The Cold Inside (a serial novel) Chapter Thirty-Seven part two
The Cold Inside
By AL BRUNO III
Wednesday January 25, 1995
After a brief conversation with the police detectives at the school Pam found herself brought to the station to answer some questions. They stuck her in a drab little room, with good lighting and bare walls; they kept going over the same things again and again. Pam kept hoping she would wake up and this would all be a bad dream or a mistake, she had been hoping for hours.
“Are you sure you wouldn’t like something to drink? Some water or something?” Connelly, the more personable of the detectives said. His features were slender and gentle; he wore a pair of bifocals. There was a wedding ring on his finger.
Pam crossed her arms over her chest, “I just want to get out of here.”
Detective Connelly nodded understandingly, “I promise we’re almost done. You know you should let us call one of your relatives, you won’t be able to go back home yet. It’s still a crime scene.”
“I’m not a kid, I’m eighteen years old. I just need to call my fiancée.”
The other detective, the one named Myles, leaned forward. She was a tall, gum-chewing woman with prematurely graying hair. Whenever she spoke Pam found herself feeling oddly defensive. “You have a fiancée?”
“Eighteen is kind of young to be getting married.”
Pam said, “That’s none of your business.”
“I mean I got married at twenty-one and I wasn’t ready at all. My Mom warned me but I didn’t listen.” Detective Myles said. “How did your Mom feel about you and your sweetheart?”
“She’d known Ronnie for years.” Pam said, “And why are we talking about this?”
Detective Connelly said, “It’s standard procedure.”
“You know who did this already. Why are you wasting your time with me?”
Detective Myles shook her head, “We don’t know anything yet.”
Pam said “You should be talking to my half-brother Tristam.”
“Actually we don’t know where he is.”
“We don’t know if he’s dead or alive.” Detective Connelly explained, “That’s why we have to be so thorough”
Detective Myles added, “For all we know he may be a victim in all this too.”
“No he isn’t.” Pam stared at the patterns in the wood grain of the table, “He’s responsible.”
“You sound very sure.”
“I lived with him. I’ve watched him get more secretive and weird, ever since the dog thing.”
“I take it you two weren’t close.” Detective Connelly scribbled some notes down on a yellow legal pad.
“Maybe when we were kids but when we both grew up we changed.” Pam said, “Don’t think I didn’t try.”
There was a knock at the door, a uniformed police officer poked his head in, “Her boyfriend and his parents are here. They brought their lawyer.”
Ronnie. The thought he was near made the knot in her chest loosen enough for her to think straight.
Detective Myles smiled, “I guess we can wrap things up now but be sure to leave a number for us to contact you if we have more questions.”
“Sure.” Pam stood up, more than ready to leave.
“One more question though.” Detective Connelly said, “Who has your brother been hanging out with lately? Who are his friends?”
“He hangs out with the school weirdoes.” Pam said.
“Could you tell me who they are?”
Pam started to speak and then realized, “I only know their nicknames…”