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Only on a Tuesday
It was a Tuesday night, I felt scared, cold and alone. I knew this wasn’t a dream. Nobody could wake me up from this nightmare that I’m in. if only I hadn’t met ‘him’. If only he hadn’t talked me into it. But I couldn’t blame all of this on him even though I so wanted to. This was also my fault, if I hadn’t let myself fall for his charms, smell of after shave, and his husky voice, then I wouldn’t be where I am today; by Willows Lake, dumping a body with ‘him’, Arin.
“Jackie!” I heard Arin whisper. I took on long, agonizing breath and turned around. “I need help lifting him out of the car.” My eyes started to water. God, this can’t really be happening. I thought back to the day we met, as I helped Arin lift the body out of the trunk.
It was only a month ago; my parents had just divorced, and my older brother had just died, I was on my own. I was in Chicago with my friend Marley on what was supposed to be our get-away-weekend. I was going to meet her at Navy Pier when I had gotten stuck in traffic. I paid the cab driver, got out, and started to walk. I had only gotten 2 blocks when it started pouring so I went into the nearest starbucks to wait for the rain to stop.
Soaking wet, I was in line to get a coffee when this man came up to me, feeling sorry for me, he bought me my coffee. Grateful to him, we sat down and started talking. After a while the rain cleared up and he told me he had a car and could take me up to Navy Pier. When we arrived I called Marley and she told me she was at the hotel with a huge hang over and couldn’t come. So Arin and I ended up spending the day together. We soon became friends and look what that got me into? Pulling back from my memories, I started bawling.
“Shhh!” Arin whispered, “Someone will hear you and then we will both go to jail!” I sniffled a few more times and then we dropped the body over the cliff and into the lake. My head spin as I watched the body fall, knowing that after this, there is no going back. I watched as he plummeted into the eternal abyss, the deep, dark, cold water below, waiting to swallow him up, leaving no trace that he ever existed.
I thought that after we did that, that all my worrying and sadness would go away, but it just got worse. I was on the verge of tears again. Arin realized that this and he walked over and gave me a hug. We stood there like this for a while, and couldn’t find the courage to look into his eyes, my brain only registering his warm breath against my forehead while I let my mind wander over the past few weeks.
After I had gotten back from Chicago, I went back to school; it was then that I realized he went to the same college as me, U of M. I remember the day that it all truly began. I got caught passing notes in class by my Professor and he told me to see him after class, something he did frequently, and always on a Tuesday. And like always, he started hitting on me, but he went farther than normal. He tried kissing and forcing himself on me. He told me that if I didn’t then he would get me expelled from the university. So, what was I supposed to do? I kissed him back. Then, he started trying to rip my clothes off, and I tried to stop him. But he was stronger than me. I remember how helpless I had felt knowing that he could do whatever he wanted with me and I would have no choice but to succumb to his greedy hands.
That’s when Arin came in and went off on Professor Starnes. He was really angry and ended up punching him in the face; Arin forcefully grabbed my hand and guided me out of his office. He never really let that situation go. And when it happened again that next Tuesday, well, that leads us to today.
“Hey” Arin whispered, snapping me back to the present.
“Hmmm?” I asked. Right now I felt so warm with my head buried in his chest, so at home.
“I said we have to get going.” Arin said, careful not to set me off again.
“Oh, right.” I got in the passenger’s seat and when I closed the door he started to drive. This is a day I will never forget, no matter how hard I try. Once we were on the road for a while Arin turned on the radio and I jumped in surprise. Arin gave me a quick glance and then his eyes focused back on the road as my eyes scanned everywhere, mostly keeping a look out for any cops.
“You act like you’ve never gotten rid of a body before.” Arin said as a cruel joke. I just stared at him. “Come on Jackie, it was a joke.” He said, that was when I really started to read the situation we were in, the situation he had gotten us into.
How well do I really know Arin? Why hadn’t I noticed him at the University till I met him in Chicago? Why was he being so calm about all this? And the biggest question of all, “Who are you?” I asked. Something just didn’t add up, I had a gut feeling. He jerked the steering wheel a little. “Who are you?” I repeated, “And why do you act as if you have done this before.”
“You know me J. How could you think something like that?” he said, using his nickname for me that I loved, “I’m Arin Peters.” He continued.
“I know your name, but I know nothing about you, and now look where you have gotten me!” I practically shouted, knowing the second that they left my lips that this wasn’t entirely fair. Even though he made the first move we were in this together. This was as much my fault as his. I couldn’t hold my emotions in any longer, and apparently, neither could he.
“Jackie stop! Just stop!” he shouted which only brought more tears to the surface of my eyes, threatening to overflow. “You’re choosing now to bring this up? I was helping you by doing this! Hell, I was doing you- the world a favor!” I was shocked.
“You said it was an accident.” I whispered after a minute of silence.
“O come on J,” Arin said, “he would have never left you alone.” He finished, taking a big shaky breath in order to calm himself down. How could he think this is what I wanted? Sure, I hated him, but murder wasn’t the answer. Let the law deal with him.
“But, this isn’t what I wanted.” I said in a weak voice. “This isn’t-this man-he had a family. For God’s sake Arin! He had children-a wife!” I shouted, my voice getting stronger with my new found rage. Arin said nothing. “Well? Arin say something!” I yelled, my emotions changing to now irritated. “Arin look at me!” I grabbed his chin and forced him to face me. Not really my smartest move as I soon realized as he lost control of the car, slamming into the oncoming traffic, The force was so strong that I could barely handle it and my teeth ground together at the sound of the metal and iron smashing together.
The feeling was frightening and painful, hearing my bones crunch and the glass break as I went flying through the windshield. I had been so distracted with the body of Professor Starnes; I had forgotten to put my seatbelt on. The moment I hit the concrete I was unconscious. My last thought was of Arin. If only I hadn’t met him. Or maybe if my parents hadn’t gotten a divorce, if my brother hadn’t been hit by a drunk driver, if Marley hadn’t died that night in Chicago from alcohol poisoning.
My head hurt like hell, and when I opened my eyes it was dark. I put my hands up to my face to rub them and realized that they were hooked up and dangling to the sides of me. The lights turned on, and when they did, I was able to get a better view of the room I was in. I was in a stiff bed and my arms were in casts on slings. I was in a hospital room. It was horrifying and when I looked to see who turned on the lights, I was sure that I was hallucinating. Professor Starnes was standing at the door. I tried to scream but my voice was cracked from dehydration, all that came out was a whisper.
“Shhh,” he said as he closed and locked the door behind him, “our little secret, okay?” he dimmed the lights and headed towards the bed. If this was a dream, I really wanted to wake up.
“Please” I tried to get out but it was useless. How was this possible? I really wanted to wake up, but I started to think this wasn’t a dream. He unzipped his pants. O God. Where was Arin?
“Arin!” I shouted as I quickly sat up. I realized I wasn’t in the hospital bed anymore as I observed my surroundings, I heard sirens so I figure I must be in an ambulance.
“Gentle, easy now, you were in a car accident and we are taking you to the hospital.” An old man said. As I looked at him I realized that he was my professor. I tried to scream and call for help, but before I could, he put a gas mask over my mouth and I fell into what felt like; and endless sleep.
I felt extremely tired as I drifted in and out of consciousness for what felt like hours. I knew I wasn’t in the hospital, or in an ambulance, where I was laying felt cold, hard and damp, like the ground. I heard a “whoop” “whoop” sound, almost like a helicopter. And underneath my eyelids it got bright, and dark, bright, and dark, indicating there were flashing lights. I opened my eyes to realize I was at the edge of a cliff and if you were looking down you would see willow Lake. How could that be? I was in a car accident- I saw my car parked by the road. Maybe I have been given a second chance!
But then I realized; the helicopter was over the lake with search lights and there were cop cars parked near me searching my car. I stood up and looked around, where was Arin? He couldn’t have driven away because the car was here. Why would he just leave me like this, so I would take the blame? That’s when I knew that I was truly and completely alone.
I felt something cold brush against my skin; I looked to see my wrists were being handcuffed behind my back by a young police officer. She walked me over to the cop car and ducked my head so I wouldn’t bump it getting in. I took a brief look over my shoulder to see the helicopter dropping a fail body on the ground with some paramedics waiting nearby. Professor Starnes.
The only thing going through my head the entire time was; where is Arin? I no longer felt like crying anymore, I felt grim. The car drove away, with me inside. I looked out the back window hoping Arin would show up, knowing that my life was now truly over.
I just feel like there is some part of the puzzle that I’m missing.
POLICE REPORT (CHICAGO, IL Office of Crime):
Date of arrest:
Murder of George L. Starnes
Said there was another involved,
when researched, no record was found