Things to do in Freehold

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Chapter Thirty-one:

Sue Mackenzie (Afternoon of September 10, 1994)

I sat upright in mine and Jeff’s king-size mattress, against my pillow, wrapped up in our comforter and read about the beautiful yet short-lived life of Amy Russo (née Trebec). “She moved to Manhattan at the age of eighteen and attended NYU as a theater major. In her first year, she auditioned for twelve different roles before she finally got a callback. She got pregnant before rehearsals could even begin though.”

“And you said you found that in the basement?” Jeff asked, handing me a plate of pepperoni pizza and cheesy breadsticks.”

I nodded. “It was taped to the inside of the dryer as if someone tried to hide it from the police.”

“You think it could be possible evidence?” He sat down on the edge of the bed, near my feet.

“I think it could be tampered evidence,” I explained, showing him that the last few pages had been ripped out. “Joey, or whoever put this in the dryer, did not want anyone reading her last entry.”

“I don’t get it. Why bothering hiding the diary at all if you’re just going to tear out the important pages anyway?”

“That’s what I’m trying to figure out. There’s got to be something in here worth noting, something incriminating.”

“Well, in that case, I’ll leave you to it, Dexhart,” Jeff leaned in to kiss me on the forehead as he got up to leave.

I held my pizza in one hand and the journal in the other. I couldn’t bring myself to put it down. Maybe at first, I was searching for the truth about what happened that night, but the more I read, the more fascinated I became with Amy. With her internal thoughts and commentary, her personality really shined through her writing. I’m surprised she wasn’t an aspiring author or journalist.

About twenty minutes of non-stop reading went by and I decided to get up and stretch out my legs before they started falling asleep on me. I should crack open a window while I’m at it; it’s beginning to get stuffy in here. The bedroom window had been only about five feet from from the bed and less feet from my nightstand on which I set down the open journal. As I went to open it, a sudden gust of icy air blew into the room and onto the diary’s pages, making me lose my place. Shit. Realizing this, I shut the window and quickly ran back over to the nightstand, attempting to flip back to the right entry. However, I found myself landing on an even better one: the day she reunited with Joey Grace, himself.

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