Davies takes it upon himself to veer off the details for a bit, much to my relief. “Was Bryan drinking that night?”
I sigh but nod. “He was.” Being honest doesn’t always work in your favor.
Davies is quiet for a moment as if thinking about something. “Is it not possible that he got drunk and—”
I shake my head. “Absolutely not.”
Davies nods at me but he’s nowhere near done. “You’re your mother’s girl; I’m sure you know that stabbing is a very personal way to murder someone. We’ve found that when a victim has been stabbed, nine out of ten times, it was by someone the victim knew well.”
He’s not wrong.
Wilson speaks up again, “To your knowledge, was Bryan close to Liz?”
I shift in unease and avert my gaze to the floor before mumbling out my answer, “They were acquaintances, as was I with Liz.”
“So,” Davies leans forward, “there were no romantic relations between the two of them? None that you know of?”
I know where this is going.
Seeing it as my only option, I blatantly lie, “No. None that I know of.” If I tell the truth, they’ll twist the story.
My mother angles her head to the side, giving me a knowing look, before pressing for more information. “Jane mentioned that they were romantically involved. I find it strange that you wouldn’t know of their relationship, I mean, considering how close you are with Bry—”
I raise my brows at her.
She catches herself, “Mr. Parr.”
“Jane told me about it – I just found out,” I decide to confess. “Bryan never mentioned it to me.”
“Why would he not?” Davies asks. “Unless he already knew….”
I finish his sentence for him, “…what he was going to do?”
“Bryan Parr was arrested on probable cause. Let’s not forget that,” I remind him, failing to hide my irritation. “It’s the only reason he’s a person of interest right now. If you want to say that he’s guilty without a doubt, then the judge, the jury, and I are going to need more concrete and irrefutable evidence.”
“I just want you to understand why this case has struck a chord with so many people. The brutality of it astonishes me and I’ve been a detective for many years now. I didn’t think anything could still surprise me,” Davies tells me, almost apologetic.
“I’m sure she realizes just how tragic this is,” Anne retorts.
“We understand where you’re coming from,” Wilson sympathizes with me, more understanding than his partner. “We’re still waiting for autopsy results and fingerprint analysis, among other things.”
“So,” I question, inquisitive, “at the moment, the only thing you have on Bryan is the name written in blood?”
Anne shakes her head. “We have his name, yes, but we also have a confession and more than one witness who claimed to have seen him last with Liz. And now we have a connection…they were seeing each other. This gives us a motive, especially considering Bryan’s violent history – your sister, among others, have mentioned the fights he’s been in throughout high school and college.”
Bryan has never shown that side of himself to me.
My shoulders sag in defeat and I can’t help but feel deflated under all the fingers pointing at my friend.
“We can place him at the crime scene thanks to several witness accounts,” Davies adds. “All in all, we have a motive, a direct confession, and him at the scene. We’re so close to putting an end to this case.”
I suck in a deep breath, summoning up the courage to say what I need to say. “I feel that the team that’s been assigned to this case are so sure that Bryan is guilty, that they haven’t even bothered to look at other people. I feel that poor, if any, detective work is being done.”
My mother shakes her head at me in disappointment. “You’re my daughter but we’re here to cover all our bases. Why do you think we came to see you?”
My mouth falls agape as it dawns on me. My heart immediately begins to palpitate madly in my chest and for a split second, time seems to freeze.
“You think I have something to do with all of this?” I eventually ask.
“We’re not saying that,” Anne tells me. “But you are the closest to him, even before his family.”
Apparently not. Bryan never told me anything of value.
“After Bryan, you’d have to be the next main person of interest,” Wilson informs me, remaining calm.
My mother sees my shock. “This is not personal, Mary. We’re just doing our jobs. It will look as if we’re neglecting the case if we don’t look to you. We need to look to you so that we can clear your name.”
I feel my eyes glisten over with fresh tears. I feel a tear trace my cheek and reach up to wipe it away, refusing to show even a slither of weakness.
Anne sees your expression and her gaze falters. “Mary…”
Unbelieving, I struggle for words. “I always thought you were a horrible mother because you were too busy with work to focus on your own children. I thought you were a terrible mother because you separated Jane and me after the divorce. I thought you were awful because you sent me away to live with Derek. But…I just never thought you’d do this to me. I never thought that you’d pin something as heinous as this on me. Is that how low you think of me now?”
I’m not inhuman.
Anne’s silence speaks louder than words.
“And what would my motive be?” I ask the three of them.
“Your best friend getting close to someone who isn’t you,” Davies answers me.
I frown but keep my composure. “So, jealousy?”
Davies stares into my eyes as if searching for something there. “Perhaps,” he answers truthfully. “Did you ever…?”
He hesitates and I know exactly why.
“Did you ever…or have you ever taken your friendship with Mr. Parr one step further?” Davies manages to finally ask me the question everyone is probably wondering about.
They’re only being this informal because of my mother. I’m sure they’d be more professional if I were not related to anyone assigned to the case.
“No,” I answer bluntly. “I grew up with Bryan. He’s always been my best friend but that’s it. That’s as far as it goes and as far as it will ever go.”
“Are you sure?” Davies asks me again and suddenly; I feel like he’s accusing me of a larger role other than just being the friend of a possible murderer.
Surprisingly, my mother interrupts before I can answer him, “She already answered you, Sam. No one’s accusing anyone of anything. We’re just trying to get as much as information as possible.”
“Anne,” Davies argues, “she’s your daughter. You’re great at your job but I feel this one hits too close to home for you.”
“Stop being impudent,” Anne reprimands him. “We can discuss that in private.” After giving Davies a firm look, she turns her gaze onto me. “Thanks for your help, Mary. I’ll keep you updated on any new findings.”