Summary: I didn’t mean to eavesdrop, but…
Disclaimer: This story is, to my knowledge, not based on real events, all persons appearing in this story are fictitious. Any resemblance to real people, living or dead, is entirely coincidental.
I could feel someone sit down behind me in the train. And then a second person, a heavier person by the sound of it, joins the first one. I sigh. It had been calm this far. The last thing I need are other people around me. I quickly go through my pockets for my MP3-player, hoping that it isn’t somewhere in my stuffed handbag. I’m lucky. I put in the earplugs. Damn. Battery dead.
“But, Maggie, Can’t you think of any other solution?” One voice behind me says. The voice is soft and musical.
“No, Brenda. I’m sorry, it has to be done as I just explained to you.” Maggie’s voice is harsher, more demanding. Someone who takes charge. I look if I can see their reflection in the windows of the train to get a look at them, but the window distorts the image too much.
“But…” Brenda’s voice is soft.
“Bren! You promised! You said you’d back me up! Now, please, please, don’t change your mind.”
“I’m a terrible liar.”
“I know. Which is why I want you to stick to our well-rehearsed storyline….” Maggie points out. I should feel awkward, I suppose, I’m not really someone to eavesdrop on other people, but I have read the Agatha Christy pocket-book, that I brought with me, before and I already know ‘who-done-it’.
And Maggie and Brenda speak French to each other instead of English. They obviously want to keep their conversation as private as possible, not knowing that I happen to accidentally speak French. Well, perhaps not THAT accidentally considering that my dad was French, but still….
“Bren, if anyone asks, all you have to do is tell them that you were home on Tuesday and that I was with you that night. That is all.”
“I’m scared. I hate lying.”
“I know. I’m scared too.” Maggie admits. “… but I need to do this.”
“Perhaps if you would talk to your father once again?” Brenda asks.
“Pointless. I’m starting to think that he doesn’t want me to be happy. If he finds out that I want to leave, he’ll cut me off of everything. Home, money, phones, jewelry… I’d be lost. You CAN see that, can’t you?” Maggie sounds desperate. Brenda doesn’t answer.
“So, you know what to say, right? We were together, the whole evening, watching DVDs. A marathon of ….
“… Friends… We laughed a lot, and….”
“… we ate….”
“And we drank…”
“… a lot of red wine….
“.. and then...”
“.. I didn’t think it would be good for you to drive, so you stayed at my place and slept with me. In my bed.” Brenda goes quickly through the story, as if she has rehearsed it to death.
“We’ve been friends since forever, so it will not surprise anyone.” Maggie says. “And, remember, if anyone calls…”
“… I’m to write down the time and name of the person who called, so that our stories match….”
“Good girl. You have nothing to be worried about. I’ll take care of everything. …. You know that I love you, right?”
“I know.” Brenda’s answer isn’t too convincing and the rest of it gets lost as the next station is called. “We have to get out here.”
A kick in my back tells me that they’re about to leave and I’m curious what they look like, but so many people get off the train and I have no clue who Brenda and Maggie could be.
I smile. How often had I not covered for my best friend, whenever she had wanted to go on a date with one of the boyfriends that her father categorically forbade her to see. Oh, those were the days. With sweat in my hands, I would pray that Esmeralda’s father would not call me and ask to speak to her. He never did. He trusted me. He would never trust his own daughter, but he trusted me. It was such a weird feeling. Even now, it still makes me feel uncomfortable. I pick up my phone and text to Esmeralda:
“Hey, Es, want to meet up behind you dad’s back.”
“?” Esmeralda is a woman of few words.
“Just overheard 2 girls. 1 trying to meet up with boyfriend behind daddy’s back, I think.”
“:) Call you when I get home.” I smile at her answer and put my phone away.
Three days later an article in the gossip-pages of the news-paper catches my eye.
“As we all know, two days ago, Paul Gerards, miljonair filmproducer, was brutally murdered in his home in London. He was stabbed to death after supposedly surprising a burglar, who was in his house.
An anonymous source informs us however that the police is not sure about this scenario. The police has reason to believe that Paul knew his attacker and actually let him or her in. No further details could be given on the exact reasons for this supposition.
Paul’s death was a blow to many of his friends. He was known as a kind and generous man, who was known for his philanthropy and his love for vintage cars.
He’s survived by his daughter, Margareta, who was not with her father that night. She was lucky to have escaped any attacks on her person. Well informed sources have told us that she spent the night with her best friend, Brenda Williams.”