Chapter 5

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I slide into my seat and start my car, quickly pulling out of the park and driving the couple hundred feet to the house, parking on the road again. I walk past my dad and knock on my next-door neighbor's door. It takes a minute for him to answer and he smiles when he sees me.

"Hey, Vanessa," he says brightly.

"Hey," I smile. "I have a bit of an odd question."

"Shoot," he nods.

"I was wondering if you noticed anybody at my house yesterday," I say. "My family is in a bit of a prank war with my cousins, and we need to know which one to get back for rearranging our furniture."

"Well, that's fun," he laughs. "Sorry, but the only people I noticed were you, your mom, and Sam."

"Alright," I smile. "Thanks for trying to help."

He smiles and goes back inside and I walk down his driveway to the neighbor across the street, feeding her the same story I fed the other.

"I saw Sam," she says, looking like she has more to tell.

"But that's not it, right?" I smirk. "You saw someone else?"

"I shouldn't say this," she shakes her head.

"Please?" I beg.

She glances up and down the street.

"Mrs. Brennan?" I ask.

"Your father," she says and immediately closes the door.

I head back to the road and move to the next neighbor, receiving no new information. I don't receive any new information from anyone. The only people anybody noticed were my father, my mother, Sam, and me. My mom didn't kill herself, I didn't kill her, Sam didn't kill her. It was either my father, or someone who happened to get in and out without a single neighbor noticing. I lean against my car to wait for my father, still not ready to go inside.

"Vanessa!" He yells, running down the driveway.

"What?" I ask. "What's wrong?"

"I found this," he says as he hands me a watch. "Your mother hated watches, she'd never buy one."

"Relax," I smile. "This is Sam's. I'm surprised it's here, he almost never takes it off."

"I was hoping you'd say that," he nods. "Flip it over."

I turn it over in my hands and my eyes widen.

The back is covered in dried up blood, little drops splattered on the buckle.

"No," I say. "He wouldn't."

"He wouldn't, or you just don't want to admit that there's a chance he did?" He inquires.

"It can't be," I say, feeling a tear drip down my cheek.

"It's okay," he pulls me in for a hug. "What did the neighbors say?"

"They only saw you, me, Mom, and Sam," I sob.

"We need to talk to Sam," he asserts. "Get him here. Say you don't feel well and need him to drive you to the doctor."

I call Sam and tell him what I'm told to. It takes some convincing but he finally agrees to come over. I hang up my phone and nod.

"He'll be here in twenty," I say, flicking my eyes down at my feet to avoid my father's stare. "I guess I gotta go inside now."

We walk in and I try not to notice the mess, the obvious fact that she put up a fight, and all the blood that seems to be everywhere. My father grabs a water bottle from the fridge and brings it to me. I twist the cap off and drink half of it in a couple seconds, not looking forward to confronting Sam. I get up from the couch and start digging through the mess, looking for anything that could potentially prove Sam didn't kill her. I use every second to search until the sound of a car door slamming pulls me out of my rhythm.

It's Sam.

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