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I didn’t hear the ringing at first, my head was buried so far beneath a tower of pillows in an attempt to stop the spinning in my brain. My skull ached with regret as I replayed the kiss I’d planted on Jamie the night before.
The caller didn’t let up. I fought my way out of the tangled sheets and somehow made it onto my feet and to the phone on the dresser. He was clearing his throat as I picked up.
“Hey, Detective Mills,” I started.
“Mr. Hamilton. How are you?”
His usual, pointless greeting. I stood up a little straighter, waiting to hear what “incriminating” evidence he’d found while tearing apart our home. A lock of hair? A mysterious foot print? A kitchen knife that looked a little too dull?
Then my mind flickered to the person who claimed to know what happened to my wife, and suddenly my knees were made of jelly because I couldn’t believe that in all my scrambled thinking and the hurricane that had recently become my life that I had somehow tucked away the single most important piece of I don’t know what, and right then I was angry, so very angry that Detective Mills had failed to mention more past a single obscure phone call just before he accused me of murdering Lily. And now that it had all flooded back in my heart was sinking and so was I, right back to the floor like the first time.
I think he sensed it, knew all the questions that had just now started seething from my chest. We were both silent, for minutes, I think.
“That other person,” I started, choking on the rest of the words.
“I was beginning to wonder why you weren’t more curious about that,” he said. The calm in his voice sent a warning jolt through my stomach.
“I guess it fell to the bottom of my priority list once you asked me if I killed my wife.” My mouth was a desert.
“She claimed to be a friend of Lily’s, went to college with her. Really pretty girl, a blonde. She said this isn’t the first time Lily’s gone missing, and probably won’t be the last. I thought it was a little strange but her story didn’t really lead anywhere, so we tossed it.”
Jamie. I muttered a thanks, a goodbye, placed the phone on the receiver and threw up in our clothes hamper.