Ring Around The Rosy
Detective Morgan pulled something from his pocket “Do you recognize this?” He held an evidence bag in front of her.
Recognize it? Of course she recognized it. It had her name on it. “That’s my I.D. bracelet. Where did you get it?” Susan reached for it. “I was going to have it fixed. The clasp is broke.”
He pulled it away, nodded, and put the bag back in his pocket. “It was at the crime scene. Maybe you can explain how it got there.”
“I, uh, um... It was in my pocket. I must have dropped it. The crime scene tape wasn’t up yet, and I got pretty close to the body before anyone stopped me. You can’t possibly think I’m responsible for this...this heinous crime.” Suddenly, the room spun. Cold engulfed her. She grabbed onto the counter. He considered her a suspect. Like she was even capable of committing that crime.
“Besides, the killer called here. How could I do that?”
She pulled herself together and stomped her foot. How dare he accuse her? She wanted to reach out and slap that suspicious look off his face.
Suddenly her hand came up and made contact with his face as if it had a mind of its own. Horrified, she pulled it back. Oh God, she just hit a cop. “I’m sorry. Oh my God, I’m so sorry.” She wanted to reach up and wipe the slap away, caress his cheek.
“I could arrest you for that, you know.”
“I really am sorry. I’ve never slapped anyone in my life, even when they deserved it.”
“So you think I deserved it?”
“Yes. I mean, no.” Shoot, she didn’t know what she meant. “Look, I’m sorry, honest. I don’t know what came over me. This whole thing has me crazy.”
Detective Morgan nodded. “Anything else you remember, you give me a call.” He ignored her apology and wrote something in his notebook. “Oh, and if he contacts you again, I want to know about it immediately. Understand?” He handed her his card.
“That’s my cell phone on the back. If you can’t reach me any other way, you call that.” He turned and left.
Her stomach tightened. Susan slammed the door behind him and locked it. What had come over her, slapping him like that? Violence wasn’t in her nature. Neither was losing control.
Nausea filled her throat, maybe from the phone call, the effect of the detective, his attitude, or the thought she was a suspect. Maybe it was a combination of all four. Whatever it was, she didn’t like the feeling.
Put him out of your mind, she thought. She’d probably never see him again.
Besides, he was probably married. What did she care, anyway? She wasn’t interested in him or any man. She had a career to think about. A man in her life would only complicate things. Men created problems. She had enough of those already.
Bella curled around her legs. Susan picked up the purring cat, cradling her for a minute before setting her down and turning on the police scanner.
Hopefully, she hadn’t missed any newsworthy stories. It squawked in the background while she straightened up her apartment.
The phone rang a few more times with congratulatory calls on the story from her mother and sisters.
“What if the killer comes after you?” her mother asked.
Even though her mother sounded proud, her voice held a note of concern. After almost an hour spent reassuring her mother that killers didn’t come after reporters, Susan hung up. No point telling her mother about the early-morning caller. Why upset her further? Knowing her mother, there’d be no calming her down.
Besides, it probably was just a crank call; reporters got them all the time.
She had to do something, had to get out of her apartment, and forget that phone call.