(For anyone who is confused, this is a redone chapter 1.)
The local music station was playing Iris by the Goo Goo Dolls, one of my favorites. The wind blew through my dark brown hair as I rolled my window down. It was nine in the morning with rain pattering on the windshield. Normally I didn't let rain inside the black and white Ford vehicle; however, it was the only way to keep my weary eyes open. Getting up at five in the morning wasn't anyone's idea of a good way to start the day.
I was a police detective in Springfield Oregon's law enforcement agency. It had been four months since I was hired, and I had gone through plenty of cases. Murder, suicide, abuse… Although most were suicides in Springfield. They all had their own stories. Each one as tragic as the last.
"Stay awake, idiot…" I muttered to myself softly. "You signed up for this job. You've gotten up this early before. Stay sharp!" Is talking to yourself typical for detectives? I could only hope.
My thoughts were interrupted by the sudden ring of a cell phone. Quickly pulling the car over, my hands scrambled for the phone. Once I got it, I flipped it open. "Hello?"
"Jonathan, it's Jerry." I recognized his solemn voice and the meaning behind it: another case. From the sound of it, it was a tragic one, too.
Jerry was a close friend in the police department and normally the one to inform me of the newest cases. "We need you over here right now. There's been a death. We think it may be a potential suicide."
My heart sank. Suicides were the worst kind of cases.
"Give me the address. I'll be there shortly." Jerry rattled off the address, and I hung up and started driving.
I parked next to the victim's small house and got out of the car. Policemen were moving in and out, a few of them giving me acknowledging nods. I returned them. When on a case, that was as far as greetings went. Mentally, I steeled myself. Whatever I found needed to be without emotional involvement. Personal associations with suicide had to be stuffed away in the mind…. Far away…
I walked inside the house. The house had only a few decorations or photos. I found Jerry in the kitchen. He looked at me with a blank stare, no need for smiles or pleasantries in this line of work. "Are you ready?"
"No," I confessed. No one is ever ready to see a body. Without another word he escorted me to the next room. The medical examiner was already there.
I exhaled sharply when I moved inside. The small bedroom was painted a bright pink with a small bed in the corner.
It was the smell that held me back. Death. The room held fragrance of a corpse. My knees buckled slightly. I knew it would be there. Yet it caught me by surprise each time I came face-to-face with death.
I looked at the body. A tear or two started to form in my eyes.
She was young, incredibly so. Her eyes were wide open but lifeless. I tried my best to avoid staring into them. I looked at her throat, and my stomach churned. Her throat was covered in blood.
I turned to the medical examiner and nodded. "Are you finished with your preliminary report?"
"Young female, sixteen years old. Underneath all that blood, her hair was a golden brown, I think. Tall, about 5'9" or 5'10". Died of loss of blood and suffocation," he rattled off.
"Her name was Alexandria King," Jerry added.
I turned to face him. I couldn't look at the poor girl anymore.
Jerry's face was pale, and his hands were trembling. "She…" He took a shaky breath, straightened his posture, and continued. "She was only sixteen. She went to Springfield Public High School. She had no siblings. Her mother is the only parent we are aware of."
I said nothing but nodded.
"We took in the knife for evidence. There's another piece of evidence, but I thought it would be best if you took a look at it first." Jerry walked over to the dresser. He grabbed a small notebook off of it. He handed it to me, and I opened it. Scanning the contents, it was easy to recognize what kind of book I was holding.
"It's a diary," I said, more to myself than to Jerry.
"Yes. There could be a lot of information in there. Possibly piece together a motive. What are you thinking?"
"I think…" I shook my head. I felt like I was hit by an avalanche. "Who discovered the suicide?"
"The neighbor." He nodded toward the house out the bedroom window. "She told us that she was getting her baby in the car when she heard a scream come from this house. She then saw blood spray across the window. That's when she called."
I cringed at the word "spray." I nodded tightly and cleared my throat. "Thank you… I'm going to go read this diary in the kitchen. Be sure to tell me if anything occurs." My head was beginning to pound like a drum. Clutching the diary in my hand, I moved out of the room. I sat down and slid the notebook open gently. What sort of secrets would be in this diary?
What led to the girl's demise?