10: Across Campus

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Lets just forget the fact I haven't uploaded since the end of Jan...

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“What is it?” I ask immediately, as Asher walks back into my dorm room. Nate and I had spent the past hour, trying to figure out how to prove Chase’s innocence. So far, we came up with nothing. As far as we knew, we couldn’t prove he was nowhere near the crime scene at the time of death. That idea had flown out the window. In front of Nate and I was a large piece of pink sugar paper, with a massive spider diagram noting down everything that we knew and our theories. This was the time where I was thankful I watched a lot of Nancy Drew when I was younger.

Asher twirls the phone around in his hand. He’s got that look on his face – the one that says he’s thinking hard about something. I know this look; I had seen it on my face too many times when staring in the mirror. It was the face of ‘I just found something out, and I don’t really know what to do about it, oh my gosh’ kind of thoughtful face. “Chase called. He asked us to look into something.”

My heart catches in my throat. Chase called? And he talked to Asher? Sure, they were best friends, but I was his girlfriend. He should know how much I’m worrying about him! Clenching my jaw, I pick up a pillow and hug it to my chest. Now wasn’t the time to be acting like a jealous girlfriend. “And? What does he want us to look into?”

Asher takes the arm chair across from Nate and me. I turn my body around, so I’m facing him, and lean against Nate’s arm, waiting for Asher to finally tell us. It seems like my brother has got a thing for keeping me in suspense. I’m about to snap at him, telling him to hurry up, but he beats me to it. “Obviously Chase didn’t do it. Meaning he therefore wouldn’t have the murder weapon. So how did it end up in his room? Somebody else has to have a key to get in. Unless it was one of us who murdered her, it’s someone else who has access to the room 24/7.”

My jaw drops open. “Chase thought of that? Are you sure?”

Asher laughs, “That’s exactly what I thought. I mean Jesus, here’s a boy who got so drunk once that he tried to put his socks on his ears, and he’s having the genius ideas. Trust me, I get your shock.”

“You two are great friends,” Nate says, “It’s nice to know that if I ever go to prison, you’ll sit around sharing embarrassing stories rather than trying to rescue me.” Asher’s and I’s laughter dies down as we both look at Nate. It just takes the twitch at the side of his lip to know that he’s joking, and we’re all sent into a full frenzied laughter again.

“We’re terrible,” I say, letting out a sigh as I massage my cheek bones. “Sorry Chase.” I pick up the discarded pillow from the floor – it got thrown off of me during my fit of laughter – and push it behind my back. Then, I sit up straighter and throw Asher and Nate a determined look. “We better get to work.”

*

Three hours later, we’ve come to a conclusion. Everyone who Chase gave keys to his apartment still have them, and their keys have never gone missing. So we couldn’t say that the keys were stolen, or the keys were stolen for a short time, copied and then put back with the rightful owner. Since that idea was out of the picture, we came to the conclusion it was someone who already had a key. Somebody who worked for the school – the office lady who has a spare, the janitor who has a key so he can clean, the headmaster who has a master key and the list could go on.

Sighing, I roll on my side and bury my head into the pillow. My fingers reach out, touching the pillow next to me. I miss Chase. Our date had been fantastic, and it finally felt like him and me were getting back some of our normality. It was great, I was happy. What was better was that I knew Chase was happy. Happy was something that wasn’t always here in Chase’s life, it was often quite absent. He wasn’t fully over his nans death, and sometimes I caught him with his paintbrushes, staring out of the window. So those days when he was happy, I was over the moon. But now…he wasn’t happy, and there wasn’t anything I could do about it. The only thing I could do was try and figure out a way to get Chase off of the hook.

My phone, which was lying just under my pillow, suddenly starts to buzz. I jump, my body tensing, before I realise what’s happening. The breath that I had withheld comes out of my mouth, in one unsteady gasp. Who calls people at this time of night? Grabbing hold of my phone, I answer it, without looking at the caller ID. “Hello?”

It’s quiet for a moment; the only noise to be heard is static. “Harley,” the voice says, “You’re awake. I wasn’t sure that you would be.”

“Chase, you’re an ass.” The words tumble out my mouth before I can stop them. My eyes widen, realising what I said, and I quickly sit up in bed, leaning my back against the headboard. I glance to the side, peaking out of my door, just to see if anybody is still up. Nate and Asher both refused to leave me with a ‘crazy murderer’ on the loose. “I’m sorry, I didn’t…”

He laughs lightly. “Yes, you did. And don’t worry, I know. But can I ask what for this time?”

I snort. “For being a suspect in a murder investigation for one.”

“That’s a valid point.”

“For keeping things from me. You still haven’t told me your big secret.”

Chase sighs, “I was calling you to ask if you wanted to know, Harley, but it’s something I’d rather have told you in person. I’ve been working hard on this, and…”

Tears flood in my eyes. He sounded so sincere. My gosh, I wanted to know what he was up to so badly, but I didn’t realise how much this meant to him. It seemed more than just a little thing, it seemed like this was a big thing that he had been working hard on for months. Pushing my own desires out of mind, I say, “Oh, also you calling my brother over me. Who are you in love with again?”

It’s silent for a few moments, and I start to worry that he’s been cut off. I knew that prison calls didn’t also last long. I almost laugh out loud, prison calls! Okay, so Chase was only being held in the police station, but still.

“You. I’m in love with you.”

A smile spreads across my face. The anger, the hurt, the sadness, all the other negative things that I was feeling fly out of my mind, because this right here is what made me happy. “I’m in love with you too.” I respond, my fingers playing with the frills on my cover. “But you’re still going to have a lot of ass kissing to do when you get home. Trust me, Chase, we will get you out of there.”

He sighs. “I know, Harley, but just…be safe, okay? The real murderer is still out there.”

“I know, Chase. Nate and Asher are with me right now. I’ll be fine, okay? Worry about yourself, not me.”

Chase chuckles, “Harley, I don’t think there’s a day that goes by where I can’t not worry about you. You’re a bit of a troublemaker, Harley.”

I roll my eyes. “I love you, Chase. I’ll try and see you tomorrow, alright?” the warning comes through the phone, it’s a monotone lady telling us we only have a minute left. My heart sinks; I don’t know when I’ll be able to talk to Chase again. They might not even let me see him tomorrow.

“I know, I love you.”

The phone call ends, and I’m left staring into the dark, wondering what tomorrow will bring.

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