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   Chapter 12 No.12

My Sister's Keeper By Bill Benners Characters: 6823

Updated: 2018-05-28 11:01

I STARED AT THAT FLASHLIGHT and the red smear feeling as if I was standing before my father once again being accused of something I didn't do. Don't lie to me! The skin on my back felt as if it was crawling around under my shirt.

"Is this your flashlight?" Sam asked.

"It…looks like it."

"What's it doing here?"

"I don't know. I didn't put it there."

"You think Ashleigh did?"

The photographer nudged in next to me focusing his camera on the flashlight. I stepped back. "I swear to you I have no idea how it got there." The strobe went off and the camera beeped.

"Could Ashleigh have done it?" Lizard Lips asked.

My mouth felt hot. "Of course she could have. I was passed out on the deck. Anybody could have done it."

The man's tongue danced back and forth across his lower lip. "But, did she?"

My stomach soared and I burped. "As far as I know there were only two of us and I was passed out in the rain." Another burst of light from the camera's flash further aggravated my anxiety.

"And why would she come in here and put your flashlight there?" Sam asked, his eyes piercing me. They were my father's eyes. Hard. Judgmental. Don't lie to me!

"You're the detective, Sam. You should be able to tell me. I'd love to know. In fact, I hope to God you can tell me exactly who put it there. When and why."

Sam used his pencil to lift the other cushion. "Bag it."

"Because, Sam, the thing that scares me the most is finding out that you can't. And if you can't do any better with this than you did with Martha's case, I'm screwed." I crossed back to the sink, leaned, and drank directly from the faucet. Sam pulled two Polaroid photographs from an envelope he'd brought in with him and shuffled them in his hands. I took another swig, turned the water off, and leaned back on the counter. I knew what was coming next.

"You recognize this photograph?" He dropped one of the photos on the counter in front of me.

I didn't need to look, but rotated it anyway. It was the one of Ashleigh in the robe with her

I know it sounds improbable, but I swear it's the truth. I blacked out around ten and when I came to, I was lying on my deck in the rain. I have no idea what happened after I passed out, how I got home, what time I got home, or how that flashlight got under that seat cushion." Sam said nothing, just dissected me with his eyes. The clock on the microwave read 6:10 p.m. I sighed, "How much longer is this going to take? I've got a rehearsal at seven."

Sam dropped onto a stool at the counter and flipped through his notes. "You can leave anytime you want."

I wished he'd told me that earlier. I would've taken off right then. As I reached for my keys, Staten came down the stairs toting a clear plastic bag containing something white. "Sam."

Sam met him at the foot of the stairs where they discussed the contents of the bag, then brought the bag to me. "Is this the shirt you had on Sunday night?"

There were several drops of blood on the sleeve, a couple more on the shoulder, and a large stain on the right-hand cuff.

"Yes. That's from the scratches on my face and arm."

There it was. That scorn in his eye that I feared most from my father. "Well I certainly hope—for your sake—it turns out to be your blood."

I flinched expecting his hand to bolt out and slap my face, then turned and walked out as bile rose in the back of my throat.

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