Somebody I Used to Know

Somebody I Used to Know by David Bell Read Free Book Online Page B

Book: Somebody I Used to Know by David Bell Read Free Book Online
Authors: David Bell
said my ex-husband was here, and he had Andrew by the hand.”
    “Jesus, Gina. Do you trust me that little?” I asked.
    “I was scared,” she said. “I thought . . . Oh, Nick, I’ve been trying so hard to keep Andrew from getting confused and hurt. Phil’s back, but he’s not always reliable. You’re reliable, but . . .”
    “I’m not his dad.”
    “I overreacted. I don’t know what I thought.”
    “I just wanted to talk to you about Andrew. About me seeing him again. I had a long day, and I wanted something good to focus on.”
    Then I heard the approaching sirens.
    “Really, Gina? The police?”
    I stared at her, raising my arms in disbelief. She turned away.
    It looked like I was staying.

    I waited in the back of a cop car for close to an hour while the police spoke to Gina and Candace and, yes, even Andrew. I gritted my teeth at the thought of him facing questions from a police officer. I knew it was my fault. I should have gone home. I shouldn’t have taken his hand and walked farther into the yard.
    But I wanted to heed Heather’s advice. I wanted to get on with my life. Forget Marissa and Emily and be normal: enjoy my job, spend time with my friends, play a basketball game here and there. I wanted to erase Heather’s story about Marissa and the man in the bar from my mind.
    The car smelled like body odor and sweat socks. I saw Candace in the window of the neighbor’s house, twirling her hair again, and I quietly wished most of it would fall out, although I couldn’t really blame her either. Someone—Gina most likely, or maybe Linda and Steve—had told her to call if I came over unannounced. Candace followed directions well.
    Finally a familiar face showed up outside the cruiser window. He wore an odd little smile, one that made his face seem tilted. Detective Reece then pulled the door open and leaned in.
    “This is getting to be a habit,” he said. “We don’t like these kinds of habits in law enforcement, Mr. Hansen.”
    “I was just trying to—”
    He held up his hand, silencing me. “I spoke to your ex-wife. And your stepson. We’re all clear now. The kid, Andrew, really seems to like you.” Reece laughed a little. “He asked me if I was going to throw you in jail, and I told him no. He’s a bright kid.”
    I let out some air. “Thanks.”
    “It seems like your ex has a lot going on. I guess the boy’s father is back on the scene, and she wants to make sure everyone knows their boundaries.”
    “Boundaries. Yes, I’ve heard that word before,” I said.
    “But you’re not off the hook,” Reece said. “Can I trust you to meet me at your apartment in about thirty minutes? I’ve got something to show you.”
    What could I say? Where would I go?
    “I’ll be waiting,” I said.
    *   *   *
    Because of my trouble with the police I was later than usual, and Riley acted less happy to see me. He gave me a worried look when I walked in the door, something that said, I don’t know what you’re up to, but it has me concerned. He also had an iron bladder for a dog his age, so there were no accidents. I took him on a short walk, fed him when we returned to the apartment, and then waited.
    Detective Reece showed up forty-five minutes later and turned down my offer of something to drink. He’d come alone, without the uniformed escort, and we sat at the table again in our same positions. I hoped his visits weren’t becoming part of my daily routine.
    “Do I need to apologize to Gina?” I asked. “I know I shouldn’t have been over there.”
    “It’s done,” he said. “Do you know how hard it is to be a single parent? My mom was a single parent. It’s stressful.” He took his phone out and scrolled through it again. Then he looked up. “By now I’m sure you’ve seen the identification of the girl in the motel.”
    “Emily Russell,” I said.
    “She was strangled. Manual strangulation.”
    “It sounds awful.”
    “It takes a lot of effort to

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