Me, Detective?

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Chapter 2

Contrary to popular (and reasonable) belief, Emma wasn’t looking forward to her graduation. Instead of counting down the days with excitement, she did so with such gloom that it expanded from the calendar hanging in her room to the rest of the house. When she told us of her feelings of dread, we were all left with our jaws hanging on the ground.

This just didn’t make sense; Emma was a stellar student who had been accepted to every. single. school she had applied to, financial aid included. She was one of the most studious people I knew, and I thought she would be excited to take her education to the next level. In the face of our incredulity, she made no clarifications and simply retreated back to her room, where she would spend most of her time for the next few weeks until the big day.

Mom and Dad seemed to forget about this strange event almost immediately, but I just couldn’t let go of it. My big sister Emma who had never complained about anything, ever, and who faced adversity with a bright smile and confidence strong enough to bring down the biggest of obstacles, and who was about to experience the happiest day in any high schooler’s life, had suddenly turned into a whiny wimp.

Something was very wrong.

I ran upstairs to confront her about it, but by the time I was banging on her neon pink door, making all the medals shake and jump, she had already locked herself in her world of misery and despair.

She refused to go to school the next day, which turned into the next week, which turned into the next few weeks, which brings us to the day it all went to hell: prom night.

Emma had never, in her entire high school career, missed a single school-sponsored event, and she had attended prom every year since her freshman year by somehow always managing to catch the eye of an upperclassman. She had that je ne sais quoi about her that just drew you to her, like a moth to the flame. It was impossible to meet Emma and walk away with a bad impression. She made the vermin feel like kings and the kings feel like emperors.

So the fact that she was refusing to go to prom at the last minute, leaving her date and friends hanging, after careful purchases and planning, was unthinkable. This, I wasn’t taking.

I went to the garage, where we keep the few tools our family of unskilled builders can handle and grabbed the biggest hammer I could find, which really wasn’t that big. What Emma needed was a good, hard wake- up call to bring her out of this zombie state she was in. And luckily, I was here to deliver.

As I paraded back upstairs, passing a shocked crowd of parents and friends of Emma’s, I began planning the speech that would follow my glorious break in to what I had recently nicknamed "The Room of Doom." I know, you don’t have to say it, next poet of the century here. But this isn’t about me. Yet.

This is about Emma, who was about to get the scolding/inspirational/sisterly talk she so desperately needed.

When I finally reached the top of the stairs, which, let me tell you, when you’re holding a somewhat heavy hammer and have the strength of a bee who has just stung someone and is dying as it loses its sting to the sweaty and slippery surface of human skin... ANYWAYS, what I'm trying to say is that it was quite a feat.

I took a step back, lifted the instrument of destruction as high above my head as I could, and swung down with all the strength I could muster (which was not much). Nevertheless, it got the job done. Through the fist-sized hole that now graced Emma’s bedroom door, I could just make out my big sister sitting in a heap on the floor, hands braced over her still-flawless hair.

"You could’ve just knocked, you know."

Despite how angry I had been at her these past few weeks, and how selfish she was being in skipping prom, the ridiculousness of the situation suddenly washed over us as our eyes caught each other in the midst of the white and pink powder that now floated in the room. I barely had enough time to drop the hammer far away from my delicate feet before we were both rolling on the floor with laughter, clutching our stomachs and gasping for air.

"You actually...", Emma wheezed out.

"Grabbed a ha- ha- ham..."

She snorted that last part, which just sent us into an even more violent fit of giggles.

By that time, our parents had made it to the hallway and were standing in the doorway staring at their two daughters who had apparently gone bonkers.

"Emma, Hailey, what is all this about?", asked Mom in her ever-peaceful tone.

"What I want to know is why the hell you just took a hammer to your sister’s door! », yelled Dad in a not-so-peaceful tone.

"It’s nothing, Mom. And Dad, Hailey just did what I asked her to, it’s all my fault."

Sweet, sweet Emma. Even at her worst, she was taking the blame for others, sacrificing herself for something that in no way would benefit her. It did seem to shut Dad up, however, and I guess that’s what happens when your angel child says she asked your devil child to break down her door.

With a hammer.

"Oh... ok, then. I guess... I guess we’ll be downstairs, then. Let us know if you need anything else, honey," said mom, looking at Emma with confusion. Dad was still too shocked to say anything, so she just ushered him downstairs where Emma’s cohort was still waiting expectantly. The fact that none of them had run off screaming for their lives just proved the extent of the hypnotic powers my sister has on them. But I needed them gone if my plan had any chance of working. I turned around and grabbed the hammer off its spot in Emma’s laundry basket where it had fallen. I walked over to the banister, looked down threateningly at her friends, and lifting the hammer once again I screamed,

"Out! All of you out, or you’re next!"

Not even Emma’s best smile could have kept those sissies from fleeing.

With Emma finally to myself, I turned to my big sister, and with unusual gravity said the words I knew she had been dreading.

"We need to talk."

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