“He is a liar.” I say as I scowl at Mr. Neph, my newly-made enemy of the hour, who just gave a brief description of my ‘crime’.
“No I am not, officer!” He shouted in a fit of anger. Mr. Neph was a plump middle-aged man with a wretched combover, dead set on framing me for a crime I most certainly didn’t commit.
“Everyone needs to take it down a notch.” The Officer says in an American accent. “We need to hear all sides of this, Mr. Neph. Ms. Cartwright still needs to explain as well as the other witnesses.”
“And you doubt my judgment? I, Alexander Elliot Neph Ⅱ-”
“Yes, yes Mr. Neph. I understand you are upset with this predicament. I’m sorry for the inconvenience this may cause you, but we don’t need to get into your aristocracy again.” Officer Brown pinches the bridge of his nose, sliding his glasses above his fingers.
I look around the room taking in all the witnesses. There was Mr. Neph, Jane– A fifteen year old girl– and Colt, my bestfriend. I knew that the tables were turned in my favor. First of all, because I’ve done no wrong and there should be no evidence to incriminate me. Second of all, most of the people had been with me or around me during the time of the crime. Colt was with me because we were getting drinks together and Jane was a few tables away. The only person that should side against me is Neph.
“Now Mr. Neph, could you please go into more detail about what you saw?” Officer Brown motions for Neph to start.
“It all started at Alessandro's restaurant.” Neph starts…
Two hours ago
I walk into Alessandro’s with the intent of getting some of the best spaghetti in town. I shove the door open using more force than necessary. The door flies into the wall and knocks over a large potted plant. I quickly scan the room to see only Colt Bennings and Lyra Cartwright. I wait at the bar– Where I’m usually served– for the Waitress, Mrs. Jones, to come. I stand for a few minutes before getting impatient.
“You mean a few minutes as in three?” I interrupt Neph and scoff. “You and all your glory couldn’t wait three minutes to be seated.”
“Don’t interrupt me!” He yells.
I finally get tired of waiting and walk behind the counter. The door doesn’t open all the way– As if something was blocking it. I lean my shoulder against the door, using an absurd amount of strength to get through. Finally, it’s open enough for me to walk through. I look behind the door to see the body of Mrs. Jones soaking in a pool of blood.
“And that’s when I called you, Officer Brown.” Neph finishes.
“Don’t forget the part where you screamed like a little girl.” I roll my eyes.
He glares at me.
“Okay, now Jane, could you tell us what you saw?” Officer Brown asks.
“Uhm, yeah.” She mutters in a quiet feminine voice.
Two hours ago
I sit down at one of the tables in Alessandro’s and wait for my server to come. It’s not very busy today. The only two people here are Lyra and a guy with her who looks about twenty. I only know Lyra because she and my older sister are friends. It’s actually surprising how few people there are here, considering it’s one of the best restaurants in town and one of the busiest times of day. I shrug it off.
Lyra and her friend laugh loudly, which brings my attention over to them.
“Yeah, right, Colt!” Lyra guffaws.
“I’m serious, she said yes and proceeded to tell how amazing and handsome and-” Colt– Apparently– beams before being stopped by Lyra.
“You are full of it.”
“Well, maybe not the last part but she did say yes.”
“Sure.” The sarcasm is thick in her tone.
“Don’t sound so incredulous. I’m pretty good looking.” Colt crosses his arms looking slightly offended.
“I’m gonna be right back.” Lyra stands and walks towards the restrooms, past me. She gives me a slight smile and nods as she passes.
I’m still waiting for my server to come by the time Lyra walks back out of the bathroom. Lyra sits back down and her and Colt’s conversation starts right back, as loud and boisterous as before. I’m beginning to get tired of waiting when a loud crash sounds near the entrance.
I flinch and turn to see Mr. Neph walking towards the bar– Leaving the plant he knocked over lying on the floor. Mr. Neph is a large, balding man with a gray broom mustache. I know him because he’s hated by most of the town– Much deserved. He’s a haughty, insufferable man. I finish gathering my stuff and stand to leave when a loud shriek comes from the kitchen.
“And that’s when Mr. Neph called you, Officer Brown.” Jane concludes.
“But Mrs. Cartwright did leave the dining hall for a while?” He asks Jane.
“Well, yes, but she went to the bathroom, which was in the opposite direction of the kitchen.” Jane stumbles over her words in an effort to explain herself.
“Okay, thank you, Jane. Now, Colt?” Officer Brown nods towards Colt, continuing to write on his notepad.
Two hours ago
Lyra laughs as I tell her how I asked our friend out. I’m mostly just joking around but part of me wants to impress her.
“I just went up to her and she practically fell to her knees!” I joke.
“Yeah, right, Colt!” Lyra grins.
I feel a little offended that she’s so disbelieving. “I’m serious, she said yes and proceeded to tell me how amazing and handsome and-”
“You’re full of it.” She interrupts me.
“Well maybe not the last part but she did say yes.”
“Sure.” She smirks, her voice as sarcastic as ever.
“Don’t sound so incredulous. I’m pretty good looking.” I cross my arms.
“I’m gonna be right back.” She stands and walks to the bathrooms, past a young girl– The only other person in here.
“And you know the rest. Neph walked in and knocked the pot over, then squealed.” Colt explains.
“I did not-”
“Save it for one of your lackeys.” Colt’s anger is apparent as he leans towards Neph.
Neph is obviously taken aback by Colts sudden aggression.
“Finally, Ms. Cartwright, could you please tell your side?”
“Yes.” I scoff knowing this is a waste of my time.
two hours ago
Laughter fills the air around me as my best friend, Colt, tries to tell me about how he asked out a girl at our university. There is no way what he’s saying is true, but it’s entertaining.
“I just went up to her and she practically fell to her knees!” I see a glint of amusement shining in his sapphire eyes that lets me know he’s joking.
“Yeah, right, Colt!” I smile.
“I’m serious, she said yes and proceeded to tell me how amazing and handsome and-”
I stop him. “You’re full of it.”
He shrugs. “Well maybe not the last part, but she did say yes.”
“Sure.” I make sure to convey my disbelief.
“Don’t sound so incredulous. I’m pretty good looking.” I’d never tell him this, but I agreed with the latter more than he’d ever know.
“I’m gonna be right back.” I get up quickly trying to make sure he can’t read my last thought. As I head to the bathroom I make eye contact with Jane, my friend's younger sister. I smile and nod to her as I pass. She smiles awkwardly and looks away as fast a possible. She was always shy.
I walk back out of the restrooms and sit back down at the table with Colt. He dives straight into another engaging story. That’s one thing I love about him– He’s an amazing storyteller. He’s in the middle of telling me about how he saved his twin brother’s life when they were five when a clamorous crash sounds behind me. My whole body twists in the direction of the disruption.
My eyes flicker around to see dirt spilled out of a fallen pot and one of the most hated men in all of London. Alexander Neph. I mutter under my breath turning back to Colt. Neph was a horrible man who screwed over many families, including mine. Colt must notice my frustration because he clears his throat and continues his story. He does a good job of distracting me until a loud shriek in the direction of the kitchen startles me to my feet.
“Then Mr. Good-for-nothing called you. That’s it.” I state, so ready to be done with this nonsense.
“I-” One menacing look from Colt silences Neph.
“It seems that everyone’s stories align.” Officer Brown's brow furrows. “What reason do you have to believe that Ms. Cartwright committed this crime?”
“She hated Mrs. Jones and on multiple instances talked about how much.”
My face contorts. “Never once did I say anything of the sort.”
“She was also killed by a gun. And I happen to know Lyra carries.”
“Just because I own a gun doesn’t mean I murdered Mrs. Jones.” I scoff.
“Thank you all for your time, I think it’ll be best if everyone takes a break and comes back in the morning.”
Jane hurries out the door and I don’t blame her. I’m so ready to be done with all this crap. I look to Colt, who grabs my hand and gives me a reassuring squeeze. Neph throws me one last glower and turns toward the door. I smile pleasantly back at him.
As he’s walking, something falls out of his pocket. It’s a small piece of paper, folded at least half a dozen times. I snatch it off the ground and hurry to unfold it. Neph turns his head back to me and his face switches from anger to surprise within a second.
“Give that back!” He tries to cover his fear with fury.
“No!” I turn around to shield the piece of paper with my body, knowing he wouldn’t dare lay a finger on me. The paper has been folded and unfolded so many times it easily rips as I open it. As soon as I see the words I know this is enough evidence to get rid of Neph forever.