فصل 16کتاب: دو نفر میتوانند رازنگهدار باشند / فصل 16
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متن انگلیسی فصل
SUNDAY, SEPTEMBER 29
I don’t realize it’s déjà vu until I’m in the middle of it.
When I wander into the kitchen Sunday morning, it doesn’t strike me as strange at first that Officer McNulty is sitting at our kitchen island. He and Peter are both on the town council, so I figure they’re probably talking stoplights again. Even though it’s barely eight-thirty in the morning, and even though Officer McNulty is listening with a surprising amount of interest to Katrin’s long-winded description of her date with Theo last night.
My mother is fluttering around the kitchen, trying to fill cups of coffee that people haven’t emptied yet. Officer McNulty lets her top his off, then asks, “So you didn’t see Brooke at all last night? She didn’t call you or text you at any point in the evening?” “She texted to see if I was coming to the party. But I wasn’t.”
“And what time was that?”
Katrin scrunches her face up, thinking. “Around … ten, maybe?”
“Could I see your phone, please.”
The official tone of the request makes my skin prickle. I’ve heard it before. “Is something going on with Brooke?” I ask.
Peter rubs a hand over his unshaven jaw. “Apparently she wasn’t in her room this morning, and it looks as though her bed wasn’t slept in. Her parents haven’t seen her since she left for work last night, and she’s not answering her phone.” My throat closes and my palms start to sweat. “She’s not?”
Officer McNulty hands Katrin’s phone back to her just as it buzzes. She looks down, reads the message that’s popped up on her screen, and pales. “It’s from Viv,” she says, her voice suddenly shaky. “She says she lost track of Brooke at the party and hasn’t talked to her since.” Katrin bites her lower lip and shoves the phone at Officer McNulty, like maybe he can make the text say something different. “I really thought they’d be together. Brooke stays over after work sometimes because Viv’s house is closer.” Dread starts inching up my spine. No. This can’t be happening.
Mom sets down the coffeepot and turns toward me. “Malcolm, you didn’t happen to see Brooke when you picked the twins up, did you?” Officer McNulty looks up. “You were at Fright Farm last night, Malcolm?” Shit. Shit. Shit.
“Just to give the Corcoran twins a ride home,” Mom says quickly. But not as though she’s really worried that I’m going to get into trouble.
My stomach twists. She has no idea.
Officer McNulty rests his forearms on the kitchen island’s shiny, swirling black marble. “Did you happen to see Brooke while you were there?” His tone is interested, but not intense like it was when he interrogated Declan.
Five years ago we were in a different kitchen: our tiny ranch, two miles from here. My dad glowered in a corner and my mother twisted her hands together while Declan sat at the table across from Officer McNulty and repeated the same things over and over again. I haven’t seen Lacey in two days. I don’t know what she was doing that night. I was out driving.
Just driving. I do that sometimes.
Was anybody with you?
Did you call anybody? Text anybody?
So you just drove by yourself for—what? Two, three hours?
Lacey was dead by then. Not just missing. Workers found her body in the park before her parents even knew she hadn’t come home. I sat in the living room while Officer McNulty fired questions at Declan, my eyes glued to a television program I wasn’t watching. I never went into the kitchen. Never said a word. Because none of it involved me, not really, except for the part where it became this slowly burning fuse that eventually blew my family apart.
“I …” I’m taking too long to answer. I scan the faces around me like they’ll give me some clue how to respond, but all I can see are the same expressions they always wear whenever I start to talk: Mom looks attentive, Katrin exasperated, and Peter is all patient forbearance marred only by a slight nostril flare. Officer McNulty scratches a note on the pad in front of him, then flicks his eyes toward me in a cursory, almost lazy way. Until he sees something in my face that makes him tense, like he’s a cat batting at a toy that suddenly came to life. He leans forward, his blue-gray eyes locked on mine.
“Do you have something to tell us, Malcolm?” he asks.
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