The girl in the shower (3)

Artur left the hallway to use a business phone elsewhere on the property. He didn’t want to use his personal phone to call the police and Jared hadn’t offered up his own.

Jared stayed behind staring from the doorway at the helpless girl in his shower.  He imagined her animated and full of life.  He agreed with Artur that she was young, very pretty too.  But she wasn’t familiar.  Not in the least bit.  She was soaking wet, from the shower, of course, but other than that, he couldn’t see anything visibly wrong with her.  The tub wasn’t bloody.  Didn’t look like she had been shot or stabbed.  Maybe it was an accident after all.  Maybe she slipped, fell, hit her head…but she wouldn’t be sitting up like that if that were the case.  Not sitting like a doll on a shelf.  Like someone had posed her in that position.

Maybe someone tried to help her and got scared?  Maybe someone helped her sit up and when they ran off to get help, she passed away?  Then whoever was trying to help panicked?  Jared kept grasping at the air for an innocent explanation.  Truth is, there’s really no good reason to find a dead girl in the shower.

Jared shook his head and examined, from the doorway, the rest of the scene.  His toiletries were still lined up on the sink.  His toothbrush and a bar of soap on the soap dish inside the shower.  The toilet seat was down.  The paper still on the roll.  The bathmat in front of the tub was perfectly straight.  No struggle, he thought.  How creepy.

What was taking Artur so long?

Jared felt like he was abandoning the girl in the shower as he walked away from the door but he had to get out of there.  He told himself he was honoring her by preserving the crime scene. And he was getting too curious just standing by the doorframe.  If he went in, who knows what he might mess up.

He slunk to his bedroom and got dressed in the clothes he wore last night.  There was nothing to hide, no reason to be embarrassed but once in the clothes, he immediately took them right off. He needed to preserve a timeline for his own good, he wasn’t wearing these clothes when Artur woke him up.  He had to stay in what he was already wearing.  The timeline will be very important.  He knew this instantly.

Jared began filling in blanks in his head.  He went to bed with the sunrise, what time exactly would that have been?  He googled sunrise on his iPhone and immediately wished he hadn’t.  What if the cops look at his phone? They’ll see that he googled sunrise and think he’s making the whole thing up.  He has no alibi – now he’s googling shit?  He looked around his bedroom.  What else would they see that would make him look guilty?  The skull on the bookshelf stared back at him ominously.

Why am I freaking out? Jared thought.  Calm the fuck down! he told himself.

There is nothing wrong with wearing last night’s clothes. Any innocent man would grab the first clothes they see when getting dressed at a time like this.  Right?  And Jared is, of course, innocent.  He didn’t hurt the girl.  He didn’t even know her.  He certainly hadn’t invited her. He knew that much.

Besides, there’s nothing wrong with him googling what time it would have been when he went to bed.  He knew it was getting light out but he didn’t know what time that was exactly. He’s just connecting dots with the help of good old google.  The police would understand that.  He could explain his actions and his clothes. And everything else.  Probably.  If the police asked him the right questions.

Jared climbed back into the pajama pants he was wearing when Artur woke him up. Not brave enough to explain himself to the police that were likely making their way to his home this very minute.  Anything out of the ordinary would just be a distraction from what really happened in the bathroom.

Jared paused…Why did he feel so fucking guilty?  It’s normal to try and piece the puzzle together.  That doesn’t mean he’s responsible for her death.  But he felt responsible.  It was his party and somehow, even if he didn’t recognize her, she was his guest. Or a guest of his guest.  Someone he knows, knows her.  And she’s dead now.  In his personal shower.

Jared draped the clothes we wore last night over his dresser in almost precisely the same position he placed them in right before bed.  His pants fell to the floor and Jared whisked them up. He was nervous and it was making him clumsy.  He didn’t like all the different conflicting emotions inside his head.   His natural instinct was to go to save the girl, but he had slept right through whatever took her from this world.  It’s too late to do anything now, so his instincts are in panic mode.  It also occurred to him that he’s not safe back here either.

Jared grabbed his keys from last night’s pants, unlocked his closet out in the hall, went inside and shut the door behind him.  He needed a barrier between himself, the girl in the shower and anyone else who might be hiding inside his house.  He grabbed fresh clothes from his closet and peeked out in to the hallway.  When he was sure all was clear, he locked the door behind him and quietly scooted off to find Artur.


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