“Where are you taking me?” I ask for the fifth time, as Levi leads me forward, a blindfold over my eyes.
“I’m still not going to tell you, no matter how many times you ask.”
He replies, laughter in his voice.
Without warning, he stops walking and I smash right into his muscular back. I use my hands to push myself away from his back and I rub my forehead.
“I just got a face full of shirt! Next time, warn me!” I call in the direction I’m assuming Levi is. I hear his snort and assume I got the direction wrong. I feel two strong hands gently turn me around to face him.
“It’s not nice to yell at nature.” He replies, his voice so soft, he seems bored.
“Ha-ha! Very funny!” I strike back at him as the cloth covering my eyes is slowly lifted off my face.
My eyes take in my surroundings, it’s beautiful!! Levi has taken me to a spot on a big, open field. Where we are is shaded by a big, willow tree, and we are on top of a small hill. There’s a blanket spread out in front of me, all sorts of fun snacks are laid out on the blanket. There’s a brown, old-fashioned picnic basket beside the blanket on the grass.
“So...what do you think?” Levi looks at me, biting his lip in nervousness.
“I love it!” I scream and wrap my arms around him. He laughs with pleasure and wraps me up in a hug. Once we break apart, Levi takes my hand and leads me onto the soft, blue blanket...
I sit up in bed, shaking and sweating. It seems like the most wonderful dream ever, but not when you know the boy in the dream died that day. It’s been three days since I found Levi dead in our favorite spot. He’d texted me to meet him there, said he had a surprise for me. I couldn’t think of what the surprise would be, after the picnic that morning.
When I walked through the vines, into our shaded, secluded spot, I saw him lying there, as lifeless as a log. I remember seeing his ghostly-white face and the blood surrounding his chest. I don’t remember much of what happened next, all I know is that I dropped the bundle of flowers I had collected, and knelt down beside him. I sat there and cried against his lifeless form. I don’t know how long I stayed like that, but I do know that my mother came in and tried to pull me away from him. I clung onto Levi like my life depended on it, she gave up and went to call the police.
When they came, I was pulled away from him and held back by a tall, muscular police officer. I remember hearing a scream, but not even being aware that it had come from me. I’m not sure what happened after that because I curled up and cried my heart out as soon as Mother got me home.
I wipe my eyes free of tears as the memory of that day overcomes me. Levi was my best friend, and meant a lot to me, and now that’s all gone! I sniff and slowly slide out of bed. I walk over to the mirror and wince at my reflection. These past few days haven’t exactly been kind to me. I do the best I can to make myself presentable, including changing into jeans and a t-shirt from my pajamas. I throw my auburn hair into a messy bun and call it good.
I walk out of my room and fresh tears start to water in my eyes as I come to the doorway of the lounge. This was where Levi and I spent most of our time. With soft steps muted by the carpet, I make my way over to the center wall. A beautiful, shining black piano rests against that wall. A soft sob breaks in my throat as I imagine Levi playing all of those smooth keys.
Levi was always drawn to our piano. I never understood his need to play, maybe it was because he didn’t own a piano, only a keyboard. He always told me that it didn’t sound quite the same, which meant he was always at my house. I run my hand softly across the keys, remembering how captivating it was to listen to Levi play. It was like you were pulled into a dream of sorts when listening. It was incredible!
I slowly slide the cover over the keys and a single tear slides down my face, onto the piano.
“May! Can you come down here? Someone’s here to see you!” Mother yells from downstairs, taking me from my thoughts. More tears stain my cheeks at my nickname. Levi used to call me that.
“Be right there!” I cringe at how fake cheerful that sounded. I wonder who is here...maybe a neighbor or one of Levi’s parents? I speculate as I descend the stairs. When I reach the bottom of the stairs, I turn left to go into the front entryway. I freeze in my steps when I see who is here. Pure dread washes over me. A police officer?
“Honey, this is Officer Janet, she would like to ask you some questions about Levi’s death.” Mother says this in her sweetest voice, but she’s fooling no one. This is going to be a difficult conversation.
“Alright.” I manage to say. Officer Janet motions for me to join her on the couch, I do so reluctantly.
“Okay, Maybelle, let’s start. When were you last in contact with Levi James Hunt?”
“About ten minutes before I found him.” I reply, trying to be as honest as I can so I can get this over with.
“Okay, how did you know where he was?”
“He had texted me to meet him in our spot.”
“That’s your spot? Who all knows about that spot, or knew about it before Levi died?”
“Levi, me, and my Mother.”
“Why does no one else know?”
“Because we wanted a space to ourselves, but we told Mother because we wanted to make sure someone knew in case of emergency.” I look up from staring at my hands and see an odd expression cross Officer Janet’s face. I have a feeling it is anything but a good thing. She gives a slow, sharp nod and stands to talk with Mother. I hear bits and pieces of the conversation:
“I need to take her in for questioning.”
“...she could be...suspect.”
I sink lower on the couch. My heart is pounding hard against my chest, and my thoughts are racing. Me? They think I killed Levi? Mother will tell them otherwise....right? I’m so terrified I think I might puke. There’s no way I’m leaving with her! I won’t! I was the last one with him, so I’m basically already charged with the crime! I race upstairs as fast as I can and gently shut and lock the door of my room. I collapse onto my bed, not sure what to do. This can’t be happening!