M L Gammella’s Picture Choice: 2
Title: Another When Part 7
I stared at the two names on the list, John and Roger ... two people that I thought I knew. Could one of them really had been a party to what happened to me? They seemed like just normal guys at the office, even if they did immediately turn their backs on me when I was arrested.
The questions that had been swirling through my head over the past several days became shrieks in my head ... except the questions had names. What did John and Roger have against me?
Scratching my head, I tried to remember as much as I could about them. John was married, but Roger wasn't at the time of Margaret's death. Roger didn't even have a girlfriend. He had mentioned a few ladies that he was "friends" with a few times but the married men of the office just rolled their eyes.
Quickly, I wrote down as much information about Roger that I could, and wished more than anything that I had access to the kind of technology that was available in my real time. It would be so much easier if I could just punch in some words on my computer and have my search results pull up.
When I couldn't think of anything further, I looked down at the page and was disappointed with the paper being only half full. This was not enough information, not by far. I needed to scope him out, John too eventually, but I had a stronger feeling about Roger.
I vaguely remembered where Roger lived, but I couldn't waste time wandering around aimlessly while trying to find it. Hoping that the hotel still had them in suite, I yanked open the desk drawer and found a phone book.
I flipped through the pages until I got to the "C" section and ran my finger down the lines until Roger Clemente's name crossed my finger. I scribbled his address down on the same paper I was using earlier and rushed out of the hotel room. His street wasn't far from the hotel.
It was time to see what ol' Roger had been up to and what his part was in my wife's death.
Roger's neighborhood was very similar to mine, modest but well-tended homes with flowers and sedans around. It wasn't even lunch time yet so children were still in school and many people were at work. This would be a perfect time to try to see what I could find out about him.
I walked casually through the neighborhood, looking for housewives or any one else that were home that would see me. Thankfully, it appeared that Roger's immediate neighbors were gone for the day, either at work or the store. I honestly didn't care, just glad for my small bit of fortune.
This was back in a day when people didn't always lock their doors. I hoped that Roger was one of those people. The front door was locked, which didn't surprise me. The property had a privacy fence that was connected to the house. This would also help me, provided that the gate wasn't locked.
I didn't bat an eyelash as I strolled through the gate, acting like I was familiar with the place and above suspicion. As I stood by the backdoor, I listened carefully for any noise from in the house in case Roger stayed home from work or had one of his female houseguests over. Not a sound could be heard.
I wrapped my hand around the door knob and it turned cleanly, not a squeak or squeal to be heard. As I walked up into the house, a quick glance told me that Roger's house was much more similar to mine than I realized. It was set up almost exactly the same.
There were a few differences ... mostly the lack of a feminine touch. Roger's home screamed bachelor. Each room was messy, not dirty, but cluttered in the way that we men tended to create ... things that Margaret was always after me about.
What I wouldn't give to hear her nag me about my shoes or papers laying out again.
Perhaps I still can if I can solve this mystery in time.
Despite Roger's evident bachelor status, there wasn't anything suspicious anywhere downstairs. He appeared to be completely harmless.
Frustrated, I scaled the stairs in hopes of finding something that would help. If his house was as much like mine as I thought, the master bedroom would be at the end of the hall while the other bedrooms were immediately off the stairs.
It did seem rather odd for a bachelor to have a three bedroom house without any kids or pets or anything.
The first bedroom was unremarkable. It was a plainly decorated guest room that looked like it had never been used. The thin layer of dust on the chest of drawers confirmed that. I shrugged and walked to the next room.
In my house, this bedroom would've been my office. Here, in Roger's house, it was something else entirely.
My hands shook as the door swung away from me.
This room was a shrine ... to Margaret.
M L Gammella lives in Ohio with her husband and their three pets. She is currently working on her first novel, a paranormal suspense based in Maine. Please follow her at @MLGammella and visit her website at Onward to the Written Word.