I must look absolutely ridiculous, standing here in the library dress-up outfit, fidgeting by the receptionist counter and painfully glancing around.
My stomach lurches and tries too hard to gather itself, churning into a storm of worry inside of me. I don’t know if I’m making the right decision. But it’s the logical one. At least. Right?
I’ve come to find Calvin, to explain myself to his mother and to my mother and to call my dad and to go home and to give up. To make this a lot simpler, to put everyone at ease. Except for Tina, poor Tina, I’ve failed her. I have no evidence to go on, nothing to tell me what to do. Her trial’s in a week or two and there’s no way she’s not getting convicted.
Please, Andy, it’s not your fault. This isn’t your mess to clean up anyway. But it was given to me! I just need something, anything to help me now. I’m at a loss, at a dead end. I’m a ten-year-old. Ten-year-olds can’t do detective work, too. Of course. Right. Yes. No. Yes.
“Excuse me sir, I need to see Calvin Maroney. He should be being examined right now, it’s an emergency.”
“Let me check for his room number, love. I’ll hook you up.”
Once again, the youth factor saves me again. I’m sure if some old guy demanded a room he’d be questioned or something. I try not to grin.
“Room 04, sweetheart, just down the hall. Come back if you have any questions, thankfully it’s a small hospital.”
“Thank you so much, sir. I’ll be fine.”
Sure enough, the door windows reveal Calvin squinting in the light, being interrogated by his mother and…my mother. Fantastic. Everyone’s just in one room, huh, this’ll be fun.
But just as my greasy hand strokes the handle, I hear a little yelp coming from Room 03.
Naturally, I’ve got to check this out. Carolyn, Carolyn Walters – perhaps.
I can just barely hear the buzz of their voices, one a more masculine and recognizable voice. It’s Ian.
“Hell, Carolyn, this is all your fault. I can’t do this anymore. I had to lie to a kid yesterday. I don’t do that. I can’t do that. Not for much longer. How could you. How could you. You, you bitch.”
“You wanted the job, Ian, you wanted the money. Don’t take it out on me.”
“I didn’t know what I was actually doing! You told me I was packaging vitamin pills!”
“You were packaging vitamin pills. Dissolving, very strong vitamin sleeping pills. That put you to sleep for a long time.”
“A long time? Whaddyou think I am – five? You made me kill your husband!”
“Fine, they were a tiny bit poisonous. And you gave them to Wesley as prescriptions.”
“On your orders.”
“Hmf, fine, yes. My orders, and then he went over to The Red like the deserving bastard he was to get with that Jones woman. A good set-up. Don’t ruin it.”
“Ian, honey, Ian. I’ll pay you more.”
“You’re putting an innocent woman in jail.”
“HAH! Innocent?! That tramp slept with my husband for ten years!”
“He went along with it…”
“Ian. Think. You’ll get in trouble, too. Nobody will believe you didn’t know what you were giving Mr. Walters. I shredded the orders, they’re gone. Live with it.”
“I hate you. I hate me.”
“Quit, go somewhere else. Just forget this ever happened.”
“God, Carolyn, it did happen! You were a jealous little bitch and drugged your husband to death through me. I don’t need this, Tina didn’t need this. And sure as hell Wesley didn’t need this.”
“They had a son! Did I tell you that?! They had a damn son, Ian! I can’t have kids, he had a whole other freaking family! Don’t tell me that’s fair!”
“Now – now Ian, my associate, dear, what can I compensate you for helping me cleanse this poor town?”
It’s then that I see every emotion tangling around in Ian’s head with the way he screws up his face. The way his eyes get wet and red and absolutely terrified.
A moment of silence hangs in the air like the smell of stale perfume. Finally, Carolyn’s cracked lips open tentatively.
“You got it. No more of these breakdowns, though, kay? Promise.”
Those eyes, torn apart between justice and money. Oh, Ian. How could you.
With this turn of events, I climb off the chair. My head’s exploding. Nobody’s going to believe my story except Calvin and Max and Tina. I don’t know how I’ll be able to get him to repeat all of that. Ten thousand. It’s a lot. And money shuts people up, that’s for sure.
I can’t go invade Room 04 now, not with all of this fresh information to use. To use – but how?