Just Call Me Helen - Completed
Author: CassidyandAnna

Chapter 9
A Reciept for Rat Poison

The rest of the evening is a blur. Somehow I end up in front of Roy’s apartment complex. I’ve been here all of two times in order for Roy to grab something we needed at the office, and I still can’t get accustomed to the mildew smell in the hallway as I walk up to his apartment door.
    I notice sand on the welcome mat as I wait for him to answer after I have knocked.
    But he doesn’t open the door. For a moment, I think that maybe he is avoiding me, but then the moment turns into a minute, and I take one of the pins from my hair and try to pick his lock. It’s old and so the task isn’t difficult; the door swings open with a creak.
    Inside it’s something of organized chaos. He has files from old cases he worked on years ago when he was a detective himself before transferring to the cop department. There’s a copy of Walden on the floor next to the bed, and a half-drank cup of coffee on the kitchen counter.
    There’s also a bloody shirt in his hamper.
    Wide-eyed, I move toward the latter, holding it up for inspection. The blood is dried and old. It smells awful.
    I know his chest has not recently been cut open— the blood on this shirt is not his. And because of that, I start sobbing hysterically. The one person I could finally be myself around is the one that betrays me the most.
    “Oh Roy,” I say. “What did you do…?”
    Tap tap tap.
    Startled, I turn to the window that steps out onto the building’s fire escape. There, behind the pane, is Nard and Dr. Sparklepuss.
    Tap tap tap.
    “I heard you the first time,” I say, setting Roy’s bloody shirt atop the hamper and moving to open the window. Nard peeks his head in, surveying the apartment while tapping his finger pads together nervously.
    I quickly realize that I still look like myself, like a woman. “Um, hello.”
    “Hello-Henry,” Nard says as if the fact I am not actually a man is nothing new to him. I should panic over the fact he now knows my secret, but he’s too busy asking, “Where’s-Roy?” for me to do so.
    “Uh, you tell me,” I say. “Why are you here? How do you even know him?”
    “We’re-friends.”
    I stare at him blankly for a moment before saying, “You do realize that your friend killed Maggie.”
    “No, he-didn’t.”
    “Mrow,” Dr. Sparklepuss concedes.
    “Then who did?” I ask, not believing Nard for a second. I mean, I want to believe him, but there is just so much evidence against Roy.
    “This-man,” Nard says, handing me a slip of paper.
    “What’s this for?” I ask.
    “It’s-a-receipt-for-rat-poison. Don’t-you-want-to-know-how-Borislov-was-killed? Someone-bought-the-drugs-from-me.”
    “From you?”
    “Part-time-business.”
    “Well… It’s too dark. I can’t see this. Who bought the poison from you?”
    “Look-for-yourself.”
    I shake my head, turning to the side to find a candle and some matches. The room glows dimly after I light the wick, and I hold the receipt up to the light.
    Recipient: Richard Williams.
    “No,” I say. “No, no, no, no, no.” Despite the shock, I’m clinging to the vast hope that Roy is innocent after all…
    I turn around, expecting Nard to be gone, but he’s still standing there, tapping his finger pads together. When he sees the expression on my face he stops. “Why-are-you-staring-at-me-like-that?”
    “Are you trying to play a trick on me?”
    “No,” he says. “Why-would-you-think-that?”
    “Because the man you sold the poison that killed Borislov to is my husband.”

 

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