starts speaking, “For family night, everyone is home tonight.” I smile.

“Can I invite someone?” I ask her. Mom almost looks scared when she asks me who. “Alec! Sam’s, er Ms. Everdy’s neighbor, the one that went to the concert with me and Sam.” I tell her.

“Sure.” Mom looks relieved.

I turn back to the stairs, “I’ll be ready in twenty minutes.” I call over my shoulder. On my way back up I call Alec, he answers right away. I put it on speaker so I can get dressed.

“Hey.” He answers.

“So, I am officially inviting you to a family dinner.”

“Um, ok?”

“Yeah, I really want, no need your help. I’ll owe you! Promise!” I say while slipping into a pair of white shredded jeans.

“Um, with what?” He asks, rustling with something.

“I need to show my family that I’m going to be okay and I don't want to be the center of attention.” I put on a white tank top and a black adidas jumper. I cram my feet into a pair of black hi-top converse and grab my phone, clicking the speaker off I ask, “Will you be ready in like 5 or 6 minutes? It's a family tradition to go out when everyone is home.” He sighs in a way that tells me that he will be able to go.

“You are so lucky that tonight is my parents date night.” He says.

“What are you doing anyway?” I ask him.

“Homework.”

“Is that all you do?” I ask, only half joking.

“Nope, just when I’m bored.”

“Oh, well, see you in a few minutes.” I click off and head to the bathroom. I skip my hair again and do some makeup and brush my teeth. A couple minutes later I head to Alec’s house. I knock on the door and wait for him to come out.

He comes out and closes the door.

"I'm running over to Mr. Everdy's house to go grab my keys. Just a second." He and I walk back but he goes next door. Matthew tosses me my car keys.

"I'm riding with you."" He says as every one comes out of the house. As Mom is getting into the car I stop her.

"Hey, where are we headed to?" I ask, "Izzy's again? Just asking, we'll be a few minutes late." She nods and gets into her car. "Alec had to go next door to get his keys he left them there a few days ago and hasn't needed them yet. Go on ahead, We'll meat you there." I wave and head to my car. I lean on my car and watch my mom's car and Alison's car drive down the road. Matthew leans on my car next to me.

"So, what did Mom tell everyone?" I ask him, glancing in his direction.

“Not to make you mad, not to make you upset, not to mention Sam, and not to tell you she said any of it.” He mouth quirks up, “I already broke two of these rules, I wonder how long it would take me to break all of them. ” He and I laugh as Alec comes out of the Everdy’s house, slightly disheveled.

“What happened to you?” I ask, taking in his messy hair and his jacket that he was wearing when he went in and now is slung over his shoulder. He also has a huge crooked smile.

“Nothing.” He says, but shares a glance at Mattew while we all get in. Matthew, in the front passenger seat gives Alec a thumbs and grins at us as I pull out and head to Izzy’s.

We get there about 5 minutes late by the time we got there, I may have sped the whole way, and when matched by my mother's slow paced moving, I could have made it in time, but trafic sucked. We rush in and head to the back, where my family would be. Matthew sits first, but when Alec and I get there, there are no more chairs. I grab a chair from another table but Mom stops me.

“You and your friend can sit across the aisle.” She nods at the both across the way. I sigh and put the booth back. When we sit down Alec looks down at my family, almost in a envyous way. I notice his expression, and he notices me noticing and I shrug.

“Thank you.” I whisper/shout.

“You owe me, you promised me.” He leans back and smirks at me. After deciding what we want first we head off to the buffet tables. I I get a plate full of salad first. It has lettuce, carrots, cheese, tomatoes, olives, and jalapenos. I sit down and realize that I don’t have a drink. I take a couple bites and see Alec talking to an older man, helping him put something on his plate. I get up and get my half Dr. Pepper and half Pepsi.

By the time I got back Alec had been back and had eaten half a plate of food already. I put my straw in my drink and take a sip. I start eating.

“Why’d you start with a salad?” Alec asks, pointing at my plate with his fork.

I point at my plate, “Because, I know that this is going to be the only healthy food I eat for dinner, and that means I have to get through it before I can have the good stuff.” I smile and continue eating, “And maybe the next whole week or so.” I joke with him. He starts to laugh but stops instantly, glancing at my family. I look over to see the whole table staring at us. I stick my tounge out at them, cross my eyes and pull on my ears. That makes them quit staring at us. For now at least.

I keep my focus on my food for the most part after that. I do realize though, that Alec seems to have slowed down and is very silent, which very abnormal. I set my fork down, “Spill it.” I say.

“Huh? I don’t know what your talking about.” He says, not looking at me.

“Something is obviously bothering you. What is it?” I ask. I try to look him in the eye but he is avoiding eye contact.

“Nothing! Really, it’s fine, just something someone at school said.” He starts to eat normally. I can tell that it is not in fact fine, but he won't go any further, that part is set in stone. I will try to figure out what happened later, but he wont tell me anything at all, not right now at least. I continue eating, but soon I get full. I sigh and lean back.

“Guess what?” He suddenly ask, looking more like sulking than smiling, which means that it can't be any good. He shoves a mouth full of food in his mouth when he continues, “You might not want to go to school tomorrow. They are having an assembly during school for Sam and for student safety. I’m going, but you might not want to go, lots of kids who didn’t really know Sam will be bawling their eyes out.” Something in his tone didn't really sit well with me, I’m not sure what it is.

“I’m not going to skip the assembly, or school, or anything. Besides, I’m not the one who is upset right now…” I tell him. I watch his reaction, but he won't look at me, I take back what I said, I am going to figure out what is bothering him, tonight. He just continues eating.

 

-[]-

    

    Rosalie was walking down the when her phone vibrated in her back pocket. Only one person would have texted her, her “friend”. She doesn't like people, she thinks that they are unnecessary. She yawned and continued walking to the college campus. As she was walking a pair of girls walked up and started walking in the same direction as her. She couldn't but to hear their conversation.

“So, did you hear? In the next town over, in Clearwater, there was another murder! It was actually two people who got murdered. One was found in the river while one was found in the nearby forest!”

“Oh? For real?” She pauses, “Do you think it actually has to do with the murder here a couple years ago?” says the second girl.

“That's the rumor, and ever since that time, there has been a lot of them. All the same age, except the one that was found in the forest, he was younger.” The first girl says.

As Rosalie gets closer to the campus the two girls head off to go sit down next to a few people sitting in the grass. Rosalie’s phone starts going off again. She groans and pulls her Phone out. It was Joy again.

 

Joy: have u heard?

Joy: there was another murder

Joy: in the next town over

Joy: If i hadnt known better, i wld think u were ignoring me.

Joy: r u????

Rosalie: yea, i hear and i am walking to class, my phone was in my bag and i hadn't heard it. Sry

Joy: howd u hear?

Rosalie: two girls were walking next to me and talking to me

Joy:Ohh. Lol, i hoped you knew something i didnt. I gtg bye

Rosalie: bye

 

She sighed as she walked into the building.

 

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