As he pulled into his driveway he realized he couldn’t remember anything about the trip from the station to the house. He sat and stared at the garage door without seeing it. He kept running his hand through his thick black wavy hair, a nervous habit that he had acquired early in life. At last he got out of the car and trudged inside.
He got a beer out of the fridge and sat down at the kitchen table still trying to make sense out of his situation. He had no idea what to do. Albright had said he wasn’t a suspect but he didn’t believe it for a minute. He had no alibi for the night of the murder. They had no other suspects. They would be watching him. He was sure of it.
His thoughts turned to the killer. He hadn’t said a thing to Albright. He had been warned not to. He had to assume the killer knew where he lived. He seemed to at any rate. If he told the police about the calls would they believe him? It wouldn’t give them any sort of lead. They would want to tap his phone. The killer would know. It was all too much.
The phone rang. He stared at it in disbelief. He knew who it was. Who it had to be. He let it ring five times before he got up with a heavy sigh and answered it.
“Just tell me why. That’s all I want to know.”
A throaty chuckle. “Desmond, you ask the wrong questions. We’ll have to work on that. Now then, what did the police ask you?”
“You tipped them off. Don’t deny it.”
“You’re not answering my question Desmond.”
“They wanted to know where I was when you murdered that poor woman.”
“And what did you tell them?”
“That I was at home.”
“And they told you that you weren’t a suspect?”
“How do you know?”
“Oh, Desmond, you have so much to learn. You will you know. I’ll see to it.”
The line went dead and Desmond hung up and got himself another beer. It wasn’t bad enough that the police thought he might be a murderer, the actual murderer was taunting him and he couldn’t do a thing about it.
He turned on his computer and tried to clear his mind so he could get back to work on him story. He made progress in fits and starts but gave it up after an hour or so. It was getting on toward evening and he realized he hadn’t eaten since breakfast.
He was in no mood to cook so he grabbed his jacket and headed for the car. He would get some take out and restock the fridge with beer. He got in the car and headed for a strip mall a few miles away. He found a parking spot and walked to a deli he frequented from time to time. He chose some odds and ends he could eat in front of the television and then went to the video store to find something to watch.
He picked out a new release thriller and headed for the counter. As he made his way up the aisle a man passing in the opposite direction bumped into him and apologized. He paid for the movie and headed home. When he got inside he put the groceries away and was hanging up his jacket when something fell out of the pocket.
He picked it up and looked at it. It was a photo of a young woman he didn’t know. He had no idea how it had gotten into his pocket. He stared at it for several seconds and then the phone rang.
He picked it up and said nothing.
“Imagine what it will be like Desmond.”
Part 5 Tomorrow