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Bloody Affairs

“The Maid”

“Yes, I have been their maid for ten years now. Yes, I’m the one that found the body… No, I don’t know who did it… I go to their house every Monday morning because the daughter likes to have house-parties with her girlfriends on Sundays, and she’s terrible at cleaning. Lizbeth is a sweet girl though. She just got a whole collection of the Brothers Grimm, the stories I would read to her at night–” She pauses, choking on another sob. “Sorry, I didn’t mean to go off-topic. Anyway, I went to their house ten o’clock sharp because Mr. Walker would give me an extra tip for arriving on time. Sometimes he’ll ask me to clean on Thursdays or Fridays because they’re going to have friends over. My son is in the hospital right now, but not the one Mr. Walker works at. I work two jobs for his medical bills… My husband passed away five years ago.” She pauses again to recollect herself, blowing her nose with a provided tissue.

“Anyway, I got to their house ten minutes early, I think, so I went inside the house to start right away. I went through the front door. I knew something was very wrong when I smelled that odor. That’s when… That’s when I saw the handprints on the walls. And all the smears… I didn’t know whether to run out the house screaming for help or clean it up before it stained the carpet. Mrs. Walker loves her spotless carpet. I couldn’t think of whose blood it could’ve been, the whole family leaves before I arrive because–well, the wife isn’t the friendliest towards people like me, if you know what I mean…

No! No, I didn’t touch the blood at all, but I moved around it to enter the living room. I think it came from the kitchen because it went around the island. I saw that the window was shattered, maybe someone broke in? I heard rushing water when I followed the trail into the far bathroom. I know their house like the back of my hand, and I recognized the sound coming off the tile walls. They’re painted a pastel pink, which is my favorite… Sorry, sorry. Um, that’s where I… that’s where I found Mr. Walker… in a bathtub full of red water…” She begins sobbing inconsolably. The interrogation ceases for an hour before she returns to continue her testimony.

“My relationship with the family? Well, I used to be close with Lizbeth before she started high school. She has to get up in the wee hours of the day for school, poor thing. I used to read bedtime stories to her, she loved Brothers Grimm because ‘they were realistic,’ silly girl. Lizzy and I got along well, but she has to take the bus at seven o’clock, so I don’t see her much anymore.” She smiles sadly, a bittersweet expression on her face. “Mrs. Walker isn’t a terrible woman, but Mr. Walker could have found better, if you asked me. She’s smart though, I’ll give her that. She has a degree in something and works as a secretary in some high-end corporation. She’s a perfectionist and starts yelling whenever something’s not to her liking… Mr. Walker? Oh, he’s such a gentleman. Very friendly and considerate. I’m grateful to have him as my boss… Something more? Oh, no! I could never. His family may not be perfect with that wife of his, but his family makes–made him so happy, I could never do that to him. Besides, I have my son to take care of! He’s my first priority always.

“Who do I think did it? Oh, I don’t know… Lizbeth, poor thing, she might know since she must have just left for school… He had no enemies as far as I know, he’s so nice to everyone. His wife was the only other one there, so she must have done it! Poor Beth, I hope she’s okay…”

“The Wife”

“I really hope that whoever did this atrocious crime will pay to clean out the stains in the carpet. We paid a lot of money to make it look nice… Of course I care, there’s just nothing I can do about James’s death. The carpet, however, I’ll get it replaced if I need to.” She sighs in aggravation. “This is exactly why I told Elizabeth we can’t have pets…

She doesn’t seem to be mournful; if anything, she looks annoyed. “If you have to know where I was, I wasn’t home. I was with Jared, my boss. I’m his secretary and, well, if your boss works overtime, you work overtime too… Okay, fine, I’m sleeping with him, but can you blame me? James has such boring conversations about paperwork and surgeries, and he’s definitely stopped trying to look good since he started working full-time. Sure, James has money now, but it’s been months since we’ve gone out on a romantic date together and I’m tired of being the sole parent for our daughter. Jared has money as the CEO and he’s putting in the effort to woo me. He makes me feel beautiful and desirable. He works out at the gym and dresses so well, how could I not fall for him… How long? Oh, ten months. We planned a ‘business trip’ to the Bahamas for our anniversary in April. He let me pick the hotel!

“I only married James because he’s from a rich family and has a hefty salary, but I truly love Jared so much. He’ll be a good father to Elizabeth, especially since we’ll be able to afford a better therapist for her… Yes, she’s been showing symptoms of bipolar disorder and schizophrenia… Yes, she’s been aggressive lately, but she hasn’t hurt anyone! She’s never hurt me, and I’m the one always taking care of her! She’s a sweet girl. I assure you that her therapist has praised her improvements… Yes, we get benefits for her mental health issues, though it isn’t a lot because James makes a lot of money. They really should’ve taken into consideration that we’re trying to live in a nice house and eat organic food, you know? Eating healthy is expensive now, and we’re not going to feed Elizabeth any of that junk food crap. A good lifestyle isn’t cheaper, and neither is new carpet! Oh, I’m sure his life insurance will cover it… Yes, James’s life insurance is $500k, as far as I know. I insisted that he leaves half with Elizabeth and the other half with me.

“I’ve been planning to divorce James for about a year now. I thought I could wait it out until my daughter Elizabeth moves out for college. I’m hopeful that she’ll get those voices in her head under control since she wants to dorm. But I really can’t stand to be around him anymore. I know he’s screwing our housemaid. It’s not like we sleep together anymore, and we all know how men are. Why else would he keep her this long? She’s terrible at her job! When I come home, I have to reorganize everything how I like it.” Her eyes light up in realization, her face flushing. There’s a hint of a smile. “What if she killed James? Maybe he told her that he won’t leave me and Elizabeth, or maybe he finally threatened to fire her. I’ve seen the cameras, she comes way too early for work. She’s not supposed to be at my house until ten o’clock, as the three of us had agreed to for ten years now. I have to get Elizabeth to school by seven o’clock, so we leave before my husband does. I’m the only one that takes care of my daughter, so it’s not like he ever worried about her. I bet she’s trying to seduce him before he leaves for work. That sly little brown whore!”

“The Boss”

“Yeah, Amanda was with me that night. She’s my secretary, but we’ve been going out for a while now. She used to come in early everyday. I started getting into her the more I talked to her, then I asked her out for a casual date. Now, every once in a while, she comes two hours late. Technically, she’s supposed to be there already by the time I arrive… but I let her work after hours, if you know what I mean… All right, all right. That night, we went downtown for a movie and dinner. She loves that tacky crap, but whatever makes her happy. We stayed at a hotel with an ocean view, a bubble bath, and a couple bottles. She likes wine… Yep, we’re going on a trip in a couple of months since she insisted. I don’t really care.

“I’ve heard the name Mrs. Marquez a few times. She’s been around for a while. Amanda hates the woman. I’ve had to ask her repeatedly to stop mentioning her cause she’ll make racist comments about the woman. My mother is from Mexico, so I’m not too friendly with supremacists like Amanda. She’s a hot bod though, so I’m tolerating it to a certain point.

“She sometimes complains about her daughter. I guess she cut some of her classmates with scissors and ran out of class screaming that her teacher was hurting her and trying to control her mind. Now they have to pay for her medical treatments, and Amanda can’t afford some shoes she really wanted… I don’t know, I wasn’t really paying attention.

“She’s talked about some life insurance her husband had a few times. I don’t remember how much it was, but it’s worth about as much as I make in a month… Nah, I don’t think she would do something like that. Besides, she was with me, at least until I passed out. She usually leaves before I do because she has to get her kid ready for the bus… Five o’clock, I think? I don’t check the clock until my alarm goes off… Marriage? Nah, I don’t really commit longer than a year. Is that what she really thinks we’re doing?

“I’ll be honest. I have to be since I’m talking to cops, right? My business is starting to lose clients. We’re losing a bit of money, so I’ve had to let some of my good employees go. Some of them had worked with me for more than five years, that’s what I call unappreciated commitment. I know Amanda’s husband is a doctor from a rich family, that’s why I started hooking up with her. If I buy her nice things and treat her like a proper lady, she can lend me some ‘loose change.’ Once I get what I need and my business rises back to what it once was, she and I will part ways peacefully. I’ve never met the guy, but he’s not a great husband if his wife is screwing her boss, you know? So I don’t feel too bad reaching into his pockets. Who knows, maybe she’ll give me some of his life insurance and I’ll be able to cancel our trip before I have to empty out my own pockets.” He nervously starts laughing a little. He has nothing else to say.

“The Daughter”

Her expression is twisted between agitation and grief. Her voice is defensive and hostile. “I don’t get why I’m here, I didn’t do it! And I don’t know anything that happened. The police won’t even let me go inside my house! Like, I’m tired of all the stares from our neighbors and I don’t want to stay in school because it’s worse there. I just want to hide in my room, okay? I just want them to leave me alone… Fine, I’ll answer your questions, but I want my room back! Deal, mister?

She shrugs, kicking the floor. “No, I wasn’t home last night. My parents were fighting again, and I didn’t want to hear it. I snuck out through my window with Rebecca and walked around the neighborhood. It was a nice summer night, so we stayed there all night… What were my parents fighting about? I dunno, some guy named Jared. Maybe one of Dad’s drinking buddies? You’re better off asking my mom about him. Whenever they start arguing, I fib about going to a study group and go to a girlfriend’s house to hang out… No! No, Mom wouldn’t cheat on Dad! Yeah, they fought a lot, but they’ve made it work for twenty years now. I mean, they raised me and I came out okay! You can see all the pictures in our house, they’re clearly happy together!” She’s seething, her fists balled up, but she calms down with a change in topic. “What? Oh, you asked how often they get into a fight about Jared. Maybe last week? A month ago? I don’t keep track of what day it is. Mondays, Tuesdays, Thursdays, they’re not really time, right? It’s just a stupid construct to control our minds and what we think– Right, right, right. Sorry.

“Mrs. Marquez? Yeah, I know her. She’s our housemaid, she’s been around for… I dunno, since I was six. I’m sixteen, so I guess that’s ten years? I’m bad at math. I used to pay her to do my math homework cause I can’t do more than a multiplication table. She’s really smart. I wouldn’t have made it through middle school without her. It’s nice to control someone else when the world is trying to control you, right? Rebecca says not to trust people that aren’t Mom or Dad or Mrs. Marquez. Anyway, she taught me how to love reading, too. We like Cinderella because she got to marry the prince– Right, sorry… ‘Rebecca’? She’s my friend. We grew up together and hang out all the time before and after school… Sometimes. I have to tell her to leave me alone during class all the time because she always wants to talk to me. Sometimes she’ll tell me to do really stupid stuff like poke Caitlyn’s arm with scissors or kick myself during class to make sure I’m controlling my own brain. It is getting annoying… Where does she live? I dunno, we only hang out at home and school… Usually Dad takes me to school, but sometimes Mom takes me to school, but I like the bus. It makes my headache go away.

“Like I already said, I don’t know who would’ve done it. I didn’t see anything when I left for school– Oh yeah. I was at Angelica’s house. I didn’t go home. I went to school with Angelica. It shouldn’t have happened because Dad wouldn’t have done anything to hurt anyone… Mom? No! How dare you make that accusation! He was a doctor, he wanted to save lives! Dad wouldn’t have hurt anyone! He wouldn’t have hurt me and Mom!” She starts sobbing uncontrollably, forcing the interrogation to conclude.

(Was she crying or laughing?)

“The Friend”

“My name isn’t Angelica, it’s Amber.” Her smile is polite and confused. “Elizabeth Walker? No, I don’t hang out with her. No one really hangs out with her. She’s weird… House parties? Every week? Since when did she host parties? I don’t think anyone’s ever gotten an invite from her, or I would’ve heard about it.

“Sometimes she starts giggling or talking to herself during class. I have math with her, so it’s hard to concentrate… I sit in the front left corner, and she sits a few rows behind me… Closest to the door, I think? I think it’s because she used to bolt out during class screaming, so they don’t want her to hurt anyone else… Sometimes I think she’s arguing with someone that isn’t there, like a ghost or something. Or maybe she has split personalities… Nope, never heard of a Rebecca. Is she new?

“Umm, I don’t know. She was nice in middle school. A lot quieter, didn’t talk so much. I didn’t really talk to her… Yeah, I heard she stabbed someone with a pencil while laughing, I think she’s psycho. I mean, laughing while hurting someone? That’s what you’d see in a bad horror movie.

“No, I’ve never met her parents. Or the maid. I don’t think anyone has. I’m surprised they didn’t move away after she attacked someone. I mean, that’s what you do as rich parents, right? We go to a private school so it’s not like her family doesn’t have the money to transfer somewhere else. I honestly don’t feel really safe around her… Umm. I mean, I don’t know. She’s bat-shit crazy enough to do it, but I’d like to think that I’m not sitting next to someone that commits patricide.” She pauses for a moment. “Is she going to kill me too?”

Jessica is a lifelong learner, avid reader, and cat mom! She loves guitar, theatre, and dinosaurs.

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