Two Halves of a Whole

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Chapter 3

I’m laughing on the outside
Crying on the inside
’ Cause I’m so in love with you

Lola’s eyes slowly opened to the music playing on her phone. It had been her alarm clock for over ten years, and somehow she still hadn’t gotten tired of it. Reaching over, her fingers pressed against the screen until the music went silent.

Sighing, Lola sat up and looked around.

“Hey ALICE-” the name of her smart house “-windows up,” she mumbled. The windows began to un-dim. “Stop,” Lola said when she found they were at the perfect brightness.

Lola picked up her phone and began to scroll through Instagram. Quickly finding nothing of value, she switched to Youtube, found a random video, and pressed play. The video began to echo throughout the house.

Walking into the kitchen, Lola pulled out leftover food and began to heat it in the microwave. She stared at the food as it slowly rotated in a circle. Sighing in annoyance, she began to pace.

Finally, the heavenly beeping sounded, and Lola retrieved her steaming hot dish. Practically throwing it on the counter, she shook her burning hands. She grabbed a fork, and just before she could eat, her phone rang.

“Answer!” Lola yelled in annoyance, knowing who was calling her. The ringtone stopped. “Hello, Captain,” Lola said as she shoved food into her mouth.

“I need you to come in.”

“Now?” The food muffled her voice.

“Yes, now.”

“Did you find anything?”

“No, we were sent something by Split.”

“Are you sure it’s Split?” She took another bite of food.

“That’s what we need your help determining.”

“But-”

“Dammit, Lola, get your ass down here and help us!” He finally lost his temper.

“Ok!” Lola responded as she held up her hands. “I’ll be there in thirty . . . maybe an hour with traffic.”

He sighed. “Ok.” His temper disappeared. “Just get here as soon as possible.”

She took another bite of food. “I will bye.” She sang out. “Hang up!” She shouted at ALICE. The phone went dead immediately after. Lola began to mumble a few select words to herself as she threw away her breakfast and walked back upstairs.

After getting dressed, she walked downstairs and stared at her key holders, trying to decide which car to use. Her fingers twitched as she reached for the keys. They moved side to side, and every time she went to pick up a key, she changed her mind. She couldn’t remember what she had driven yesterday! There was a system that she had, rotating between cars, but she couldn’t remember what she had driven! The system might be thrown off!

Her breathing increased, and her fingers twitched more.

“ALICE!” Lola yelled in a panic.

“Yes?”

“What car did I drive yesterday?!”

You drove your Black Corvette.”

Lola sighed in relief and grabbed the keys for her white Corvette, being of the same make and model as the black one.

Revving the engine, the garage slid up, and she sped away, the door closing behind her. She zipped down that hill, getting close to the yellow lines, but never going over them. She couldn’t handle passing over a solid line. A dashed line was stressful enough.

As the thought of Split sending a letter to them invaded her head, the faster she drove. It didn’t sit well with her in the slightest.

***

The tires screeched to a halt in the parking lot. As she ran into the building, the two beeps of the lock sounded behind her.

Finally, coming to a decent walking speed, she made her way over to the briefing room that was used yesterday and walked in. Thomas, the Captain, and others were gathered around a table, staring down at something.

When Lola entered, the Captain turned his head and gestured for her to walk over faster.

“What does it say?” Lola asked as the officers moved out of her way.

“It says he has plans to kill more,” Thomas mumbled. He shuffled to the side but continued to look at the note.

The note was resting in a plastic baggy. Nevertheless, Lola pulled out her gloves and put them on. She grabbed the letter and lifted it to the light, reading it.

Dear LAPD,

I hope this letter finds you well. I’m sure that you are scratching your heads trying to figure out when I’m going to kill next. While I won’t tell you the days, I will say that you’re about to become a very busy department. The most recent killing of Mark Laymen was only the beginning. If I were you I would investigate his past just a bit more . . .

Good Luck and Happy Hunting.

“Thoughts?” Thomas asked. Lola could sense the sarcasm in his voice.

“This isn’t Split.”

“What do you mean this isn’t Split?”

“I mean exactly that.” Lola looked up at him. “This is a copycat.”

“Are you sure?” the Captain asked.

Lola was quiet for a few seconds. “Give me a minute alone.” The Captain motioned with his finger for everyone to leave. Lola began to pull out her headphones. The click of the door resonated through her ears before she placed the earbuds in. She scrolled through her phone and pressed play.

I’m laughing on the outside
Crying on the inside
’ Cause I’m so in love with you

Lola grabbed the note and held it close to her chest. Breathing in, her head fell back. In her head, she began to analyze the note, what she had seen. She knew there was no possible way to enter into this person's head with a note

Smudged ink.

A bent corner.

Incorrect grammar.

Her hands roamed the papers as her eyes moved beneath her eyelids. Eventually, her eyes opened, and she slowly pulled out the headphones. Once she was standing, the door opened again.

“So?” Thomas asked.

Lola shook her head and placed her phone back into her pocket. “It’s not him . . . . We have a copycat on our hands.”

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