Karen fancied that of the three of them…the old homeless woman Amelia, the detective with a sweater amazingly identical to the one she’d made for ex-best-friend Marie, and herself…Karen was the one most astounded by her own confession.
But even Amelia’s gorgeous voice lost luster as she stuttered, “You…killed…someone?”
The detective’s jaw hung open. What kind of detective had never heard a confession before?
Stupidly, illogically, Karen’s mind skittered away from the enormity of having just confessed to murdering Irwin by fixating on that damn sweater. Had Marie donated it to a thrift shop? Karen managed to get upset about that slight and feel nothing about her confession.
Amelia put a hand on her shoulder. “You…had a…good reason?”
Karen frowned. Uh…actually she did! What had she been thinking? Why hadn’t she just called the cops herself? Not that she’d had a phone but…
Opening her mouth to spill out the whole story, she turned hopefully toward the detective in Marie’s sweater. And stopped cold. The detective’s jaw was no longer hanging open. Instead she was staring at Karen with eyes that kept getting wider and wider with what looked like absolute terror.
Karen knew her thinking was still foggy but what did this detective know about her chances of escaping very serious consequences for her confession that Karen didn’t know? Plus that detective’s look of terror was reminding her that she had had reasons for not confessing, even if she was now feeling too faint again to remember.
Amelia took Karen gently by the shoulders and pushed her back to a seated position. “There, there, Sweetheart, better to sit before you faint. I’m sure you had a very good reason. And I’m sure this detective will understand that.”
A yearning screamed through Karen, so strong it hurt: She wanted more than anything in the world to believe Amelia. Her voice was so beautiful, like a full symphony orchestra. But there was one harmonic, one instrument in that orchestra, that was off…as if out of tune…and Karen knew what she was hearing: doubt.
Amelia massaged her shoulders. “It’ll be okay. I promise.” But Karen felt the tremble in the ancient hands that massaged her.
Karen opened her mouth again. “Thanks for seating me. I’m sorry I got to feeling faint again, or I would have told you both right away that I wasn’t serious when I made that ‘confession’!”
Both of the other women sagged with visible relief.