Chapter 10: Broken Deceptions
Chapter 10: Broken Deceptions
After the mine incident, I received another harsh blow from life, I was fired. Charles left the Fun Land office and took the unconscious Alice to the city, so her usual doctor wouldn't have to travel to Mineral Town for her check ups. He wanted her near him where he could personally guard her, but there was no longer a reason for him to stay in Mineral Town. He had lost hope in the investigation and declared it all a failure; he had declared me a failure. He was proper and polite in the coldest way about firing me, but I saw the disappointment in his eyes. He thought I was incompetent; I got his hopes up for nothing.
Because of the importance of this case, I wasn't just fired from the investigation; I was fired from my job as a detective. I didn't want to return to the city though, to my relatives who would switch from being consoling to scolding with rapid mood swings and always in the extremes. I decided to stay in Mineral Town and finish my case. I no longer had a badge, but I still had a gun and the permit to wield it, and that I would when I found the culprit. After all the trouble I've been through, I'll enjoy jailing him.
Skye invited me to stay at the Snack Shack and I did. I wanted to be there for him anyway. I didn't want him moving around more than needed while he was still recovering. Thus began a new saga in my life. Fall ended and gave way to winter. I was actually enjoying my life with Skye, managing the Snack Shack. He recovered rather quickly and by late winter he was back to normal with his feline agility intact. Skye and I continued becoming closer during that time and Popuri would tease me saying that we looked like newlyweds.
Though the town still laments the departure of the Harvest Goddess now and then, they had somehow managed to carry on without her. The case is always on the back of my mind, constantly plaguing my worries and reminding me of my unfinished business. In such a way, winter rolled around and gave way to spring before I knew it. It was during mid spring that Skye started insisting that we left Mineral Town. He claimed to be tired of it and wanted to see the city where I was from. With the help of portable technology to make this place more civilized and convenient, I had gotten used to living in the quiet town in the middle of no where and didn't feel like going back to the city.
Skye was rather adamant about this, like he had never been before. Every day, he would ask me again to go to the city and assure me that we would have fun. I wondered if it was his adventurous side catching up to him after staying in one place for too long. I could somehow tell that there was a part of him, a big part, that enjoyed the trill of adventure and perhaps the trill of risks. Mineral Town was too quiet, too stable, too predictable. As late spring came by, I was just about ready to leave, though Popuri insisted that we stay at least during the first week of summer. I agreed with her and encouraged Skye, after all, as far as we knew, he was good friends with Kai and should want to see him again.
Summer and the arrival of Kai were only a few days away when Skye arrive with a particular gift for me. He had gone off to the supermarket for supplies, while I got a few things ready to tend to the customers that have become our regulars. He put the supplies away while making conversation, though the topic wasn't as light as usual. "Will you always stay with me no matter what?"
"Of course I will, Skye." I answered lightly at first. He was still a flirt, he said things like that now and then, it could be sweet.
Yet this time there was a serious edge to his voice as he repeated, "no matter what?" And cupped the side of my face in his hand to make me look at him.
"Yes," I assured, wondering what could merit such a tone. He couldn't possibly be jealous. Even with his suave ways not even I was jealous of the light compliments and charming smiles he gave everyone in town, after I realized that it wouldn't escalate beyond that. He gave me the center of his attention and he was always there. I was always with him, so why did he sound so unsure?
"What if I had done something terrible?" I didn't know where he was going with all of this, but his serious expression was certainly unusual on his face.
"Like what?" I inquired.
"Like something I didn't intend to do but did anyway." His explanation was vague at best.
"Like an accident?" I prompted and he nodded, though his eyes told me there was more to it than that. "Well, if it's an accident then it's not really your fault. Relax, everyone makes mistakes. You can't live in the past all the time. If there's a lesson life has taught me well, is that sometimes you have to let go of the past and leave it all behind to find happiness." Perhaps Skye was right about leaving. Maybe he saw how stressed I was about the case. It's a case that was already cold when I got it. It's forever frozen now and I'm no longer a detective anyway. I can't solve this; no one can, except maybe Alice, but she's unconscious. She's the only one who holds the answers. "Skye... I want to forget about the case, about my old city, about all of it. Let's go to a new city far away, or maybe even a new town in the middle of a different no where. Maybe we can check out the islands."
Skye smiled at my suggestion and sudden eagerness. "Yes, let's leave right away, my princess. Let's leave everything behind and run away together!"
I giggled. "Let's not get carried away. We did tell Popuri we would wait for Kai," or more like I told her. "Besides, he's the one that let you borrow this place, without which, we wouldn't have survived here for all these past seasons. The least we can do is thank him in person before we leave."
"Oh, I'm sure he would understand," Skye insisted, he pulled out something blue out of his pocket and my counter argument froze in my throat. "Run away with me, fair maiden."
I stared at the blue feather that Skye placed in my hand. I knew enough about Mineral Town's traditions to know what it meant. "Skye..."
The look in his eyes told me it wasn't a joke. "Would you...?"
I leapt into his arms, "yes!" One minute I was bursting with happiness and the next my whole world was crashing down on me.
The door to the Snack Shack opened and footsteps ventured in past the counter and to the kitchen where we were. The leader of the new arrivals was a silver haired woman with enraged emerald eyes. She pointed angrily at Skye shouting, "there he is!" A doctor fussed around in the background telling her she shouldn't be walking so much so fast and should return to rehabilitation. She silenced him with a sharp, "I can walk just fine!" And a stomping of the foot.
While the scene was unfolding, the two police officers, that accompanied Alice along with Charles and the doctor, pounced on Skye and me. "What's the meaning of this?" I demanded to know. They were arresting us, but why?
"This man is being accused of attempted murder and you are being accused of covering for him," Alice scolded. And here I thought Charles' glares were intense. No wonder he fell for this girl, only a spirit like hers could tame him.
"Attempted murder?" I babbled in confusion, while the officers informed me that I had the right to remain silent.
"It was an accident!" Skye argued.
"Quiet," Alice growled, then turned her back to us, exiting the Snack Shack. "No judge will believe you." She looked back inside from the doorway, "I hope you're ready to rot in jail."
xoxox xox xoxox
Everything was a blur, a horrible blur right out of a nightmare. We were taken to the city and interrogated. I don't know how long passed, but it was days before they determined I had been tricked and let me go. I didn't want to stay in the city and I didn't know where to go, so I returned to Mineral Town. I didn't see Skye before leaving and it was better that way because if I saw that rotten liar ever again, then the police would have a real reason to arrest me, his murder.
I was received with open arms in Mineral Town, which took me by surprise. They saw me as a victim and were glad to finally be able to assign a name and face to the mysterious criminal that made life long friends and neighbors doubt each other in silence. They were all too pleased to say terrible things about Skye, and I was all too eager to wish him eternal misery. My life was in pieces and I felt completely lost. I didn't know how to start over. I didn't know what to do. Thus I went to the library and tried to find a distraction to clear my head. Maybe Mary had some manga or something that I could look through.
xoxox xox xoxox
'All the world's a stage and all the men and women merely players. They have their exits and their entrances, and one man in his time plays many parts...' Did Mr. Shakespeare ever say it like it is. Skye was a vile actor. I should have known; he has the face of a Hollywood star after all, a face that I want to pound into a bloody mess. It was the start of summer now and it turns out that Kai and Skye weren't even friends. Kai didn't even know that Skye had invaded his property.
I was staying at the inn now, Ann and Doug invited me to stay for free. I huffed and pushed the book away across the library table. Mary sat shifting uncomfortably across from me with a very worried look. She sighed; Gray had mentioned that poor Mary was really stressed about all this, though the attention of the town was still on me and also on Rick. They had thought he was somehow involved in the mess because of how stressed and angry he had been about Fun Land. Now he was getting a lot of silent apologies for all the suspicious look and secretive accusations.
Mary finally looks up the thick book she had been staring at, not reading, for the past fifteen minutes or so. "I have a terrible confession to make."
Talk about unexpected things to say. Though with how horrible my life was going, I thought nothing could shock me. "I doubt it's all that bad."
"It is," Mary looked like she was about to cry. "Skye... he... I knew about him and I didn't tell you. I was afraid of getting into trouble." A few tears escaped her as she tried hard to tell the story in a semi-composed way.
"What?" I snapped in shock. I thought nothing could surprise me now, but I was wrong. "What do you mean you were afraid of getting into trouble?"
"Skye is a thief from Forget Me Not, I hired him to rob Alice and scare her off," Mary confessed regretfully. "It was stupid really, it wouldn't have worked anyway. I managed to convince him by paying him plenty and he tried to give Alice a scare. It wasn't his usual thing, but the money was too tempting for him to refuse. He was only trying to scare her, but Alice went on the attack and tried to throw him off the bridge for daring to attempt to rob her. You should have seen him all scratched up and covered in bruises, desperate and scared as he told me the story, I could tell he wasn't lying. When he tried to push her away to escape, they were on the edge of the bridge; she lost her balance and fell. He didn't mean for it to happen and he did bring her to the clinic. He called to the Harvest Goddess and when she appeared, he left Alice in her care and escaped, but not even the Harvest Goddess could wake her. Perhaps the goddess left out of frustration because she couldn't help Alice."
To be Continued
Intense, no? :o