Darkness covered the sky, abandoning me in the sombre shadows of the sturdy trees. Rustling of the leaves didn’t allow me to sleep quietly. Slowly, falling into deep sleep, a nightmare rushed into me. Suddenly, shrill noises of cats woke me up at midnight when it felt that dawn would never arrive. I stumbled over to my brother’s room. Slowly opening the wooden door, I saw that my brother was staring out of his window. “What are you doing?” I muffled. Nothing spoke out of his mouth. I stumbled back to my room. A gust of wind froze my soul. Glancing through the window something black caught my eye. There were two people near the waterfront. Within a fraction of seconds, the person wearing a black cloak ran away and a girl lay still near the lulling sound of the water. I heard some footsteps following by some knocks at the door. Slowly, the knocking stopped. Without telling my brother, I rushed outside. I could see the girl lying dead. She didn’t reply to any signals. It can’t be. It couldn’t be. But it was. It was Jessica. Looking around I caught a glimpse of Shay’s dad. This incident was getting worse than my nightmare. Will tomorrow be even worse?

Next day, walking to school, I could see the debris of trees scattered everywhere. Some blocking my path, some leading me to the path. But there was some eccentric about today. What was it?

When reaching school, several groups were gossiping about Jessica. I remembered yesterday night. I saw Cherry in the corner, twirling her hair. Could she really have killed Jessica? But they are friends. I rushed to Cherry. “Do you know who killed Jessica?” I asked curiously.

“Why do you want to know?” she snapped and walked away flicking her long hair. I could see her entering the police room. The police pointed to different people for investigating. Shay was been questioned and so was my brother, Joe at the same time, but did Joe know Jessica? Suddenly a figure ran past me like a lightning bolt. It was Joe. The whole day went in investigating the case. I could hear the slight whispering of Cherry. She muttered “I don’t like Jessica, I never like her, I wish I could kill her.”  School finished really early. Perhaps this is because the police interrogated different to people to answer about Jessica.

While walking through the stagnant waterfront, I could see the image of Jessica dying. “Winter, wait up !” a voice yelled behind me. It was Linda. “Hey, do you know that Cherry invited us to her pool this afternoon, are you coming?”

“Umm, yeah, I will see you there.” I stammered.

Before heading over to Cherry’s house, I visited Jessica’s house. The white cement stood up tall, taller than all the houses in its neighbourhood. The opulent house stood up like a great mansion comparing itself to others. Knocking on the door, a desolate expression invited me. It was Jessica’s mum. I followed her footsteps which lead me inside her lavish house. I stood there waiting for someone to someone to allow me set free. I asked Jessica’s mum if whether I can leave.

While walking to Cherry’s house, I saw Cherry’s dad and Shay’s dad exchanging a conversation. Suddenly, Cherry’s dad started yelling and arguing with Shay’s dad. That was totally absurd.

“Who do you think killed Jessica?” Linda asked. I ignored her. The best I could do was to wear a smile.

“I think I know who killed Jessica.” Cherry muttered. “It was Shay. Shay never liked Jessica. He was tolerating her. “

I was astounded. Astounded not by the fact that Shay killed Jessica. Astounded by the fact that he was tolerating her. If anyone is friends with Jessica then that friendship only lasts about a month but Shay has been keeping up with her for about a year. I limped home and wrote in my diary about all the discussion we had at Cherry’s pool.

Next day, I walked to school realising that all the debris was cleared up. Strange. Everyone was suspecting Shay as the murderer of Jessica’s death. Everyone except me! I knew that Shay could not have been the murderer. It just didn’t make any sense. While walking home my eye caught a sight of Linda. She was depressed. “What are you doing here?” I asked, fearing that her response will be negative. “Shay didn’t kill Jessica”, she muffled, “Shay didn’t kill Jessica, it was someone taller than Shay, someone taller and stronger than Shay”

“Then, it must be Joe!” I interrupted.

“Exactly, and it also makes sense because Joe never liked Shay but liked Jessica. So he must have been jealous that his enemy was flirting with Jessica”, replied Linda.

I rushed across the verdant leaves like a racing car. Banging the door open of my house, I saw my brother on fuzzy couch staring at something below him. Everything was in complete silence. Nothing could be heard except for the soaring beats of my heart. Something reminded that Joe’s next move is going to be menacing. Edgy yet sullen expressions started to appear on his face. “I heard everything of what you said to Linda” he said with a clam voice.

“Do you really think I would kill Jessica? Well guess what, I wanted to kill Jessica and you as well!” shrieked Joe as he rushed towards me, trying to choke the life out me. I was stuck. Stuck between life and death. Somehow I managed to slap him and run away. After running for few minutes, I realised that I was lost. Lost in forest near the waterfront and there was no escape. Slowly I fainted and so did my memory. I lied there waiting for someone to help. Would anyone come?

Sprinkling some water on me, I realised that Cherry, Linda and Shay were bending towards me. “Are you alright?” questioned Linda

“I am fine. What are you guys doing here?” I replied.

“Well we were walking through the woods and we saw a body lying around, which we thought was Jessica, when we walked towards you I could see my dad trying to kill you so I stopped him!” explained Cherry.

“Thanks, but where do I go now, my brother is very malicious?” I asked, fearing that my brother will again act vile.

“We all know about it, your brother is getting violent, we can all go to my home so let’s leave this dense place”, interrupted Cherry.

The sun was melting away by the time reached Cherry’s house. Everything was covered in twilight. “Cherry why did you lie to us? You know who the murderer is. Can you just tell us ?” I asked, hoping that she would allow the truth to be known. Everything was covered in silence. Nothing could be heard except for the curious hearts beats. The only words that murmured out of her mouth were, “My dad killed Jessica!”

“Whoa, how could your dad do such a hideous crime?” shocked Linda.

Soft tears rolled down her blush, red cheeks. “Jessica had to be killed” continued Cherry, “Jessica had to be killed for what she had done. She stole money from us repeatedly and used it to make herself popular and she killed my sister because my sister was more popular that her. I still remember the red velvet blood pouring out of her back as she fell to the floor near the waterfront.”

Next day, the truth was revealed to everyone. The police announced that Cherry’s dad killed Jessica. But, what will happen next?

Night near the waterfront
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