‘Daniel?’ Mum breathed out.
‘Mum, no!’ I pulled her roughly into my chest. ‘No, mum, don’t look at it,’ narrowing my eyes at Walker, I snapped.
‘Dad? Is that…’ Now it was Jamie’s turn. I couldn’t decide who to drop or who to hold.
‘You don’t seem surprised,’ I suddenly turned towards Walker’s deep voice.
‘Huh?’ He was right, why did I not seem surprised? On the table lay an image of a lady sitting on top my dad’s lap with her legs wrapped around him. I tried to ignore the exposed figure of the lady and put full focus on my dad. His eyes were wide, palms up and open mouth, whilst her head was tipped back as she leaned against the wheel.
‘I can’t believe he would do that!’ I seethed. I was genuinely fighting the anger that raged within me. How could he do that to mum?
‘Mrs Smith, as you can see here,’ he took out his pen and circled my dad’s eyes, ‘wide shocked eyes.’
My mum just nodded her head.
‘That could only mean two things. One,’ he continued, ‘that he was shocked that someone had suddenly come upon them without him realising.’ He then raised one eyebrow, ‘or two, that again, yes, shocked, but not by just anyone. But by someone he knew.’
‘What are you trying to say?’ I asked.
Walker completely ignored me. His intense gaze was on my mum.
‘Look carefully at it Mrs Smith, can you honestly tell me that he would be shocked if a stranger caught them?’ He whispered. ‘If a man was busy with a woman in the woods, and someone came upon him, I would assume that he would be angry, and want to thrash the person,’ he looked down at the image with heavy eyelids. ‘Wide eyes show shock, and in this case, it shows that he knew the person who took this shot.’ He pulled the image back towards himself and this time circled my dad’s mouth. ‘Then we have the open mouth. Not a mouth with lips thinned out of frustration. Now, what does that show?’ I saw one side of his lips tip upwards ever so slightly. His fingers began tapping on the table at a faster rate.
Was he mocking my mum?
‘So what? Wide eyes, yes, ok he seems to know who took the picture! Wide mouth, again, ok, he’s shocked. Maybe he knew the person well enough. Palms up to show his innocence? But clearly, he was not,’ I seethed. ‘Then you have a woman who looks like she just had the best experience of her life!’ I slammed the table. ‘Mum knows the lady, then that woman,’ I pointed at the lady, ‘knew he had a family. She knew he had children, yet there she is pushing her breast towards him with closed eyes! Closed eyes and smile demonstrate that she was not aware of what was going on,’ I fumed as I snatched the paper from the table and scrunch it into a tight ball. ‘Disgusting and pathetic. The both of them!’ I ended.
‘No mum! No. You saw him. You saw her. And judging by your expression earlier, you knew there was something going on between the both of them!’ I couldn’t help shouting. I threw the paper across the room. ‘Dad was having an affair! How is that right? Please explain to me, how is that right? Should he not get punished for hurting you, Jamie and me?
‘Who has the right to pass on that judgment? Is death the only option? Is there a law that states that people should be murdered for having an affair?’ A deep voice responded.
I turned towards Walker and stood there speechless. I completely forgot he was sitting there. He was leaning towards me with narrowed dark grey eyes, clearly observing me. He was right but, his question reminded me of what I had written in my journal. Who really has the right to judge? Random people picked to decide whether a person is guilty or not? Ok, so there is not a law that prohibits having an affair, but I have the right to feel angry at the events, at his actions, how mum is feeling!
‘You pointed out everything I was thinking, young lady. The only difference is; you seem to think that what happened was a good thing. That one can take matters into their own hands and make the judgment alone,’ he raised his eyebrow at me.
‘No no, Mr Walker, she’s just angry that he would do such a thing,’ mum interrupted.
‘Tell me, Miss, how did you know about this affair?’ He ignored her and put full focus on me.
I looked straight at him and refused to be intimidated. I knew what he was coming at. ‘The affair between my dad and the lady? You forget, dear sir, I do not know the lady,’ I calmly responded.
‘But the tone of your voice, your facial expression, the hand movements, and your analysis of that simple image shows that you have at least some recognition of the lady. Do you not agree?’
What was he doing?
‘No, I do not believe that it does,’ I could see my mum’s expression from the corners of my eyes.
Could I do this?
‘No?’ He asked.
‘I shall state again sir, I had no idea. I would also like to add that, no, I am not happy of his death. He is my dad.’
‘Then why do not feel the same emotions as your mother and young brother?’
‘Is it a necessity that I must? Does the law state that I must cry because my dad has been murdered?’
‘So you agree that your dad was murdered?’
‘Whether I agree or not, it will not change anything. You will still ask your questions and carry out the investigation. Besides, why are you asking me questions and how do you know that I do not care about the death of my dad?’ I waved my hand to emphasise my point.
‘Just an observation,’ he shrugged. ‘Although, did I at any point ask for your analysis?’
‘Well…well no,’ I turned away. The feeling of being flustered was new to me. If I fanned my face with my hand, then he’d know I was hiding something. But if I stood there with a red face, would that not also demonstrate I was hiding something. That I may have done something out of anger? Had I done something?
‘In any case, Mrs Smith,’ he turned back to my mum, ‘I am doing an investigation. You can deny his death as much as you want, but it does not change the fact that the lady was murdered and that their body was found together,’ he stopped. Flipping through his many documents, he pulled one out and passed it to my mum.
This time mum screamed. I pulled the paper towards me and nearly vomited. My dad and the lady were sliced into various parts of their body. My eyes then focused on a vial.
Walker snatched the paper back before Jamie could lay his eyes on it.
‘Now do you believe me, Mrs Smith?’ He lightly asked. Completely ignoring my mum, I tried to pull the piece of paper back towards me but he was too quick. ‘You seem very interested in the paper,’ he remarked.
‘There’s a vial in the image,’ I pointed to the paper.
‘What about your dad?’
‘What about him? Did you not just hear what I said? There’s a vial in the image!’ I shouted. I turned to mum, ‘there’s a vial on his lap. Mum, it… it has blood in it!’ Is this what we call hysteria?
‘Kelly, what is wrong with you!’ This time Jamie yelled. I turned to him in a daze.
‘Jamie,’ I rushed to him and started shaking him, ‘I saw a vial!’
‘What about your dad? I will not bring up the woman as I can tell that you despise her, but your dad?’ Walker was calm. Again, I noticed his fingers tapping away.
‘My dad?’ I uttered and dropped to the ground. I had not paid attention to the condition of my dad. Truth be told, I would not be able to recall how he looked in the photo.
‘Your dad was sliced by a thin knife in almost every part of his body,’ he asserted. Returning his gaze back to mum, ‘His throat and genitals seemed to have received the most blows.’
I didn’t know what state my mum was in; I was more concerned about myself. Why did I care so much about the vial?
‘Yes, Kelly, why did you? Or should I say, why do you?’