The seal on her eyes broke, my orbs drinking in the flashing lights on the ceiling of her bedroom. At first, I thought it was the reflection of the ocean, but the lights were red and blue. Looking over at the nightstand, the clock said it was 6 am. Way too early to be awake on a Sunday. Especially when last night I spent 4 hours listening to a man cry about why his wife doesn’t love him. If we’re being honest here, I could care less about him and his wife. The only thing I liked was the extra 500 in my bank account. That was half of what I needed for a new dress.
Sitting up, rubbing the sleep from my eyes, the voices downstairs weren’t quiet. I have a very bad habit of sleeping with the French doors that face the beach open. I know better. The crime rate in this area is getting worse by the day. Million-dollar homes are a prime target for those with a criminal mind. Many times my friends have suggested that I close and lock the doors. There is a stubborn streak that runs so deep inside of me. It even scares me. Leaving home at 16 put that there. No one cared about me then, so why care now?
I felt weird for a moment. Slipping from that bed, wrapping myself in a fluffy pink robe, and walking out the doors to the balcony that overlooked Huntington Beach. I felt like someone was watching me. Looking at me in the dirtiest of ways. Funny thing was, I had this same feeling for the past few mornings.
The beach below covered with cops. All in their black and blue uniforms that were pressed the night before. They all had on that look of judgment. Well, from what I could see. It was as though the force handed out the same pair of reflective sunglasses to all of them. Some of them wearing the beach uniform of shorts, black shirt, and the belt that held their gun, handcuffs, and the freedom of many. Others, well they looked straight out of a magazine. Everything perfectly placed to make them intimidate others.
I rested my elbows on the sturdy railing, watching as people scrambled below. I find something beautiful in everything. It’s the artist in me I suppose.
“Miss, miss, can you come down here, please? We need to find out if you heard anything,” one of the non-uniformed cops yelled out to me.
I nodded, suddenly frightened. Why was I scared? Maybe because my father had tried to have me killed in the past. Or because I am not the kind of girl who finds cops attractive.
“Yeah, sure. Let me put on some clothes and I will be right down,” I called out, I could see a few pointing up to where I stood. What the fuck had happened down there. That was the moment that my heart sank. What if, what if it was one of my roommates hurt? Slipping back in, for some reason I closed and locked the door when I was inside. Maybe this was my wake up call. I grabbed a pair of running shorts, slipping them up without any undergarments. Why worry? Right? A thin t-shirt, my hair pulled back into a ponytail, and I was down the stairs and opening the door to faces I didn’t know. Cops. God, I hated cops.
“Miss, we need to ask you some questions about a murder on the beach in the early hours. Do you know a man by the name of Jeffrey Hamilton?”
That was the point where I grabbed the door frame, my face went white, and I thought I would vomit. Jeffrey Hamilton was my client from the night before. He had dropped me off around 2 am.
“Yes, why? He is an art client of mine? He was buying a piece for his wife last night,” clearing my throat, almost speaking in a whisper as I lied about the reason for knowing him.
“Mr. Hamilton was found below your window this morning. His throat’s been slit. Do you know anything about this?” he asked me. The contents of my stomach threatening to come up.
“No…. no. God, who would have done this?”
The cop now had out his little notebook, writing down details of what I knew. I tried to think of everything, but there was nothing to say. This man was just some Lawyer who needed a date for dinner and someone to listen to his heartache. He shook my hand goodnight, and that was the last time I had seen him.
“Your name?” he asked
“Gyp.. I meant Mary Elizabeth Kennedy,” whispering, god, I hated that name.
“Supreme court justice Spencer Kennedy’s daughter?” all of them looking at each other in disbelief. Two years I was registered as a runaway. Now, I was legal and there wasn’t any way they could return me to my father.
All I did was a nod, and a man in a well-tailored suit showed up, looking at the men, “Miss Kennedy, you need to come to the station for further questioning. Your father will need to be called.”
I wanted to scream, cry, beg, but I knew they wouldn’t listen. My father had me shot and no one listened. Would the filth of the Kennedy family finally put out in the open? No. I won’t tell. I won’t. I love my brother enough to hold back that on the night of my 16th birthday my own father tried to rape me. I will never tell a soul that dirty little secret.
“All right. Let me get my purse and some shoes on. I don’t think I can help you, but, okay.”