It had been two days after Isaac’s visit to the Tingle house. Cassandra had become even more depressed since his visit spending most of her time in her room either staring up at the veiling or looking out the window. But today was Saturday, a bright sunny day. Helen had set up a small little picnic like get together in the side yard. Helen had gotten Cassandra out of her depressive cave and now she sat at a wooden picnic table under the hot sun. She just sat and watched as Brandy, Holly and Brad played around under the mist of the sprinkler.
The picnic had lasted half of the day until it had been crashed by detective Wallace and detective Brooks.
“Were sorry to disturb you Ms. Tingle but we would like to talk to Miss Stone.
“It’s no problem detectives.” Helen declared.
The detectives had inspected everything Isaac brought to them. They came up with a conclusion and were ready to tell Cassandra.
“She’s right over there watching the kids.” Helen pointed over to the bench.
“Thank you Ms. Tingle.” The detectives walked to Cassandra.
“Miss Stone?” Brooks interrupted Cassandra’s thoughts.
“Yes?” Cassandra looked up.
“We have some news for you.”
Cassandra nodded waiting.
“It’s not so much good as it is bad.” Wallace started.
They continued to tell her everything they knew and found.
“What we’re trying to say is that we believe your father was on a suicide mission.” Brooks finished.
Cassandra refused to believe it. “He would never.” Cassandra spoke.
“We’re sorry we had to bring you such tragic news, Miss Stone.” Wallace added. “I knew your father. I would have never suspected it from him. It seem that with your mothers death, his work, and money problems it just got to be too much for him. It was the only why he saw out of it. All I have to say is that you are, even if you don’t see it this way, you’re every lucky you got in that car accident. It saved your life.”
Cassandra looked up with sad eyes. How could they say all of this? How could they even think of her father this way? She just nodded at them both hoping they would leave her alone. It worked. The detectives stood up from their seat at the picnic table brushing off their navy blue suits and straightening them out. She watched them.
The two smiled down at her trying to comfort her some. She wouldn’t have it. She turned her head to the children that were still playing with the sprinkler having fun, unlike her. She inwardly groaned wishing none of this had ever happened.
“I’m sure Linda will come and pick you up in the next couple of days to gather your stuff before your house it emptied and put on the market.”
“Put on the market?” Cassandra asked.
“Uh, yeah. Your father owes it in taxes.” Wallace explained.
“But it was my home.”
“We’re sorry the state owns it now.”
Cassandra sniffled a bit holding back tears. Her house was gone. Where was she going to go after she turned eighteen? Was there any money left to speak of?
“Well, we’re going to take off.” Brooks voiced.
“Yeah, we have more detecting to do.” Wallace added.
Cassandra nodded as she watched the detectives depart. Her elbows found the picnic table top as she laid her head down on her palms.
“Its not true. Its not true.” The words repeated themselves in her mind. “He loved me. He wouldn’t do that.” She denied it all.
Later that night after dinner Cassandra went into her bedroom and closed the door behind her. She wraped herself in a jacket. The city nights were chilly. She opened her window and pushed out the screen. There was no way Helen would let her go. She had to sneak out. She climbed through the small window closing it behind her. Her bedroom light was off so that Helen and the kids would think she was asleep. She snuck around to the front of the house, the earth crunching beneath her tip-toing feet. She tried being as quiet as she possibly could. When she got to the front of the house she buttoned up her coat before continuing down the street. Cassandra had a long walk ahead of her.
The street lights dimly lit her way as she headed to her old home. The one the state was taking away from her. She had to make sure it was all wrong, that her father wasn’t on a suicide trip with her. It was dark and creepy out. Chills went up Cassandra’s spine as she thought of the worst that could happen to her. Perhaps a man jumping out from behind a bush and putting a knife to her demanding money or even raping her. The thoughts continued for about forty five minutes until she reached her house. She felt safer in its yard, enclosed by a fence.
She walked to the front door remembering a hidden key she stashed under a flower pot along the way. When she reached the door she noticed a sign taped to it. It read: “NO TRESPASSING. *FORECLOSURE*”. She tore the sign away, crumbling it up in her hand and throwing it aside. She then opened the door and stepped in.
She first went to her room. Stumbling in the dark up the spiral stair case. She decided not to worry about people seeing her and flicked on the light. There on her bed lay her mothers wedding gown, just like the detectives and Isaac told her.
She ran to her closet and then her dresser. Nothing of hers was packed. Dale hadn’t packed anything for the trip to Oklahoma City. The detectives said they didn’t find any luggage.
Cassandra shut off the light and hurried down the stairs into Dales study. She flipped on the lights and headed to his desk. There on the desk top, plain as day, was a receipt. She picked it up and examined it.
“A twenty-two?” She read off. Its was the receipt for the gun.
She continued to search around his office finding nothing. She looked from bookshelf to bookshelf trying to find anything. Giving up she sat in Dales chair. She scooted it up so her legs were under the desk. She sat thinking for a moment fidgeting with a business pen.
“The computer.” She whispered. “His journal.”
Dale had always kept a day to day journal on his computer. She found it the last time she snuck onto his password.
She switched on the computer. While she was waiting for it it load her fingers found the drawer right under they key board. She tried pulling it open but it wouldn’t budge. The computer sounded, indicating it was done loading and ready to go. Cassandra tugged harder on the drawer and it came flinging out spilling all over the floor. She got off of the chair and onto her hands and knees to pick up the contents and put it back. Her fingers ran over something small and the shape of a rocket. She picked up the small metal object to get a better look . It was none other than a bullet. There had been a box full of them.
She picked herself up and off the ground and set out for the computer. Typing in her fathers password she went straight to his journal. She knew right where it was. It wasn’t hard to miss since it was named ‘Dales Journal’.
She fumbled through the dates coming to the last entry.
“This is the last time I write in you, and probably the
last human contact that you’re going to receive. I’m taking off to Oklahoma City today
with Cassandra. I’m going to apologize to her for the way I’ve been treating her for the
last week or two. She’ll believe me. Then when we get to the Hyatt I’m going to it. I’m
going to end both of our misery and we’re going to live forever with Donna, up in
heaven. We’ll be happy once again.
Cassandra won’t suspect a thing.
I already have the gun in my briefcase waiting in the trunk of my car.
This way she won’t suffer. It will be quick and easy.
“Cassandra couldn’t believe what she had just read. Hot tears streamed down her face uncontrollably as she sobbed.
“Its true!” She yelled.
She stood up gaining her control and strength. She ran out of the house and down the street.
“Isaac, I have to get to Isaac.” Cassandra cried as she sprinted down the side walk headed to his house. As she ran she swiped at the tears that refused to stop pouring down her face.
When she reached his house she stopped at the end of his white picket fence. She collected herself as well as she could. She noticed the lights in the Hanson house were all turned on. They shinned through the tightly closed blinds.
After taking a few deep breaths she padded her way threw the gate and up to the security door. She rang the bell and waited for an answer as she pushed her hair behind her ears. Mrs. Hanson soon arrived pulling the door open and peering out at her.
“Mrs. Hanson is Isaac here?” Cassandra asked trying to stable her shaky voice.
“No, he’s not here. I thought he was with you.”
Cassandra shook her head.
“He’s been gone for two days now.” Mrs. Hanson stated.
“He didn’t tell you where he was going?” Cassandra asked.
“No. Are you all right? You look like you’ve been crying.” Mrs. Hanson inquired.
“I’m fine. I have to go find him.” Cassandra turned on her heels.
“Now I’m worried about him. If you find him tell him to please come home or call me.” Mrs. Hanson put in.
“Okay.” Cassandra half whispered. “Wait a second.” Cassandra turned back around.
“Can I see his room?” She asked remembering that she saw her eclipse in her drive way. He had brought it back.
“Sure.” Mrs. Hanson opened the screen door for her.
“Thanks.” Cassandra went straight in.
“It may be locked. He always keeps it locked.” Mrs. Hanson reminded her.
Cassandra swiftly walked to his room anyway. She tugged at the door. It flew open without much muscle.
“Well, that’s odd.” Mrs. Hanson remarked following Cassandra into Isaac’s room. “What are you looking for?” She asked Cassandra when she saw her rummage threw his closet and the rest of the room.
“He didn’t take anything with him.” Cassandra told her. She looked up at Mrs. Hanson with fear and hurt in her eyes. She ran from her out of the house and down the street.
“What have I done?” She asked herself. She stopped running and sat on the curb. “What have I done?” She raised her voice.