Aliyah and I headed down to the lobby to speak with my newfound great uncle. I went straight to the front desk.
"Hello Melissa how may I help you?"
"I would like to ask you some questions." I say, "When you said I looked like someone you once knew, did you mean you're older sister?" I ask. Richards's eyes widened.
"If you want to continue this conversation, follow me please." He turned and started walking towards his office. We followed him in and sat down across from him at his desk. "Now why are you talking about my sister?" he asked.
"Well I don't know how to explain this, but I'm your great niece." I tell him. He just looked at me. It seemed like forever until he finally answered.
"Now how did you figure this out?" Aliyah and I began to explain to him everything we found out starting with us going into room 424. "Well I guess we really are related. That explains why you look so much like Evelyn." I decided to ask him more about Evelyn's death.
"So what happened the day she passed?"
"I honestly am still not sure to this day."
"What do you mean?" "Well Evelyn was just starting to become very popular and better known as an entertainer. Everything seemed to be going perfect for her. She was making money, had a great family…. Everything was going great. Except…" He went silent.
"Except what?" Aliyah asked.
"Well except for her boyfriend." "What was wrong?" I asked. "Well he seemed like a great guy. His name was Robert. He was nice, funny and seemed to make good money, but Evelyn hadn't mentioned that he was involved in business with gangsters. When my father found that out he told Evelyn to stay away from him. She promised she would, but of course, they met in secret. One night, in 1925, I was around the age of 11 and your great grandmother Ruby was 17. It was very late at night. Ruby and I always helped around the hotel. She was with our mother on the 3rd floor giving guest anything they needed before bed. I was the only one in the lobby at the time. I was putting the keys in order when, I heard yelling from outside. I looked to see Evelyn and Robert arguing. I couldn't make out what they were saying. The only word I got out of it was "money." Evelyn shoved Robert and he walked off. She came barging in and went straight to her room."
"Room 424?" I asked.
"Yes, our parents each let us have a hotel room to ourselves. Evelyn had room 424, Ruby had 324, and I had room 224. I didn't think much of Evelyn and Robert's arguing. I mean I was only Later that night, when everyone was sleeping, I woke up in the middle of the night. It was probably around three or four in the morning. I heard banging. At first, I just thought it was noise outside, but then I heard a loud noise. I can't even describe it even though I can still hear it as clear as day. I didn't get out of bed to see what it was. The next morning I got up and went down to the lobby. My whole family was awake, except for Evelyn. My mother told me to go wake her up. I went up to the 4th floor. At the time, Evelyn was the only one on the 4th floor. I went to her door. Oddly it was cracked, so I just walked in." He paused and looked down at his hands.
"What did you see?" I asked. He looked back at me.
"I wish I could unsee what I saw that day. It was horrible. I saw blood on the wall. I noticed Evelyn's feet in the walkway. She still had her heels on. I turned the corner. She was on the floor in the same white sequined dress she had on the night before. There was blood around her. You could see that she had been shot in the head."
"That's terrible". Aliyah said. Richard continued with his story. "I ran to go get one of my parents. I ran into my mother on the way down the stairs. She asked me what was taking so long. She noticed I was crying. I just had her follow me back to Evelyn's room. When my mom saw the scene, she started crying and left to go call the police. I looked around her room and noticed the window was wide open."
"So was anything ever resolved?" I asked.
"No, the police never came to a conclusion. But I think it was Robert that killed her. With the way they were arguing, it seemed like Evelyn was causing an issue with Robert's money."
"That sounds possible." Aliyah said. We were all silent for a bit. I looked at Richard and smiled.
"Well at least I have family here in New York with me now."
"That's true." Richard said smiling.
"You know there is still something I don't understand." Aliyah said.
"And what is that?" I asked.
"How did the key leave the hotel if no one was ever staying there?" That was a good point. I went over everything in my head that we had been through. I couldn't come up with an answer. Could this hotel be haunted by Evelyn? I decided to just let it go. I have done enough of solving things for a while. I just looked at
Aliyah and shrugged.
"I guess we'll never know."