The Important Delivery on a Yacht by Rachel Frankki
“Really it was just an excuse to drink publicly, or I wouldn’t have gone,” I stated angrily while my interrogator stared into my soul in hopes of figuring out my buried secrets. We had been in this small and smelly room for what seemed like hours now. The only problem was he wanted answers that I genuinely didn't have.
“There’s countless places to drink publicly. What specifically drew to this party?”
“I mean, yachts are cool and always full of rich people.”
“So your attraction was based through the motive of theft?”
“Christ, you make me sound so shallow. But I guess if you want to be technical, yes my motivation was for alcohol theft; because I hadn’t been invited to the party to begin with.”
“Because it was also being hosted by your ex-wife who has a restraining order against you.”
“She didn't when the party happened,” I groaned.
“Right, why don’t we take this from the top once more?”
“It was a dreary Tuesday the night of that party. I had gone to work like a normal day at a nine to five office job. All throughout the day, I planned on going to see my wife at this event one last time before the divorce paperwork went through the next day. Sue me for still having feelings for her, when it was her idea to get a divorce in the first place,” I began for what seemed like the hundredth time.
“Why go through with the divorce if you still had feelings for her?”
“Because I’m obviously not going to stay with someone who has no feelings for me. I was hoping that this party would help me get her off my mind. I knew the chances of seeing her were slim, you know, with her having found someone else and being in an open relationship with them for the world to see. But it was whatever because I was getting free alcohol and a nice dance floor to drink my woes away.”
“Can you describe the scene for me?”
“Fancy white yacht that clearly nobody should own for just pleasure. People dressed to the nines in order to show they all came from money, whether or not it was new or old money. Couples in close proximity as groups laughed and plotted together schemes to continue making money.”
“And was your wife rich?”
“Don’t make me laugh. Her new lover was the rich one. She just hosted the party and the money was simply taken from the shared budget they have.”
“A shared budget so early on in a relationship?”
“Why are you asking me all these questions as though I knew anything about the person I was cheated on with? I didn't know this person even existed until a few weeks before the party. Otherwise, my wife and I had been together for seven years; and I never expected anything like this to happen.”
“Right, continue on.”
“Once I was on the yacht, I instantly knew I had messed up. But I figured since I was there, why not carry on with my plan to get drunk and have a good time? I grabbed a martini from the bar and downed it like water. I had a few more drinks before I felt my limbs get heavy and my morals fade away. I went to the dance floor and danced on strangers like it was my last night on earth. I can’t say I’d have danced and acted that way had I been sober.”
“How did you feel while dancing?”
“Really good,” I laughed with a fond remembrance for the fun I had before I had been given the letter. “It was like the world faded away and all my problems voyaged off with it. My head was swimming with alcohol and despite the fact I was drowning, I was also surviving. But then the waiter came up to me with the envelope.”
“A black envelope sealed with red wax,” He stated while looking over his notes.
“That’s the one. I had been dancing with a brunette woman when he came out of nowhere and stopped time. I tried to get him to go. I pleaded and begged for him to leave me alone; but he insisted he had to make the delivery, and couldn’t leave without doing so.”
“Can you be sure he was really a waiter?”
“No, I still don’t know if he truly was. He had on the right attire but for as far as I’m aware, he could have just been playing a part. A spy paid to deliver a message.”
There was a pause between the two of us. I could tell my interrogator felt pity for me, and didn't want to pry into my affairs; but prying was also his job, and he was required too. The air was still heavy around us before I drew in a sharp breath and continued talking.
“I didn't want to have to talk to anyone that night, which is why I tried so hard to get him away from me. Eventually I just gave up and took the damn thing. The envelope itself was a thick sort of paper and the wax was blood red. The small thing gave off such a terrifying energy that my head instantly cleared; and I ran to the bathroom to open it. There were a few girls touching up their makeup but left as soon as I went into a stall.”
“Did you know them?”
“No, I told you, I had no idea who any of these people were. But I sat down on the heated toilet seat, because rich people have weird things like that, and broke the seal. Inside was a piece of paper that seriously looked like this whole set-up was from an 1850’s Gothic novel. I was low key hoping to read a letter about a great uncle dying; and that I was going to inherit their estate. Instead, when I pulled out the letter, it contained one sentence.”
“The sentence being, ‘I know who you are and you need to leave.’?”
“Yup. I stared at it with uncertainty while my hands shook, and I was concerned my wife had found out about my presence. She wasn’t supposed too, I just wanted to be in the same area as her even if she didn't have an inkling about me being there. Don’t look at me like that, people do stupid things when they’re in love.”
“But then a woman entered the bathroom and asked about the letter?”
“Some girl in a 1930’s waistcoat with the top hat to match,” I nodded slowly. “I didn't see her face because she stood with her back to my stall, but she asked if I had gotten the letter. I said yes, and she slipped another one through the stall door.”
“And it had the same packaging as the first one.”
“Correct again. I opened that one up as the woman left. I didn't see her again.”
“This one was more vague, as it just contained your ex-wife’s name?”
“Amanda Eagleton. But at the bottom of that paper was the time 11:46 pm written in thick handwriting.”
“You didn't mention that the last time we went through this,” The interrogators face instantly darkened.
“Well I’ve only just remembered it, pal. I’m only human you know.”
“This doesn’t look good for your case that you’re just now adding information and evidence.”
“Oh please, you already want to pin me for the crime, does it really look like I give a damn about the outcome?”
“Are you therefore pleading guilty to the disappearance of Miss Eagleton, Miss Evans?”
“No, because as I’ve told you numerous times, I don’t know where she is or where she went after the last time I saw her. I still think it was her lover.”
“You refer to Mr. Adams as her lover, and lover only. Are you insinuating they only had a physical relationship?”
“Ugh, please, I don’t know what sort of relationship they had. Can I just get on with my story now?”
“Yes, continue,” He nodded while flipping to a new page to continue his notes on.
“I quickly folded up the envelopes and put them in my pocket. I finished my business, and left the bathroom while heading straight towards the bar. I didn't want to deal with this mind twisting business, I wanted to forget everything. So when the bartender left the bar to grab something from the back, I grabbed a bottle of tequila and went back to the dance floor. Would you quit looking at me like that? Yes, one bottle of tequila was all I stole. And did I technically steal it if all the drinks were being handed out for free? That’s the only accusation you people have against me.”
“Actually our full list of accusations comes down to four serious charges.”
“Refresh my memory on those?
“Miss Evans, your four charges are theft of personal property, invasion of private property, suspect to being the source of the disappearance of Miss Eagleton, and conferring with an individual that has a restraining order against you.”
“The restraining order wasn’t in effect until the day the divorce paperwork went through so I can’t agree with that one.”
“Will you continue the story, please?”
“I downed a good amount of the tequila bottle, and some time later I needed to throw up. I pushed past people to reach the doors that would lead me back to the deck. The second I made it out, I threw myself against the railing and vomited.”
“How did that make you feel?”
“Like pure shit, how else? Anyways, as my head was hanging over the rail, the breeze and the salty ocean water was really comforting. As though Mother Nature was saying she was there for me when no one else was.”
“But then Miss Eagleton appeared?”
“Yeah, I heard someone ask if I was all right, and I looked up to see her staring at me.”
“What did she look like? Was she concerned? Confused?”
“I don’t really know what she felt, honestly. If anything, she looked sad in that moment for seeing me in such a pathetic situation that she had induced.”
“Miss Evans, did she forcibly pour alcohol down your throat?”
“Then this scenario is not inducement but consequence.”
“Whatever. She looked at me like I was a pathetic child who needed taking care of. She came over to me and asked if I was all right. I must have looked at her in disbelief. Why was she talking to me if she didn't have any feelings for me? I mumbled something in apology, but before I could say anything else, she was walking away from me. I watched her go back into the yacht as though she wasn’t actually there but just something my mind had conjured.”
“We have testimonial proof that this did happen. You were seen conversing with her by Mr. Adams.”
“Well you know what happens! The next day passes and the day after that passes too, and she’s not seen again. But if Mr. Adams saw us together, then he clearly saw her right after she left me. I’ve said it once and I’ll say it again, it’s probably him whose hiding her and sent the letters!”
“You seem awfully eager to pin the crime on Mr. Adams.”
“Good Lord, you’ve heard my side of the story countless times now, I don’t know what you want from me.”
“The rest of the story.”
“I went back to the dance floor and danced until I passed out. I don’t have any memory after watching Amanda leave me and I went back to dancing. Next thing I knew, I was waking up under a table with a napkin on my face.”
“But you were found with those envelopes in your pocket, and the time written on the envelope was the same time that Mr. Adams last saw Miss Eagleton.”
“Well how convenient, you figured it out. He planned this all from the beginning and planted the evidence on me.”
“How does that explain the first letter?”
“It was clearly a warning. Perhaps he wanted to give me a chance to get out before I got pinned with the crime.”
A knock at the door startled us both. A young man with a shaved head looked in and said new evidence had been gathered. My interrogator asked what that was. The young man said Amanda Eagleton was dead. They both stared at me. The young man also said that she had been found with my fingerprints on the murder weapon that was besides her corpse. My curtain closed and my vision tunneled. There was no hope for me now, and whoever wanted to blame me for Amanda’s death, was just beginning.