What do you mean by that?” Judy’s high pitched tone pierced the eerie silence.
Eche looked up at her and began to stammer defensively, “I-I thought it was a prank or something”.
“The words written in blood, not red ink”, Pamela emphasized as Eche frowned before nodding.
“I know the difference, Lawson”, he told her and shook his head looking perplexed. Then his look turned serious again, “I never really-”, he stopped and looked up at Judy wondering why she would conceive such a theory. “As much as I want to doubt you, I can’t. It’s just too coincidental”, he then turned to Pamela with his brows furrowed. “Only one student dies every Christmas holiday; why then are we both receiving notes?”
“That’s one question we’ll have to find the answer to and the second is who is dropping the notes?” Judy sounded composed as though she had been dying to nab the killer. Pam and Eche looked up at her and there was something she could see in their eyes; a look that told her she was really lucky. “Calm down, guys”, she immediately placed her dark palms on Pam’s lap. “Nobody can tell what this killer really has in mind”, she paused and turned to Ech and back to Pam, “What if he is actually wishing you Happy Hols and I’m the real victim?” that thought was supposed to calm them down but it suddenly caused goose bumps to break out over her own body.
Calm down, Judy.
Her voice rose as she retracted her statement quickly, “That’s not what I meant”. She then turned to Pam who had a small smile on her lips. “I love you, Pam, but I’m not the victim okay?” she pleaded as though Pam was actually the Holiday Killer.
She then turned to Eche whose head was bowed, “So what exactly do you have in mind?” she asked as he looked up at her with a questioning stare.
“I don’t understand”, he shook his head as he placed his elbows on his laps.
“Have you tried speaking to your mother?” she asked peering at him as he shook his head.
“I just told you I thought someone was playing a prank on me; I never took it seriously”.
Pam nodded. “Do you have the notes?” he shook his head as both girls sighed in frustration.
“I”ll keep further notes”, he added and turned to Pamela, “You should too”, he added and turned back to Judy. “Then when I’m finally able to convince my mother and get her to look into the case, I’ll let you guys know”, he explained and placed his palm over his forehead. “It’s going to be really hard”, he muttered with his eyes on Judy.
“Persistence is the key”, Judy advised sounding like a pro.
“Could you”, Pam paused as both pairs of eyes came to rest on her. “Could you try not to mention my name when talking about the notes?” she made it sound like a question but Eche only hissed and looked down without saying a word to her.
Judy, obviously lost, looked from one face to the other and when nobody said a word, she decided to ask. “Um, can someone tell me what’s going on?” she asked with her palms opened as Pam sighed and bent back in the seat completely ignoring her question.
Eche finally looked up at Judy who quickly turned to him with a eager eyes, “Pamela Lawson here”, he tilted his head in her direction before he continued. “Believes that my mother hates her”, his emphasis on the word, hate, was duly noted.
Pam spoke up immediately in a high-pitched tone and widened eyes. “I never used the word, hate. She doesn’t like me”, Judy placed keen eyes on Eche and her hands on her laps as the whole drama played out before her.
“Why would you just choose to believe that my mother doesn’t like you?” he rolled his eyes as he borrowed her words.
She retorted sharply with almost angry eyes. “I did not choose to believe anything; it’s just what I’ve noticed”, she then turned to Judy and pointed her index finger at her. “How can someone who likes you frown and glare at you whenever she sees you as though you killed someone dear to her?”
Judy shrugged and turned to Eche without saying a word; Eche was definitely in a sour mood. “Well maybe you did”, Eche said knowingly as he shifted his shoulders.
“At least I’m not the one who killed your father”, Pam snapped as Eche’s eyes widened.
He rose to his feet and started to speak, but Judy cut in quickly not wanting the whole drama to escalate. “That’s enough”, she stretched her words as she rose to her feet and stood between the two.
Pam began to speak in her defense almost immediately, “He started-”
“I really don’t care about that, Pam”, she paused and looked from her to Eche and back to her. “There’s probably a killer on the loose right now and whether or not Mrs. Kalu likes you is not important”, she said in a matter of fact tone and then turned to Eche. “Let’s try to be matured about this, you’ll speak to your mother and try all you can to make sure she believes you”, Judy suddenly sounded like Mr. Tunde, the disciplinarian who was always there to settle fights and let his cane have the final say.
“Okay”, Eche said rising to his feet as he glared at Pam for a second before quickly turning to Judy who stood before him. “At least, one of us is being reasonable”, he added rolling his eyes as Judy sighed and slapped her forehead.
She was far from flattered. “Alright Eche, have a nice day”, she said and turned to the wall clock; it was already 5:40pm.
Eche looked at her for a second and started to speak but closed his mouth quickly. “Goodbye Judy”, he nodded as she led him towards the front door.
He opened it and trotted out.
“Remember, persistence is the key”, she shouted after him and closed the door shut.
She exhaled loudly and finally turned to Pamela who was already getting on her feet. “Are you leaving already?” she asked with opened palms as her friend placed the throw pillow back on the sofa.
“Isn’t that obvious?” Pam asked in a haughty tone that made Judy pull her head back and scoff.
“Hey, I’m not your boyfrie-”
“He’s not my boyfriend”, she yelled obviously annoyed.
Judy put her hands in the hair, “Okay, I’m sorry. I thought he was”.
Pam hissed angrily and walked past her friend who turned to watch her open the front door.
“So what do you plan on doing until we get a positive response from your”, she held her mouth and waved her right palm in apology. “From Eche?” she corrected and let her hands get down to rest on her waist as her friend turned back to her looking puzzled.
“I don’t understand”, she shook her head and opened her palms. “What am I supposed to do?”
Judy stared at her obviously devoid of a reply. “You know, it seems to me that you’re half as scared as I am”, she explained pointing her index finger at her in an effort to ignore her question since she had no suitable reply. “You just want to go home and sit down and receive your letters?” she asked as Pam nodded knowingly and leaned on the door.
“You just stated the obvious, what else am I supposed to do?” she still had her back to the door and the tone of her voice showed how uninterested she was trying to be. “Or would you like me to sit around and try to catch the delivery guy who keeps leaving me letters?” she smirked with heavy sarcasm as Judy’s face lit up and her lips came apart.
Her voice startled Pamela, “Eureka!”
“What?” her tone was high-pitched as she stared at Judy who beamed as she approached her and stopped only a foot away.
“You’re a genius, Pamela”, she gleamed and embraced the befuddled Pam.
“I am?” she whispered as Judy released her from the hug.
“That’s just what we’ll do”, she stated raising her index finger as Pam leaned back on the door with her hands in her trouser pockets.
“Can you just get to the point?” she asked dryly with her hands on her forehead; she really wanted to leave.
Judy frowned at Pamela’s inability to share her excitement but went on nonetheless. “We’re going to keep an eye on your front door and wait for the delivery guy to come with the notes”, she chirped happily as Pam’s eyes widened in fear.
Judy noticed it and stopped smiling, “What’s the matter? We’ll finally get to see this prankster-killer”, she shook her head undecisively. “Whatever he is. Don’t you want that?” she asked calmly as Pam hesitated and then shook her head slowly.
“I don’t think I do”, her voice was low and shaky and Judy could tell she was scared. “I feel this is a prank”, she bowed her head and lowered her voice. “At least that’s what I want it to be”, she added and looked up at Judy who stared sadly at her.
“It’s okay”, she consoled in a low tone and pulled her into a warm embrace.
“I just don’t want to find out that someone really wants me dead; it’s just”, she paused and released herself from Judy. “I think the fear would kill me first”, the tears in her voice were apparent as she spoke.
“Alright”, Judy held her hands and waited for Pam to look up at her. “We’ll wait for Eche to convince his mother and then we’ll know what to do next”.
Pam bit her lips and trembled as the next words escaped her, “What if-what if it’s too late? What-what if-”
“Shh”, Judy placed her finger on her lips and rubbed Pam’s shoulder with her left hand.
“Let’s try to be positive and brave, okay? Eche will call with good news tomorrow or the day after that”, there she was sounding like the older one again.
Pam nodded and forced a smile, “Daddy will be home soon, food better be ready else I’ll have to explain why I left the workshop and still didn’t prepare dinner”.
Judy nodded and smiled, Mr. Lawson wasn’t one to meddle with. “You still have to answer to him and explain why you left without his permission”, she added as Pam took out her tongue and took it back before turning to open the door.
“Take care”, the words came out casually but she obviously realized they were meant for her and a sad countenance took over her face.
Judy had nothing to say, so she pretended not to notice and waved her goodbye when she was out the door. She then locked the door and sighed. Pam was too scared to catch the killer in the act.
Well, she was not and it was going to be her duty to catch him the next day.
Written by M. E. N.
For more stories, visit Tales By M. E. N.
Facebook: Tales By Mimi