I remember that night like it was yesterday. The music was loud, the lights down. The boys and girls of my senior class – and other classes, those freshmen little creepers – were clawing their way onto each other. It was almost as if they were trying to get away with doing the nasty on the dance floor. I, of course, would have never have been one of those kids, right? I was. But I’m getting ahead of myself.
“Maria, you can’t get green nails. Your dress is already green! It’ll clash!”
My best friend, Amanda, blinked at me with her long, made up lashes from across the room. We had been friends since practically forever, but we were completely different from each other. She was perky, fashionable, and the sweetheart of our class. I, well, I was kind of a rebel. I was dating her brother, Micheal, at the time. We’d sneak out to parties, sit on rooftops and laugh until we were blue in the face, and feel so passionately about each other that it seemed we were 30 and ready to settle down.
Except, with being such rebels, we’d never settle down with each other. I could see us being together for a long time, but we’d never settle down. The whole ‘marriage’ dealio that society has planned for us never seemed right in our minds.
Micheal was a college student. He was 21. He was everything I wanted and more, but with a little (actually, huge) badboy front that made all of the ladies fall over with desperation. But I was the one that got him. His little sister’s best friend.
I sat up and closed the nail polish before I could even paint a nail. Amanda always had good taste, and I wasn’t exactly sure what went with what when it came to fashion.
“Okay. I’ll go with black then. It matches.” I let out a small chuckle, obviously sliding in sarcasm.
“As long as you put sparkles. I’m not letting you go all rocker chick with a Marc Topaz dress! I’m so jealous, Maria. Really, I am.”
I smiled, realizing how lucky I was. I quickly finished my polish and waited for my wonderful man to pick us up.
The three of us sat at the bar, or what was left of it for a high school dance. Amanda, despite being popular, never got a date, so her brother and I decided it’d be nice for us to hang out with her during the dance. We watched as the other kids gyrated on the floor.
“I remember this. I wish I could say it was much different, but things never change around here I guess.” Micheal sighed and took a drink of his Shirley Temple that was spiked with alcohol.
I looked over at Amanda, who was now staring at her drink, hunched over a little. I put my hand on her shoulder. “What’s wrong?”
“It just bugs me that I’m here, and he’s..well…there.” Amanda was referring to her ex-boyfriend, Jason. I gave her a squeeze.
“Let’s get out of here.”
We ended up at some random party of a friend of a friend of a friend of Micheal’s. It was relatively close by. It didn’t take long before Micheal and I had hit the dance floor, with drinks in hand. We didn’t care who was watching or what they thought. Our hips and arms swayed together in one mass. Time seemed to fly by.
The faint sound of the home owner’s grandfather clock sounded the cry of midnight, and I realized I was late for curfew.
“Micheal! I have to go! Let’s go!” I pulled on his sleeve as he grabbed his sister. She had magically found some guy to chat up. We ran out to the car in the shivering moonlight and sped to my house.
I walked in the door feeling a little woozy from the night. I had a bit of alcohol in my system and my head hurt from the music pounding into my ear drums. The lights were off when I walked in, which immediately made me perk up with interest. My parents should be up. My father should have been waiting for me in the living room, ready to give me a good talking to for being late. Instead, it was quiet.
Then I turned the corner.
I ran to my mothers side. “Mom! MOM!” But as I entered the room, I realized there was nothing I could do for my mother, or my father.
It was the morning of my 18th birthday. Graduation had passed a week ago. It had been almost a month after my parents’ murder, and still I had no answers to what had happened. My parents had left me everything. The house, the cars. Everything to their name was now mine.
Suddenly, there was a knock at the door. A police officer was standing there, notepad in hand. “Maria Thatcher?”
“Yes, that’s me..” I said hesitantly.
“I’d like to talk to you about your parents.” I immediately let him in.
“Would you like some coffee? Tea?”
“No, No thank you. I’m Officer Thomas. I’ve been working the case on your parents.” Officer Thomas sat down on my couch and watched me also sit down.
“Okay. Is there any news?” My eyes slightly lit up with hope. Please let there be a suspect, please.
Officer Thomas looked down at his lap before looking up at me. “Unfortunately, every lead we’ve had has lead to a dead end. My supervisors have asked me to close this case.”
He stood up and started to walk to the door. “I’m sorry for your loss.”
There was a sound of opening, and before there was a closing sound, I spoke up.
“What’s your full name, Officer Thomas?” I’d want to keep his name in case I found anything out.
“Officer Jackson Thomas, Ma’am. Have a good day.”
And with that, the door closed.