Detective Amanda Ellis in: Promises Kept
Disclaimers : Please see Part 1
This is a continuing story.
Two heads slowly emerged from under the covers as the alarm clock sounded. Another bright sun shiny day was starting to rise as the two women made their way to the bathroom and shower. A small boy was awoken by a large dog who guarded this family with her keen senses and also the fact her food dish was empty, prompted waking her small master.
Kevin headed down the stairs, fed Whiskey, gave her fresh water, when the phone rang. The small boy reached over to answer it.
"ello." His small voice was heard over the phone by his Godmother Detective Mitchell Blake.
"Hi Sweetie, it's Aunt Mitch. It's Amanda around?"
"They're in the thower." Came the cute lisp.
Mitchell laughed and thought to herself, I wonder what else this little cutie has figured out?
"Ok, Kevin, could you tell Amanda I called her and have her call me back? Mitch talked slowly to make sure Kevin understood.
"Ok Aunt Mitch, I'll tell her." The little boy assured his aunt.
But before Kevin hung up the phone, Amanda had walked into the kitchen, kissed her soon to be son and took the phone.
"Hi Mitch, it's Amanda, what's up?"
"Hi, have you had coffee yet?" Mitchell asked.
"No, why?" Came the reply.
"Cause you're not going to like this, Amanda, we're doing a cold case file."
Silence and some muffled curse words were all Mitch heard.
"Ok, which one of us pissed off the Captain, this time?" Amanda asked.
"Neither, it's because of the case, Amanda. It's Cheryl's."
A flash back into the past caused Amanda to cover her chest from the pain that stabbed her heart.
"No, not Cheryl's, it's too close to home. She was Sandy's cousin and they were very close." Amanda half whispered, half choked out the words.
"How did you find out about this case?" Came the query.
Mitchell stuttered a bit on the phone. "I stayed late last night. Deb had my car and she got caught in traffic."
"In fact my friend, can you pick me up this morning? Deb has another job interview today and I don't want her taking the bus."
"Ya, sure, give me an hour and I'll be there. We'll drop Kevin off at day care on our way. Oh and by the way. How do I explain this to Sandy?" Amanda looked outside at another beautiful day.
"Perhaps another one of your famous sensitive chats is in order? See you in an hour, bye." Mitchell hung up the phone and knew this day was going to suck.
Sandy came downstairs gave Kevin a kiss and Amanda a pinch on her butt.
"Hey, came the squeal. What was that for?" Amanda protested
"You didn't put the coffee on." Sandy growled.
"Sorry, hon, Mitchell called. She needs a ride into work."
"Oh, ok, well get moving and dress while I get coffee and breakfast going here. Shoo!" Sandy motioned for the detective to move it.
Right on time, Amanda drove up to Mitchell's apartment building and spotted her friend and partner waiting for her outside. As the blonde haired woman got into Amanda's SUV, a short greeting was exchanged between the two. Dropping Kevin off at the daycare centre, Amanda was the first to speak.
"Did you read the report yet?
"Some of it. It happened a long time ago. Everything was handwritten or typed. Badly I might add." Mitchell was getting a headache already just thinking about it.
"It happened 16 years ago, Mitchell. Sandy and I had just started dating and we went on a ski trip through the college. It was a weekend of "first's" for both of us and when we got home, nothing could separate us. It happened our first weekend back and our friends including Cheryl got together at the local hang out. It was a bar called the Sword and Shield. All the college kids hung out there. We went that night for a couple of hours and then went back to my room and "made out" for the rest of the night. We had offered Cheryl a ride back, but she had declined. It was early and she wanted to party. The next morning when we got the news, Sandy went crazy, as if it was our fault for not looking after her. It took her weeks to get over Cheryl's death. I don't know how she'll react to this news?" Amanda brought her vehicle to a stop, as they pulled into their parking spot at the station.
The two women reported in for duty and went to the "morgue" as it was called to bring out the box containing all the files on Cheryl Wilson's murder March 26 1988.
It was a sad trip down memory lane for the next few hours as Mitchell and Amanda read through the reports and statements from witnesses including her own and Sandy's statement. Names of friends and acquaintances long forgotten in the course of history. Could one of these people have been Cheryl's murderer?
It was always assumed that she had left the bar with someone from there, but no one could remember her leaving or saying goodbye. Perhaps she had been kidnapped? The toxicology report came back nil for any drugs in her system. Just alcohol and even then it was within the legal limit. Why would anyone want to have stabbed Cheryl? It just didn't make sense. She hadn't been raped. There were no signs of a struggle at the scene. Cheryl must of known her attacker, she hadn't even fought back.
As Amanda went to reach for her cup of coffee, the hairs on her arms rose. She turned and looked behind her to see what appeared to be Cheryl, looking no different then she had that night so many years ago. Cheryl smiled at her and then disappeared.
The Detective's heart lurched for just a moment. I need a little help here Cheryl, she thought. I want you to be at peace and then maybe Sandy and I will find it in our hearts as well.
That night when Amanda returned home with Kevin, she decided to barbecue some ribs and bake potatoes on the grill. It was Sandy's favourite food and perhaps this was a good way to break the news to her lover.
As dinner was cooking, Amanda was playing soccer with Kevin. Whiskey started to bark and Amanda knew Sandy was home.
The red haired doctor came bouncing out in her shorts and t-shirt ready to play with her son and lover. Kissing them both and petting Whiskey's head, the game was soon on while dinner was still cooking.
It was Sandy's turn to help Kevin with his bath and tuck him into bed. Amanda always told him a short bedtime story as Sandy would sit there and listen to Amanda's latest made up adventure of the Caped Avenger and her side kick Neutron Girl, who in reality was Mitchell. After a kiss goodnight and sweet dreams were exchanged the two women went downstairs into the livingroom to talk.
Amanda took Sandy into her arms and told her she was sorry, it wasn't her fault.
Sandy looked into those big brown eyes of Amanda's and knew she wasn't going to like to hear the next statement.
"What's wrong Amanda?" Sandy asked.
Amanda sat her down on the couch and looked at her with as much compassion as her soul could will. "Mitchell and I have been assigned to a cold case file. I tried to get out of it, but the Captain wouldn't budge. It's Cheryl's murder case, hon. I'm sorry."
The tears pooled in Sandy's eyes as the memories came crashing down upon her. All those years ago, she thought. "Why now Amanda? Has there been some new evidence?"
"No, not that I know of and that's the part I don't understand. Usually we don't open these cases up unless there is some new evidence presented. The Captain just told us to re-investigate the murder, no buts."
Sandra just nodded her head. "It was a long time ago. How are you going to investigate something that old?"
"The usual. Check out the old bar, see if any of the old owners are still there and remember that night. Talk to some of the other witnesses that gave statements. Ask if they remember any thing different about that night or if they remember anyone else talking with her."
"Does that include you and I ?" Sandy asked.
"Yes, it does. I went over my statement from then and tried to remember anything else. I talked about it with Mitchell and all I could remember was our night together. Dancing with you, holding you, going back to my place and making love with you."
Amanda started to laugh. "Mitchell smacked me across the arm. She couldn't believe I let you go all those years ago."
Sandy snuggled into Amanda's arms. "I know, I can't believe I left you either. But it just wasn't meant to be back then. I'm glad it is now."
Amanda lowered her face to Sandy's lips and kissed her. "I'll get your statement tomorrow, tonight I want your body."
The next morning Amanda picked up Mitchell for work.
"Deb got the job yesterday. Mitchell said with her face beaming. She starts work tomorrow and needs to get some better clothes."
"That's great Mitch, glad she's doing ok. Um, care to enlighten me about what's happening with you two. You practically lived at our place, now we only see you on the weekends with Deb. Not that I mind."
"Nothing's going on Nosey Pete, we're just friends and I'm helping her out." Mitchell said quite defensively.
"Right. Said Amanda. And those big blue eyes of yours are just leering at her and worshipping her from afar, for what reason?"
"As if !" Came Mitchell's reply.
"Face it, you dog, you like her and I know for a fact she likes you. She can't take her eyes off you. When you two were over last weekend, it was like Sandy and I didn't exist." Amanda started to laugh at her partner's beet red face.
"Yeah, you really think she likes me?" Mitchell asked.
"Yes you big dope. God, you two are blind. Take her out on a date, to a movie or something. Kiss the girl, will ya !" Amanda just laughed.
Later on in the day, the two detectives went to the old college bar. It was now called the Abby Arms, but didn't look much different then it had 16 years ago. The furniture was different and the draft taps were changed from the brands from years ago, but the bar itself didn't look any different and Amanda felt she could reach back in time. The place still held the memory of that night, when everything that had been so beautiful between her and Sandy, turned into a nightmare the next morning.
Mitchell pulled out her badge and asked to see the owner.
Sam Trimbell came out of his office and greeted the two officers.
"Can I offer you some coffee, officers?" He asked.
Both women nodded and then sat down with Sam, as the bartender brought over the coffees.
Amanda said thanks and asked the older woman, how long she had worked there.
"Everyone calls me Mavis. She replied. I've been working here so long I've forgotten what my real name is, she laughed."
Amanda offered her a chair to sit down.
"We're here investigating a murder that happened 16 years ago on March 26, 1988. Were you the owner then Mr. Trimbell?"
"No, but my father was back then." He stated.
Mitchell: "Is he still alive and could we talk with him?"
Trimbell: "No, he died just last year I'm afraid."
Amanda: "Mavis do you recall the murder of Cheryl Wilson?"
Mavis: After thinking for a moment. "Ya, I do. That was that little college girl that was murdered after leaving here."
Amanda: "It says in the police report from back then, you worked that night. Is that correct?"
Mavis: That's right I did and the police did question me. Boy that's a long time ago. They questioned all the staff, that worked that night. Even old Nick , Sam's father."
Mitchell: Do you remember anything since then, that might help us?"
Sam: Well, I was here that night, helping out in the kitchen. but they never questioned me. I was underage at the time and Dad didn't want to get into trouble."
Amanda: So you were here then, that night?"
Sam: Ya, I was, but like I said, Dad kept me in the kitchen, helping with glasses and dishes. So, I didn't see anything. But, I did sneak out for a smoke every now and then."
Mitchell held up Cheryl's picture.
Mitchell: "Does she look familiar to you?"
Sam: "Ya, just like every other college girl that passes through here. Although, that's quite the shade of red hair. This is going to sound stupid, but why does a ball cap with some hockey team, ring a bell?"
Amanda's eyebrows shot up.
Amanda: "What hockey team crest? Do you remember?"
Sam: Hey, I'm a baseball fan, not hockey. Um, a leaf? Ya that was it. The Toronto Maple Leafs. I remember now. Thought how weird it was this girl wearing that ball cap, with that red hair and a Canadian team at that."
Amanda: Do either of you remember anything else about that night?"
Two heads nodded "no."
"Here's my card and Detective Blake's as well. If you think of anything else, please call us."
With that, the two detectives left.
"What was with the ball cap?" Mitchell asked.
"Cheryl and Sandy have a cousin that live in the Toronto area. He sent Cheryl and Sandy a ball cap one year for their birthday's, but Cheryl wore it everywhere." Amanda replied.
"Maybe a disgruntled L.A. Kings hockey fan, killed her." Mitchell asked.
"You could be right, Mitch. When her body was found, the hat was missing. She wore it that night." Amanda felt the hairs on her arms rise again. Turning around she saw the ghost of Cheryl standing there smiling at her.
"I need some help here Cheryl. Talk to me."
"Amanda, who are you talking to?" Mitchell asked.
"A memory Mitchell, just a memory."
That evening Amanda and Sandy sat down together trying to recall the events from that fateful night.
Sandy had a headache all day just thinking about that night. She had been short tempered with her patience and staff. She had even apologized three times that day to her secretary Joan Miller. Joan had never seen Dr. Wilson like this in the year she had worked for her.
"Ok Doctor. Joan said in her no nonsense voice. I've had enough. What's up? Amanda cheating on you or something?"
Sandy sat down in Joan's office area. "Sixteen years ago, when Amanda and I were first dating in college, my cousin Cheryl was murdered. We had been to the bar that night and Amanda and I left early. Well, you know. Sandy blushed.
Well, anyways, Amanda and Mitchell have been assigned the cold case on it. I have to give Amanda another statement about that night. I was so upset back then and blamed myself for her death. We should have stayed with her. Now the memory is back and I'm feeling guilty all over again."
Joan sat back in her chair and looked at her boss. Sandy was a mess. Her hair needed combing, her eyes were dark from lack of sleep and obviously the good Doctors nerves were shattered as well.
"Dr. Wilson, Sandra, look at it this way. It happened, maybe you could have prevented it or maybe not. Only The Fates know the answer to that question. But for whatever reason Amanda has been handed the case, let her work her magic and solve it. Do what you can to help. Don't think of them as hurtful memories. Think of them as helping to solve the crime. It's maybe the one last thing you can do for your cousin.
Dr. Sandra Wilson nodded her head and agreed with Joan. "Thanks Joan, you are the best."
Not even thinking, Sandy leaned over and gave Joan a kiss on the cheek, turned and headed back into her own office.
Surprised, Joan touched her cheek and laughed. "That girl never ceases to amaze me."
"Amanda, I've been thinking about this all day. I re-read my statement from then and there is nothing I can think of, except for one crazy fact. That stupid Toronto Maple Leaf ball cap that she used to wear. She wore it that night and it was never found. I don't know what it means, but it's the only thing I can think of."
"You weren't the only one to remember that hat. Seems Nick Trimbell's son remembered it as well." Amanda remarked.
Well, back then, it was unusual to wear a hockey crest on a cap. Most people wore baseball logo's. She did take a lot of kidding over it." Sandy smiled with a fond memory of Cheryl's ponytail sticking out from behind the cap.
"What's the smile for hon?" Amanda asked.
"A secret I've kept for a long time. Cheryl and I used to play "doctor" when we were younger." Sandy blushed so much her face was redder then her hair.
"With your cousin! Amanda squealed. Oh God Sandy!
Smack, as Sandy hit Amanda's arm.
"Hey, we were just kids back then, no harm, no foul. Sandy justified. Besides she was a year older then me and in my eyes gorgeous."
Amanda laughed. "Ya she was a looker, but not as pretty as you."
Sandy reached over and kissed Amanda's lips.
"Good answer, detective. You're getting use to this "married" life.
"Speaking of getting married. Amanda spoke up. When are we going to have our joining ceremony and then adopt Kevin?"
"Wow, hit a girl with everything all at once will you? Sandy's heart started racing. Solve this murder first and then let's go see Judge Davidson. I know he's got the paper work drawn up and as a favour he will do the ceremony. Plus he's already put in his recommendation for our adoption for Kevin. It's just a matter of signing on the dotted line."
"Amanda, let's go to bed. I'm beat. It's been a long day."
The lights went off as the two lovers headed up stairs to share their dreams and fears with Morpheus.
Meanwhile a 10 minute drive away, Mitchell and Deb sat and watched the ending credits to the movie The Wizard of Oz.
"I can't believe you've never seen this movie. Mitchell said as she munched on her last mouthful of popcorn. I can't count how many times I've watched this."
"Well, we didn't have a t.v. at home. Mom sold everything she could for either drugs or booze." Deb was very embarrassed whenever she mentioned her home life to her detective friend.
Mitchell reached over and took Deb's hand. "I'm such an insensitive blockhead. Sorry Deb, I keep forgetting that not everyone grew up like I did."
"That's ok. Deb shrugged. I'm glad not everyone grew up like I did."
Mitchell squeezed Deb's hand and then let go. "Hey, it's off to your new job tomorrow. You excited?"
"More nervous then anything. Deb started to play with a thread on her jeans. I wanted to thank you again for getting me that job. You've been too kind to me in this past few weeks.
"Hey, you got the job. I just called a few friends of mine to see if they needed any bodies." Mitchell laughed.
"Well, I owe you a lot, Mitchell thank you. I will pay you back for the clothes and the other money I borrowed from each paycheque. Is that ok?"
"No problem, I'm just glad to get you off the streets and hey, if it hadn't been for you, Kevin would just be another statistic. We owe you his life and helping us capture that asshole." Mitchell gently took her finger using it to lift Deb's chin to see her face.
Slowly she lowered her face to Deb's lips and softly kissed her. "I just wanted to say thank you."
Mitchell got up off the couch and took Deb's hand helping her up. "Bed time for us working stiffs."
The two women walked together as they headed for their bedrooms. As Mitchell turned to go into her bedroom, Deb stopped her, reached up and kissed her passionately on the lips.
As the kiss broke off, Deb smiled and said good night. Leaving a very stunned Mitchell Blake standing there like a deer caught in the headlights of a car.
For the next few weeks, Amanda and Mitchell tracked down and interviewed as many people as possible. The hard part was tracking people down that had moved across the country or even out of the country. Letters or e-mails were sent out to these folks and Amanda could only hope that they would get some replies.
That's if the addresses they had were current.
As the replies were slowly filtering in, no one could remember anything else from that night. Dead ends and closed doors. Amanda and Mitchell were about to give up on this case when they received a phone call from Mavis, the bartender from the Abby Arms.
Amanda took the call.
Hello Mavis, this is Detective Ellis, how can I help you?"
"Hey there detective, how ya doing?" Mavis spoke.
"I'm fine, how about yourself? " Amanda was hoping this call was important. She had enough for today and wanted to go home early.
"Well you remember that hat with the Maple Leaf logo on it that Cheryl wore? My friend and I were in one of those swap shops today and hanging in a glass case was a hat, just like that one."
Amanda thanked her for the phone call, took down the address and left with Mitchell. She wasn't counting on anything. There could be hundreds of them in sports memorabilia and swap shops. As Amanda reached for her SUV's door handle, that familiar feeling came over her again. Turning around she found Cheryl's ghost nodding at her and smiling. Maybe this will be the break they've been looking for after all.
When the two women walked into Mel's Swap Shop, the first thing that Amanda and Mitchell saw, were sport caps hanging everywhere. Everything from football, to baseball and hockey, every team logo from over the years. The one that caught her eye was encased in glass. She headed over to it.
A short bald headed man approached her.
"Like that one do ya?" He queried.
Amanda turned and looked at him with dark angry eyes. She could feel it. She could sense it. This was in fact Cheryl's cap.
"Take that cap out of the case, I want to see it." Amanda demanded.
"That one's not for sale, sweet thing. I've had that cap a long time and it's what got me interested into selling sports stuff." He bragged.
Amanda and Mitchell both flashed their police badges at him.
"Get that damn cap down here now, or I will get a search warrant for everything and anything in this store to see if it's stolen property! How's that sweet thing?" Amanda growled at the man.
"Jes, ok officer, just relax, no problems here." He turned to bring his ladder over to the glass case. Within a minute, he opened it and handed Amanda the ball cap.
While handing Amanda a pair of latex gloves, Mitchell whispered in her ear. "How will you know if it's Cheryl's?"
"Cheryl always wore hers and sometimes so did Sandy. If they took them off, the argument soon started as to who's cap was who's. So one night I took a pen and wrote their names just inside the rim. Amanda's voice quivered and just stood there looking at a the cap.
"Want me to look?" Mitchell gently asked her friend.
"No, I owe her this much." Amanda held her breath as she turned over the cotton rim. Inside, in faded ink it read. Cheryl.
A flood of memories hit Amanda of that night at the bar when the two cousins were arguing over their silly hats. She smiled and sniffed back the tears.
Mitchell placed her hand on her friends shoulder and gave it a gentle and comforting squeeze. She then turned to Mel. "We need to ask you some questions about this cap."
He nodded in agreement.
Mitchell: "Where did you get this cap from?"
Mel: "It was a long time ago, maybe fifteen or sixteen years ago. A girl brought it in with a bunch of other stuff. Ya know, cd's, camera.
Mitchell: "You remember what she looked like?"
Mel: "College kid, like everyone else who comes through here. She was tall, thin, long brown hair. Wore jeans and a t-shirt."
Amanda: "Any slogan on the t-shirt that you remember?"
Mel: (stops and thinks for a moment) "Ya, come to think of it. One of those "Green Peace" type of shirts. Save the whales or squirrels or something like that. I can't remember."
Amanda: "Save the shoreline?"
Mel: "Could be, I honestly don't remember that part, but ah, she did fill the t-shirt rather nicely, if ya know what I mean?" He sported a big grin at the two detectives.
Amanda: "We'll be back Mel. I want to have this cap checked for finger prints and blood samples. Also, if I brought you in a picture do you think you could recognize the girl?"
Mel: "Ya sure, maybe. Bring one in."
The two women thanked him, left and went to pick up Kevin.
"What about the hat? Mitchell asked her partner. Not going to take it back to the station?"
"No, tomorrow, I've had enough for today. Besides, Sandy and I will need to go over our old year books. I have an idea, who our mystery shopper was." A fierce grin past over Amanda's lips as she thought back to Cheryl's roommate at the college.
As Amanda and Kevin dropped Mitchell off at her apartment, Deb had just pulled into their parking place. The young woman spotted Amanda's SUV, walked towards the front of the building and greeted Mitchell with a warm hug and a quick kiss.
Kevin turned to Amanda and scrunched his nose. "Why does everyone kiss each other all the time?" He asked in a innocent voice.
Oh boy Amanda thought, here we go with the little kid questions. "Because Aunt Mitchell and Deb like each other, that's why."
"But I thought you and Sandy loved each other, doesn't Aunt Mitchell love Deb?" He asked.
Amanda laughed and gave Kevin a kiss on the top of his head. "They don't know it yet Kevin, but they will soon."
Kevin shook his head even more confused, but satisfied with the answer.
Later on that evening as Amanda and Sandy were flipping through their old year books, a face and name from the past appeared before them. Brenda Collins.
"That's her. Sandy pointed to the picture. She was Cheryl's roommate that year.
Amanda tried to think back and remember the woman. "She wasn't much for partying was she, always studying if I remember correctly."
"She was a quiet one, that's for sure, but I always had a feeling she "more" then liked Cheryl. I think she had a crush on her." Sandy replied.
"From the looks of the picture, she appears to be the one that Mel down at the Swap Shop described." Amanda got up from the couch and retrieved the clear plastic bag that contained Cheryl's hat. She looked at Sandy's reaction before handing the article to her.
"It's Cheryl's, I checked for her name." Amanda wrapped her arms around Sandy and waited for her lover's reply.
Sandy held the bag to her chest as the tears started to fall from her eyes. "I'm sorry Cheryl, I'm so sorry."
"I'm sorry to hon, but it wasn't our fault. I promise you, I will find her killer and make sure they are put away for the rest of their pathetic life." Amanda held Sandy tightly in her arms and rocked her gently.
Two streets down from Amanda's townhouse, the lights were on in Mitchell's apartment.
Mitchell and Deb were sitting on the couch each describing the days events for themselves. Mitchell had been glad to hear that Deb liked her first day on the job at the car dealership. Seems Deb knew a thing to two about car parts and instead of stealing them off cars, the way she did a number of years ago, she was now selling them from behind the counter.
As the evening drew on, it was time for bed. Only this time when Deb kissed Mitchell good night at the bedroom door, she didn't stop. The kiss became more passionate and the two women without thinking, moved into Mitchell's bedroom, as clothes were shed.
"I can't take this anymore, I want you Mitchell. I want to feel you and I want you inside of me." Deb moaned into Mitchell's ear as she loosened the detective's jeans and heard them drop on to the floor.
Mitchell's world was spinning. Half of her wanted this woman so much and the other half wasn't sure if this was too early in their relationship. As she felt Deb pull her down on the bed and enter her with two fingers, the argument was over with. Libido over brain. No contest.
The next morning Sandra a woke from a restless sleep. All night she had been dreaming about Cheryl. So many memories of their childhood together. Growing up they had been so close. More then cousins and friends. They had shared their fears and dreams together and on special occasions, learned what loving another woman was like. They had taught each other how to kiss, how to love and sat to read books together on why their bodies were changing and growing. It was in the shower that Sandy remembered how Cheryl made the comment about her roommate Brenda. It was in reference to Cheryl hanging out with her and Amanda. "If I didn't know better Sandy, I'd swear she was jealous or something. She's always questioning me about where I've been."
Perhaps it was nothing Sandy thought, but it's all I've got to offer to help Amanda.
Brenda Collins was still living in the San Diego area and had a prior arrest charge for assault. In re-reading the police report, Amanda had discovered that Brenda's girlfriend was the victim. She had dropped the charges against Brenda and there had been no further problems.
"Wonder if they are still together?" Amanda leaned across her desk and showed Mitchell the report.
"Got the address, partner?" Mitchell's smile was beaming this morning.
"Yup, care to go for a drive? Amanda smiled back. You got laid last night didn't you?"
Mitchell sat back with a shocked expression on her face.
"What makes you say that? She asked.
"Well besides the fact you've been grinning like the Cheshire cat all morning and that hickey I spotted under you collar, nothing. Amanda's grin turned into a huge smile and laughed at her friend. Come on let's go. I can imagine you want to get home early tonight."
As the two women walked out of the station door, Amanda turned to Mitchell and asked. "Well aren't you going to give your friend any juicy details?"
"Nope." Was all Mitchell commented on the subject.
"Meanie." Amanda replied back.
One hour later the two detectives arrived at the home of Brenda Collins. Much to Amanda's surprise, the woman that answered the door was a red head and looked very much like Cheryl. As they both showed their police I.D. to a Ms. Candice Jordon, a flash from the past came into view. Brenda herself. Still tall and thin. Her hair was shorter then in college, but hung down to just past her shoulders.
Brenda recognized Amanda immediately and took Amanda's badge out of her hand to carefully inspect the I.D.
"Well Amanda, long time no see and a police officer at that. What can we do for you?"
"Try inviting me in first Bonnie, we'd like to talk with you." Amanda looked her straight in the eyes.
"Sure, come on in. Is this a social call or business?" Bonnie asked.
As the four women sat down Amanda noticed how Bonnie's girl friend's hands trembled.
"Business actually. We're here investigating a murder that took place on March 26, 1988. Cheryl Wilson's. If I remember correctly, she was your roommate at college that year." Amanda's voice sounded very cold and was waiting for Bonnie to show any signs of fear.
"Yes she was. Bonnie shifted in the chair. It was a tragedy what happened to her."
"Could you tell me what you were doing that night? Do you remember?" Amanda asked.
"Probably what I did every night. Studying. I had a very heavy semester that year. I'm sure you remember." Bonnie tried to appear cool.
Amanda: "Bonnie, do you recall making a trip to Mel's Swap Shop and selling some cd's. books and things of Cheryl's?
Bonnie: "Yes I did. I had called her mother, but she didn't want them."
Amanda: "You didn't call Sandy."
Bonnie: "I'm sorry, I never thought of it."
Amanda: "Do you remember Cheryl's ball cap, the one she always wore of the Toronto Maple Leafs?"
Bonnie: "Yes, I do."
Amanda: " It was among the articles."
Bonnie: "Yes, I do believe it was."
Amanda: "She wore it that night to the bar. It was missing at the scene. How did it get back to the apartment Bonnie and into your possession?"
Bonnie: (She shifts again in the chair) I, I don't know, it was just there with the other stuff.
Amanda is loosing patience at this point and knows she has no evidence. She closes her eyes for a moment and listens as Mitchell continues on with the questioning. A familiar sensation comes over her again. The hairs on her arms rise and as she slowly opens her eyes, Cheryl's ghost appears before her again. Saying nothing but imploring with her eyes, Amanda begs for some insight here. Help me out here Cheryl. I can't do this without your help. The spectre moves her hands around the hair of Bonnie's girlfriend, Candice. Amanda then realizes what Cheryl is doing and why. Candice's hair is dyed red. It's not natural. Bonnie wants her to look like Cheryl.
"You know Bonnie. Amanda breaks into the conversation. I had a good thing going with both Cheryl and Sandy back then. I sure miss having the both of them. Amanda chuckled. You know they would even put on a little show just for my benefit back then. God they sure knew how to make my juices flow."
Bonnie's face turned red and her features darkened with anger. Amanda was playing the game just perfect. Come on you bitch she thought, crack.
"Cheryl was a good person. Bonnie was letting her anger show. I cared very much for her."
"Ya, Amanda laughed. She was always telling Sandy and I, that you were more like her mother then a roommate. Always checking up on her, who she'd been with, where she went."
Bonnie got up from her chair and started pacing. "She never told me that about you and Sandy. She was my friend, I cared about her. You were a player back then Amanda, you didn't deserve her love."
"Hey, we were just having fun. Amanda kept smiling and laughing. What's a little sex between her cousin and me. I kept both of them satisfied. I remember this one time, we got playing with a strap on. Wow, I could fuck them for hours, in fact.............................
Amanda never got to finish her sentence. Bonnie screamed at her and lunged. "You bitch, this was your fault and your whores. Cheryl was mine, she belonged to me.
Mitchell grabbed the hysterical woman as she kept screaming.
"I couldn't let her live that kind of life, but she wouldn't listen to me. I saw you with her that night. The way she danced with you and touched you. She was mine and you weren't going to take her from me. I tried to get her away from there, but she refused. I had to stop her. Bonnie's tears started to fall as she went limp in Mitchell's grasp. I'm sorry Cheryl. If I couldn't have you, then I gave you to God to save you."
With that last sentence. Detective Amanda Ellis hand cuffed her prisoner and read her rights. Not that she cared about this person's rights, it was just something she had to do.
"By the way Bonnie. Amanda informed her. That was Sandy I was dancing with. She wore her cap as well that night."
In looking up, Amanda saw that Cheryl's ghost was gone.
On a Friday afternoon Judge Davidson, performed a joining ceremony for Detective Amanda Ellis and her partner Dr. Sandra Wilson. Detective Mitchell Blake and Deb Tyler stood by their sides as well as Kevin. When the ceremony ended, the Judge also signed the court order awarding Amanda and Sandra legal custody of Kevin. He was now their son.
"I have a favour to ask of you Amanda before we go out for dinner." Sandy asked.
"Sure hon, name it. Amanda smiled at her wife and wrapped her arms around her.
"I want to go to Cheryl's grave site. I need to say goodbye." Sandy returned the hug and held on a little longer for comfort.
The four women and Kevin drove to the cemetery and headed over to Cheryl's stone. As they stood for a few moments, Mitchell decided to leave the other couple and Kevin and take Deb over to her grandmother's stone.
Amanda and Sandy took Sandy's bouquet of flowers and laid them on Cheryl's grave. A few prayers were spoken for their cousin's soul and hoped she had found peace in Bonnie's arrest.
Kevin looked over to Amanda and asked her a question. "Do I belong to you and Sandy now?"
Amanda picked the little boy up in her arms and hugged him. "Yes, sport you are our son now."
"Amanda. He asked. Can I call you Momma?"
"Sure Kevin, momma would be nice. Amanda choked on her words but then asked. What would you like to call Sandy?"
A big smile lit up the little boy's face as he reached over to Sandy and she took him into her arms. "Mommy."
As the new family walked back to the car, Amanda turned and looked behind her.
Cheryl's ghost appeared to her for what she knew would be the last time. Cheryl smiled and Amanda was sure she could hear her say "thank you and I love you."
"Good bye Cheryl and I love you too." Amanda whispered., as she saw Cheryl's ghost fade away.
As Amanda started up the car, a song came on the radio. It reminded her of dreams and hopes from the past and a promise of what the future would bring.
The End Of The Innocence.
By: Bruce Hornsby.
Remember when the days were long
And rolled beneath a deep blue sky
Didn't have a care in the world
With mommy and daddy standin' by
But "happily ever after" fails
And we've been poisoned by these fairy tales
The lawyer dwell on small details
Since daddy had to fly
But I know a place where we can go
That's still untouched by men
We'll sit and watch the clouds roll by
And the tall grass wave in the wind
You can lay your head back on the ground
And let your hair fall all around me
Offer up your best defense
But this is the end
This is the end of the innocence
O'beautiful, for spacious skies
But now those skies are threatening
They're beating plowshares into swords
For this tired old man that we elected king
Armchair warriors often fail
And we've been poisoned by these fairy tales
The lawyers clean up all details
Since daddy had to lie
But I know a place where we can go
And wash away this sin
We'll sit and watch the clouds roll by
And the tall grass wave in the wind
Just lay your head back on the ground
And let your hair spill all around me
Offer up your best defense
But this is the end
This is the end of the innocnece
Who knows how long this will last
Now we've come so far, so fast
But, somewhere back there in the dust
That same small town in each of us
I need to remember this
So baby give me just one kiss
And let me take a long last look
Before we say goodbye
Just lay your head back on the ground
And let your hair fall all around me
Offer up your best defense
But this is the end
This is the end of the innocence.
The End of Part 6.
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