“When you look into the mirror,
You see your mask.
But when you look into your eyes,
You see your soul.”
Claire looks grimly at the huge bungalow shining in the moonlight. Its green paint does a very great job at reflecting the light giving a full view of its structure to the people who stare at it with awe. The lake reflects the night sky beautifully, radiating hope and energy in the atmosphere.
“Looks can be deceiving.” She hears someone speak to her. She turns and finds a middle-aged man staring blankly at the bungalow.
Claire releases the breath that she didn’t realise she was holding. She smiles weakly at the man, agreeing with him. The man is in a very expensive suit and the way his tie is tucked to his shirt’s collar describes the domination radiating off him. Fear circulates in her veins and she steps back from him.
“I didn’t mean to scare you, Miss. I’m Jameson Hamilton, the very unfortunate owner of this property.” The man speaks extending his arm. She looks at his hand like it’s filled with thorns. She expected him to fix his tie and scold her to trespassing.
Awkwardly, she shakes hands with him and apologises, “I am very sorry. I wasn’t trespassing your property.”
The man, Mr Hamilton, smiles at her apology that seems quite genuine but as he said, looks can be deceiving.
“Oh, don’t worry. It’s been a long time since young blood breathed inside these boundaries.” He reassures her and grief covers his expression.
Knowing nothing to console him, she decides to introduce herself. “I’m a senior police officer, Claire Green and I wanted to ask you some questions regarding the case of Mayra West’s murder. I hope you don’t mind.”
“Enquiry? At this very hour officer? I suspect it’s something very important. But I would be more than happy to help you. You are very welcome at my house. Let’s go inside and talk, shall we?”
He smiles and Claire stares at him, shocked at his cooperation at his son’s murderer’s case. If only you knew she killed your son. Claire thinks and mentally accuses Mayra of breaking this poor man.
Claire follows Mr Hamilton like a puppy and looks around as they walk to the bungalow. The garden is very tenderly maintained with the green grass flowing in the cool night breeze. The lake in the far corner of the garden seems to be the centre of attraction, reflecting the ethereal beauty of the moon and the sky. The cosmos begging it to draw the entire universe.
Everything seemed so beautiful that she can’t understand why Mr Hamilton called it a delusion.
“If you knew it is a mirage, then you wouldn’t fall for it.” Mr Hamilton speaks out of the blue and she looks at him puzzled. Carrying his usual smile, he replies. “You thought out loud.”
Claire smiled at the man and suddenly she looks directly into his eyes. For a moment, she sees the ghost of his inner soul, the one that is crying, filled with the agony of losing his son. But then, he quickly covers up.
“Just an advice Miss Green, Don’t let anyone look into your eyes.” Mr Hamilton speaks loosening his tie.
“And why so?” She asks amused, thinking he just complimented her.
“Because when they look at your face, they see the mask. But when they look into your eyes, they see your soul.”
Hearing this, she stands there dumbfounded. Staring at the back of the man who just told her something very special.
The interior of the bungalow is equally beautiful with the mahogany furniture and antique pieces decorating the front room. Mr Hamilton asks Claire to sit on the sofa while he turned to give his car keys to a servant.
“Lily!” He yells, looking at the stairs. Claire turns her head to take a view of her and she sees a very beautiful yet short woman descending the spiral stairs. She has brown hair, green eyes and a contagious smile.
When she walked over to Mr Hamilton, he introduced her to Claire, telling the purpose of her visit.
“Make yourself comfortable dear.” Mrs Hamilton, Lily, insists.
Claire forces a weak smile and shifts in her place awkwardly. Lily asks her if she wants some drink or snacks to which Claire hastily denies.
“Um...” Claire clears her throat but nothing comes out. She hates to bring the topic of their deceased son’s murderer who’s dead now too. Maybe they killed Mayra to revenge their son’s death?
“Do you know about the famous journalist Mayra West?” Claire asks slowly starting her enquiry.
“Yes.” Mr Hamilton sharply replies, which is a contrast to his smiling face.
“Do you know that she-” Claire begins but couldn’t help herself to bring out the topic when she noticed unshed tears in Lily’s eyes.
“That she killed our son? Then yes.” Mr Hamilton replies with the same tone. He notices his wife’s silent breakdown and reaches over to calm her down.
“I’m very sorry Mr And Mrs Hamilton. I hate to bring this topic but someone’s life is at the stake.” Claire pleads to which Mrs Hamilton gets bewildered.
“Oh, that witch had trapped a prey even at her death. Wow!” She accuses Mayra with venom oozing out her tongue.
“Okay, so why have you come to us? What do you want?” Mr Hamilton speaks for the first time in a business tone.
“I want you to tell me everything you know about Mayra and Keil. " Claire says, quickly biting her lip.
Mr Hamilton begins to speak but Mrs Hamilton stops him, saying she wants to be the one to narrate. She takes a deep breath and Claire leans in curiously and anxiously.
With a far look, she continues,
“We used to think that Keil and Mayra were a great couple. But they weren’t actually, of course. Mayra just manipulated my son to get whatever she wanted. And when Keil asked her for marriage, she quickly denied the offer.
Keil was broken at her sudden rudeness. But he didn’t say anything. Whenever he asked her about commitment and family, she changed the subject.
One day, the matter got out of our hands. They had a very heated argument. Mayra broke up and Keil dashed out of the house in his car.
He got in an accident. And you know what was the first thing in his mind when he woke up in the hospital? It was Mayra. He got panicked to see her. We tried calling her but she didn’t receive our calls.
I knew that girl was fake but Keil was head over heels for her. He wasn’t ready to accept that she used him. Aggressive man that he was, he pulled out his IVs and went to find her.
Jameson offered to drive him and Keil couldn’t refuse as he was very weak. Mayra was at her home, chilling with her friends. Keil got ecstatic to see her but Mayra made a fuss.
He pleaded her, the boy who never bowed pleaded! He apologised a zillion times but she didn’t listen. And then finally, he asked her if she ever loved him. She said no and laughed over him.
With one last ‘Sorry’, Keil came back. We thought he was heartbroken and weak, so we left him alone. But if we knew it would cost us our son, we would never do that.
We thought he would get over it in a few days and slept peacefully when our son cried his heart out and breathed his last breath.
The next morning, we found out his suicide note and a dead body. He had cut his wrist! For whom? For the great Mayra West!
My son, the great Actor Keil Hamilton, the boy who never lost or bowed, died in pity. Just for her.
But it wasn’t the end of our agony. Next day, his biological mother, my husband’s first wife barged into our house and accused my husband of domestic violence.
Keil’s sister, Sylvia Hamilton started taking drugs in the grief of her demised brother and was sent to a rehab.
My family was broken and I couldn’t do anything. I wasn’t Jameson’s first love, but only Jesus knows how much I love him! I wasn’t Keil’s and Sylvia’s biological mother but Lord knows how much I loved them!
I’m a failure. I’m not a good mother.”
Mrs Hamilton starts crying and finally breaks down completely. Jameson tries consoling her, but it was all vain since he was crying too.
Claire wanted to say something to help this poor couple but no words were forming in her mind. Tears were flowing down her own cheeks and she couldn’t help but pity them.
After what seemed like hours, they collected themselves. Lily is sitting on the sofa with her head resting on her husband’s shoulder.
“I’m sorry.” Lily, Mrs Hamilton, apologises.
Claire shakes her head. “It’s okay. Actually, I am sorry for bringing this topic up.”
“We understand the officer. We want to save the kid. Who is he by the way?” Mr Hamilton speaks in his normal tranquil voice.
“Aron Brown.” She replies to which he nods. Claire suddenly remembers something and asks, “Keil’s biological mother was enraged at his suicide. Maybe she has killed Mayra for revenge?”
“That could be possible. That woman is very sweet if she wants but when her mask is blown, her true devil gets exposed.” Mr Hamilton speaks.
“Okay. So who she is?” She asks excitedly about the revelation.
Mr Hamilton forces a weak smile at his wife and tightens his grip around her waist. Sighing, he replies, “Josephine Root.”
Speechless, aren’t we?